Water Therapy for Succulents & Planting Succulents in Pumice

water therapy for succulents and planting succulents in pumice

If you are a succulent lover and follow succulent growers and sellers on social media, you may have seen pictures of succulents submerged in water. This procedure is known as water therapy. We will walk you through water therapy for succulents and planting succulents in pumice and how you can carry out the procedure effectively.

Water Therapy for Succulents and Planting Succulents in Pumice-SC
A Succulent Water Therapy Image: IG@lauii.succulents

What is Succulent Water Therapy?

Water therapy involves soaking the roots of your succulents for some time before repotting the succulents. You can leave the roots in water for a few hours to several weeks, depending on how dehydrated succulents are.

The primary reason succulents undergo water therapy is to save them from dehydration. Water therapy also helps to revive succulents, if they’re stressed out from handling and shipment.

Water Therapy for Succulents and Planting Succulents in Pumice-SC

Water Therapy for Succulents and Sunburned Succulents

A common misconception among succulent growers is that water therapy helps succulents suffering from sunburn. The truth is, while water therapy helps to save dehydrated or stressed out succulents, it does not affect sunburns.

You have to understand that a succulent can be sunburned but not dehydrated. Baby succulents are more prone to sunburns, but that does not mean they are dehydrated. Water therapy can help revive sunburned or dehydrated succulents, but the burned spots will remain.

More often than not, sunburn is harmless to succulents. You have to wait until the burned spots are shed, or you can carefully remove the burned parts to allow new growth.

Water Therapy for Succulents and Planting Succulents in Pumice-SC
Succulent in Pumice: IG@succulentsyall

Planting Succulents in Pumice

If you tend to overwater your succulents, consider planting them in pumice. You can also plant your succulents in pumice if you live in a humid environment or want to grow your succulents indoors.

Planting succulents in well-draining soil is a requirement for healthy growth. Good soil should be able to retain sufficient water that the succulents need, but pumice fails here. Because of this, you will need to water your succulents daily if you use only pumice. Failure to water your succulents daily will lead to dehydration. To save your succulents, they will need to undergo water therapy.

Since pumice does not retain enough water, the water your succulents absorb will be very minimal. For this reason, your succulents will hardly develop strong roots if you used pure pumice in planting.

What You Need to Know

To be clear, succulents planted in pure pumice will definitely survive, but they will not bloom as you want them to. That said, pumice does not wash away quickly, so it is a better choice than perlite if you live in a stormy environment.

Another thing you have to know is that pumice works best when mixed with other soil. When you mix pumice with perlite, compost, or garden soil, the soil drains better.

The best soil mixture ratio for most succulents is half part bagged potting soil and half part pumice.

When it comes to plump succulents such as Pachyphytums and Euphorbias, one part bagged potting soil and two parts pumice is the best mixture.

For succulents with thin leaves such as dainty sedums, one part pumice and two parts bagged potting soil is the best combination.

If your succulents cannot sit in wet soil, you have to enhance the soil’s drainage capacity using a mixture of 25% pumice, 25% garden soil, 25% sharp sand, and 25% compost.

For cactus and other plants that retain moisture like fat euphorbias, plant them in berms with a 50% mix of pumice. Pumice can also serve as a topdressing for absorbing stagnant rainwater around succulents.

If your succulents are affected by soggy soil, you can add pumice to the soil. To do this, use any sharp object to form a circle around the succulent and make vertical tunnels that are 4 to 5 inches deep. These tunnels, which should be about 12 to 15 inches apart, will serve as air holes. After creating the tunnels, you can then add pumice to the soil without the possibility of damaging the roots in the process.

Growing Succulents in Water

As a newbie or experienced succulent grower, you probably never knew it was possible to grow your succulents in just water (well water or city water will do). This process is known as hydroponics, and it’s not suitable for all succulents.

