Full Guide to Watering Succulents – When, How & Why

how to water succulents
How to water succulents images Succulents Box

Succulents can survive in arid regions because of their ability to store water in their roots, stems, and leaves.

For this reason, many persons tend to overlook the fact that they need to water their succulents when planted in their homes. That said, to keep your succulents blooming, it is best to water them regularly.

In this article, you will learn how to water succulents plants indoors or outdoors, as well as how you can see if you are overwatering your succulents.

How to Water Succulents Indoors

Instead of just spritzing your indoor succulents, soak them to the extent that water gushes out from the drainage holes beneath the pot. Before watering your succulents again, ensure that the soil is parched.

According to Bryce Lane, a horticulturist from North Carolina State University, check the soil after a week of watering to see if it is dry. If it is not, wait one or two more weeks. When watering indoor succulents, ensure that water does not get on top of the leaves to prevent rot.

Another thing to note about watering succulents planted indoors is that they need the most amount of water during the spring when they are still growing. You can reduce the amount of water during the summer and even more during the winter. During the winter, succulents are in dormancy and do not get plenty of light, and so, their water requirement reduces.

How to Water Succulents in Outdoor Containers

During the summer, you can place your potted succulents outdoors. Give your succulents the chance to adjust to varying temperature levels by placing them in a shaded environment before moving to a brighter area, this required to ensure your succulents are not exposed to direct sunlight.

The best kits for watering outdoor succulents are squeeze bottles and spout watering cans. Use any of these kits to pour water onto the soil until it is properly soaked—from the top of the pot to the bottom. After that, wait until the soil dries out completely before watering the succulents again.

How to Water Succulents in the Ground

Succulents such as Opuntia, Sedum, and Agave can survive harsh weather conditions, especially the fully grown ones with stronger roots. Both hardy and annual succulents need to be planted in well-drained soil. According to Lane, planting succulents in stagnant water is an exercise in futility.

Creating a 2-foot mound of organic-based compost with a mixture of PermaTill will allow your succulents to flourish even if they find themselves somewhere different from their native environment. A good soaking, good soil, and good drainage are essential for growing healthy succulents.

How Often Should I Water My Succulents?

Now that you know how to water indoor and outdoor succulents, the next question on your mind will be how often you should water your succulents? Well, to answer your question, first, note that there is no rigid watering schedule for you to follow.

The watering frequency depends on the type of succulent, the size of your pot, and the weather conditions in your area. The smaller the pot, the less moisture it can accommodate. Hence, the more frequently it needs to be watered.

A good watering frequency that most indoor succulent growers adopt is watering 14 – 21 days at the early stage. Ensure that you do not overwater your succulents to avoid rot.

You can use a tool called Succulent Tracker App (only iOS version available currently). This app are useful to remind your watering schedule, as well as to avoid under-watering and overwatering, .

Signs Your Succulent is Thirsty

Even though succulents are recommended to be dry before watering, ensure that you do not dehydrate them in the process. Once you notice any wrinkles and shriveled leaves, it is a sign that you need to water your succulents.

As the cells of your succulents try to transfer their stored moisture to other parts, they also try to accumulate more water to make up for the amount they have lost. But then, if the water is not available to replace what was lost, the cells begin to contract gradually, making the leaves that used to flourish shrivel.

Signs Your Succulent Has Been Overwatered

The danger of overwatering succulents is that it damages the cell structure, roots, and leaves.

The first and most common sign of overwatering to take note of is discoloration. Once you notice the leaves are becoming soft, translucent, and squishy, know that you have been overwatering the succulents. Unlike under-watered succulents, leaves that contract overwatered succulents leaves will be dropped.

While succulents can recover from overwatering, it is not all that easy. A great way to save overwatered succulents is to plant a new one with the cuttings to root and leaves.

Signs of a Healthy Succulent

First off, plants will always tell you when they are in need of something. But sadly, not everyone knows how to read the signs.

While squishy leaves discoloration tells you that you are overwatering your succulents, shriveled leaves show that you are under-watering your succulents.

