Succulent Care 101: Avoid Shrivel With Proper Watering

Have you ever brought home a beautiful succulent, only to watch it slowly shrivel up and die? It’s a frustrating experience, and one that can be avoided with proper care. After years of trial and error, my team and I have discovered the key to keeping succulents healthy: proper watering techniques.

There’s a common misconception that succulents don’t need much water, but this isn’t entirely true. While they can survive in dry conditions, they still require regular watering to thrive. However, improper watering can lead to shriveling leaves, which can be a sign of both underwatering and overwatering.

In this article, we’ll outline the causes of shriveling, proper watering techniques, and other factors to consider when caring for your succulents. With our tips, you’ll be able to avoid shrivel and promote healthy growth in your succulent collection.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper watering frequency is crucial for succulent health and avoiding shriveling leaves.
  • Succulent soil mix and pots with drainage holes can help recreate the native soil and drainage characteristics.
  • Over watering can cause root rot and potential death of the succulent.
  • Reviving shriveled succulent leaves depends on whether it was under or over watered, and may require cutting off affected parts or propagating the succulent.

Causes of Shrivel

Let’s investigate the truth behind the theory that succulent leaves shrivel due to overwatering or underwatering.

When succulent leaves are overwatered, they may turn yellow, black, or translucent with a mushy texture. This is due to the soil retaining too much moisture, causing the roots to become waterlogged and unable to absorb oxygen. As a result, the leaves become waterlogged and begin to rot, leading to shriveling and eventual death of the succulent.

On the other hand, underwatering can also cause succulent leaves to shrivel. When there is not enough water, the leaves will begin to lose moisture and become brown and dry, eventually shriveling up.

Soil moisture testing can help determine if a succulent is over or underwatered. Additionally, the weight of the pot can also indicate if the soil is too dry or retaining too much moisture.

It’s important to find the proper watering balance for succulents to prevent shriveling and promote healthy growth.

Proper Watering Techniques

We need to make sure the soil dries out between watering to ensure healthy growth and prevent issues. Succulents require a good soak during watering to ensure the water reaches the roots. However, watering frequency can vary depending on climate and factors like heat and sunlight.

To properly water succulents, we should consider the type of soil used. Gritty succulent soil mix prevents soil from becoming hydrophobic and allows water to infiltrate. Succulent soil contains more inorganic material to drain at an optimal rate and emulate the nutrient profile of native soil.

By choosing the right soil and adjusting watering frequency accordingly, we can avoid issues like shriveling and promote healthy succulent growth.

Reviving Shrivel

After understanding the causes of shrivel, our knowledge can blossom like a succulent, allowing us to revive shriveled leaves with appropriate care and attention.

If the shrivel is due to under watering, the first step is to adjust the watering frequency to ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. It’s important not to overcompensate by watering too much, as this can lead to root rot and further damage to the succulent. Watering should be done once every 1-2 weeks, taking into account factors like climate, temperature, and humidity.

If the shrivel is due to over watering, it may be necessary to remove the succulent from the soil and cut off any affected parts. The soil should be replaced with special succulent and cactus soil, which recreates the drainage characteristics of native soil and prevents hydrophobia. Moving the succulent to a less humid room can also help.

If the leaves do not improve after 2 weeks and start changing color, any black parts should be cut away and the succulent should be propagated from healthy remaining parts. Propagating succulents is easy and has a high success rate, making it a great way to salvage damaged succulents.

By identifying whether the shrivel is due to over or under watering, we can take the appropriate steps to revive our succulents and promote healthy growth.

Other Factors to Consider

Humidity levels, pot type, and airflow are additional factors that can impact the health of our succulents. High humidity can contribute to succulent shriveling, as moisture stress can occur when the air is too moist. Succulents require dry, arid conditions to thrive, so it’s important to control humidity levels in their environment.

One way to do this is to place a small fan near the plants to increase airflow and reduce moisture around the leaves. Additionally, placing the plants in a well-ventilated area or near an open window can help reduce humidity levels. Another helpful tip is to avoid misting succulent leaves, as this can increase humidity levels and lead to water stress.

Pot type is another factor to consider when caring for succulents. Decorative pots without drainage holes can cause excess moisture around the roots, leading to over watering and eventual shriveling. It’s important to choose pots with drainage holes to allow excess water to drain out and prevent water from being trapped around the roots.

Additionally, using a well-draining succulent and cactus potting mix can help recreate the drainage characteristics of native soil, preventing the soil from becoming hydrophobic and allowing water to infiltrate. Another option is to use a gritty succulent soil mix, which contains more inorganic material to drain at an optimal rate and emulate the nutrient profile of native soil.

Choosing the right potting option and controlling humidity levels can help prevent shriveling and promote healthy succulent growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can succulents survive without water for long periods of time?

Succulents have survival strategies to withstand drought. They store moisture in their fleshy leaves and lose water through their leaves to regulate moisture balance. However, proper watering is crucial for healthy growth and avoiding shriveling leaves. Drought resistance is not a substitute for regular watering.

How often should succulents be fertilized?

We fertilize our succulents every 2-4 weeks during growing season to supplement soil nutrients. Succulent-specific fertilizer with low nitrogen and high phosphorus and potassium is recommended. Over-fertilizing can lead to burnt leaves.

Can succulents be grown indoors?

Yes, succulents can be grown indoors with proper lighting and container types. Succulents require bright, indirect light and well-draining pots with drainage holes. Consider using grow lights or placing near a south-facing window for sufficient light.

What are some common pests that can affect succulents?

Did you know that 95% of succulent pests can be prevented through proper care? To prevent pests, avoid over watering and use natural remedies like neem oil or insecticidal soap. Regularly inspect plants for signs of infestation.

Can succulents be propagated from leaves?

Yes, succulents can be propagated from leaves. Leaf anatomy plays a crucial role in propagating success. The process involves removing a healthy leaf and allowing it to dry before placing it in well-draining soil to root.

As an author and indoor plants enthusiast, I have always been fascinated by the natural world and the beauty of plant life. Growing up, I spent much of my time outdoors, exploring the forests and gardens in my hometown and learning about the various plant species that inhabit them.

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