Caring for Succulents: Signs of Underwatering and Overwatering

Dated: 07/03/2020

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Succulents make great potted plants that can beautify the steps or front porch of your home. If you don’t have a green thumb don’t worry—these drought-tolerant perennials require very little maintenance. But, just like any plant, they can be underwatered and overwatered. So if you’re considering these juicy gems to help enhance the look of your home watch out for the signs that their water intake is off-kilter.

You’ve Underwatered Your Succulent

Succulents require very little water.

As a rule, only water your plant when the soil is completely dry—this means allowing it to totally dry out between each watering. Although your succulent is drought-tolerant it is possible to underwater it. Signs that your plant needs water can include shriveled and droopy leaves—an indication that it has begun to use its internal water source. Another sign to watch out for is wrinkling across the entire plant.

If you’ve got succulents in small planters you’ll have to water them more often than ones in larger containers, since smaller planters dry out faster.

Be aware that if there are shriveled leaves at the base of your succulent, but the rest of the plant looks healthy, they may simply be older leaves that can be removed and are not indicative of a lack of hydration.

You’ve Overwatered Your Succulent

One telltale sign that you’ve overwatered your plant is when its leaves begin to become translucent and mushy to the touch. This happens because the excess water has caused the cell walls of the plant to rupture. These leaves may fall off very easily when touched.

You should never allow your plant to sit in standing water. Its roots will rot if the soil stays moist all of the time. So make sure your container allows for sufficient drainage. 

If your succulent has begun to die due to overwatering you may be able to save it. Remove it from its pot, cut off any rotten leaves and stems, and give the roots a little time to dry out in the sun. Dump the soil, wash the pot to get rid of any bacteria that formed, and replant your succulent using fresh dirt.
 

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Chip Boyer

Chip is the IT Manager for Alex MacWilliam Real Estate. He handles the technology needs of the company as well as helping agents in their day to day problem solving.....

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