Water Therapy for Succulents (When & How)

water therapy for succulents featured image

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 (or, in other words, the “soak and dry” method). I will walk you through everything about water therapy for succulents, including what it is, how to do it, etc.

What is Succulent Water Therapy?

Succulent water therapy is a temporary method for succulents that are stressed (from a prolonged shipment or under the scorching sun), under-watered, have shriveled leaves, or require rejuvenation. This therapy will display as leaving the succulent’s roots in water for several hours to several weeks, depending on how dehydrated/ stressed the succulents are. The succulent will then grow “water roots,” the ones that are familiar with the environment underwater, to adapt.

The therapy procedure is entirely different from the succulent hydroponic method, which I will explain in a separate post.

succulent water therapy infographic.
Succulent water therapy in an infographic. Great to keep it in your pocket.

In short, the succulent hydroponic method is growing succulents in nutrient-rich water that can replace soil needs. But the water therapy for succulents is simply placing your succulent’s roots into the water to enhance its well-being. Unless the hydroponic water has a distinctive color, you may not easily recognize it.

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How I Perform A Succulent Water Therapy

After checking your succulents and being sure that they need water therapy, here are the steps I will take:

  1. Find a container that will fit the size of your succulent’s root and fill it with water. You don’t need to submerge succulents in water as a whole, so there is no need to fit the whole upper parts.
  2. Place the succulent slowly into the water to only submerge the root part. If the entire plant floats, that’s okay. If the container is too big, you will need something to hold it right up (rubber bands, …). Just make sure the majority of the plant is above water.
  3. Let the succulent sit there for the expected period, usually 24-72 hours. The hours depend on how big your succulent is to soak the water thoroughly.
  4. Let the plant dry and re-pot.
A 3-week therapy from u/dinosaurific

Is Water Therapy Helpful For Sunburned Succulents?

Unfortunately, no.

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

Richard – Succulent City

There is a case where a succulent can be sunburned but not dehydrated simultaneously. 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.

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. Regarding 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.

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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