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meyermike_1micha

I have a watering question for succulents?

14 years ago

How long is it that you wait before you water your succulents once you are certain that your soil has dried out? In summer? And in winter? I am talking precisely days...

For example, I water my jades 5-6 days after the soil has dried out completely, and they do very well with this method, before the leaves have a chance to wrinkle up..

If it were a citrus plant, I would have to water as soon as the soil has dried out..

My christmass cactus seem to do well a day or two after their soil has dried out.

Mine are all in a full sunny warm window..But once the tiny 2-4 inch pots are dried out, should I wait days longer? How many? I guess I am still trying to get the hang of this, since many of my succulents are new gifts....

THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE..

Mike:-)

Comments (35)

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Mike, Actually those are great questions!! I am somewhat new to Jades myself(its a little more of a challenge growing jades for me in FL due to our very high humidities),and have a lost a few to too much rain in the summer(rot)even with the soil less very fast draining soil. Would love some insights from the people that grow these successfully. For Jades/Succ's I had always thought that once the soil has completely dried, it was a good idea(safe) to water a day or two afterwards...Is that not correct?

    Will be watching this thread for some answers. Thanks also!!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    While in active growth, I never let my soil mix dry out completely. If the soil becomes bone dry, it desiccates and kills the fine feeder roots, which the plant then has to regrow before it can take up any water. Waiting too long between waterings can actually invite rot, as the plant now has damaged roots sitting in a wet mix. You never want a soggy mix with standing water, but the humidity in the air space within the soil should essentially always be %100.

    When dormant, it really varies species to species whether the soil truly dries out. I let some of my touchier species go bone dry while dormant (Pachypodium brevicuale, Dorstenia gigas...) while others will get an occasional sprinkle throughout their dormancy.

    No matter what, you should always try and avoid creating any "rules" like watering exactly 5 days after they dry out. Recipes like that tend to lock the grower into a routine, regardless of what the plants actually want or need. Conditions vary so much over time and location, that what may work for you one month, will be completely wrong the next month (or for a different location, even within your own yard!). Rather, learn to read the signals your plants put out concerning water needs. It is also a good habit to start lifting pots looking for changes in weight...

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    I'm going to guess you probably have a little both going on here. It's hard to tell in the pics:). Now you know, but watering succulents with ice cubes is no bueno for succulents. They don't react well to freezing temps. That's why people overwinter their succulents inside. Unless you're lucky enough to live in zone 10b;). They do great at times of drought because they store water. Once it gets to be freezing temps their cell walls burst and become mush;). Terreriums that have succulents in them look cool, but they're just asking for dead plants in no time. They start declining fast. It can be done, but I don't recommend it as a beginner to succulents. It so important for succulents to have drainage or they will rot. Doesn't matter if you have an inch of gravel at the bottom. Somebody on here I wish I remembered who, but they gave a great analogy. If you had a wet sponge on top of gravel the sponge's water isnt going to be absorbed by the gravel. If there is no drainage hole and no porosity like terra cotta the water can only evaporate one way and that's back up the soil:). Terrariums also don't allow for airflow. There are other reasons why they aren't the best for succulents, but imho those are the two big ones:). So it's so important to have drainage. Next most store bought bagged cactus mixes are not the best because they're loaded with peat. Peat is all wrong for succulents. Peat can retain water when getting watered regularly, but if left to dry out repels water and becomes hydrophobic. Succulent mix should be dry before you water again so when you go to water the plants don't have the opportunity to absorb the water because the peat just repels the water. It also compacts like crazy when dry so in turn your roots get choked. They can't grow freely and easy like they would with a fast draining gritty mix. I'm a big stickler on removing old soil off the roots before you repot. If you repot and there is still that old peaty mix on the roots when you go to water the roots can't do their job because like I said the peat repels water once dry. So you think you're watering, but your plant is dehydrated. I hope that makes sense:). I would take all the plants out get a nice terra cotta pot or pots with drainage holes, and repot them up. Get the cheapest cactus mix you can find along with perlite. Expensive cactus mix sometimes will have fertilizers and water retaining ingredients. They don't need all that;). Do a mix of 50%-60% perlite and 50%-40% cactus mix. The mix should be real light and fast draining. Remove all the old soil off and repot like normal. Don't pot the plants low in the pots. If you have any questions feel free to ask:). What hardiness zone are you in:)?
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  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hey, Mike!
    You know that I'm a Jade grower primarily, so I'll limit my comments to Jades. I water by "feel" - basically, I feel a good sampling of the leaves on my plants to tell when they're becoming slightly soft (I used to wait until fine wrinkles were visible, but now I water more often, as Josiah advises). After detecting softness in the leaves, I water the following day, in the morning. I actually use this method on my Aloes, as well. If a leaf is firm, I don't water.

