What Is the Soak and Dry Watering Method?

Succulents are easy houseplants to keep alive. Although they don’t need much moisture, you do need to water your succulents.

If you’ve ever had a succulent die on you, you might wonder what went wrong.

watering a cactus from above
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Keep your succulents happy by watering with the soak and dry method.

The technique involves saturating the soil with water. Then waiting until the soil mix dries almost completely before you water again.

Why Don’t Succulents Need as Much Water as Other Plants?

Succulents are known as the camels of the plant world.

Succulents hold moisture in their fleshy stems, roots, or leaves. This allows them to survive long periods without extra moisture.

If they can’t get moisture from the soil, succulents provide it for themselves. Much like camels store water in their humps.

When succulents are dry and need moisture, they don’t drop their leaves like other plants. Instead, their flesh shrinks, swelling up when the plants drink again.

If you never water a succulent, it will eventually die. But these plants are quite resilient and can handle droughts. But, you can also kill a succulent by overwatering it.

That is why the soak and dry method is ideal.

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Is the Soak and Dry Method of Watering Best for Succulents?

Because succulents provide their own water, they don’t like to get too much moisture. But, you can not let them dry out entirely for too long, or they won’t last.

That’s why the soak and dry method works so well for these types of plants. It caters to their nature.

To water a succulent properly, add enough water so that it drips out of the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. Doing so ensures that the soil is completely drenched. Then, wait until the soil is parched before watering it again.

One mistake people often make when watering succulents is to add small amounts of moisture frequently.

That’s not what the plants are adapted for. Caring for them in this way may result in distorted or stunted growth.

Can the Soak and Dry Method Work on Other Houseplants?

The soak and dry method work for houseplants with similar moisture needs. But many factors affect watering, including the type of soil.

Soil Type Considerations

Some soils hold moisture more than others. Traditional potting soil tends to hold onto water better than garden soil. If you use a potting mix for your regular houseplants, it might take a long time before it feels dry.

So, look up the specific care and watering methods for the types of plants you own. You should water most plants when the top inch of the potting mix feels dry.

Remember, though, the guidelines are different for succulents.

With the soak and dry method of watering, you wait until the entire depth of the soil is dry before watering again.

Watering Direction

Some houseplants thrive when you water them from below. One way to do this is to place the pot in a tray of water.

You can also fill the saucer with water so that the soil soaks up the water like a sponge. This is not an appropriate method of watering a succulent.

No matter what kind of plant you have, its environment affects the moisture level in the soil. Generally, hanging pots dry out faster than other types of pots.

Plants located near stoves, heaters, or window sills may become dry faster than plants in other locations.

What Are Some Signs That Succulents Need Water?

If you’re researching on how to care for succulent plants, you might find some advice suggesting that you water according to a calendar or schedule.

Plants are living entities, though, and they don’t always have the same needs. Instead of watering every few days or weeks, make sure that you check the soil. This helps you answer the question of “How often do you water succulents“.

Some indications that your succulents need watering include:

  • Shriveled or wrinkled leaves – They lose their plumpness as the plant begins to need more moisture.
  • Rubbery leaves – Leaves that bend easily usually need some water.
  • Aerial roots – If you see thin root tendrils above the soil surface, your plant might be searching for more water.

It’s easier to save a succulent that has gotten too little water than one that has been over-watered.

Use the soak and dry method. Soak the soil until it comes out of the drainage holes. Wait until the soil is almost completely dry before watering again.

Water succulents using the soak and dry method grow beautiful, healthy succulents that last.

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