Succulents For Beginners – Part 3

The Right Way to Water Succulents

Soak and Dry Method

The best way to water succulents is to get the soil completely wet and then wait until the soil is dry before watering again, “soak and dry.”

Simply pour water over your succulent arrangement until water flows out the bottom of the pot. Make sure all of the soil gets wet by moving your watering can around the top of the pot as you go. Once you’re confident the soil is completely wet, ignore your succulent until the soil dries out.

Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again–this is crucial. Succulents require a period of drought to encourage their roots to spread and try to find water. Waiting a few days after the soil has dried out will help your succulents be even more drought tolerant and produce deeper roots.

How to tell when the soil is dry

There are a few things you can do to make sure the soil is completely dry. The simplest way is to feel the weight of the pot right after watering. Then, feel the pot in a few days and it should be lighter. Check again a couple days later. If it hasn’t gotten any lighter after your previous check, the soil is likely dry and you can water again.

Another simple way to check the soil is by feeling the drainage hole. Right around the drainage hole is the last place the soil will dry out. If the soil by the drainage hole is dry, it’s time to water again.

You can also purchase a soil moisture meter. While many people use these, I have not found them to be particularly accurate.

Factors that Affect Watering

There are several factors that will affect how often you need to water. For my indoor succulents, I end up watering about once a week. My soil dries out about three days after watering. I then give it another three-four days to allow the roots to breathe.


I live in a dry climate, so my soil dries out quickly. If the you’re growing succulents in a humid area, it will take longer for the soil to dry completely, so you will need to water less often.

Succulent Type

Succulents with thick leaves generally need to be watered less frequently than those with thin leaves.

Pot Size

A shallow pot will dry out more quickly than a tall pot. Likewise, a tiny pot will dry out more quickly than a large one.

Tools for Watering

Many people recommend using a spray bottle to water succulents. But, as you now know, it would be really difficult to completely soak your soil using a spray bottle. I recommend using a watering can, or just your hose or sink facet to water. Here is my favorite watering can for indoors.

Another great option for watering succulents in smaller containers is the squeeze bottle included in this set. If you “broke the rules” and used a pot without a drainage hole, this squeeze bottle is a great way to measure the exact amount of water you are pouring on your succulent.