How to Water Succulent Plants

Have you ever wondered how much to water succulents? This post will teach you how to properly water succulents to keep them looking great!

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Welcome! I am so glad you’re here!

Watering succulents seems to be one of the trickiest parts of growing succulents.

Every person I know who grows succulents, myself included, has struggled with watering at some point, so you’re not alone!

I’ve killed dozens of plants from both over watering and under watering. Once I figured out the right system though, I’ve been able to keep my succulents so much healthier!

I want to make sure you can do the same.

With the tips and tricks in this post, you’ll be able to figure out the perfect watering schedule for your own plants.

You’ll be so thrilled with how great your succulents look! You’ll want to show off your amazing plants to everyone you know.

You’ll be able to relax, knowing you’re equipped with the information you need to keep your plants happy!

Also, if you’re interested in purchasing some of the plants you see in the photos throughout the post click here. You can also click on the names below the photos to purchase. 

Find out the best way to water succulents indoors and out!
Succulents above (click names to purchase): Kalanchoe luciae, Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’, Aloe arborescens, Graptosedum ‘Vera Higgins’, Crassula argentea ‘Crosby’s Compact’

Get a free video tutorial and cheat sheet for watering succulents!

Before I get to the system I use, I want to tell you a couple common problems people run into when they first start growing succulents. If you can overcome these problems you’ll be way ahead of the game when it comes to preventing watering problems!

Problem #1 – Using a pot without a drainage hole

While succulents can survive in planters without drainage holes (like this gorgeous wine bottle planter), it takes a lot more work to keep them happy. So, I highly recommend starting with a pot that has a good drainage hole. One of my favorite pots is from Susan Aach. Her style is gorgeous and all her pottery has large drainage holes so they are a perfect choice for succulents!

Stunning pottery by Susan Aach and succulents arranged by The Succulent Perch
Succulents above: Echeveria ‘Mazarine’, Kalanchoe tomentosa ‘Chocolate Soldier’, Pilosocereus azureus

Problem #2 – Poorly draining soil

A big part of successfully watering succulents is having the right soil. In fact, I’ve dedicated a whole post to why soil might be the reason your succulents are dying. Check it out here! Succulents don’t like to sit in wet soil for very long, so having a really well draining soil in a pot with a drainage hole is critical.

Problem #3 – Using a spray bottle for watering

I’ll tell you all about this in the next section, but succulents like to be soaked, not spritzed. I’ve had so many people tell me they use a spray bottle for watering their succulents and instantly I know why their plants are struggling. Don’t do it! There is only one time I recommend using a spray bottle for succulents and I’ll tell you all about it toward the end of the post.

Get a free video tutorial and cheat sheet for watering succulents!

I primarily use a small watering can to water my succulents. I like that it has a rather long spout so I can water in between my plants rather than on top of them. It holds just enough water for me to soak 2-3 pots indoors. I have a larger watering can that I use outside, or I’ll just use a hose with a soft sprayer attachment. These tools all work really well for watering succulents.

Use a simple watering can to properly water succulents

Now that you know the common mistakes people make when watering succulents, let me show you how you should be watering your succulents!

Click next to find out how often and how much you should water your indoor succulents!

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Don't let your succulents die because you don't know how to properly water them!

264 Responses to How to Water Succulent Plants

  1. Hi, I have a question on soil. I understand succulents need a gritty mix, but do you think perlite can be used as well? Also I live in Miami, and it can get really humid during the summer, but for right now it’s getting colder so I’m not sure how much watering I should do. I recently just got a “California sunset ” succulent… another question is on haworthia. I was gifted one that doesn’t have a drainage hole. What I did was added a bit more perlite than usual to the soil to have more airflow. However the leaves aren’t in that nice rosette form. The leaves are kinda spread out. I water it once every 2-3 weeks but was told once a week. I haven’t seen improvement so I placed it outside. Please help. Thank you:)

    • Perlite is ok, although I’d recommend pumice if you can get it. Perlite is really lightweight and is easily crushed so it ends up being more of a powder over time. It is better than not adding anything though. As far as watering frequency in the winter, take a look at this post. Every 2-3 weeks should be fine. If you notice lots of leaves drying out or the whole plant looking limp then water a little more frequently. You will want to water more frequently in the summer, anytime the soil is dry. It sounds like your Haworthia is stretched out from not enough light rather than having a watering problem. Check out this post for more info on that. You can also take a look at this post for more info on watering a pot without a drainage hole.

  2. Hi Cassidy,
    I have succulents in a frames, in that case it’s ok to use spray bottle? I find very difficult to keep them healthy :(
    Thank you!

    • My issue with using a spay bottle is it doesn’t give the plant a chance to develop strong, deep roots. If it is possible for you I would suggest taking the frame off the wall and watering when flat so the water can soak in. I hope this will help you!

  3. Hi Cassidy. I have just started planting, growing and learning about beautiful succulent and cacti plants. I fell in love pretty quickly with these wonderful plants as all other plants I just can’t seem to grow. I didn’t have a green thumb I guess. But so far it seems I might have 2 green thumbs with the succulents and cacti. You learn pretty quickly which plants you can and can’t grow. But my question is, I’ve seen in a lot of pictures tiny pretty pebbles on top of the dirt, surrounding the plants. I don’t know if this is to make it look prettier or if it helps keep the dirt moist. I would like to put some around mine but not until I find out the reason they’re there. Also, I make bracelets and necklaces out of plastic beads–different size beads. Could I use those since they are very colorful in place of the pebbles to surround my beautiful plants? I don’t know if the plastic might break down when I water them and hurt their roots or the plant itself. Thank you so very much for your 30 days of help. I’m on day 10 and have learned so much already. Have a very Blessed Day.

    • I’m glad you found succulents as your niche :) Yeah, so this is called top dressing! It is a great soil and has the finishing touch to the arrangement. I have a post all about top dressings if you want to check it out, I think it would be super helpful for you, click here. Good luck with your succulents!

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