As urbanization increases and more and more people are living in apartments and yardless houses, succulents have become increasingly popular. Not only are they small and friendly to look at, but they also require relatively little attention and are easy to care for.
While this is true, there is still much confusion about when and how much to water these plants, which we will aim to answer here.
In the most simple terms, Succulents are plants that store water in their leaves, which tend to be thick and fleshy. Perhaps the most commonly known type of succulent is the cactus, which comes in many different shapes and sizes.
Almost all succulents enjoy warmer climates and don't fare well in cold or freezing temperatures. Another interesting fact about succulents is that they tend to grow very easily and don't require a whole lot of maintenance or care. Most people who grow succulents keep them in small pots on the window sill or table, limiting the size they can grow to.
How often one waters depends on a variety of factors, the most important of which are:
While all these factors play a role, general wisdom says to water your succulents at least once every two weeks. However, like most rules of thumb, this is not always true, and there are many signs and tells that can inform us of when a succulent requires watering.
Leaf Appearance: One of the best ways to tell if a succulent has sufficient water is by looking at its leaves. Leaves that are plump and firm indicate that the plant is well hydrated and does not need any more water at the current moment.
Conversely, leaves that are squishy and mushy to the touch indicate that the plant has received too much water and needs some time to dry out.
Furthermore, when leaves are wrinkled and shriveled, it's a sign that the plant is under-watered and requires immediate attention.
However, there will be some instances where some thin leaves will appear shriveled and others plump and healthy. This is perfectly normal and is not a cause for concern.
Rot: In cases of extreme overwatering, rotting may appear. This occurs due to how succulents store water and can be a significant problem for the plant.
If rotting is localized to a specific area of the plant, it may have to be cut off. If rotting is ubiquitous across the plant, it may not be salvageable.
Wet Soil But Dry Leaves: Sometimes rot may occur in the root system and not the plant's upper leaves.
When this occurs, the roots fail to perform their function, and water in the soil is not taken up into the plant. Because of the nature of succulents, the leaves can look healthy for weeks even if the root system is no longer performing its job.
If you think this is occurring, take a step back and water the plant less. Sometimes, it can be an issue with the soil, and it's time to research the appropriate soil pH level your particular species of succulent requires.
George J. Newton is a business development manager at Academicbrits.com.
Over the years he has helped many companies put together successful business development plans.