How To Grow Succulents In Water

How To Grow Succulents In Water

Succulents are classic plants that are currently very trendy. This close relative of the cacti family is easy to care for and comes in a wide variety of interesting shapes and sizes. Succulents can also be grown in water and are ideal for people who might be a little forgetful about tending to their houseplants.

Learning how to grow succulents in water is not only for the forgetful home gardener, but it’s also an ideal way not to kill the plants by overwatering them. The plants will take up just the right amount of water through their root system.

When grown in a clear container, the roots and the tops of the succulent plants become things of beauty.

Why Grow Succulents In Water?

  • You can’t overwater them. The main cause of succulent death is root rot caused by giving the plant too much water or allowing the plant roots to remain in soggy soil. 
  • No soil pathogens to kill the plant. Growing succulents in water prevent them from being exposed to soil pathogens present in the soil and reduce the risk of root rot.
  • Reduces the risk of pests and diseases. Growing succulents in a soilless environment help them be less vulnerable to soil-borne pests and diseases. Plus, you’re able to view the plant roots and will notice any pest or disease damage at the root level immediately so it can be dealt with before irreversible harm occurs.

What Types Of Succulents Grow In Water?

  • Echeveria is a popular rose-shaped succulent that comes in several leaf colors. If you want to learn how to grow succulents in water, this is the one to start with. 

  • Jade plants have thick, woody stems and oval-shaped leaves. This succulent develops a miniature tree-like appearance that makes them very appealing to grow as a decorative houseplant.

  • String Of Pearls is a cascading succulent that develops strands of green pearl-like globes. It’s ideal for growing in a tall glass container of water that will allow the 3-feet long stems covered with round pearl-like leaves to hang down.

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  • String Of Bananas is a fast-growing succulent that develops green leaves that are shaped like bananas. The stems cascade downward and reach a mature length of 3-feet and will be covered with ‘banana’ leaves.
  • String Of Nickles succulent has bluish-green flat leaves that develop on 3-feet long stems. The stems cascade downward to create the strings. This succulent will also produce white blooms.

How To Care For Succulents When We Grow Them In Water

When you grow succulents in water, you can neglect them for a few days, and the plants will continue to thrive. This is a great way to have a wide variety of houseplants that require minimal care, so you don’t have to worry about them. 

Always use distilled water. The chlorine in tap water will kill succulents.

Do not place the containers in a full sun location. The sun will heat the water and essentially cook the succulents.

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  • How to care for echeveria in water - Keep the water level below the end of the stem. Only allow the roots to be submerged. Never get the leaves of the echeveria wet when adding water to the container. 
  • How to care jade plant in water - Place the propagated cutting in the center of the glass container and suspend it so the tip of the cut end will touch the water. Keep it like this throughout its’ lifespan. Replenish water as needed but keep succulent leaves dry.
  • How to care for string succulents in water - Place the propagated string succulent near the outer edge of the container and suspend the cut end just above the water. This will allow the ‘strings’ to cascade over the edge and grow downward on the outside of the container.
  • Don’t try to transplant a succulent that has been growing in water into the soil. The root system developed by the plant is very different, and it probably will not survive in soil.

Succulent Propagation

Propagate a leaf-cutting by snipping a healthy stem from the plant and placing it inside a plastic sandwich bag for five days. Keep the cutting out of direct sunlight and put it in a cool location. This will allow the cut end to form a scar so the plant won’t take up too much water when it’s being grown in a container of water.

After the cut end has scarred, take a sharp knife and cut half of the scar off. Make the cut diagonally. Place it in a container of water with the end barely above the water (some succulents grow better with the end in the water. Use chopsticks, plastic wrap, lengths of drinking straws, or something similar to keep the cutting suspended in the air just above the water. This will encourage the succulent cutting to develop roots that will grow down into the water.

It will take several weeks for the cutting to develop a root system. Be patient. As long as the stem and leaves look healthy (not black or soft) the succulent cutting is doing exactly what it’s supposed to.

Pretty In A Jar

Growing succulents in water is faster and has a better success rate than growing propagated cuttings in soil. The plants are so pretty in a jar and make for a unique conversation item when friends visit.

Ideal for home or office, learning how to grow succulents in water is a fun and trendy hobby. 

Learn How to Save Overwater Succulents.

Learn How to Propagate Succulents from Leaves.

Learn How to Propagate Succulents from Cuttings.

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