How to Water Succulents in Winter

How to water succulents in winter is an evergreen topic in the field of succulents. There are so many succulent newbies indicating that they have no idea why they can't help their succulents go through winter and always let them overwatered? Well, the easiest and most important reason is the watering issue. Don’t worry, you will know exactly how to water succulents in winter when you finish reading this blog.

Frost-damaged succulents in winter

How much water does a succulent need in winter?


Before we dive into this question, I have to ask one another question. Are all cats the same? The answer is absolute no. So do succulents! Different varieties cause different characteristics. It means some varieties of succulents are dormant in winter but some grow. 

In general, the plants that enter a dormancy period from November to the beginning of March (Winter) would be considered 'Summer Growers'. On the contrary, 'Winter Growers' would enter a dormancy period from May to August. Find out whether your succulent is a "Winter Grower" or a "Summer Grower" in the image below, and we'll move on.


List of dormant succulent species

When a succulent goes into dormancy, it will minimize metabolic activity to save energy until environmental conditions get better. During this period, they don't need as much water as they do at their thriving time, or at all.

However, this isn't absolute, and it is not a hard-fast rule. It doesn't mean the 'Summer Growers' must go into dormancy in winter or the ' Winter Growers' hibernate in summer. For instance, if you bring your succulents indoors and create a steady temperature for them, they also thrive in the dormant season. So you will know it's all related to the temperature instead of the time. For another, most succulents thrive in spring and fall. Similarly, because of the temperature. 

How to water?


First, figure out the variety of your succulents, and learn whether your succulent is a 'Winter Grower' or a 'Summer Grower'.  The following list might help you.

Winter Grower - to help them thrive in winter, water them every 7-10 days. Arguably, the 'Soak and Dry' method applies to full-year growth for succulent, which is not in dormancy. Water and soak the soil thoroughly once you discover the soil is completely dry. However, if your succulents grow indoors throughout the year, they might keep thriving full year, just water them by the 'Soak and Dry' method.  

Summer Growers - quite different from the 'Winter Growers', they don't need many nutrients for growth due to dormancy. Thus, less water is one of the most important factors to keep them alive and overwinter. Just leave them along until you find the leaves become dry and wrinkled. Although the leaves get wrinkled, a little water is just enough. Otherwise, you'll kill them. Click here to learn succulent summer care

Several questions you may ask


How can I identify my succulents?


The easiest and the quickest way is to ask the supplier who sells the succulents to you. Or you can ask help from us on our social medias.

Facebook: @TNG 

Instagram: @the_next_gardener

crested succulent

Another way is to use an application: Planta.
①Press the 'Identify plant by picture' on the page of 'Find plant'
②Then take a photo, planta will help you.

How to tell if my succulents are dormant?


Sign 1: Color - dormant succulents might turn yellow or brown

Rosette succulents

Sign 2: Shape - flabby leaves hang from the sides of the stem, some rosette succulent species like Echeveria, the rosettes might contract.

Succulent plant's flabby leaves when it dormant

Sign 3: Branch - if the succulents look dead, try to pick a small branch, and bend it, if the branch won't bend easily, that means they are in dormancy. Otherwise, they might be dead already.

Can I repot them when my succulents are dormant?


I don't recommend to repot dormant succulents. It's just like disturbing their 'deep sleep'. Think about it: a north polar bear is going into the dormancy deeply, and you wake it up, take off its fur. How can it survive? Sounds funny, but that's true. The best repoting seasons are spring and fall we mentioned above, most succulents thrive in these two seasons.


  • Different succulent varieties have various characteristics, it's the most important thing to learn about it to know how much water your succulents need in winter.
  • Judge a succulent is in dormancy or not, the main factor is temperature, not the time or seasons.
  • 'Soak and Dry' is the only year-round watering method that applies to succulents that are not in dormancy.
  • Color, shape, and branch are three main factors to learn whether your succulents are dormant or not.
  • Do not recommend repot dormant succulents.

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