How to Take Care of Succulents – Full Guide

As you probably know, the easiest way to kill a succulent is to over or under-water it. Here are the tips on how to grow, care, and water succulents the right way! Once you learn How to Take Care of Succulents and the rest is just enjoying your succulent plants. Everything about how to care for a succulent in this post.

Should Succulents be Watered Regularly? Succulents have a reputation for being low-maintenance plants due to their drought tolerance. However, regular watering helps succulents grow strong root systems and helps them look vibrant and healthy.

There are our Tips. Before Watering, Observe:

Succulent Plant Care: Soil for Succulents

The best is to touch it. When the topsoil feels dry about one-two inches deep, it’s a good moment for watering. Should be dry before watering. Remember: Do not water if the soil is not dry.  Depending on the soil composition would enhance drainage, increase evaporation, and provide the dry conditions needed for succulents.

Cactus Mix is a good soil to start. This soil mix allows fast draining and doesn’t retain as much water as regular potting soil.

Pot’s material is important as well as contributing to regulate the moisture. Terracotta pots are perfect pots for succulents because they wick away moisture. Are you not using Cactus Mix? Do you only have regular potting soil? Add perlite, sand, or vermiculite to alleviate drainage. 

how to take care of succulents

Regardless of whether the succulents are indoor or outdoor, they are very susceptible to the excess of water. Succulents could quickly deteriorate and rot in just a few days if the soil does not have adequate drainage. Drainage must be fast.

The success is on using commercial mixtures for cacti (such as Cactus Mix) or preparing a mixture of 50% compost or black soil (it can be a potting mix) and 50% of a draining agent of your choices such as sand, vermiculite, or perlite.

This soil mix allows fast draining and doesn’t retain as much water as regular potting soil.

Remember always touch the soil before watering. When the topsoil feels dry about one-two inches deep, it’s a good moment for watering. Should be dry before watering.

How to Take Care of Succulents: Leaves

Withered or wizened appearance, translucent, yellow-yellowish, or losing color and/or soggy leaves on your succulent, then you’ve been over-watering.

Sometimes this situation is also accompanied by the presence of mold.

Stop watering your plant until the soil feels dry several inches deep. Good light but not the direct sun would be helpful.

how to take care succulents leaves potted

What Happens with My Succulent?

Succulent Leaves Turning Brown?

Succulent Leaves Turning Yellow?

On the other hand, if you see dry, brown-brownish, and crispy leaves on the top or middle section of your succulent, then you’ve been under-watering and the plant is in major distress and need of water.

Succulent Leaves Turning Brown?
Yellow-yellowish, turning brown and soggy leaves on your succulent because over-watering.
how to care for succulent plants
Brown-brownish, and crispy leaves on the top or middle section of your succulent: Under-watering.

“Prune” dry leaves and water your succulent. Never add water to the leaves, only directly to the soil.

How to Take Care of Succulents: How Much Water

When you see the water is freely draining from the bottom of your pot, the soil has received satisfactory moisture. The soil mix is key for correct humidity. If drainage is not adequate, succulents will be rotted and easily die from excess water.

For indoor succulents surely you will have to wait a few days before watering again and only when the soil feels dry about an inch or two deeps.

If growing succulents directly in the ground, water until you feel that the soil is sufficiently moist.

Most succulents are not actively growing during the fall or winter season, so they will need even less water.

How to Take Care of Succulents: How Often to Water Succulents

Only after checking soil and leaves as mentioned before.

Some succulents like Zebra are more resistant when it comes to watering, if you want to know more about this succulent here you have our guide about zebra succulent plant care.

how to care for succulent plants

Use Pots with Good Drainage

Succulents are plants that do not tolerate long periods of time in a wet substrate. That is why we must avoid overwatering succulents because they will rot and die. To prevent this from happening, you should choose a pot with drainage, that is, with holes in the base. This allows excess water to escape through the holes.

We recommend terracotta pots for the care of succulents, in our opinion, they are the best pots for all types of plants and especially for succulents because they are permeable. Here you can see some excellent quality terracotta pots:

Control the Temperature of Your Succulents

Temperature is also a factor to take into account when it comes to properly care for your succulents indoors. You should avoid exposing your succulents to temperatures that can harm them. For example, do not place them next to a radiator, a fireplace, or any other heat-emitting object that can hurt them.

On the other hand, if you have particularly cold areas in your home, avoid placing your succulents there.

Succulent Grow Light

Although light is not related to the amount of water, it contributes to the well-being of succulents and their typical colors. Succulents need a good amount of light all year round, without the need for direct exposure to the sun.

During the fall, winter, or if indoor growing does not allow a good light exposure, a few hours of contact to LED grow lights will be enough for your succulents to regain lost vitality and keep them colorful and healthy.

Learn more about Succulent Propagation.

Let’s enjoy your succulents!

succulent plants
About Julia Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Morgan, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website. We hope that all our advice will be useful to you and that you will become an expert gardener.

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