Do succulents need drainage? A Beginner’s Guide

Succulents are beautiful plants that can add a touch of elegance to any home or garden. However, like all plants, succulents need proper drainage so the soil doesn't become too soggy.

Therefore, if you have succulent plants, it's essential to ensure they have drainage holes, so the soil stays fresh and dry. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about drainage holes and how to make sure your succulent garden has them.

Many people don't know why or when a succulent will need this type of hole in their pot, and many times, they're just not given any attention. In some cases, the plant already has a hole in its base when you buy it, but it's not always easy to find.

This article will cover everything that you need to know about drainage holes for succulents and when they should be used.

Why do succulents need drainage holes?

Succulents are popular plants because they're beautiful, easy to care for, and perfect for places where water is scarce. That said, succulents can get a little out of hand if not kept well-drained. Overgrown succulents block airflow and rot, leading to water retention and rot.

For this reason, succulents need drainage holes - especially succulent fans. A drainage system will also improve humidity levels in your home, making succulents the perfect plants for dry climates. So, if you want to add a little succulent magic to your home, don't forget the drainage holes.

The importance of drainage

Plants need water to survive, but too much water can cause succulents to rot. Make sure to check the condition of your succulents each week and add/remove soil as needed to maintain healthy plant growth.

If your succulent has no drainage holes, it will likely become sick and die. Succulents need drainage to avoid becoming matted and unhealthy. Also, keep the plants in a location with good air circulation to prevent mold from forming.

How to make sure your succulent garden has proper drainage?

Succulents are plants that prefer a dry environment, so it's important to ensure their soil has proper drainage. If the soil is too wet, water will not reach the roots, and the succulent will not be able to survive. Add drainage holes of any size or shape to help your succulent garden maintain the right moisture level.

Avoid overwatering your succulent garden by watering only when the soil feels drier than the surrounding area. Succulents are plants that thrive in a dry environment, so make sure to water them sparingly and let them drink in the moisture they need from the soil.

What are the types of succulents that need drainage holes?

Like all plants, succulents require special care to thrive. They come in all shapes and sizes, and the selection seems to grow. The answer is yes - most succulents require drainage holes to prevent root rot and water retention.

If your succulent needs drainage, look for plants that have red or yellow flowers and are labeled "succulent," "drainage-intolerant," or "semi-hardy." Don't be alarmed if your succulent pot has tiny drainage holes to prevent root rot and water retention.

Where do I put the drainage holes in my succulent garden?

Adding drainage holes to your succulent garden is essential for a succulent garden that looks perfect. Succulents are native to dry climates, so they do not need the extra water that drainage holes provide. However, follow your pottery or stone product instructions if you want the garden to look its best.

There are various ways to add drainage holes - using stones, bricks, or even coffee cans. Again, be sure to follow the instructions that come with the product to get the best results.

Succulents are perfect for any garden but are especially well-suited for dry climates. So, if you live in a dry area, succulents are the perfect choice for your garden.

How often do succulents need to be watered?

Succulents are a plant that doesn't need to be watered as often as other plants. Succulents only need to be watered every two weeks if planted in pots without drainage holes. If the soil is constantly wet, succulents may rot and die. So, it's best to water succulents in pots without drainage holes once every two weeks.

How often you water your succulent will depend on the soil's moisture. You can tell how wet the soil is by using a moisture meter or feeling how wet the soil is with your finger. Succulents need more water when it's hot and less water when it's cold.

Porous containers absorb water faster than non-porous containers, so succulents need to be watered more frequently. If you're worried the soil isn't drying out quickly, try placing the succulent in a sunny window or under grow light.

What type of soil is best for succulents?

You don't want to mess around with the soil regarding succulents. These plants need quick drainage and plenty of oxygen to thrive, so using the wrong type of soil can be disastrous.

Good news: many commercially available soils are perfect for succulents. One popular option is cactus soil mix, often made from sand, perlite, or pumice. This type of soil drains quickly and allows oxygen circulation, making it ideal for succulents.