Hens and Chicks plants tend to shut down older, lower leaves as they grow. While this is a natural phenomenon that is part of the growth process, the leaves do not wither. They just become very thin, papery, and brownish. Prone these leaves to keep your succulents looking fresh.

All in all, when watering your succulents, you have to consider the soil and the environment. Follow the watering guidelines we mentioned in this article, and your succulents will keep blooming even under the most adverse conditions.

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums

What describes you well about succulent terrariums? Are you an unapologetically busy person? Do you tend to be forgetful, occasionally getting disoriented? Or, perhaps, like many, are you the typical black thumb, the man or woman that never seems to succeed in all their gardening endeavors, regardless of efforts, from sunrise to sunset?

This can be frustrating, disconcerting, and exceedingly annoying! Especially if you love plants. Yes, almost every unwilling member of the unflattering Black Thumbs Club wants to get the answer to this puzzling question: What is the trick for people to enjoy plants without killing them?

Whatever the case, there is a reason to rejoice. All is not lost. Your salvation may come in the most unexpected form; Succulent terrariums! These are awesome. Not only do succulents last longer than cut flowers, but they are also especially welcome during winter.

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums
A reason to Be Happy @ mike.portes

Grand Comeback

As you know, at such times, virtually everything outside the house is usually dead, dormant, or hopelessly deluged with snow. As such, creating a terrarium around these gives you a chance to build a beautiful little world in your home. Would you believe it? Those nostalgic, cute, miniature gardens that were once wildly popular in the distant past, and later populated every home a few decades ago, have made a grand comeback! They are here with us!

Happily, it is relatively easy to make succulent terrariums. And the items required are simple. You can use such things as succulent cuttings, glass terrarium, cactus compost, and a few other tools. People who have done this affirm that, with the right materials, anyone can create terrariums. Once ready, they are incredibly easy to care for and will grow for years without a replant.

What is more, you can make terrariums in all sorts of vessels imaginable, even on glass cylinders and typewriters! As noted, succulents are especially ideal for busy people, those residing in small, confined spaces, or forgetful people and will not remember to water plants.

What are Terrariums?

A terrarium is simply an enclosed environment designed for plants. It is, for all practical purposes, a miniature greenhouse. Terrariums are mostly made of glass or similar transparent material. They are usually either sealed completely or left with some small opening.

Terrariums are desert plants. They usually have lovely, thick, cellulose leaves that help them hold water. Indeed, this is what enables terrariums to survive for long without water. Incredibly, with the right strategy, you can create your terrariums in just an hour! Get a simple, step-by-step guide to make your succulent terrariums at home, quickly and without a hassle.

Succulents are today proving to be one of those interior design trends that have a remarkable staying power. If, like many others, you are genuinely fascinated with these pint-sized plants, why not consider showcasing them in a stylish terrarium? Indeed, these tiny tabletop gardens are not just easy to make and maintain; they are also a fantastic way to introduce an added sense of fashion into your home and the greater outdoors.

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums
Design of Environment @ suculentemici

Take Action!

It would be best if you tried making terrariums for yourself. The reason is that ready-made terrariums, like those found online, can be very expensive. Indeed, once you learn how to do it, you can easily make them in the dozens, whether for yourself or others. Take action now!

What Materials do You Need?

You will need certain materials and tools to make a succulent terrarium. Here are a few:

Project Materials:

