Summer Succulent Care: Best Practices for Watering Succulents in the Heat

Summer is rapidly approaching! And with temperatures on the rise, proper watering is very important for happy, healthy succulents.

There is a common misconception that succulents don’t need water or that they need very little. There is some truth in the “need very little” part since those chubby leaves store all sorts of reserves for the plants.  However, those reserves mean that they need watering less frequently than other plants.  Once those reserves have been drawn down a bit, the truth is that succulents like water, and they like to be watered deeply.

Frequency

If your succulents are outside or in a greenhouse during the summer, you will want to water them about once a week. The soil should approach dryness, but not stay dry for long periods of time.  

Technique

When watering established plants, ensure that the soil is saturated to the plant’s deepest roots. A general rule of thumb is to continue watering until water starts to come out of the bottom of the pot. Deep watering will promote healthy root growth, which results in healthier plants. Frequent, more superficial watering results in a shallow root system and a less-established plant.

Succulents do not like to sit in wet conditions for too long, however. So, drainage is important. In the ground, amending your soil with some pumice with facilitate drainage. In your container garden, a well-draining potting mix and a pot with a drainage hole will do the trick.

Here's an example of two identical haworthias, grown with different watering practices.  The left was watered lightly; the right was watered deeply until water ran out of the bottom of the pot.  The results: The haworthia on the left is smaller and has a less developed root system. The haworthia on the right has a strong root system, is full and has beautiful green coloring.

Timing

During the summer, the best time of day to water your succulents is in the early morning before temperatures rise. By avoiding watering in the afternoon when temperatures are at their peak, you avoid having hot water sit in the crown of your plant, potentially burning the plant.

If you cannot water in the early morning, you can water in the evening.  However, this is not a good practice during the winter.  Leaving the plants wet all night makes them more susceptible to fungal diseases during the cold months.  We err on the side of keeping our plants a little dry during the winter just to avoid such cultural issues.

Exposure

Remember that during these hot summer months succulents need a little more protection from the scorching sun, much like we do. Their leaves will burn when exposed to too much sun for long periods of time. We recommend keeping your succulents in a location that receives partial shade, like under an awning or a place with dappled shade from a tree. 

Water is essential for your succulent’s health. Good watering ensures healthy roots which ensures a stronger plant that will be more resilient to pests and disease. Also, water is important for the other living things in your garden. Many pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds rely on the water that they collect from our watering.

Water is life!




Kristin Scheidt
Kristin Scheidt

Author



1 Response

Patty robins
Patty robins

June 29, 2018

It is soooo helpful to get simple cleara information with times and sun information!! Livermore can be tough but we can move things a bit to grab shade ….our pots are on tray with wheels and we move them during the heat hits, half our week to be usual temps in low 80’s but 95 by weekend ……my plants are in motion!!! Or we have them planted in sun shade areas if they are tolerant to colder temps in winter ……shade cloth has helped too …..thanks for you and your great service and quality plants….!!!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Succulent Gardens - Blog

Winter Blooming Aloes
Winter Blooming Aloes

by Shopify Admin 0 Comments

During the winter months, when so many garden plants are taking a rest or going dormant, it is wonderful to have something which bursts into bloom and provides a shot of color when we need it most. 

View full article

Staff Favorites: Succulent Care, Design and Horticultural Information Resources
Staff Favorites: Succulent Care, Design and Horticultural Information Resources

by Succulent Gardens 0 Comments

Succulent Book ListA list of some of our favorite resources for learning about care, design and science behind our favorite plants.

View full article

Which Succulents are Hardy?
Which Succulents are Hardy?

by Succulent Gardens 0 Comments


Sempervivum in the Landscape | Succulent GardensLearn about hardiness ranges for aloes, agaves, crassula, echeveria and sempervivum.

View full article