Most succulents are easy to grow as houseplants. This guide on watering succulents indoors will keep yours alive and growing!
This is an important thing to know and that’s why it has a post and video of its own. Succulent houseplants can easily “mush out” from watering too often and/or being kept too wet. Here you’ll get tips and pointers on how to water succulents indoors.
Knowing how to water succulents is a big part of succulent care. It’s good to keep in mind that succulents store water in their leaves, stems, and roots. How you water fleshy succulent plants indoors is simple. There’s no need to make this more complicated with too many details.
Check out more posts from our succulents indoors series:
- Growing Succulents Indoors: An Intro to the Series
- Choosing Succulent Plants & Pots
- Small Pots For Succulents
Tips for watering succulents indoors
1) Let your succulents dry out before watering them again
Because they store water in all parts of the plant, frequent watering will do them in.
I live in the Tucson desert which is very dry (not to mention hot!) for the majority of the year. I water my succulents indoors every 2-3 weeks in the summer months. How often you water yours depends on some of the factors listed below.
2) Water your succulents less often in winter months
Adjust the watering schedule for those cooler, darker winter months. Your succulents will need less water at this time. I water mine about every 4 weeks in winter.
3) Select pots with drainage holes
It’s best if the pots your succulents are growing in have drainage holes. This ensures water flows out and prevents excess water from building up in the bottom of the pot. This will lead to root rot.
I have you covered in case you find a special pot with no drain hole. There’s an upcoming post and video dedicated to succulents in pots with no drainage holes focusing on how to plant and water.
4) Use a special soil mix
Succulents like and do best in a special soil mix. It ensures good drainage and aeration which the roots need. There are many brands on the market. Here’s the recipe DIY succulent and cactus mix that I use for both my indoor and outdoor succulents.
If the mix is on the heavier side (not recommended by the way), then you’ll water less often. In a month or so, I’ll also be doing a post dedicated to succulent soil.
5) Make sure all of the soil is dry
Just because the top of the soil is dry, it doesn’t mean the rest of the soil is. The majority of the roots are in the bottom half so thoroughly check the soil mass if you can.
6) Don’t use a spray bottle
Put the spray bottle away – succulents don’t need misting. Don’t drench the leaves! If you spill some water on the leaves, no worries. Just drain it off. (*I list a few exceptions to this and watering in general right below the photo*).
7) Monitor the temperature
The temperature comes into play. If you keep it cooler, then water less often. If you’re like me and you keep yours warmer, you’ll probably have to water more often.
8) Consider these variables as well for succulent care
The smaller the pot, the more often you’ll water.
The lower the light conditions (succulents do their best in bright natural light), the less often.
The higher the humidity, the less often. The humidity here in Tucson is often below 10%. If you’re growing indoor succulents in places like Hawaii and Florida, you’ll most likely water less often than me.
The fewer the number of drain holes, the less often.
If your succulents are directly planted in porous containers like unglazed terra cotta or unglazed ceramic, you may have to water a tad more often.
I use room temperature water for all my plants, indoor succulents included. I figure this is easier on the roots – no change of shock from scalding hot or freezing cold.
Time of day for watering succulents
I’m honestly not sure if this matters, but I water all of my plants during the daytime. I do this because the natural light in the morning and afternoon makes it easier for me to see the soil mass. Besides, most plants like to rest a bit at night so I leave them be at this time.
What I use to water succulents indoors
On the regular, I use the small watering can (shown above) because the majority of my succulents indoors are in small containers. I use a larger can for my larger succulents like Pencil Cactus and Euphorbia ingens.
I use the squeeze bottle with the pointed spout pictured above to water succulents that are tricky to do with a can. This may be due to the fact the plants are very small or they’re tightly planted in a smaller container. It’s also good for watering succulent leaves you may be propagating.
Indications of watering issues
The leaf on the left indicates too much water. It’s mushy and the color has faded.
The one on the right indicates too little water. It has lost its plumpiness and is wrinkled.
Watering succulents indoors is simple. The key thing to keep in mind is that too much water will do them in. Coming up next in this series: 6 important things to know about growing succulents indoors.
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