About 80 of the time succulents die from watering issues so it is essential to learn the right way to water your succulents. Some tips to fix root rot over watered and under watered succulents.
First about when to water your succulents, you should only water your succulents when the soil is fully dry. This is important because your succulents do not like to be watered often.
Succulents are different from other plants since they store lots of water in their trunk and leaves, so they can go many days without water. In fact you should water your succulent once a week during hot summer days and once every two to three weeks during winter.
To check how wet the soil is stick your finger to the second knuckle in the soil. If it feels dry it is time to water your succulent.
Another tool that really is helpful is the moisture meter. All you need to do is stick the meter in the soil and it will tell you whether the soil is dry or not.
Another trick to determine whether you should water is checking the leaf’s health. For example, look at an echeveria. Normally the leaves look plump and firm. If it looks deflated and also has some wrinkles, these are signs of underwater succulents and it’s a good indication that your plant needs extra water.
However we often assume that dry leaves mean your succulent is under watered. When only the bottom leaves dry up but the middle and top leaves look firm and healthy, your succulents are just fine.
This is a normal process when the plant needs to get rid of some leaves and push for some roots and pups. Do not confuse the two as they are completely different.
So how should you water your succulents? First thing to remember is whenever you water, give it a good soak until the water runs out from the drainage holes.
Some people think misting your succulent is enough but it’s not. You need to make sure succulents roots receive enough moisture so watering deeply is good. As long as your pot has drainage.
Next watering tips: always use a pot with drainage especially if you are a beginner. A large drainage hole will help excess water to drain out quick and prevent water sitting in the soil for too long and causing root rot. It is best to pick up a pot with drainage from the beginning.
We also recommend getting a pot made from porous material like clay since they drain out faster.
Next tip is do not use a spray bottle for watering succulents. This holds lots of moisture in their leaves so they are more prone to rot especially if grown in humid zones. So using spray bottles is risky since the water might sit on your leaves for too long and eventually damage them.
Also if you use hard water, soon enough you will notice water stains on succulent leaves which not only will affect the beauty of your succulents but also not good for their healthy growth.
Instead of a spray bottle, use a squeeze bottle or watering can in which you can easily control the water flow and avoid the leaves.
Now what are common watering problems and how to fix them. The first most common issue is over watering and root rot.
Root rot happens when your plant cannot get enough oxygen in the soil because there probably is too much water in it. So they die off then their roots start to rot and this disease will start spreading to the whole succulent.
The first sign you want to pay attention to is when bottom leaves get droopy and mushy. They also turn yellowish and transparent. This might just be a over watering problems but do not be careless to confirm take the roots out of the soil to have a thorough check.
Normally succulent roots are white and firm when they are healthy. If the roots look fine, your succulents are only over watered, clean the damp soil from the roots and let them air dry for a few days before planting them up in fast draining soil.
In an extreme case you might find that the roots have turned black and became mushy, this indicates that they have root rot. To fix this, clean the soil off the roots. Remove the rotten roots as much as possible. Place the succulent in an airy well-lit space so it can dry up. Avoid putting them under direct sunlight.
In some cases even the stem has turned black from root rot. Cut the rotten part off and let the succulent callus well over for four to six days. Prepare a pot filled with free draining soil. Re-pot the succulent in the soil once it is dried up well. After that, you should wait another one to two days before watering.
Sometimes it is too late to save the succulent from root rot but if this can be detected at an early stage. The plant can still be salvageable.
In severe cases of under watering, you can try water therapy for a succulent. Basically water therapy is taking a succulent out of the soil and submerging the roots in the water for at least 24 hours. This will give your underwater succulent an instant boost but remember it only works if your succulent is really dry. Otherwise it might do more harm than good.
Watering succulents is no easy task but once you learn the basics you will get better at handling your succulents.