    Josh

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Jo and Nancy and Josh...:-)

    Hum...still a bit confused..sorry:-(

    Should I water my succulents like you would , let's say christmass cactus?..I am really not concerned about the soil drying out since they are in a gritty mix..This mix runs fast, and dries out rather well..And these small pots get sun all day, right thru winter!

    I do know that"cactus" can be pretty much starved of water for days on end..

    I just watered most my plants the day before yesterday. So since it has been sunny and warm, the pots are all ready dried out. They are also all in clay. The clay is bone dry too, in just 2 days.. Is this a good time to water them?

    Also, can they be watered fronm the top, water all over them, the leaves to say, or should the watering just touch the soil?

    I promise I will get it, or I will see the light...It just takes me a while to grasp the meaning of anything new..Promise..lol

    Mike

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mike wrote: "How long is it that you wait before you water your succulents once you are certain that your soil has dried out? In summer? And in winter? I am talking precisely days..."

    Precisely? 3.141593 days, and not a one second more, or less. ;)

    You ask an unanswerable question. Everything depends too much on the species, and local conditions: your latitude, the season, the humidity, the amount of sun and shade, what type of soil mix you are using, the age and size of the plant, and the whims of nature. During the summer, I don't hesitate to water plants in pots less than 4 inches, unless they are summer dormant like Aeoniums. They get no water at all from late June to mid-September. During the fall and spring I water liberally. Other plants, such as Pachyphytums can be watered and fertilized like tropical plants all summer long, but don't give much water at all from early fall to spring (unless the Pachyphytum happens to be namaquanum, a winter grower).

    More than a decade ago when I lived in Maryland, and first started growing succulents, all my plants had to come inside for the winter. I was so obsessed with watering that I set each small pot down in a known amount of water, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then measured how much water was absorbed after draining. It was very time consuming, but boosted my confidence. I watered many small cacti all winter long because they were not dormant in my kitchen, even though it was 22F outside.

    I read with interest in another thread that your soil mix is completely inorganic. Perhaps that is necessary because you tend to give water too much. Your confident claim that Crassula ovata in all its many forms will rot and die in soil mixes containing organics was absurd. Here in California you can lay a leaf down on any almost any kind of ground, and they grow into huge hedges. My jades, in pots and in the ground, stay outside exposed all winter long when we get all of our annual rainfall during the coldest three months of the year. I have never had any kind of rot problem with this species, sometimes using a commercial C&S soil that is 45% pumice, but also contains a significant amount of 'forest floor'. The plants don't seem to mind. Why? Because my local conditions are very different from yours. I have almost no succulents in the house. Only a few come in for the winter because they can not survive brief periods of below freezing temperatures.

    My soil mixes vary in the amount of organic matter, anywhere from 0 to 50% depending on the plant. Pot lifting is my basic method for determining when to give water. For really big containers, pot tipping is adequate. I have no real watering or feeding schedule. It all depends on what I think that particular plant needs at that moment. Usually that means doing nothing.

    So, the precise answer to the question is: it depends. ;)

    Brad

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks Josh and Jo...touching/feeling of the leaves and lifting the pot(weight)actually makes a lot of sense to me. Will try and follow these advise...Thanks!!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It makes perfect sense now....Thankyou everyone..

    I am going to take it even a step further..Now that I know the names to each particular plant in another thread, I am going to do a thorough investigation of each plants needs both in water and fertilizer.

    Thanks so much for all your help!

    Mike..:-)

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Pug,

    Another good tip besides the weight of the pot (wet vs. dry) is to test it like testing a cake for doneness. Stick a knife, skewer or pencil all the way down (gently if among the roots, as it's best done towards the center of the pot). If the skewer comes out clean, it's dry, if bits of mix attach themselves, there's still moisture down there.

