WATERING THE SUCCULENTS

 In Cactus and Succulents

Watering  the cacti is not difficult: it is generally a task less demanding than, for example, watering other types of plants, such as flowering plants. However they need some specific cares so that the plants remain strong and healthy. In this article we will give you five tips that  will allow you to water your succulent optimally!

ADVICE No. 1: THE MOST INSIDIOUS ENEMY IS THE ROTTING  OF THE  ROOTS

Contrary to what somebody thinks, it is easier to make a plant rot than to make it dry out! It’s a common risk to all plants, but definitely for succulent is even more true. The spread of the plastic vessels or other non-breathable materials (for example, glass) increases this risk. What to do, then? The key word is control. Touch the soil before watering the plant and do not proceed with a new watering of your succulent if you do not feel that it is dry. 

ADVICE No.2: LIMITED LIMESTONE IN THE WATER

A lot of limestone, that builds up in the soil, can become a serious problem for the roots of your plants, which generally come from natural environments  with a rather poor soil. So try to use light water, perhaps by adding a softener to your system or directly on the tap. Your succulents and also your kidneys will thank you! 

ADVICE No.3:  RESPECT THE SEASONS OF THE PLANT

All plants live two seasons: one of full activity (which generally coincides with spring and summer) and the other of dormancy (which generally coincides with winter and autumn). In the first period the plant carries out its vital functions to the best of its ability: it grows, puts the new leaves, blooms. In the second period, it  is usually characterized by a climate less favorable, it rests and stops all the functions related to the growth and to the reproduction and it limits to the minimum vital activities. Its  vital necessities falls to the minimum and the plant absorbs very little water and nutrients from the soil: in the case of succulents, almost none. So if the ground is wet the plant risks to rot. This is why in winter it is necessary to suspend the watering of the succulents entirely or reduce it to once every 1-2 months. Begin during the fall, gradually decreasing the amount of water that you give to the plant; then make sure that the soil is dry and wait that the temperatures rise again  before starting to water the plant with the usual frequency. If you have any doubts and you are afraid that  your succulent still needs water, observe it: if the parts of the plant that act as a natural water tank (according to the type of the plant it can be the leaves, the stem, the rhizome) appear dry and shriveled , there is the necessity to water the plant again. But if they look normal, do not worry, your plant is doing well.

ADVICE No. 4: WHAT IF THE LEAVES ROT? THE WATERING BY IMMERSION

Some succulents, for their form, chance to retain water on the leaves with the risk to make them rot. This is the case, for example, of the Echeveria: because of its rosettes, large and very compact, the water reaches the ground with difficulty. In these cases you can proceed to water by immersion. Put all the vase inside a bucket containing water and let the soil  absorb the necessary water from the holes at the bottom (in the case of plastic vessels) or from there or from the walls (in the case of terracotta pots). Watering by immersion is obviously a slower process than the common one: the length depends on the size of the pot, it starts from 10-15 minutes for quite small vessels. This procedure is also excellent for particular compositions, with the ground covered with decorative elements, in order to keep them unaltered for as long as possible.

 ADVICE No. 5: BEWARE OF THE VASE  MATERIAL  AND FORM

Is your succulent planted directly in the ground or in the pots? And what about the material of the vase? What its shape? A plant,  directly located in the ground, will take water more frequently (any excess of water does not stagnate), the one in vase will need it less and, among these, those in non-breathable materials are plants more delicate. Even the vase form influences; in very high vessels it is hard to realize how the land is deep: it could still be very wet even if the surface seems dry. With shallow vases there is not this risk usually.

Do you have specific questions regarding succulent plants to which you’d like to have an answer? Please contact us!

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