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!

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!

Click next to see the 3 common problems people encounter with growing succulents and how to avoid them!


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

254 Responses to How to Water Succulent Plants

    • Good question :) I’ve used pinecones and empty water bottles. The hard part is the soil falls between them so it’s hard to tell when the pot is actually full of soil. It does make a big different in weight though! Just make sure to really pound down the soil or twist the pot back and forth to make sure the soil has settled before you plant. Otherwise they plants will gradually sink below the rim of the pot.

  1. Hi, So we are wondering what to do with our outdoor plantings landscaping of succulents now that winter is coming. They are in the ground around the front of the house. So I was thinking of when the rains come maybe putting down a roll of plastic painter’s plastic to keep the rain off so they won’t rot as my friend said that hers all rotted last year? I just planted them all in the spring and they are now beautiful and huge and I just can’t lose them all.

    • It depends a lot on what growing zone you live in and what succulents you’ve planted. If you have succulents that are tender (above zone 7 or 8) and you live in a zone below that (4,5,6) You’ll likely need to dig them up as they won’t be able to withstand the cold temperatures. However, if temperature is not an issue (the succulents you’re growing are the same zone as your area), just rain and wet soil, covering them during periods of rain would be a good idea. Rather than the plastic, I’d recommend a frost cloth or shade cloth. These will allow some light to come in as well as a bit of airflow. The plastic may cause rot just from trapping humidity around the plants and can also cause sunburn and damage if the plastic gets too hot. You can buy frost or shade cloth at most nurseries as well as online.

  2. Hey Cassidy! Thanks for this post, I am a bit confused still…it is very hot where I live, daily average temperature is 85-92 degrees faranheit, but it is also humid, 80% humidity as of late. I’m watering my succulents once a week, up until now they’re all alive (except a lithop who I foolishly water twice in a month) and I’m fearing for my “baby toes” that lost 3 ‘toes’ because they just flopped over. Any suggestions will be appreciated, thanks!

    • Since it’s so humid it’s possible that once a week is too much. However, if the soil is drying out after a day or two you may need to water more. Take a look at this post to see if you can determine why the baby toes died. Then adjust your watering schedule based on whether they were over or under watered.

  3. I have a question. My Pork and Beans plant has started putting out fine little white roots up and down the stem between the leaves. What is causing this and what should I do about it if anything? My Jade plant also has started doing this.

    I sure an enjoying all the great advise you are sharing with us!
    Thank You!!

    • That is normal for both plants. I’ve found it’s sometimes from not getting enough water, but it also happens when they are watered enough too. They do it as a “test” of sorts to see if they can find more soil or water. You can leave them or cut them off. Either way your plant should be fine.

  4. I’m having a really hard time figuring out how to best water my moonshine succulent. It always seems like I over water it and then I loose a whole bunch of leaves. Please help.

    • I’d recommend following the technique here, soak the soil and let it dry. If you think you are over watering, gradually reduce your watering frequency, not the amount of water. So if you were watering once a week, cut back to watering every 10 days. It sounds like you’ve caught the problem early, so you aren’t too far off from a good schedule.

  5. Great information. I have an aloe and the spikes hang over the edge of the pot. It’s in a clay pot and I’ve been watering it bottom up. I set the pot in water and when it is absorbed I take it out. Is this a good idea or am I rotting the roots? Also I use a large seringe to water tightly packed plants so I can direct the water more easily. Thank you for your help. I’ve just recently gotten into succulents and your website is so pertinent.

    • Thank you! Glad I could help! I’ve read mixed things about bottom watering. I haven’t done it really myself so I can’t say from personal experience. However, if your Aloe is healthy with the way you’ve been watering I’d keep doing it. If you start to notice any signs of over watering or rot then make a change. A syringe is a great idea! I just got this tool set and I’m loving the watering bottle in it!

  6. I have been watering my succulent cuttings once a week, just until the soil is moist. I am currently taking care of my sister’s plants, which are doing very well. I water her cuttings the same way I do mine, yet my cuttings are not doing half as well. Do you have any tips?

    • It could be a variety of things… the type of soil they are in, the size of pot, the material the pot is made out of, the type of cuttings you’re growing. If yours are looking limp, I’d recommend watering slightly more frequently. If you think they are beginning to rot, cut back a little bit.

  7. I have a question. These days in Monterrey, Mexico was raining all days and nights. I think that i need to put all my succulents indoors. I´m nervous about the watering on my flowerpots and i don´t want my succulents die. What i should to do? All comments will be able.

    • When the rain gets really heavy, I’ve used shade cloth to cover my plants. This allows some sunlight to come through but also limits the amount of water that reaches the plants. However, if you can find a way to bring them in an area that is covered and gets bright indirect sunlight that would be idea.

  8. My succulents are currently planted in bonsai jack succulent mix very similar to al’s gritty mix. I live in new york and im over wintering my plants inside in a south facing window. Im having a hard time figuring out how often to water my plants because of the gritty mix. The water seems to just to run straight through and im concerned how much moisture the mix holds. Im currently watering once every 2 weeks but it doesnt seem like enough. Watering every week seems like a lot for these plants during the winter months. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • I’d gradually increase your watering frequency, so try every 10 days. If your succulents still seem too dry after a few weeks of that then increase to weekly. The gritty mix/Bonsai Jack mix does hold some water but also dries out quickly which succulents like. You can also water based on weight. Pay attention to how much the pot weighs and when it feels significantly lighter or the weight doesn’t seem to have changed you can water again.

Let us know what you think!

I'm Cassidy, a professional photographer turned succulent addict and the author and photographer here at Succulents and Sunshine. This is me with my wonderful husband and super cute baby!

Buy beautiful colorful succulents online from Mountain Crest Gardens

Many of the posts and pages on this site contain affiliate links. From time to time I receive free product to review and share with you but all opinions are my own and I'll only share products I like! Find out more by clicking here.

Find out more about these 10 easy to grow succulents and add them to your collection!
Find out everything you need to know about watering succulents!

Don't let poor watering techniques kill your succulents! Avoid the number one cause of unhealthy succulents with the tips and techniques in this ebook!

Learn how to grow healthy succulents indoors!

Growing succulents indoors is tricky business if you don’t know the proper soil, sunlight and watering requirements. But you can make succulents work for you, you just need to know the right way to care for them! Follow my step-by-step instructions and watch your worries float away and your succulents thrive, year after year :)

The secrets to propagating succulents successfully!

Would you like to multiply your lonely collection of succulents into dozens—and even hundreds—more? Good news: succulents can be propagated like wild bunnies, as long as you follow a few simple tricks. And best of all, they won't cost you a penny!

If you're looking for simple, quick tips to help you get started with succulents, this is the guide for you! These 30 tips cover the basics from buying and planting succulents to designing beautiful arrangements with them. Easy to read and easy to implement ideas to get you off on the right foot.

You'll find an incredible selection of cold hardy succulents at Mountain Crest Gardens