    Close observation of the plant & (as mentioned elsewhere around here) the look of the leaves. While I don't let them go as far as wrinkled, I see some folks do, (Josh for one if I recall correctly)? Since you're a Hoya lover Pug, I KNOW you're already doing that ;>)

    Mike: Comparing watering succulents to watering CCs is an especially inapplicable comparison, since many succulents come from dry & arid areas where as CCs are tropical & rain loving.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for the added tips Pirate Girl. You're so right about the "Hoyas" lover as well, lol...Luckily, I have very little issues with the watering requirements of Hoyas, its the Jades that I'm not too familiar with. I'm definitely learning though! Thank You!!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Quit obsessing over the 'Jades" they will take care of themselves. If they wrinkle, water if not leave them along, you forget they take in moisture from the air at night process it and release the excess to give us the oxygen that they don't need. Especially if you live in Florida, and the coast states. You are all right and gave excellant advise. We each need to do what we evaluate what is right after we read the plants. The Eastern States seem to have the most trouble with growing this species. So many people ask, we get at least 60 questions a month regarding 'Jades' Norma

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here's another trick I often use - you can intentionally leave some small weeds growing, like clovers, in your pots. When you see them start to wilt, you know that the soil is dry.

    Another benefit to some weeds: they will soak up some of the moisture so if you are afraid of leaving the soil mix too wet, you will have extra roots in the pot to help relieve your anxiety.

    x

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Are you saying they are in clay pot or soil. Growing in open run is different that growing in pots, pots that are made of clay dri out faster then plastic pots, plants in the house don't do as well as outside. Plants withought air circulation tend to get more disease, molds, etc. grow lanky etc. Some don't like drafts, these are not weeds, and the requirements may be different. All succulents including cacti can do with less water, they hold water in thier stems, bodies, leaves. And may be able to go 6 mo. growing in situ. I can't tell you how many days between watering, if it rains, they may take 2 weeks or three days to dry out, depending on the mixture, how much moisture your species needs. If it has been growing in the small tiny pot for a long time, or freshly planted, if it is in the house, how high do you keep the temperatures. What light, is it in the bath bathroom, or near the kitchen sink. Use a chop stick or pencil down in the pot for 5 min. to measure moisture in the soil. Then make your choice what to do.
    All of the other posts gave you enough information to make decisions, you should learn to read your plants. I can't tell you exatly how many days, I know this is what you wanted to hear, Norma

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If it is cold don't water. They can go quiet a while without water. If has recently rained and outside don't, Use a chop stick to see if dry. If it has rained recently don't water again until dry. Especially if it is below 50F Unless I am going to have at least 10-14 days of weather above 50F I will not water again until April 1 unless they are actively growing, we had hot weather last week, so I watered. Now they are just going to have to wait. Two years ago we had a violent frost and we lost most of the outside Sans. though in a plastic hoop house and they are on raised benches 36" off the ground. People say fans may help? They do this in England and leave both ends of the greenhouse doors open so there is air circulation. There is a professional forum here we can go to and ask them as well. Norma

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Norma.....You are just a library of information!!! A valubale resource and much appreciated!!

    It is obvious to me that you are a pro, experienced, and very kind to offer here..

    I will do as directed..Thankyou so much for your help as well as everone else here..

    What a cool idea about the weed thing too..xerophyte!

    Hi Pug....I bet you are nice and warm still...lol

    I am heading out today to my local store to get chop sticks and tooth picks...

    I do have air circulation in my room, and most my succulents are resting on a heat matt in a sunny window, although the room is not heated and is cool..The temps in there go no lower than 55 and will go up to the 60's by day...

    They are also all in clay, I think...

    Thanks again very much..

    Mike;-)

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Not sure bottom heat under succulents (going into winter) is a good idea; it may confuse them as to what season. Besides which (IME), they don't need it.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I never thought of this....Good point...

    If your saying that succulents do well at such cool temps, then off they matt they will come..

    Do you think it might be advantagous to at least leave the cuttings I am trying to root on that matt, so the soil stays warm for them and encourage rooting? The room gets awfuly cool...

    Thanks...

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    PG,

    Bottom heat's (BH) good for a number of the Crassulaceae now, as you know, because they're in growth mode. If the room's cool, BH will give a lot of plants more stimulus to grow if they're in growth mode. As you note, many are dormant, but many aren't.

    Mike,

    Watering your plants is perhaps the most difficult to master, and it takes / has taken many years to get it right for many of us. You're going to have your failures but many more successes. My point - you don't learn it overnight. Consideration of location, growth time, season, heat, light, soil, air circulation, water, genus of plant, need for cold/heat, amount of direct/indirect light, fertilizer, drainage, porosity of soil in relation to frequency of watering...you can see that it's a powerful amount of information to begin with. It takes time.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks soo much cactusmcharris!

