Find out how to save your underwater succulents from dying If your succulents are growing in a pot without a drainage hole, it’s more logical to either unpot them and replant them into a true plant pot or take the plant out of its container, turn the latter upside down and drill a hole in the bottom. How do we get it faster? Over the course of a few weeks, you’ll begin to notice roots developing. Just to put them on my windowsill and they’d do fine. If you let the soil dry all the way (to where the soil is so dry that it’s pulling away from the sides of the pot), then you’ve let it … Succulents may store water in their leaves and stems, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be watered! So it goes for succulent stems and leaves. One sign that a cactus really doesn't get enough water is that it shrinks. Take tea, for example. Drop us a line! Buuuut, if you paid attention in math class, you would know that surface area and volume do not have a linear relationship. Hair, maybe? True enough, by definition, succulents store water in their tissues (stems or leaves): that’s what makes them so thick! The leaves use up water during photosynthesis to make sugar and “uh oh, there’s no more water!”, swisshhhh (this is the sound moving water makes). If you don’t want to drill, you can use the container as a cachepot: an ornamental receptacle used to conceal a flowerpot. That’s root hair! If you’re presently feeling a bit confused, because your succulents are growing in a pot without a drainage hole and therefore don’t have a saucer to catch excess water, you have a worse problem. Problem solved! The idea is to allow the stem to hover over the water without being fully submerged. You can even let the roots of houseplant succulents soak in water for a while: say, 10 to 30 minutes, even overnight, but then empty any excess water from the saucer underneath and wait until the soil is thoroughly dry before you water again. If you enjoyed reading our blog about When You Should Water Your Succulents, be sure to check out our other blogs. The guy at Ikea told me they didn’t need any watering. That can still take quite a while, depending on the conditions in your home: perhaps 10 to 14 days in the summer when your plants are growing actively (succulents grow slowly, but they do grow), maybe after a month or so in the winter. You should water your plant after repotting. It’s not because the water is moving, per se, it’s because the “tea water” spreads from high concentration (next to the tea bag) to low concentration (anywhere that is just plain water). Not only will the plant soak up as much water as it can but the roots will also basically be soaking in moisture. Gee, what is skinny and long? Learn how your comment data is processed. That is a step up from no water at all, but is still no way to treat a living plant. Good post! If you live in a dry and sunny area, you may need to increase your watering frequency up to once a week. The more surface you have exposed to water, the more of it can move into the plant! They are (literally) being ripped from their home. Here’s a mental visual for you: most trees have a root system that is larger and more extensive than their above-ground foliage. When the succulent cutting has dried fully, place it on the edge of a glass of water. If planting succulents in containers, choose unglazed terracotta pots with plenty of drainage holes in the bottom. If you’re wondering how to water succulents, the best way to do it is to deeply water the succulent and then allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. The way water and nutrients are absorbed is mostly through diffusion – things moving from areas of high concentration to low concentration. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Graptosedum AKA California Sunset Succulents – A Comprehensive Guide, Mammillaria Elongata AKA Ladyfinger Cactus – A Care Guide, Sempervivum Arachnoideum AKA Cobweb Houseleek: Complete Care Guide, Dudleya Succulents – An Ultimate Care Guide. Look no further! ( Log Out / Leave a teabag in water long enough, and the all the water will become brown.  Hi Patrick, greetings from Guatemala! I'm a bit confused by your advice on watering succulents immediately after repotting… Bad stuff happens to plants all the time and they usually bounce back. The best time to plant is during the warmth of autumn or spring. Personally I think you’ll enjoy this one: 6 Best Indoor Succulents . The proper way to water a succulent or cactus is to pour on water abundantly, totally soaking the root ball. Water needs may lessen in the summer and even more so during the winter. Succulents don’t need a lot of water, in general. Change ). Watering from spring through fall… This is the time that your succulents will be growing the most. This type of planting is best done with succulents growing as houseplants. At this time, water your succulent only when the top 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the soil is dry. Question: I bought three succulent plants last July. I am always amazed by how ignorant people are of simple plant needs. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. After a while, see if there's any water left on the saucer. If you learned something, please consider buying us a succulent for our office. Succulents and cactus are indeed low maintenance plants, but they do need watering—thorough watering!