A succulent-friendly environment can be created by adding sand, perlite, or pumice to regular potting soil. Just be sure that whatever ingredients you use allow for quick drainage – succulent roots will rot if they're allowed to sit in wet soil for too long.

When it comes to water, succulent plants prefer rainwater or distilled water over tap water. This is because tap water often contains calcium or magnesium, which can build up in the soil and cause white dots on the leaves of succulents. If tap water is high in minerals, you may consider using distilled water or rainwater to avoid this issue.

Terracotta is the way to go if you're looking for a pot to help your succulents stay dry. Terracotta pots are porous, allowing the soil to dry more quickly. This is perfect for succulent plants that need to be kept on the drier side.

How do you propagate succulents?

Propagating succulents is a great way to get more plants for your garden. There are several methods you can use:

-Leaf cuttings: Cut a small piece of a succulent leaf and place it in the soil. The leaf will start growing roots, and you can transplant it into a new pot.

-Stem cuttings: Cut off a stem from the succulent and place it in the soil. The stem will start growing roots, and you can transplant it into a new pot.

-Root cuttings: Cut off a root from the succulent and place it in the soil. The root will start to grow, and you can transplant it into a new pot.

-Cuttings: Take a cutting from an existing succulent plant and replant it in soil.

Should I fertilize my succulents?

Fertilizing succulents is a great way to help them thrive, but it's important to do so correctly. Succulents like fast-draining soil, so try to plant them in soil that drains quickly. Water succulents regularly and sand or other drainage material to the soil mix if you want them to thrive.

When succulents are fertilized, their soil becomes airy and porous, leading to water over-ingestion. In addition, rain can easily overwhelm succulents when fed outdoors without drainage holes. By fertilizing succulents with drainage holes, you can regulate watering and prevent the soil from drying out.

What pests or diseases commonly affect succulents?

Succulents are beautiful plants that add life and color to any room or garden and are susceptible to pests and diseases. Pests or diseases can cause succulents to lose their leaves, look wilted, or even die.

Mealybugs, aphids, scale insects, spider mites, whiteflies, and fungi attack succulents. If you notice your succulent has any of these problems, take action immediately to treat the plant.

Some of these pests or diseases can be treated organically with water and dish soap, neem oil spray, or diluted vinegar rinses. You can also buy organic pesticides specifically made for succulents.

If your succulent is infected with a fungus or other serious disease, it may be necessary to discard the plant and start over with a new one. Be sure to sanitize your tools and pots before replanting another succulent to prevent the spread of disease.

How can I tell if my succulent is healthy?

One way to tell if your succulent is healthy is by its color. For example, if the leaves are faded green or yellow, the succulent may not be getting enough light.

Another sign that your succulent isn't doing well is if the leaves are soft and/or wet. This means that the plant is being overwatered and can eventually lead to the death of the succulent.

You can also tell if your succulent needs water by checking how wet the soil gets after you water it. Wait until the top two inches of soil are dry before watering it again.

If there are still water droplets on top an hour later. On the other hand, if the soil is completely dry, you should give it a good watering.

Succulents need a lot of sunlight, so ensure they're in a place where they will get at least six hours of direct sun per day. You can also supplement with fluorescent lightbulbs. Succulents don't like extreme temperatures, so keep them away from drafts and hot or cold air vents.

My succulent is wilting; what should I do?

If your succulent is wilting, it may be either over- or under-watered. To test whether your succulent needs water, you can stick your finger in the soil. If the soil is still moist, you don't need to water it.

If the soil is dry, then you should water it thoroughly. Be sure to pour water directly onto the soil, not the succulent leaves, as this could cause them to rot.

Can I grow succulents indoors?

Succulents are a type of cactus that can be grown indoors. However, they need light and lots of drainage holes to thrive. If you water them slowly and carefully, without flooding the plant, you will see weak roots develop.

This is not ideal for succulents, as they need aeration and will not be able to grow to their full potential. It is also important to note that tap water may not be good for succulents if you want them to thrive indoors.

Do all succulents have the same care needs?