    Thankgod I was only givin a few..lol

    Thankgod I didn't run out and buy them against PG's suggestion....I think I would of been a liite more relaxed in the watering thing, taking care of a couple at a time...But now it's too late for me to hand these plants back to my friends...

    The help here and the time you all take to show me the way is much appreciated, and helps me to relax just a bit more...It is like taking on a unexpected child over night without knowledge of how to care for them, until experience and help from others leads the way..Can be a bit overwhelming..But as you say, I will get it..
    It took me a bit to learn how to care for all my other tropicals, especially citrus, that I now have success with. Thank God for this forum..

    I was till wondering if placing cuttings on a heat matt might encourage many of my cuttings to root better..?

    Thankyou much,

    Mike..:-)

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Placing cuttings in a pot that's on a heat mat will encourage rooting.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    As I suspected..

    Thankyou...

    Mike

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mike,
    This was a great topic, and Im sure alot of newbies/first time "moms" or "dads" :) will learn alot from this.

    I know I am.

    I have all my smaller plants insied. I have been using a spray bottle and going easy and it seems to be working well for them.

    I was thinking I'd get markers (pens) and color code labels until I learn growing seasons!

    Blue for winter growers and orange or red for summer growers! I'm so worried I will forget and water the wrong plant at the wrong time!

    JoJo

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I hear you Jojo...

    You have a great idea there...You know, I would love for others to tell me the seasons to each one I have, their cultural information and son on, and then go from there..But I guess that is the easy way out..lol

    So I am still reading up on each one,now that I know the names of each, and I think I will do what you are thinking of doing...I can promise you, other than the fact that I recieved all these for gifts, I am not running out to a store to soon to aquire more, until I can make at least a whole year with all of them, or most..

    I love this thread too...So many here are so knowledgable and willing to help us...

    Mike..:-)

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have a collection of cactus - lobivias, rebutias etc. and I brought them in my basement for the winter. they are growing under grow light. I keep the soil bone dry because of dormancy but yet some just rot even though the soil is bone dry. Why does this happen.? I notice this especially with the rebutias I have lost all. Also I have a big pot of night blooming cereus under a grow light and it was happy for a while and now the leaves are soft and wrinkled. I give it water - not a lot- as it is in a plastic pot. Can anyone tell me why this is happening to my beloved nbc as i do not want to lse it. thank you.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Can anyone tell me if night blooming cereus goes dormant in the winter. Thank you.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    DDD,

    The short answer is - 'it depends', as in it depends on your growing conditions and practices.

    I would guess your rot comes from uneven watering practices.

    The night-blooming cereus that you mention is a tropical plant. It doesn't want to go dry for long periods of time. Water it when it's dry, which, all things being equal, might be 3x a month in winter (its seasons of no/little growth).

    And do a search here on NBC - there's lot of information that, like Michael Feldman's Whaddya Know? show, is well-reasoned and insightful.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    ddd111,

    You're asking a new & completely different question than the current thread. It's customary to post it separately as a question of its own. You're likely to get more answers that way too.

    I don't know the answer or I'd give it to you here. I am GUESSING the answer is no, likely growth slows down but not quite dormant.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    For 4" pots pricisely 7 days 2 hrs 36 seconds.
    What cactus grow naturally in clay, I have never studied cactus?
    I don't how long in clay, Mine are all grown in a mix that that works for us.

    We use 60% pumice 30% coarse washed construction sand and 10% organic material which I think now is Redwood small bark, which also lets air come into the mix. I know it needs a fast draining soil, that lets air in. I know it must be watered when dry, I know to kill the mealies that are in the soil and not to use pesticides but I know what can be used, we need permits for pesticides, and must send in a report of how much is used each month, I know we cannot send plants even to Fresno without a permit and inspections. Only certain plants may be sent to Europe and we respect all of these rules. I know that I couldn't write a book, so must trick someone to write a book that I know is needed and I am very sneaky about it.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I water when they are completely dry which takes about 7 days 2 hrs. and 36 min. You don't need to wait longer. If you let them dry out completly, the plants are indanger of getting root mealies, or if the roots dry out completely you are in danger that when you do water they will rot in the 7 days they are sitting in damp soil. We can't grow anything in clay, and I am confused in regards to this question. Do cactus grow in clay? What size pots are being use, do you mean that you are using clay pot, or potting soil? U don't think my response above it correct I think I am mixed up regarding the question. What kind of question is this if a plant is dry you water, Clay soil drys out it is hard to wet again. So please make your self clear, if growing in clay pots and living in hot temps. it will be sooner, becareful of roots burning in very hot climates.