—occasionally. Thank you! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Repotting is a traumatic experience for any plant. Drainage layers simply don’t work. Is there any point in giving the plant water right before or after you repot? I always repot on watering day for that reason! When watering after repotting, make sure you water it fully and deeply. What are your views on this? If excess water ends up in a drainage layer at the bottom of a pot, the water will simply move up into the potting soil by capillary action, leaving the soil soggy and leading to rot. And plants figured that out. Plants spend a lot of energy establishing their root systems. Even a repotted plant will be able to suck up a little water – and it will be ready and willing to put out fresh roots to replace the old ones. That goes double for succulents. It provides the right amount of water retention and air circulation that allows the roots of succulents to thrive. Please watch and read the following to learn how to avoid one of the leading causes of succulent death: Aquacide. Right, so now that we understand that, how do we get more water and nutrients. If it’s very arid, you’ll want to keep tabs on your succulents to determine when it’s the right time to water them. Some ill-advised people justify planting succulents in containers with no drainage hole by claiming that as long you put a drainage layer of gravel or pebbles at the bottom, no drain hole is really necessary. And don’t buy cacti whose bracts or tips have been dipped in paint. There is a reason I’m emphasizing deep watering specifically. Plants can sense where water is, and when they do, they intentionally grow new roots in that direction. That’s how roots get water and nutrients. I’ve seen this on overwatered plants and plants that have stayed wet from too much rain outdoors. Never grow a plant, succulent or otherwise, in a pot without a drainage hole: it just makes no sense. Wait until the soil is nearly completely dry before you water. If it can’t drain it will die! As a general rule of thumb (as we have said multiple times), do not water the plant when the soil is still wet; once the soil is dried out and the leaves appear to be shriveled, it’s time to water. You can control the growth of your succulents by planting them in a pot that encourages or discourages growth—they'll "bonsai," or take the shape and size of the container in which they're planted. Let loose a deluge on your succulents and wait till the soil is bone dry to water again. ( Log Out / All plants need water. fresh roots and all their hairs. Growing succulents in containers with no possibility of drainage is a sure way to kill them. A couple of my succulents have started growing aerial roots and I am wondering if this might mean that I am giving them to LITTLE water? Even 3 or 4 months if the plant is kept very cool. Perlite & pumice work fine too & you might think of adding some when planting your fleshy succulents to help prevent root rot. how to treat Fungus Gnats infestations now! Lane recommends checking the soil a week after watering; if it's still moist, wait another week. Repotting may stop the blooming process, and the flower may fall off the succulent. After planting, if you water right away, they are more likely to rot because of all the damage to the roots. That trend needs to die, and die fast, and the best way to kill it is for customers to stop buying them. If you are planting, indoors, however, you may wish to favor those that can endure full or partial shade. Mostly because of the inevitable damage you do to roots. When watering after repotting, make sure you water it fully and deeply. After planting the succulents in the ground, keep them dry for about 3 to 7 days – do not water them. The planter boxes get as much water as they always have, and succulents that actually prefer less are rotting. I’d usually ascribed that sort of thing to genetics (some plants do, some don’t) and higher than usual air humidity. How often and how much you water your succulents depends on the light, temperature and the size of the rootball and the pot. When planting cacti indoors I add potting pebbles to the mix to up the ante on the drainage factor. wow–I don’t think I’d ever seen that before. A friend tells me they’re dying of thirst. It is important to remember that you should never repot your succulent if it starts to flower. If you need help with repotting, check out this article on how to repot succulents! Totally agree! Water minimally until the roots appear, then approximately once a week; be careful to avoid over-watering. Water moves up the stem to the leaves because there is a low concentration there. I remember when the Beautification Committee decided to plant succulents in the planter boxed downtown to save water, which could have worked if we had used succulents that do not need much water, and actually changed the irrigation after planting them. Place the cutting on a sunny window seat and wait. Allow your propagated succulents to take root, then they can be replanted as desired. 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