Water Therapy for Succulents and Planting Succulents in Pumice-Growing Succulents in Water-Hydroponics-SC
Succulents in Hydroponics: IG@cyrussmeat


In hydroponics, succulents do not need soil to grow. They need a medium called substrate, which anchors the roots of succulents in gravel or sand. Unlike traditional planting, in which plants get their nutrients from the soil, plants derive their nutrients from water-based fertilizers in hydroponics.

Since the nutrients succulents need healthy growth in the water, hydroponic succulents tend to grow quicker than soil-grown plants.

Water Therapy for Succulents and Planting Succulents in Pumice-Growing Succulents in Water-Hydroponic planting-SC
Hydroponic Planting: IG@courtp21

Hydroponic planting

In hydroponics planting, you have to know and strictly follow the right growing conditions. If you follow the right lighting, humidity, temperature, plant spacing, and air circulation requirements, your succulents will not bloom if you fail to provide the proper pH level requirement. It is that serious.

If you are bringing succulents initially planted in soil into a hydroponics system, it will take a couple of months for the succulents to develop roots suitable for water. To hasten the growth process, you can use offshoot or cutting.

If the older succulent roots are rotting, remove them, so they do not contaminate the water quality.

As you water your succulents, mineral deposits form a water solution, and the succulent roots absorb them. This is why hydroponics plants grow faster than soil-grown plants.

Feeding your hydroponics succulents with a water-based fertilizer should be done every two weeks. At the expiration of the two weeks, flush out the old nutrients by drenching the substrate with water. When the water medium is dry, you can then start feeding the succulents with a fresh batch of water-based fertilizer.

Water Therapy for Succulents and Planting Succulents in Pumice-Growing Succulents -Quick Recap-SC
Water Therapy for Plants: IG@cucharitadecobre

Before we get to the end of this article, Succulent City is delighted to inform our eBook: The Correct Way to Water Succulents. This ebook is our hard-work process and we put everything you will ever need to know about watering succulents. Please have a look 🙂

Quick Recap

Water therapy is a great way to save your succulents from dehydration. However, it does not help with sunburns, as many people believe. When it comes to succulent soil, it is best to grow your succulents in mixed soil. Growing succulents in pure pumice isn’t a bad idea, but your succulents will not thrive like you want them to.

You can also grow your succulents in water through a system known as hydroponics. Succulents grown through a hydroponics system grows faster than traditional soil-based planting. We hope this article, Water Therapy for Succulents and Planting Succulents in Pumice, helped you gain the needed knowledge.

5 Amazing Tips on Saving Dying Succulents

5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents

It happens to all succulent gardeners at one point or another—one of your plants is looking sickly. You don’t know exactly what’s wrong with it, but you know something’s up. Succulents aren’t supposed to have brown, mushy leaves, or white fuzzy spots all over them, that’s for sure! Read this article to learn how to start saving your dying succulents!

If you have a succulent that’s seen better days. Do not despair. Keep reading to learn how to start saving your dying succulents!

5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents
Succulents love rain @bostonlandscapedesign

1. Saving an Overwatered or Underwatered Succulent

Save an overwatered succulent 

Your succulent’s leaves may be looking yellow or transparent and soggy. Your succulent is in the beginning stages of dying from overwatering. Brown or black leaves that look like they’re rotting indicate a more advanced case. So you have to start saving your dying succulents! 

The best way to save a succulent that’s dying from overwatering is to take it out of its container and let its roots and soggy leaves dry out. 

Keep in mind that not all succulents that are overwatered can be saved. So this method may not work if your succulent is too far gone. But it’s worth a try! 

First, take your succulent out of its container. Shake as much of the wet soil out of the roots as you can. That makes your plant dry out faster. Then lay your plant somewhere that gets bright but indirect sunlight for about a week. 

Once your succulent has dried out sufficiently, plant it in a pot with a drainage hole that’s filled with succulent soil. Regular potting soil doesn’t drain fast enough. So planting your succulent in it could cause it to rot all over again! We recommend these products:

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Made from high-fired terracotta. The bottom of each clay pot has a drainage hole to help protect against over-watering and is frost resistant.

