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.

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