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Secret to Sensational Succulents - How To Water Succulents!

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Secret to Sensational Succulents - How To Water Succulents!

Between their trendy appearance and versatile nature, Succulents are all the rage, and for good reason! Not only do they arrive in a wide array of fascinating forms and vibrant colors, but they can grow indoors, outdoors, or in containers. Succulents are incredibly unusual plants that require very little care to look terrific. That being said, there are a few golden rules when it comes to watering these lush beauties and keeping them healthy.

Whether you're planning to use them as houseplants, garden additions, or living décor, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about caring for Succulents. It's not exactly rocket science, but these popular plants do need some attention, so listen up while we give you all the deets on how to help your Succulents stay alive and thrive! Once you're ready to go, head over to Easy to Grow Bulbs and find the perfect whimsical plant for your home!

What is a Succulent?

Now before we jump into Succulent care, it's essential to have a basic understanding of these truly exquisite plants. The term 'Succulent' refers to a vast collection of plants that have evolved to survive in extremely dry conditions, which is why they make themselves right at home in deserts.

When exposed to any amount of moisture, Succulents store the water in specialized cells in their leaves, stems, and roots. In times of drought, these cells slowly release moisture to be used by the rest of the plant, enabling it to flourish despite a lack of water. Think of these water storage cells as zillions of tiny water balloons in each plant. A healthy Succulent takes in water from the soil and fills each storage cell, then the "water balloons" swell to their fullest and retain this moisture level until it is needed.

When to Water Succulents

Because of the unique method they use to store water, it's best to leave your Succulents too dry than too wet. However, they do get thirsty from time to time, so it’s important to pay attention to their needs as you would with any other plant.

So, how does one know when it's time to water their Succulents? Let's take a closer look, shall we? If you notice your Succulent is exhibiting wrinkled leaves after a prolonged dry spell, it could be a sign of dehydration. But before you start watering, check the soil to make sure it's completely dry, and if it is, water during the nighttime hours when they respirate.

How to Water Succulents

If you want a Succulent with healthy roots and a stunning natural design (who doesn't?), then you'll want to water deeply before giving the soil time to dry out. Avoid frequent little sips of water, and instead give your Succulent fewer, longer waterings when the soil is dry.

If your Succulent is in a container with good drainage, set it in a tray of water for about five minutes. If it's in the ground or a large container, water at the soil line rather than overhead. Whatever you do, never let your Succulent sit in waterlogged soil!

Signs Your Succulent is Thirsty

Just because we said, Succulents are better dry than wet doesn't mean you're off the hook when it comes to watering. In fact, water is essential for the plant's health, and just like any other, it will show signs of dehydration. Wrinkled, shriveled leaves are a clear indication that your Succulent needs more water.

As the cells release their stored moisture to the rest of the plant, they try to bring in more water to replace what they have lost. However, when they can't get more water, and the plant continues to rely on the depleted stores, the cells contract to a smaller size, leaving the once plump and firm leaves collapsed and shriveled.

Signs Your Succulent Has Been Overwatered

Alright, so we've talked a lot about dry Succulents, but what about those that have been overwatered? Well, if you remember those special balloon-like cells, overwatering basically causes those to overfill and burst, resulting in damaged cell structures and rotting leaves and roots.

The first sign of overwatering to watch for is discoloration and change in the leaves' form. You'll notice the leaves becoming translucent, soft, and squishy, and unlike those that have been under-watered, they will be dropped by the plant rather than recovered. While Succulents can heal from this condition, it won't be easy. An alternative to saving the overwatered Succulent is to take leaves and cuttings to root and form brand new plants.

Signs of a Healthy Succulent

When a plant needs something, it will always tell you - It's all about knowing how to read their signs. While shrunken, shriveled leaves indicate a need for water, soft, squishy leaves losing their color show damage from too much water.

Some Succulents have grown accustomed to shutting down lower, older leaves as they mature, as seen with Hens and Chicks plants. When this is a natural part of the plant's growth, you'll notice that these leaves do not wither. Instead, they just thin out, become very papery, and turn brown. These leaves can be left on the plant to be dropped later, or you can remove them to keep the plant looking its best.

No discussion on how to water your Succulents is complete without mentioning proper soil. Unlike most garden plants that prefer well-drained soil, Succulents need fast-draining soil, so they never sit waterlogged. If you're uncertain, take a handful of the soil, wet it, and squeeze it together. If it crumbles away, then you're ready to plant your Succulents, but if it clumps together, it's time to find new soil!

Now that you're basically an expert on Succulents, it's time to head over to Easy to Grow and find your Succulent!

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  • Rachel Bortles