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Our Pick
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12/07/2021 12:08 am GMT


After you’ve replanted your succulent, wait to water it for a week. And make sure that you read this article on proper watering practices, so this doesn’t happen again! 

5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents
Healthy Succulents @hues.of.serendipity

Save an underwatered succulent 

Good news! Underwatered succulents are a lot easier to save than overwatered ones. Succulent plants are made to survive for long periods without water, so even if your plant’s leaves are looking dry, flat and crinkly, you’ll probably be able to save it. 

Water your succulent with a watering can deeply as soon as you notice any dry, crinkly leaves. You should keep going until water runs out of the drainage holes to ensure your succulent gets a good enough soak. 

Make sure that the soil dries out before you water your succulent again. Even though your plant is suffering from lack of water. You don’t want to overwater the soil and give it the opposite problem! 

After one or two deep soaks, your plant should start looking plump and healthy again. But if watering it the usual way doesn’t work, it’s time to bring out the big water guns and try water therapy!


Our Pick
Homarden Copper Colored Watering Can, 40oz

Constructed of Stainless Steel brushed with copper. Perfect for succulents and other houseplants.

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12/07/2021 12:05 am GMT


For more guide to an underwatered succulent, check out “Dangers of an Underwatered Succulent“.

5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents
semi-dry cactus @crasasunicas

2. Water Therapy for Underwatered Succulents 

Water therapy can quickly replenish the water supply of extremely underwatered succulents, but it’s the last resort. 

To perform water therapy on your succulent, grab a container and fill it with water. Gently shake all of the soil out of your succulent’s roots. You can even run your plant’s roots underwater to ensure that all of the soil is removed.

This step is essential! If you don’t get all of the soil out, your succulent’s roots can rot. This is because the bacteria that grows in wet soil is the cause of root rot, not the excess water itself. By removing all the soil from your plant’s roots, you’ll be able to safely put them in water to rehydrate them without causing any damage to your plant! 

You should also make sure that your succulent’s roots are the only thing sitting in the water. Putting the leaves in the water can damage them, so position your succulent carefully. 

You should bathe your plant baby for about 24 to 72 hours. When you take your plant out of the water, make sure you handle it with extra care. The roots are especially vulnerable to damage and bruising after they get out of the bath. 

We recommend that you leave the roots to dry out for a few days before replanting. This lowers the chances that the roots will break or get damaged during the replanting process. For more info on root rot, check out “What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?”. Be sure to also check out “How Often To Water Cactus” for more tips on watering succulents.

5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents
Succulents hanging @evasamone

3. How to Save Sunburned Succulents 

Even though succulents love the sun, they can get too much of it, especially if you keep them outdoors during the summer! Putting your succulents in full, blazing sun for more than a few hours a day can sunburn them, which can be dangerous for their health. 

Succulents can’t use sunburned tissue for photosynthesis, so if most of your succulent’s leaves get sunburned and scarred, your plant may not be able to make enough nutrients to sustain itself. 

Some varieties can handle more sunshine than others. Aloe and agave, for example, are used to full desert sunshine, but more sensitive, tender plants like echeveria will burn in the same conditions. Some succulents can even burn if you keep them on your windowsill in bright, direct sunlight during the summertime, but this is rarer. 

If you notice patches of discoloration on your succulent’s leaves in colors like beige, brown, or black, your succulent is probably suffering from sunburn. In an advanced case, the leaves will even look dry, crispy, and collapsed—a far cry from their usual plump, healthy appearance. Its time to start saving your dying succulents!

If there’s only pale discoloration on some of the leaves, you can usually save your succulent by giving it more shade immediately. You can do this by using shade cloth, bringing your plant inside, or putting it under an awning. 

Advanced signs of sunburn

If your succulent is showing more advanced signs of sunburn, like discoloration on most of its leaves in darker colors like brown or black, you may not be able to save it. Bummer, right? Succulents in this condition may benefit from water therapy (mentioned above), though, so it’s worth giving it a shot!

