What is the importance of drainage for succulents?
One of the main reasons that succulents have gained fame is the ability to utilize little water to survive. You may have a busy schedule and little time to look after plants. Succulents require very little maintenance and can be left for an extended period with watering.
Succulents thrive in coarse and sandy soil. Sandy soil is known to have a low water-holding capacity, excessive drainage, and low nutrients. Course sandy soils have a low nutrient level, especially nitrogen, and phosphorus. In addition to plant nutrients, feeding the soil with fertilizer twice a year during late spring and summer when they are actively growing is recommended. The excess drainage capacity of sandy soil prevents water accumulation at the base of the plant’s root system causing root rot and decay.
The blog post below will explore the importance of drainage to your succulent development and help you understand the different techniques for improving soil drainage and preventing stunted growth of your succulents.
Do Succulent pots need drainage holes?
Succulents should not be kept from standard potting soil since they can hold too much moisture and cause root rot. Avoid using garden soil because it is frequently cumbersome and deficient in succulent drainage and aeration.
A well-draining soil created especially for succulents works best for succulent containers. Peat moss, perlite, and sand are typically used to create these soils because they offer superior drainage and aeration.
Ensure the container you choose for your indoor succulent has drainage holes so that any extra water can drain. Choose a container slightly bigger than the succulent’s root ball to allow for growth. Succulents thrive in clay or terracotta containers because they promote proper air circulation and moisture management.
You can certainly purchase or use succulent pots that have no drainage. Avoid overwatering or leaving the pot outside in the rain to avoid drowning your succulent roots in water.
Use a well-draining potting soil created especially for succulents for indoor succulents. Regular potting soil should not be used since it can retain too much moisture and cause root rot.
When watering indoor succulents, wait until the soil is totally dry in between applications. Be careful not to overwater, as this can harm your plants. Water deeply but seldom. Put your indoor succulents in a spot that receives a few hours of bright, indirect sunlight every day.
How to plant succulents in pots without drainage?
You might find a beautiful pot that doesn’t have a drainage hole. Although it’s recommended to have a pot with a draining hole, most of the pots don’t have one. Succulents prefer to avoid being in soil with standing water, which will encourage root rot. How do we overcome this issue with pots without a drainage hole?
The soil is the most important item on the list if you are using a pot without a drainage hole. Ensure that the soil holding the succulent root has good drainage. As discussed earlier, course sandy soil is recommended. Adding perlite to the mixture adds the missing nutrients that sandy soil miss. Avoid using soils like clay and potting soils that are known to hold water.
Secondly, if you intend to use rocks, pebbles mix the rocks into the soil. Avoid placing the rocks at the bottom of the pot before filling it with soil. Mixing the dirt and rocks prevents water from draining at the bottom and collecting.
When you are ready to water, measure the water every time you water. Using a measuring cup to water your succulent is especially important when it’s your first time watering the succulent. Knowing how much water you need for your succulent will enable you to adjust according to your plant’s needs. Knowing the amount of water required for your succulent will prevent overwatering and water pooling at the bottom.
How much water do succulents need?
Your succulents require minimal watering to thrive. Typically when you see your succulents shrivel and dry due to underwatering is usually after months and months of neglect. Since they can retain water in their leaves, stems, and roots, succulents are noted for being able to withstand dry spells. A succulent, however, can get dehydrated if it goes too long without water, which can lead to several problems.
Shrunken leaves are one of the most noticeable symptoms of dryness in succulents. The leaves may start to curl or droop, appear thin and wrinkled, or both. The succulent’s stem may also begin to look frail and withered.
Leaf drop is another indication of dehydration. To preserve water and energy, a severely parched succulent may begin to shed its leaves. Before they drop off, the leaves may turn yellow or brown. In some cases, a dehydrated succulent may also show signs of wilting. The stem and leaves may become soft and bend easily.
One of the biggest challenges that lead to losing your succulents is overwatering. The secret to properly watering succulents is to do so sparingly but deeply. This entails watering the plant until the drainage holes are empty, letting the soil dry, and then watering the plant once more. The succulent type, the pot size, the environment, and the season will all affect how often you need to water succulents.
Avoid watering succulents from above because doing so can result in water sitting in the plant’s rosette or crown, leading to rot. Always water from below and wait until the soil is completely dry before applying more water. By doing this, you can avoid overwatering and maintain the health and happiness of your succulent. For in depth posts on knowing your succulents water needs, check out these post.