Do Succulents need water?  This is a question that many people ask themselves.  The whole point of having Succulents in my garden was to survive a hot Australian summer without water while I am away enjoying myself in another part of the world.

The answer to the question is: yes succulents do need water.  All plants need water to survive.  Some succulents need to be watered more often than other succulents, this will depend on their growing conditions.  Are they grown inside/outside?  Are they grown in a pot or in the ground?  How much sun or shade do they receive? What sort of temperatures are they subjected to?

In general succulents do require a lot less water than other plants.

However, when I started with Succulents I couldn’t help but look at them, see how dry the sand/soil was and give them a bit of water.  After all, this had been part of gardening for me for 20 years.

I was slightly devastated when my first succulent died soon after I bought it.  I cannot remember where I bought it, it possibly was already on its way to Succulent heaven and by giving it more water was the nail in its green bin coffin. I captured the event below so I could recognise it if there was a next time.

Succulent - Too much water

This is classic root rot. Note the thin leaves.

So I decided to water my Succulents once a week.  During a hot Summer once per week did not seem to be enough.  They were surviving but they were not thriving.  Succulents are supposed to thrive in the Summer.  So when my Echeveria Elegans had a baby I decided to water plant A once per week and plant B once per month.

Plant A survived but had very thin leaves, Plant B also survived but its leaves were thick and lush.  Succulents hold water in their leaves.  It looked so much healthier.  It was very hard not watering it for a month but it had proved that they didn’t need much water.

During that month I read a lot of information on the internet but sometimes Mr Google can have conflicting information.  I think its best to do your own experiments and what works best for your garden.  Just in case you were wondering the plants were in full sun for at least  5 hours and the temperature was between 28c – 35c.

Do Succulents need water, yes, but I think Summer rainfall would be sufficient and they would have winter rain.  When you do water make sure the pot has a good soaking, if planted in the right soil conditions it will dry out fairly quickly.  If the Succulents are planted in the garden make sure the water does not pool around the roots.

You also need to consider your succulents environment.  Are they in a pot or the ground.  A pot will dry out a lot quicker than a succulent grown in the ground.  I would water my succulents in pots more regularly than my succulents in the ground.

I will be keeping an eye on the Succulents I am growing in my front garden.  Adelaide has just experienced 200mm of rain in the past fortnight.  Will they die in the next couple of weeks? Or now that the weather has warmed up will they thrive?

Update:  They did not die, but they did not thrive, winter however, is most succulents dormant period so as long as they didn’t die this is all I can ask for.  See post : (When do succulents have their growing and dormant seasons? )

See my post ( Echeveria Black Prince Succulent  ).  The rain did effect this succulent but it did not die!

Of course there are lots of different species of Succulents and some are more precious than others.  I am still experimenting on which ones need which amounts of water.

Summary:

  • Too much water can give Succulents root rot and they will die
  • When you do water make sure the plants are watered well and then dry out
  • My experiment with my Echeveria Elegans showed that watering once per month was ideal and the plant thrived compared to watering once per week.
Echeveria elegans Succulent

This is my Echeveria Elegans now. Check out the thick leaves and she has a baby.

Related Posts:

How often should I water succulents? Do succulents need water?