Like people, succulents come in all shapes and sizes with different care needs. While some may prefer bright light and frequent watering, others may do well in a shadier spot with less water. It's important to read the label on your succulent pot or check with a local nursery to find out what kind of care is best for your specific plant.

Some succulents need more water than others - for example, cacti will need the soil to be dry more frequently than other succulents. In addition, they need bright light throughout the day since not all succulents like direct sunlight.

Succulent soil needs to be well-drained to avoid root rot, so it's important to always water when the soil is dry. Cactus fertilizer should only be used once a year and is rich in nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium.

Water your succulent with rainwater, distilled water, and a well-balanced fertilizer, and collect rainwater.

How do I ensure my succulent is getting the proper water and drainage?

To make sure your succulent is getting the proper amount of water and drainage, follow these tips: 1. Put small holes in the bottom of the pot so excess water can escape and not sit on top of the succulent. 2. Water succulents deeply and frequently enough to keep the soil moist, but not so much that it seeps through the roots to prevent root rot.

Are there any risks to succulents with drainage holes?

There are a few things to remember when growing succulents with drainage holes:

  1. Consult an expert before deciding about the succulent's growth or care. It is important to ensure the hole design works well for your succulent's specific needs.
  2. Succulents with drainage holes should be placed in areas with plenty of direct sunlight. If the holes are kept clean and debris-free, they will not suffer any problems.
  3. It may be time to add more drainage holes if water damage begins (leaves wilting, roots yellowing).

What is the difference between a succulent and an epiphyte?

A succulent and an epiphyte are both plants that live in dry conditions. However, the succulent has special needs that make it unique.

Here are the three most significant differences between succulents and epiphytes:

1. Succulents typically require drainage to prevent them from becoming wet and rotting. This is necessary because succulents tend to grow in soil that is drier than the surrounding environment.

2. Succulents need drainage to survive as they do not have root systems like epiphytes. Epiphytes attach themselves to other plants and get their water and nutrients from the atmosphere.

3. Unlike succulents, epiphytes typically do not require water during the dry season.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I tell if my succulent needs drainage holes?

Succulents need drainage to prevent root rot and other plant problems. First, place your succulent in an area with low humidity (like outside) to test its water retention capabilities.

A few types of drainage available online or at garden stores will work perfectly for your specific type of succulent. To determine if your succulent needs drainage, look at the surface of the succulent, observe how wet it is, or use a moisture meter.

2. Can I water my succulents through the bottom of their pot instead of through the drainage hole?

To prevent root rot, add sand or gravel beneath the soil when watering succulents through the bottom of the pot. Succulents also need drainage to prevent waterlogging issues. As such, a succulent's pot should have a hole in the bottom so excess water can escape and roots can breathe.

3. Why does it important to keep my succulents evenly watered throughout the day?

It is important to water succulents evenly throughout the day to prevent stunted growth and root rot. Additionally, drainage holes in succulent plants help excess water runoff and avoid root rot.

4. Can I force my succulent to have drainage by poking or tapping it?

Succulents are plants native to warm climates and do not like water sitting on their leaves or roots. If the water sits on the succulent too long, the plant may rot, and fungus will grow. Additionally, succulents need drainage holes drilled into their pot so excess water can escape.

Make sure the hole is large enough for the succulent's root system to get through but not so big that rainwater falls out of it. You can also use a saucer filled with gravel or small rocks as a drainage container for your succulent plants. Place this in front of any window where rain might fall onto the plant, and you're good to go.

5. Do all succulents need full sun?

No, not all succulents need full sun. Some, like the Barrel Cactus, can handle partial sunlight well and thrive. If you own a succulent that doesn't do well in direct sunlight, try growing it inside or placing it near a window where some light will reach it.


Succulents are a plant family that is well-known for their water retention properties. Unfortunately, this makes succulents susceptible to root rot and other water-related problems. To avoid succulent diseases and problems, it is important to provide succulent plants with proper drainage.

This can be done by creating drainage holes in the soil or using a drainage mat. Consult with the succulent experts at your local garden center to get the right advice for your garden.


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