Bottom Watering: How to Water Succulents for Stronger Roots

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Our care instructions for succulents are as follows: Bright, indirect light. Keep around room temperature. And an inch of water every few weeks or so. Couldn’t be any clearer, right?

Clarification on our watering instructions for succulents are some of the top questions we get to our email inbox and Instagram DMs. And we get it - it’s a little confusing to tell you to water with an inch of water. So we are here to clear things up and provide more information on bottom watering! 

That’s right - that inch of water goes in the bottom of your pot. The inch of water trick is a form of bottom watering that mimics the way we water in the greenhouse by flooding tables of plants with water and then allowing them to drain. By watering from the bottom of the pot instead of pouring water into the top, the roots sense the water below and have to reach for it! This helps them grow bigger and stronger. 

How to Bottom Water

To water your succulent, take a peek into the pot. See the black plastic pot that actually contains the soil? Pop that bad boy out of the clay pot. While it’s out, check out the bottom of it - you’ll see drainage holes at the bottom where you can check on your roots. If they’re growing out of the holes, your succulent is rootbound and it’s time to repot! 

Now that your grower pot is out of the clay pot, it’s time to water. Pour water into the empty clay pot - about an inch deep. Then, place the grower pot back into the pot, where it will soak up the water. 

If you have multiple plants you want to bottom water, you can place multiple grower pots into a dish or tub of water and let them soak for 20-30 minutes before taking them out and putting them back in their pots. 

When to Water Succulents

Always let your succulents dry out between waterings. They hold onto water in their plump leaves, so err on the side of underwatering. You’ll know they need water if the soil is completely dry and the leaves are starting to wilt. 

In the summer months, you may need to water a bit more frequently (once every 2-3 weeks) versus the cooler seasons when you will probably water only every 3-4 weeks. You’ll need to water more frequently if your succulent is outside during the summer. 

Got Questions?

Ask us your succulent questions, because we have succulent answers! Reach us on Instagram @wild_interiors or email info@wildinteriors.com. We can help you identify your succulent species, answer care questions, or give our expert opinion on which succulent to buy (both, you should get both). 


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