  • Glass terrarium. You can also use a glass container with openings.
  • Sand: This can be building sand, beach sand, Blue sand, Pink sand, or any sand works that are not toxic.
  • Cactus potting mix.
  • Assorted Succulents: These include Jade plant, Alpines, or Hen & Chicks.
  • Activated carbon or charcoal.
Floro Glass Terrariums with Hanging Loop, Spherical Air Plant Orb...
Mosser Lee ML1110 Desert Sand Soil Cover, 5 Pound
Miracle-Gro Cactus Palm and Citrus Potting Mix, 8-Quart (2 Pack)
Horticultural Charcoal, 100% All Natural Hardwood Charcoal,...
Floro Glass Terrariums with Hanging Loop, Spherical Air Plant Orb...
Mosser Lee ML1110 Desert Sand Soil Cover, 5 Pound
Miracle-Gro Cactus Palm and Citrus Potting Mix, 8-Quart (2 Pack)
Horticultural Charcoal, 100% All Natural Hardwood Charcoal,...
Floro Glass Terrariums with Hanging Loop, Spherical Air Plant Orb...
Floro Glass Terrariums with Hanging Loop, Spherical Air Plant Orb...
Mosser Lee ML1110 Desert Sand Soil Cover, 5 Pound
Mosser Lee ML1110 Desert Sand Soil Cover, 5 Pound
Miracle-Gro Cactus Palm and Citrus Potting Mix, 8-Quart (2 Pack)
Miracle-Gro Cactus Palm and Citrus Potting Mix, 8-Quart (2 Pack)
Horticultural Charcoal, 100% All Natural Hardwood Charcoal,...
Horticultural Charcoal, 100% All Natural Hardwood Charcoal,...

Last update on 2021-01-19 / Amazon

The Tools

  • Paintbrush: This is used to brush the succulents gently and rid them of any excess dirt.
  • Long tweezers: These will help you put the succulents in place.
  • A water-filled spray bottle.
  • A Spoon: It will be used patting the potting mix and scooping sand and charcoal.
Mkono 2 Pack Plant Flower Succulent Watering Bottle Plastic Bend...
Paint Brushes Set for Acrylic Oil Watercolor, Artist Face and...
Stainless Steel Tweezers, with Curved Serrated Tip Multipurpose...
Mkono 2 Pack Plant Flower Succulent Watering Bottle Plastic Bend...
Paint Brushes Set for Acrylic Oil Watercolor, Artist Face and...
Stainless Steel Tweezers, with Curved Serrated Tip Multipurpose...
Mkono 2 Pack Plant Flower Succulent Watering Bottle Plastic Bend...
Mkono 2 Pack Plant Flower Succulent Watering Bottle Plastic Bend...
Paint Brushes Set for Acrylic Oil Watercolor, Artist Face and...
Paint Brushes Set for Acrylic Oil Watercolor, Artist Face and...
Stainless Steel Tweezers, with Curved Serrated Tip Multipurpose...
Stainless Steel Tweezers, with Curved Serrated Tip Multipurpose...

Last update on 2021-01-19 / Amazon

Collecting Materials

Most items needed for this project can be found easily in homes and gardens. Instead of a purposely designed glass terrarium, you can use an empty food jar or a mason jar. Just make sure it is clean and equipped with an opening for ventilation.

You can get the sand from the local beach. Similarly, you can get the spoon and tweezers from the bathroom or kitchen. The paintbrush can come from your art supplies. The succulents may be obtained from planters outside. In case you own an aquarium, you should even get the activated charcoal since this is usually used in the water filtration system. Sounds easy.

Yet, what are succulents? Succulents are tough plants that don’t require much soil, nutrients, or water during winter. While strolling in the park, you may spot some growing. Just get a little cheeky and nip off a few pieces to carry home. Happily, succulents root quickly, and the small amounts you take cannot damage the parent plant.

So, what else do you need for this exciting little project to take off?

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums
Potting Tools @ iamgoingplaces

What Else is Required?

To make a functional terrarium, you generally need the following items:

A Good Container:

You can use anything suitable, including a recycled coffee jar, a vase, or a goldfish bowl. It is wise to select a container whose opening is wide enough to fit your hand’s width. This will allow you to place and move materials quickly. You may use glass or plastic. However, try to avoid anything colored; this can hinder the growth of plants. Some people prefer the highly popular geometric style terrariums that seem to be the rave of the moment.

Small stones or gravel:

Use these to serve as a drainage system. They are perfect for preventing excess water from saturating the soil, causing the plants to rot.

Activated charcoal:

You will get these in many garden centers. For sure, this ingredient is essential, particularly in closed terrariums, since it hampers bacterial growth, combating potentially unpleasant smells.

