How Long Can Succulents go without Water?

Perhaps you have just entered the wonderful world of succulents, and you find yourself thinking about how often you will have to water succulents. You have a few things that you need to keep in mind with this. Let’s have a look at this question and figure out how to proceed.

How long can succulents go without water? How long succulents can go depends on the species and the size and age. For small homegrown succulents, water them once or twice per week. Succulents can usually last between two to four weeks without watering, but some can last for 3 months.

Origin of Succulents

To understand why succulents can go so long without water, you should first understand the origin of them. Succulents originally came from dry and arid climates like deserts. You do have some succulents that experienced rainfall like orchids, but they will grow branches or in areas where they may not see as much rain.

This has become one of the reasons that succulents can go for so long without water. Out in the wild, some species of succulents have been known to go for as long as nine months without water.

Beware of Cold and Wet Conditions

No succulent likes cold and wet conditions, and this can lead to a condition known as rot if you leave them to it for too long. Another important thing to know, many species must have several hours of sunlight per day if they will produce flowers.

Hardy Plants Can Go a Long Time

Succulents account for 15 percent of garden center sales because of how they don’t die easily. If you want a plant that will last a long time without water, succulents have a reputation as some of the hardiest plants.

In fact, you have stories of people who might have taken a slip while out and walking. The individual put it in their pocket and forgot that they had it. They found it one week later to drop it into a dish of water, successfully plant it and have the plant survive. The way that they survive the worst conditions has made plants like this popular. It’s a great way to get started with plants because they don’t die easily.

Succulents categorize as xerophytic, which means that they don’t require as much water for survival. With that said, they still do need some water to survive.

How to Water Your Succulents

The best way to water your succulents is through what is known as the soak and dry method. You first soak the soil completely. After you have done this, you will dry it out completely before you water it again. Don’t worry, succulents can last a long time before they risk dying from a lack of water.

When you go to water your succulents, you want to check to see that you put the succulents in soil that drains easily to keep from plant rot. For example, the pot should have a drainage hole in the bottom to let the water out.

Watering Indoor Succulents

Let’s say that you want to water indoor succulents. In general, it would be best if the water doesn’t touch the top of the leaves. That’s because if the water sits on the leaves for too long, it can cause rot. Understanding how succulents differ from other plants can prove especially helpful.

The biggest danger with succulents isn’t that you would underwater them. The biggest danger comes from overwatering them. To water indoor succulents, you might grab a squeeze bottle or a small spout watering can.

Watering Outdoor Succulents

Outdoor succulents differ in that you don’t have to worry as much that you will overwater them because of how more airflow takes away the excess water. They dry more quickly.

With outdoor succulents, you can pour water over them until they have become soaked. That said, don’t water your succulents again until they have completely dried out.

Remember: We want to use the soak-and-dry method because that seems to work the best with succulents.

How Often Should I Water My Succulents?

You don’t have a universal time period for when you should water your succulents. However, you may find it useful to water it anywhere from between 10 days to 14 days. That marks a good frequency, and it keeps your succulents alive.

Pay attention to the individual plant, and if it seems to do good with that schedule, keep with it. If it doesn’t seem to do as well, try another watering method. You want to individualize this to each plant and adjust as you see fit.

Don’t water them too much because of the succulent’s proneness to rot. Wait until the soil dries out completely before you water it again.

Why the Soak-and-Dry Method Works

This usually works because of how it soaks the succulents, but the water soaks them infrequently so that it never leads to rot. Did you know, cacti classify as a type of succulent? In the desert, flash floods happen frequently, and the storms can last anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. Next, you have weeks where no rain whatsoever falls from the sky. That is why succulents are used to the soak-and-dry method, and it doesn’t harm them.

In fact, this helps the plant to develop a healthy root system, and they will develop a stronger system in this way. In this way, too, they can withstand longer periods of drought than many other plant species.

How NOT to Water Your Succulents

With some plants like zebra plants, arrowhead plants and begonias, you might use a spray bottle to mist them. With the exception of orchids, you don’t want to use a spray bottle to mist them because of how this can lead to a weak root system.

With a weak root system, they won’t be as resistant to drought, and your succulents will die more easily. If this happens and you fail to water for a couple of days, your succulents will die. You want plants that will be more hardy and survive anything.

The Right Soil for Watering Your Succulents

The soil that you choose for your succulent is just as important as the watering of your succulents.

You want soil that drains water fast like in the desert. If the soil remains wet for too long, succulents will start to rot. Good draining soil will look gritty, and it will be 1/3 organic, 2/3 inorganic like rock and it will have 1/4 particles in it.

With succulents, traditional plant soil doesn’t work as well because it holds the water for too long, and this leads to plant rot.

To get a soil more suitable for succulents, you can modify soil bought from the store. To do this, you will want the soil to hold the needed water, but you will want it to dry out just as quickly. Also, be aware that most of the nurseries where you buy succulents uses soil that they didn’t design for the long-term growth of the plant. You will want to switch out the soil.

What to Add to Storebought Soil

To get the right consistency with your storebought soil for draining the water, you will want to add this recipe to your mix. In particular, this works best for indoor succulents:

  • 1 Part Crushed Granite
  • 1 Part Turface 
  • 1 Part Pine Bark Fines

This helps the soil to drain the water more easily.

To sum it up, succulents have become a popular plant because of how they’re hardier than many other plant species. They can last a much longer time than some of the other plants without water. In fact, you have stories of wild succulents that have lasted for as long as nine months without water. This also makes them easy maintenance for people who want an easier plant.

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