Succulents are delicate plants that require careful attention. They are not exactly challenging to take care of.
So once you get the hang of it, you won’t have to worry about them much. Besides, succulent plants are a bit different than other houseplants. They are built to withstand dry and hot climates.
Soft and wrinkly succulents usually mean they aren’t being watered enough. If you regular watering them just like any other houseplant, you can’t expect your succulents to survive. When overwatered, succulent leaves get puffy.
When underwater, they get soft and wrinkly. The fluctuations can seem frustrating at first.
But with a little patience, you can easily overcome it.
Now, plants can have many issues—succulent or not. Whether that’s because of nutrients, water, a fungus, or root rot. Now, caring for a plant isn’t something you can’t perfect in a day, and sometimes, you have to learn it the hard way. For example, many plant owners wonder if they are watering their plants enough—if they give too much or too little. And it’s normal to feel a bit hesitant at first.
What matters is that you are learning about your plant and how you can best support it.
So if you’ve noticed those signs in your plants, read the following guide to learn how you can fix them.
First of all, you need to decide when you are going to water your plants. Now, there is no set number of days; it’s all a rule of thumb. However, the average frequency is about 10-14 days. Also, make sure that you are only watering your succulent after the soil has thoroughly dried out.
It means that the earth should not be damp—much less wet. Succulents should never stay in water for more than 2-3 days.
To add, make sure you are watering the roots and not the leaves. When water stays on succulent leaves for too long, it can cause them to rot.
Secondly, make sure your succulent is planted in good soil. Since succulents prefer little to no water, their soil plays a significant role in how happy they are. In order to help them absorb any excess water, succulents require a special type of well-draining soil that contains large particles (such as perlite or crushed rock).
Soil that has excellent drainage properties is ideal for succulents. It’s simple to locate specialty soil for cacti and succulents at any gardening store. For starters, visit your closest home depot or plant nursery.
Here, you can typically find cactus or succulent soil. But what’s so different about succulent soil?
Well, it’s mostly grainy, like sand in a desert. ⅔ of the soil is an inorganic matter, such as rock. The rest ⅓ is organic matter, such as coconut coir. Try not to use the traditional potting mix for your succulents.
It does not have the same soil properties that your plant needs to thrive. As such, the soil does not dry out quickly as it should. You might need to replace your succulent if it no longer looks great or the soil never seems to dry out.
Although a succulent won’t reject the pot you put it in, some types do make them grow better. Terra-cotta pots assist in drying out the soil and absorbing moisture. They are not necessary, though! As long as the other circumstances are favorable, any pot will do! Having a pot with drainage holes is VERY important.
A good pot for any plant is one with at least one drainage hole.
Why is this important, you may ask.
It’s because when you are watering, it can be challenging to tell how much is enough. Too much water can cause root rot. Without drainage, a pot will retain too much water, which will likely cause your succulent to rot. When checking for dry soil (a watering indicator), it’s easy to get fooled by the dry soil at the top.
There still might be water pooled at the bottom. A pot with drainage holes gets rid of this issue. Any excess water will easily follow out of the bottom.
One less thing for you to worry about!
Last but not least, always keep an eye out for your plants. Check them on a daily basis and maintain a care schedule. There is no better indicator than your senses and the plant itself. As mentioned earlier, succulents will get pruney when rotten.
They may also get soft because of the type of soil. If you’re too unsure, it’s best to cover all your bases. This way, you can ensure that you are taking all the variables into account and caring for your plant accordingly.
Propagating succulents are essentially baby succulents. Many individuals propagate succulents to breed and cultivate them. These plants can prune and soften due to underwatering, among other reasons.
Since they are generally small, you can water them with a spray bottle. You may also use a squeeze bottle if you wish. However, make sure that you’re not watering the leaves directly. Water should not sit on top of the succulent leaves.
Simply spray a layer of water on the soil.
As for the schedule, you can water succulent plants almost every day if you’re propagating them indoors.
To learn why these methods work, you have to first think about the nature of these plants. Succulents, such as cacti, normally grow in hot climates like deserts. And deserts don’t often get rain. When they do though, it’s very sudden and heavy. After that, the plant has to survive on its own for weeks—even months—without water.
This also means that the plant has to create its nutrients. Now, you don’t have to recreate the desert climate to support your plants. To treat soft and wrinkly plants, use the “soak and dry” watering method.
First, water your plant nicely. That means that you’re not merely spraying it with water. Make sure that it’s going into the roots and deep into the soil. Soak the plant. Then, please wait for it to dry.
To add, make sure that your cactus is rooted in good soil. This way you can ensure that it’s getting the right nutrients. The correct nutrients also keep your plant from getting root rot. There is no one-time method of healing your succulents from soft and wrinkly leaves.
It’s a gradual, slow process.
If you follow all of the four tips above, you have the best chance of giving your plant a healthier life. Invest in good soil and water it according to what best suits your plant. To add, select a pot with drainage holes to avoid water from collecting at the bottom.
Lastly, remember to watch your plant regularly.
Every plant and climate is different, and every succulent adjusts according to its own time.