Potting soil:

You may use any potting soil. If, however, you are using some specialist plants like cacti or carnivorous plants, it might be necessary to go for a unique mix.

A selection of plants:

Remember that, without a little greenery, there is no terrarium! You can use selected plants that are suitable for a terrarium to cover the topsoil. These include decorative gravel, Moss, and a few others. You are free to choose whichever is preferable from the list below:

Which Plants Are Best for a Terrarium?

Be aware that not all houseplants will work for a successful terrarium. What is certain is that varieties of low-growing plants that thrive in high humidity are among the best. Consider the types listed below for your planned terrarium:

  • Carnivorous plants like Pitcher plants, Venus flytraps, and Sundew plants will make an exciting addition.
  • Succulents including cactiThese are ideal because they do well in high light and low moisture environments.
  • Ferns like the variegated spider plant will enjoy a moist potting mix and high humidity found inside a terrarium.
  • Airplants like Tillandsia will thrive well in an open terrarium with a constant supply of air.
  • Grasses like Minimus Aureus are perfect for terrariums because they don’t need much maintenance.
  • Starfish plants: These grow to a maximum of 6 inches, making them great for small terrariums.

Note: When choosing plants for your planned terrarium, make sure to keep succulents and cacti together, fern, and tropical plants together. This is essential because these unique clusters require different amounts of soil and water.

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums
Best Succulents @ kellyjos200plants

4. Simple Steps to Make a Succulent Terrarium

1: Gather the Assorted Succulents

Take ten to twelve small cuttings of your succulents. You may find that you want a few of these to trail over the edge of your container, some for the more massive focal points and others for color and texture. In the outset, you might imagine that many succulents will outgrow your terrarium. However, you will discover that, due to the limited soil, they won’t become that large. This is especially so if you trim the succulents regularly as they grow.

Once the cuttings are ready, please place them in a cool place for a few days, away from the direct sunlight. Doing this allows the broken ends to callus over. This is a vital step if you expect the succulent to form roots. After this brief period, you should proceed to the next stage; step two.

 2: Layer the Sand & Charcoal

You should now layer a half an inch of sand in the bottom of the glass container. This pushes it up in the back, forming a hill. Next, sprinkle a fine layer of charcoal over the sand. This added measure creates drainage for excess water. The charcoal also prevents the mold, Moss, and other pestilent micro-organisms from growing and taking over the planter. It is time for step 3.

 3: Layer the Cactus Potting Mix

This step is deliberately listed separately, just in case you would like to make your mix. The required combination of the cactus potting can either be purchased online or from a garden center. It is also possible to create it at home if you have the necessary materials at hand. This is a mix of 10% Horticultural Grit, 20% Perlite, 20% 5 mm Coco Husk Chips, and 50% washed cocopeat.

As advised, layer a half-inch of this potting mix above the sand and charcoal. Make sure you mound it up at the back, in the same way you did with the sand. Next, spray the potting mix a few times using the spray bottle filled with ordinary tap water. You are now ready for step four.

Step 4: Plant the Succulent Cuttings

We have now entered the creative stage. Put your cuttings into the potting mix. Arrange them in a manner that the composition suits you. Some experts recommend placing the taller pieces into the back before pushing them right in, with the end of a paintbrush or spoon. In this way, the end carrying the callus is well covered. After this, make sure you push any large pieces inside. This will help you put in the trailing pieces before dealing with any of the foreground succulents. Unless you do this, it might be challenging to get them in later.

A Definitive Guide For Making Your Own Succulent Terrariums
Maintain Them @ kellyjos200plants

After-Care

Once you make sure all the succulents are in, you are done! Your cuttings may take a few weeks to develop roots. For this reason, try to keep the terrarium in a bright area. In this way, they can form without disturbance.
For purposes of aftercare, the succulents will only need to be sprayed with water once a week. Every time you water them, make sure the potting mix is damp, without soaking. Allow it to dry completely before watering again.
You will find that after some time, the succulents become somewhat leggy. This is mainly because they are trying to find greater space to grow. Cut these leggy pieces off and re-pot them, either outside or in new terrariums.

