How to Water Succulents [Care Tips]

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How to Water Succulents [Care Tips]

Short Answer: Watering succulents properly is key to their care, as these plants are adapted to arid conditions and can be prone to overwatering. The “soak and dry” method is highly effective: water the succulents thoroughly, allowing the water to run out of the drainage holes, and then wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again. This mimics the natural dry spells they experience in their native habitats. It’s crucial to avoid letting the succulents sit in water, as this can lead to root rot. Also, adjust your watering schedule based on the season, with less frequent watering in the cooler months when the plants are dormant. By following these guidelines, your succulents will maintain their health and show their best growth.


Succulents are plants that can store additional water in their leaves, stems, or roots. This ability allows them to survive for an extended period between waterings, sometimes even for a month or more. However, it is a common misconception that succulents don’t require regular watering. When you bring them into your home or garden, they still need to be watered at regular intervals to remain healthy.

To keep your succulents thriving, forcing them to go without water for weeks or months is not a good idea. No matter where you plant them, learn how to water succulents to save them from drying out too much and prevent you from overwatering them.

How to Water Succulents Indoors

succulent plants thermos planters

Succulent plants such as Sedums, Sempervivum (commonly called hens-and-chicks), jade plants, kalanchoe, aloe vera, and Sansevieria (also known as snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue) are popular indoor choices. Additionally, cacti are a type of succulent that requires less water than other succulents.

Rather than giving these water-thrifty plants little splashes of water here and there, give them a good soaking until water runs out the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Be sure to empty the extra moisture from the saucer beneath the plant pot; too much wetness will rot the roots. Then let the soil dry out completely before watering again. Check the soil a week after watering; if it still feels moist, wait another week.

Succulents require more water during early spring when they begin to actively grow. Water requirements may decrease during summer, and even further during winter when the light is reduced, and most succulents become dormant. During winter, water your succulents only when the soil is dry. This may be as infrequent as once a month, depending on your home’s conditions. The frequency of watering will also be determined by the size of the container. The larger the container, the more moisture it can retain. Small, shallow pots may require more frequent watering.

How to Water Succulents in Outdoor Containers

Summer is a good time to move potted succulents outdoors. Though they love the sun, give them a chance to acclimate to outdoor conditions by placing them in a partially shaded area before moving to a sunnier location. Keep them out of intense sunlight from late morning to midafternoon.

Outdoor plants generally need more water than indoor plants. But, again, your conditions will dictate how to water succulents and how often they need watering. Start by checking every week, paying attention to the condition of the potting soil and whether it’s bone dry or still has some moisture.

How to Water Succulents in the Ground

Succulents, particularly sedums, can also thrive in the ground. Depending on your area’s climate, they might need to be watered weekly. Established plants will have a more robust root system and tolerate dry conditions much better than new plants.

Whether you grow hardy or annual succulents, they must be in well-drained soil. If your soil stays too moist, use a raised bed or try mounding up the soil where you plant succulents. One- to 2-foot mounds of well-aged compost mixed with perlite will help plants thrive even in conditions different from their native areas. Good soil, good soaking, and good drainage equal happy succulents.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in the USA

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
Northeast (e.g., New York, Massachusetts)Rose, Purple Lilac, Mountain LaurelSugar Maple, American Elm, White Pine
Southeast (e.g., Florida, Georgia)Orange Blossom, Cherokee Rose, Southern MagnoliaLive Oak, Spanish Moss, Saw Palmetto
Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois)Carnation, Violet, Purple ConeflowerBur Oak, Prairie Grasses, Wild Bergamot
Southwest (e.g., Texas, Arizona)Bluebonnet, Saguaro Cactus Flower, Indian PaintbrushJoshua Tree, Agave, Mesquite
West (e.g., California, Washington)California Poppy, Coast Rhododendron, BitterrootGiant Sequoia, Redwood, Manzanita
Rocky Mountain (e.g., Colorado, Montana)Rocky Mountain Columbine, Bitterroot, Indian PaintbrushBlue Spruce, Aspen, Sagebrush
Great Plains (e.g., Kansas, Nebraska)Sunflower, Goldenrod, Purple ConeflowerCottonwood, Bluestem Grasses, Buffalo Grass
Pacific Northwest (e.g., Oregon, Alaska)Oregon Grape, Forget-me-not, Pacific RhododendronDouglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ferns

This table includes the most popular flowers and plants in the USA by region, which considers a range of botanical species, including native and widely cultivated varieties.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in Australia

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
New South WalesWaratah, Bottlebrush, Flannel FlowerEucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia
VictoriaCommon Heath, Waxflower, Pink HeathMountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Victorian Blue Gum
QueenslandCooktown Orchid, Golden Penda, Umbrella Tree FlowerMoreton Bay Fig, Macadamia Nut, Queensland Bottle Tree
South AustraliaSturt's Desert Pea, Kangaroo Paw, Eucalyptus BlossomAdelaide Blue Gum, South Australian Blue Gum, Saltbush
Western AustraliaRed and Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Swan River DaisyJarrah, Marri, Karri
TasmaniaTasmanian Blue Gum, Leatherwood Flower, Tasmanian WaratahHuon Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Myrtle Beech
Northern TerritorySturt's Desert Rose, Frangipani, Desert RoseBoab, Gidgee, Spinifex
Australian Capital TerritoryRoyal Bluebell, Australian Daisy, CorreaSnow Gum, River Red Gum, Black Mountain

This table offers a basic overview of popular flowers and plants in each Australian region, focusing on a combination of state flowers, native species, and other characteristic plants. It's important to note that specific species' popularity and prevalence can vary. This table is a simplified representation. Consulting local botanical gardens or regional horticultural societies in Australia would be ideal for more detailed and accurate information.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.