How to Water Succulents Without Drainage: Ultimate Guide

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For succulent lovers, finding special pots and containers to keep them is one of the impressive areas of collecting and growing them. Since succulents do not like surviving in water for extended time, it’s advisable to grow them in a free-draining container to thrive.

Therefore, if you ever need a suitable option, buy a pot with incredible drainage or you can drill them by yourself. However, in case the pot with you is thick and does not have drill holes, the pot will crack when drilling a hole, don’t get devastated. Luckily, there are several tricks to help you water your succulents without drainage.

Choose the right potChoose the right pot

You will meet a variety of pots on the market like terracotta types. They are the best choice ever for growing succulents. The pots are made from porous clay that evaporates water quickly and helps to hold the soil. Hence, extending the period for staying wet

Many folks love to grow succulents in terrariums or glass containers due to their unique appearance. However, operating with a glass container is trickier than other materials because they always increase the heat. Therefore if you prefer using glass containers to grow succulent, it’s advisable to go for open terrarium or unsealed glass pot and learn to keep them far from a brighter spot.

Prepare potting medium

You need to understand that growing any plant in a pot without a suitable drainage hole(s) can kill the plant due to disease or root rot to a wet medium. So, to avoid such you need to consider topping some materials such as rocks, stones, pumice, or pebbles into the pot. This act will help increase or extend your succulent’s survival rate.

Availability of the space in the soil tends to encourage smooth water flow (drainage). The roots of your plants will therefore have the shortest time to sit in the wet soil.

Ultimate guide on setting up a mediumwater succulents without drainage

Step 1: Develop a layer of pebbles, pumice, rocks, or stones at the bottom part of your pot. Doing so will enhance the soil drainage rate and prevent water accumulation. Too much can result in root rot. Additionally, you should consider the pot size whenever putting pebbles and rocks.

You should not forget that if you have a small pot, then you mostly require Pumice and Pebbles, or tiny rocks. But for larger containers, you will have to opt for more and bigger rocks. Sometimes you can even use crushed charcoal for removing algae buildup in the pot.

Step 2: Add soil about halfway up for the top layer of the pot. After performing this job, try to inspect and determine whether more soil is required based on your succulent’s pot. Larger plants tend to tolerate more soil for them to develop a robust root system.

Remember, it’s always advisable to utilize well-drained soil, not just any ordinary one because it’ll encourage better and smooth airflow. The action will eventually allow the water to easily evaporate.

Watering guideWatering guide

Watering remains a major challenge when growing succulents in pots that don’t have drainage holes. Since you have to understand the amount of water you’re exposing your plants to, and the moist condition of the soil. Too much water tends to make the plants eventually suffer from overwatering. Below are several tips to know the soil’s moisture level.

Using a Moisture meter is the best and greatest tool ever to determine how wet the soil is. Using such a tool is also straightforward as you only have to dip it into the soil. Give it a few minutes to exhibit the moisture level. A zero or close reading is what you need to consider; anything more than that implies that your soil is too wet for your succulent plants.

Use either a clean skewer or chopstick. Using either of these resembles how bakers determine whether cares are done. You simply have to stick or dip it in the soil around the succulent. Allow it to sit in the soil for several minutes and in case you observe soil clings in the skewer or the chopstick have watermark, there’s no need to add more water.

You don’t have to rush, topping water to your succulents with a soil that is too wet; skip watering for some days. However, in situations where you don’t own any of these devices, using your finger can be the simplest and available option. You only have to stick either of your finders in the soil and then use your senses properly.

If the soil is too wet, you will feel watery and sometimes the finger can come watery. If you don’t feel much wetness at areas surrounding the root ball, you are free to go on and water your plants.

On top of moisture levels of the soil, it’s advisable to understand the amount of water required by your plants. Because the pot doesn’t have drainage, I recommend you to try and apply water on top of the container. It’s nothing bigger, only 2.5” of soil. Below is a common way to do it:

Use a big watering bottle or syringe with measurementUse a big watering bottle or syringe with measurement

Opting for this method is very suitable, mostly when you want to water succulents in a pot that doesn’t have a drainage hole. What you need to ensure is that whatever you want to use has got measurements at the side. The measurements are essential as they help you understand the amount of water in the bottle.

This action ensures you do not overwater your succulents and allows you to wet the soil only, and not the leaves. I say so because these plants are known for preserving water in their stems and leaves for sustainability. So, if you do not own a huge watering bottle or syringe, try to use a measuring cup; it makes a great alternative in absence of these two items.

Whether you decide to use a watering bottle or syringe, make sure they are transparent for easy visibility. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have to own a pot with a good drainage system. Make the holes for yourself or get the readymade one for such types will make you understand great things about succulents.

Frequently asked questions:

  • How often should I water my succulents?  

Three good months. Some categories of succulents like Crassula or Graptopetalum can survive for about 12 to 13 weeks without water. This means that they don’t need regular watering. However, we have some cacti species that can survive up to six months and above without water.

  • How can I water indoor succulents?

We recommend using the “soak and dry” mechanism; it is the best way ever. You only have to completely soak the soil, and then give it enough time to entirely dry before topping another water. You also have to ensure that your plants are in a suitable pot with drainage hole(s); the soil should also be well-draining.

Final words

You enjoy an impressive experience around your home when surrounded with plants like succulents. However, watering is the trickiest task, especially when using pots or containers that don’t have drainage hole(s). Hopefully, you benefit from the above discussion on watering your succulents with drainage.

The article covers a wide knowledge on the same to ensure you are fully equipped to properly feed your succulents with water without drainage.