Are You Overwatering or Underwatering Succulent?


Though succulents don't need any extra maintenance, it doesn't mean that they will survive when you overwater or underwater them. Read out this article to find out if you are overwatering succulents or underwatering them.

Succulents have always been the talk of the town with their exuberant colors and low maintenance nature. However, this does not mean you can leave them as it is. There are some basic yet crucial rules you need to keep in mind so you do not underwater or overwater your succulents.

How do you know the right time to water or stop watering? What do you do if you unintentionally do any of those? This guide covers all the key highlights to know if you are watering your plants right.

How to know you are overwatering succulents?


Here are a few key factors that indicate that your succulent does not need any more water:

1. Soft & Translucent leaves:


Soft leaves appear in underwatered as well as overwatered succulent plants. Then how do you know what your plant is suffering from? Well, the most prominent difference is that underwatered plants are soft while overwatered plants are soggy and translucent.


2. Leaves turn Black:


This is also a much advanced stage, where most succulent varieties such as echeverias have been prone to excessive watering more than once. The black leaves are a sign of fungal infection or rot. 


3. Dead & Dropping Leaves


While both underwatered and overwatered succulents drop their leaves, there is a principle difference in their doing so. A case of overwatering will cause the succulent to drop almost all of its leaves, while an underwatered succulent only drops the lower, dried up leaves.


How to know if you are underwatering succulents?


Here are three key factors that indicate your succulent is thirsty:

1. Shriveled & Dry Leaves:


While some dry leaves are normal for all plants, increasing drying and shriveling is a matter of concern. Hence, do not panic overseeing some dry leaves, rather observe them daily. If the dry, dead leaves persist, it might be time for deep watering.

2. Wrinkled & Droopy Ends:


As the water depletion increases, the succulent uses even the last drops of water stored in the leaves. This results in wrinkling of the leaves, which results in droopy ends. Another reason is the loss of moisture pressure inside the leaves, followed by dead ends. Ice Plant is a typical succulent plant whose leaves wrinkle when underwatered. Click here to learn how to care for Corpuscularia lehmannii.


3. Leaves turn Brown:


Another fundamental indication of an underwatered succulent is brown leaves. Although the soft, brown leaves appear at the later stages, they are an essential factor in picking up a thirsty succulent.

Click here to learn how to save overwatered succulents

Tips to a healthy succulent


Succulents are extremely low maintenance, and you can grow thriving, healthy plants easily by following a systemic care routine. Here is a roundup of the most crucial tips for a healthy succulent.

● Keep track of your watering dates. It makes all the difference between a longer living, healthy plant and a shriveled one.

● Check the succulent soil moisture before watering. You can use moisture meter or wood stick to insert the soil mix and see if there is water in the pot.


● Treat your succulents to deep watering(''soak and dry method'') once in a while instead of frequent sprays.

● Use squeeze water bottle or water tan with long neck to water the top soil instead of watering the leaves.

● Make sure your potting mix is fast draining cactus soil mix. 




All should go well if you keep a proper check on your watering habit. Underwatering is not that much of a problem as overwatering succulents. Hence, do not go overboard with watering. Furthermore, observe your plants daily to ensure a healthy growing and early diagnosis in case of any problem. Happy planting!


1 thought on “Are You Overwatering or Underwatering Succulent?


I’m so confused with my scitulas. Thank you for your articles..


September 6, 2023 at 19:21pm

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