    So you are growing these plants in 2" pot they will dry out faster. Clay pots are great for the east coast and south gulf bay areas where there is high humidity. In an apartment Pirate Girl will be the best one to respond. We grow our cactus year round here in Calif. We water once a week, because that is how long it takes for them to dry out where we live. We have tested over the years, we have sampled the soil, by turning the pot up side down, they must be watered in the summer thoroughly so the room ball gets the water as well. In the Winter we are extremely careful. The cactus are outside, when it gets rain it may take two weeks to dry out, depending on wind and humidity. We watch weather reports to check and see how soon we can expect rain, if we are expecting rain we do not water, and our plants do not rot. They get plenty of fresh air. Cactus are filled with water as they are succulents, and can go several months without water. Pirate Girl grows plant in her home, she will be the best one to ask. Or anyone from Florida who has high humidity and more warmth. Succulents including the cactus species normally do not like cold and water. I am really curious, are are you growing in clay soil? I am curious where do you live. How much light are your providing, and do the cactus flower for you in the spring? Do not grow Sansevieria , most Kalanchoe, Euphorbia, those are what I can think of right now in the cold. My Jungle cactus, Rhipsalis, Thanksgiving cactus, do not like the cold, and protest, they are in flower now, and hate the rain, not interested in water right now, until after they flower but need low light. Boy was I confused sorry all. I'm human, by the way even at the Huntington we have summer plants and winter planted divided. Bulbs are also in a group. I am still confused who is asking what? Mike little thin tooth picks will not be good for a measurment for dryness use a pencil or chop stick, for the tiny pots just pick them up if dry hang onto them are they may just fly up like a light balloon. Mike another hint, get them all in the same size pot as soon as you can, (when they have roots) never water unless they do, just start them out with damp soil, and wait. Bottom heat will help them to develope roots sooner. I finally caught on that you are a beginner. I thought that you were teasing me, (testing me) and I am sorry if I have offended you. Norma

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You didn't offend me...Not even close norma..

    You are a WEALTH of help here, and I appreciate so much your suggestions from years of experience, more than I could ever imagine..

    You can whip me with a wet noodle, and tell me exactly what you have to say without a worry, because I know that your desire to help us is strong and for the benefit of our plants and us..

    I am not always clear on some of my questions, and I will readily admit that. I am sorry for confusing many times..

    I meant to say I grow all mine in Clay pots, and I use potting mix that dries out very rapidly, like the next day, if in the sun. The soil will stay moist if cloudy, but dry out as soon as the sun shines on the pots..I seem to do well with clay pots since I have always been heavy handed in my watering practices...Plastic and me don't mix..lol

    Thankyou for all your help, and I will take away with me alot of valuable information that you have so freely and and unselfishly shared and continue to share here at the forums!

    Yes, just a beginner, dependant more than ever on everyone here, now that I was handed a bunch of orphans and gifts, not testing you....not kidding..lol

    Much love from many here,

    Mike

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If you have a soil mix that dries out right away, then you may be inhibiting the plants' ability to take in the amount of water they need. I'm not sure what the substrate is, but here is a suggestion: if your soil does indeed dry out after 1 day in the sun you should water on consecutive days and let the plant soak in an adequate amount of water, then wait until the next round.

    Here in the "humid" East I leave a multitude of succulents outdoors unprotected for many months. If drainage and air circulation is excellent many succulents absolutely thrive outdoors with frequent rain during the active growth period.

    High humidity and excess precipitation are harmful during dormant periods. Most succulents will be dormant during the colder months. Some will also slow down during the hottest time of year. Some grow better when nights are cooler. You have to know your species.

    No advice that anyone here gives is better than your own experience. The best we can do is offer some suggestions. You have to make the rules because your game is different from ours.

    A valuable exercise for beginners would be to get some inexpensive plants from a big chain store and try different techniques and see how the plants respond over the course of several growing seasons. As your comfort level increases, you can expand your collection as needed.

    x

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Something else that might help a little bit....

    Use tepid or lukewarm water. Warm (barely warm, not hot) water penetrates/saturates the mix faster, as far as I can tell. The warm water better dissolves salts for flushing the soil, and it also increases the soil temperature, which can help make nutrients available to the plant sooner.

    If my reasoning is off in this, I hope someone will correct me.