To prevent this from happening again, research what level of sunlight your particular succulent needs. Not all of them can handle full, blazing sun, so install some shade cloth over your more sensitive succulents or move them indoors so they can thrive! Growing your succulent indoors? Check out “Best Grow Lights Reviewed by Succulent Lovers” for tips on buying an indoor light source.

Our Pick
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Rainproof Cover. Balcony Sun Shade Net for Succulents Flowers, 16.5"x11.8"x11.8"

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5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents
Succulent pot in the sun @the_brian_holt

4. How to Save Frostbitten Succulents 

Succulents can also become frostbitten if you leave them outside in below-freezing temperatures. Some species like sempervivum are cold hardy and can survive in temperatures down to negative twenty degrees, but other succulents will get damaged if the temperatures dip under forty! Weird, right? 

So that’s why it’s essential to research your succulent and make sure it can handle the temperatures in your region before you plant it outside. But if you kept your succulents outside during a cold snap and they get damaged, what can you do to save them? 

If your succulent’s leaves have turned brown and mushy as a result of being outside in cold weather, you can try to save them by removing the damaged leaves or trimming them with a pair of pruning shears. This will only work if the damage is mainly concentrated on a few leaves or the tips of the leaves. 

If your whole plant is looking mushy, brown, and collapsed, you’ll probably have to remove it from your garden. 

To prevent this from happening again, try to plant only cold-hardy succulents in your garden and use frost cloth to keep them a little warmer in the winter. And remember to bring any container plants that can’t handle cold weather indoors whenever there’s a cold snap! 

Our Pick
TYLife Plant Covers Freeze Protection

8Ft x 24Ft Rectangle Reusable Floating Row Cover for Cold Weather.

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Be sure to also take a look at “How to Care for Succulents in the Winter” for more tips on taking care of your succulent during the cold season.

5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents
Echiveria, sedum, cacti, string of pearls, kalanchoe, aeonium, crassula, air plants. @pandcnursery

5. How to Save an Infested Succulent 

Even if you keep your plants indoors, there’s a chance that your succulents will get infested with pests. Bringing an infested plant back from the garden center is enough to spread an infestation throughout your whole succulent collection. Yikes!

You can prevent pests from getting on your beloved succulents by inspecting any plants you bring into your home thoroughly. But what do you do if your plants are already infested and looking like they’ve seen better days?

First, you’ll have to identify which type of pest is plaguing your succulent, because they all require slightly different treatments to remove. 

5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents
Echeveria Imbricata @succulenthug

One of the easiest ways to pull these pests off your plants is with your fingernails, or some tweezers if you don’t like touching bugs. Scrape them off one by one with your fingernail or pluck them off with your tweezers as gently as you can. You might create a little scar tissue on your plant, but if you’re gentle and the damage is minimal, your plant will be just fine!

You can also blast the scale insects off of your plant with a garden hose. Just make sure the spray setting you use isn’t too strong, or else it might damage your plant! 

Once you’ve gotten all the scale off of your plant, we recommend that you treat it with a systemic insecticide to keep the bugs from coming back. This makes your plant poisonous to the scale, so as soon as they start sucking the juices from your plant, they’ll die. Take that bugs!

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12/07/2021 12:10 am GMT



5 Tips on Saving Dying Succulents
Frog planter with succulent @potted.arts

There you have it! Those are the five main tips on saving dying succulents. Let us know in the comments below how else we can help your succulent from dying. Share this article with your friends if you found it helpful!

Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, the best soil to use, and more! Check out “The Most Common Issues Amongst Succulent Growers” for an in-hand look at how to properly take care of your growing succulents.

This article is sponsored by Amazon Prime! Amazon is offering our Succulent City community an exclusive offer of a FREE 30-day trial of their famous Amazon Prime Membership. Click here to get your free trial started and enjoy that free 2-day shipping!

Happy planting! ?