5 Succulents That Are Considered Herbaceous

5 Succulents that are Considered Herbaceous

The words herbaceous succulents can be quite a mouthful for the untrained tongue. Luckily our good friends in the botany world have reduced it to just herb succulents. So, what are they anyway? We know succulents are plants that have thick, fleshy leaves or stems that retain water that can be used by the plant during dry seasons.

They do not have woody stems or tissues. Herbaceous plants are plants that have some sort of aromatic or flavorsome properties. Which can be used in its natural form or processed into medicine, fragrances, spices or garnishes. Herb succulents are therefore succulents with either medicinal or culinary properties.

Medicinal Herbaceous Succulents

Aloe Vera

The Aloe Vera is one of the most popular succulents known the world over for its medicinal abilities to smooth burns, heal cuts and treat skin diseases like acne and eczema. It’s no wonder that the plant is featured in most cosmetic products on the market and found in most grandma’s homes.

The aloe succulent is believed to have originated from Sudan and is widely grown in Africa and India. The plant has however been referenced in traditional medicinal remedies in Egypt, Mexico, Greece, China, and Japan.

This usually stemless succulent plant has thick, dark green, fleshy leaves that grow from the plant’s central system and have serrated leaf margins. The leaves have a liquid sap and gel-like substance under the skin that are incorporated health products because of their benefits.

It appears in some toothpaste because of its high calcium content. Aloe gel has cooling and anti-inflammatory influences, making it a helpful addition to skin creams, ointments, and lotions. Aloe pills filled with the sap are available at many pharmacies because they help reduce constipation. It’s no wonder that this herb succulent is known as the wonder plant.

5 Succulents that are Considered Herbaceous
Aloe Vera @potsnplants

Opuntia

Usually found in traditional Mexican tacos, the Opuntia is a funny looking cactus that has broad, large green leaves with fat finger-like projections at the edges that are the ‘fruit’ of the plant. It is a common feature in Mexican restaurants going under the names Nopales or Prickly Pear.

The leaves of the Opuntia can be eaten raw, boiled, or grilled and have a texture and flavor in close resemblance to green beans. The flowers, stems, and fruits can be found as the main ingredient in Mexican salsas and soups.

What makes the Opuntia a herbaceous succulent is the medicinal properties found in the leaves and fruit. When ingested, the plant is a good source of fiber, carotenoids, and antioxidants. Scientists and medical practitioners have linked the consumption of Opuntia to decreased blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

The anti-inflammatory effects of the Opuntia have been linked with lessening the side effects of a hangover. The next time you are on a bender, how about trying a piece of Opuntia the next morning?

Click here to learn more about the Prickly Pear cactus.

Agave Americana

The Agave Americana is a large, outdoor succulent that was originally found in the desert areas of Mexico and Central America. It goes by a variety of names including Century Plant, Maguey Flowering Aloe, Metl, Spiked Aloe, and American Aloe. 

The plant has large green-grey or grey-blue, pointy tipped leaves and can grow to as tall as 1.75 meters. Although it may look like one, the Agave Americana is not related to the Aloe Vera.

This herbaceous succulent has various medicinal properties and is also a great addition to your pantry. The Aztecs and Mayans knew the anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and wound healing properties of the Agave Americana and they would mix the nectar from the leaves with egg whites to heal cuts, burns, and open wounds. Toothaches were cured with a paste made from the root and leaves of the succulent.

The nectar was also prepared and ingested to heal stomach inflammation, treat ulcers, tuberculosis, syphilis, and menstrual problems. The anti-bacterial properties in the nectar have been proven to internally control the growth of decay bacteria in the stomach and intestines. Scientists use Agave Americana as a source for echogenic which is currently used in the production of various steroidal drugs.

There are a variety of recipes that include the flower stalk and base leaves of the Agave Americana being roasted or cooked with meats and vegetables. Oh, and the next time someone orders a shot of Tequila, just know that one of its base ingredients is the nectar from the Agave Americana!