    Josh

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    HI Josh,
    I've heard the same thing. Also if it's really dry soil, adding a drop of dish soap to the water also helps. It breaks up the static elec. in the soil so it can take up the water. (lemon dish soap also acts as insect repelent)

    Also have heard, always use water the same air temp the plants are at. Cold is a rude shock!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I actually like the soil they are in..

    I am begining to wonder if it is my fault in my way for asking for help, or is everyone making this question a lot more confusing than it should be.

    Maybe I should of said, how long after your soil dries out completely, before you water your succulents?...lol,,
    Wait I did..
    "How long is it that you wait before you water your succulents once you are certain that your soil has dried out?" THE KEY WAS, ONCE YOU KNOW YOUR SOIL HAS DRIED OUT..

    It doesn't where where it dries out, or what circumstances, all pots dry out eventually...When they do, do you water once you know that the soil is bone dry?

    I asked my 8 year old neice this question and this is what she said..
    " As soon as the soil is dry, it's thirsty. Water it"

    Could of it been this easy of an answer?

    They are in 2-4 inch clay pots, in very good soiless mix that I use for all my succulents,and Jades, delibrately amended to hold much less water which is what I want. I don't mind having to water everyday...

    I don't mind doing so, alleviating alot of worry about root rot.. I suppose in this soiless mix, I could water everyday and still keep my succulents happy.
    It could rain everyday if outdoors, and they would still not rot in my mixes..
    Since I am new at succulents, I was just trying to understand if they are suppose to get watered just as any other plant when the soil completly dries out, or need to stay in dry beyond that like a cactus or Jade.
    Some here don't water their Jades well after the soil is bone dry, until the leaves wilt, and I wasn't sure if this is how you treat a succulent too...

    Since my pots dry out ever other day or less, I mean completely dry, then I am going to water them as I would any other plant then..Since I am new at this, I always thought that succulents had to go days longer than most plants once the soil dries out, sort of like cactus.

    So far so good...I have been watering them as soon as the soil is dry, and they seem top be reacting well, in fact growing. I only water them on sunny days, and not on cloudy days...

    With everyones input here, and wonderful suggestions, along with lots of extra information, I ahve learned so much from so many different angles, and I thankyou all for this...:-0)!!!!! I think I get it...So far so good...

    As for

    "A valuable exercise for beginners would be to get some inexpensive plants from a big chain store and try different techniques and see how the plants respond over the course of several growing seasons. As your comfort level increases, you can expand your collection as needed", as also told to me by Pirot Girl, it is already to late..lol

    These were unexpected gifts from friends a family as I stated up thread..

    Mike..;-)

    x

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'll try it again, one more time.

    Your little cousin more or less has the idea, at least for houseplants; it CAN be that simple. IMO you're making this far too complicated.

    There is no set amount of days, no schedule, no "how many days after the mix dries", no magic formula tho' we can see how much you want one. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. I believe Norma tried to tell you this on another thread, water when they need it, don't when they don't & in her words "stop obsessing about watering".

    It's NOT too late to experiment as was suggested above (by Xero?). One can try different techniques & see what works best.

    Forget what the Californians say about this, mixes & their watering. We in the North Atlantic (you're in Mass. right?) have different conditions.

    Just because your mix dries out every day or 2 doesn't mean you need to water anywhere near that often. We're talking about succulents, which by definition they hold their own water in reserve. Meaning they don't want all the water you want them to have, not the frequency. (In nature there's no one to hover over them like this.) They're not fragile plants, they're rough & tumble plants that survive often under crummy condition, rocky soil, poor nutrients, etc.

    To give you an idea, here's how it works at my place. I've got a windowsill full of small Crassulacae, Haworthia, in small clay pots, 1-2" pots, mix is C&S, mostly pumice. I'm watering now about every weekend or ten days. Based on my mix, the weather & the like. Another window, also west has Euphorbias which I water very often 'cause they really need it & are an exception in succulents that way.

    Then I've got other succulents, Kalanchoes, Haws. another window full of Aloes. If they get water once every 2 wks, they're fine. If I forget, it could be longer. (In Summer I water those more like weekly). I fertilize most succulent only a little, as that's what's recommended & they don't need much, they really do best when mostly ignored.

    Perhaps if you could think of watering them just ONCE IN A WHILE, you could get more comfortable w/ this.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Pg, it must must be frustrating for many here to repeat themselves. This is a great forum for my OCD! lol

    And for those of us here who's brains don't work they way they use to, thanks for your patients and desire to help..

    I definately have growing conditions simular to yours..Norma was right..:-)

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