Watering Succulents

Succulents benefit from neglect…that’s my type of plant

Market Customer #8

As this may be true with the amount of watering the average succulent requires, I can think of a couple of other ways a succulent could suffer from neglect. For now, let’s talk about watering your succulents…or lack thereof.


Water as the soil needs and allow the soil to dry out before watering again. Get in the habit of routinely checking on your plants, but they don’t have to be watered every time.

Often indoor succulent arrangements can go several weeks in between waterings, but a variety of factors can alter the frequency of water requirements. More on indoor arrangements later.


Succulents prefer a loose and well-draining soil. We get a lot of rain certain times of the year in the Pacific Northwest United States and when we have succulents outdoors, a planter or pot without drainage can easily be the death of a succulent.

Soil Structure

Soil mediums that leverage perlite and rocks and sand will allow for excellent root growth and maximum drainage capabilities.

Indoor Succulents

Top Dressing

Top dressing a succulent arrangement is a great way to add some decoration to an indoor arrangement but also a way to aide in creating a more stable water cycle by shading the soil surface. Moisture meters are your friend, use them to ensure overwatering does not occur.

Water retention

Mulch, rocks, and moss in decorative applications can set the scene but also aid in water retention. Succulents prefer a drier environment than most living mosses and can only be mixed in an arrangement temporarily. Consider the environment when mixing these plants into your home. Most homes have considerable higher humidity and lower temperatures than most succulents prefer. Succulents usually prefer the warmest and brightest spot in our homes.

If you overwater a succulent arrangement without a drain hole you jeopardize your plants’ survival if you wait for it to use up the water. It is better you pour off any excess water in a succulent arrangement.

Signs of Overwatering

Fungus gnats, aphids and other pests usually come hand in hand with overwatering of succulents. The moist conditions allow for the pests to set up shop and plan their futures at your plants expense. Place your plant in a bright location with some air circulation to help dry out the soil.

Plant Rot is a common affliction among indoor succulent arrangements. The soil of the arrangement will accept more water without runoff however the plant is struggling to get a breath because its roots are constantly wet. Succulents prefer when the soil dries out completely in between good soaking waterings. It is not always easy to achieve this method of watering with indoor arrangments but do your best! Your plant will thank you!