Take a look at our tips for caring for Agave Ovatifolia with the post “What Is A Whale’s Tongue? Agave Ovatifolia“. Find out why they call this succulent the Whale’s Tongue!

5 Succulents that are Considered Herbaceous
Agave Americana @kebint

Culinary Herbaceous Succulents

Plectranthus Amboinicus 

Also known as the Cuban Oregano, Spanish Thyme, Indian Borage, and Mexican Mint, the Plectranthus amboinicus offers culinary as well as medicinal benefits. Originally from India, this succulent has naturally thick, fleshy leaves that are green-grey in color, covered in fine hairs and have saw-toothed edges. They tend to spread as they grow, making them a perfect addition to a hanging basket.

Compared to other oregano plants, the Plectranthus amboinicus has a stronger and more robust flavor, and chefs recommend using it in small quantities. The leaves are usually crushed and dried up and used as a seasoning for soups and stews. The dried crushed leaves are also the main ingredient in Caribbean jerk recipes and can be used to stuff poultry before baking in the oven. Fish curries and mutton dishes come alive with a sprinkle of Plectranthus amboinicus but note that the leaves are criticized in salads because of their rough, hairy texture.

Traditionally, the Plectranthus amboinicus succulent was used to treat throat and respiratory infections, flatulence, constipation and as an aid to stimulate lactation. This succulent is known to have expectorant and laxative effects to help aid in digestion, relieve coughs, and relax spasms. Certain communities in Venezuela believe that the Plectranthus amboinicus can be taken to expel kidney stones.

The leaves contain an oil that can be extracted and used for cooking. The oil is said to have various health benefits including a good amount of thymol and carvacrol to build the immune system. It is also a great source of Omega 3, calcium, iron, and manganese that are all important for bone strength. Studies at the Georgetown Medical Centre in 2001 showed that taking healthy amounts of Plectranthus amboinicus can prevent and cure toenail fungus.

Enjoying learning about succulents that are considered herbaceous? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about “The Most Common Issues Amongst Succulent Growers“. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents. 

BE SURE TO ALSO READ:

5 Succulents that are Considered Herbaceous
Plectranthus Amboinicus @hamont.houseplants

Talinum Paniculatum

Also known as the Jewels of Opar. The Talinum paniculatum is a creeping succulent with long, orange or brown roots and bright, glossy green leaves. These succulents produce pink, cloud-like flowers that resemble cotton candy hanging over the succulent, thus giving it the popular names of Pink Baby’s Breath and Fame Flower.

Jewels of Opar were found originally in most parts of the Western Hemisphere, specifically Southern United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean islands. The tiny green leaves have become a staple in sandwiches and salads across Latin America. While the tiny black seeds produced has been noticed as a good supplement of Omega 3 oils.

Chefs and nutritionists do give caution on the number of leaves one can have as they contain oxalic acid which if taken in large quantities, could cause nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath.

Talinum paniculatum has been around the medical world as being effective in treating liver and kidney problems. Especially treating bad-smelling urine and gastrointestinal disorders. The leaves have a soothing effect on skin inflammations, burns, cuts, and bruises. The roots of the Jewels of Opar have been linked to the treatment of arthritis, scurvy, and pneumonia. Traditional healers also believed in the power of the roots as a reproductive tonic, enhancing vitality, reducing impotence, and as a natural aphrodisiac.

Make sure you also go check out “Where Do Most Succulents Come From?” for a look at where most succulents originate from.

5 Succulents that are Considered Herbaceous
Jewels of Opar @mmk.lizbeth

There you have it, 5 succulents that are considered herbaceous. There are many more succulents that have healing powers and gastronomic roles, but not all are good for the human body.

Like all good things. Everything must be done in moderation, and experimenting with herbaceous succulents should also be taken in stride. Please be sure to check that the succulent is indeed safe for human consumption before proceeding.

Having said that, do you know of any succulents you might have had a fun time munching? Let us know in the comments below which ones we missed.

Happy Planting! 🌵

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