When and How to Bottom Water Your Succulents?


When it comes to taking care of the succulents, you don't have to do many efforts, thanks to the hardy and surviving nature of the succulents. All you have to do to keep your succulent flourish and glowing is keep them in bright light and water them properly. But the first question that pops up in mind is how to water them properly without over or under watering them? Because improper watering, especially overwatering, can kill your beautiful succulent. But don't worry, "Bottom Watering" can save you from these problems.

So keep reading this article to learn what is bottom watering, when and how to bottom water your succulent, and the benefits of bottom watering.

What is Bottom Watering?


As the name indicates, it is the watering of your succulent from the bottom by placing a succulent pot into a bottom watering tray. So what does it mean? Instead of pouring water from the above, the succulent pot having at least one drainage hole at the bottom is placed in a tray containing water; the succulent potting soil will absorb the water from the tray as per its requirement.  


How to do Bottom Watering?


Bottom watering your succulent plants is a quite simple technique. All you need is a bottom watering tray or a large basin and water. Follow the following simple steps to bottom water your succulent:

  • 1. Fill the tray or basin with water to a height of approximately 2/3 of the potting succulents' height allowing the soil to thoroughly absorb moisture.
  • 2. Place the bottom watering pot or simply called succulent pot, in the tray. Make sure that it should contain at least one drainage hole in the bottom of succulent pots. Otherwise, repot it into a bottom watering pot containing drainage holes.
  • 3. Leave the pot in the tray for 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the pot. The potting soil will absorb water from the tray as its requirement.
  • 4. Wait until the top of the soil shows the sign of moisture.
  • 5. Take the pot out of the tray and allow it to drain out any excess water to avoid root rot disease.
  • 6. Place your succulent wherever you want. It's better to put them in a well-ventilated place. 

When to Bottom Water your Succulent?


It’s your choice whether you want to do bottom watering or top watering, but sometimes bottom watering becomes necessary when the soil does not absorb water. Following are the two reasons when soil cannot absorb water, and bottom watering becomes necessary:

Compact Soil:


Sometimes the soil of the succulent pot gets compact. This condition occurs when you don't water the soil for a long while, it starts getting shrink and becoming compacted that courses water to leave the gap between soil and pot sides. Now, what happens actually? When you water the succulent plant, the water, instead of getting absorbed into the soil, goes out through the drainage hole, and you think that the soil has absorbed enough moisture.

Hydrophobic Soil:


Hydrophobic is considered to be a situation that the soil that starts repelling the water instead of absorbing it. The soil, especially the one containing peat moss or organic matter, is not given water for a long time, becomes dry, and it starts repelling water instead of absorbing it, and the water drained out of the pot, leaving the soil as it is. 

the-sign-of-hydrophobic Soil

Root-bound Growth:


Sometimes the roots of your succulent grow too much that your succulent becomes root bound, and there is not enough soil in the succulent pots to retain moisture. So the water goes straight out of the pot when top watering it.

It is important to note that we do not recommend watering the bottom of succulent babies or newly potted succulents. Watering from the bottom saturates the soil completely, but the root system of young or newly potted succulents may not be well-developed enough to absorb excessive moisture. Allowing the roots to sit in saturated soil for an extended period can lead to root rot.

Click here to learn why and how to repot succulents. Try the succulent soil we are using on our succulents.


Why is bottom watering better for your Succulents?


Bottom watering brings a lot of benefits for your succulents. Let's have a look that what are the benefits of bottom watering:

  • Solves overwatering problems--Watering from the above sometimes leads to overwatering of the pot. If water stays in the pot for too long, it can cause root rot which can affect your succulents badly. Click here to learn how to save overwatered succulents.
  • Leaves’ farina stays intact--In bottom watering, your leaves don't get into contact with water directly, so the farina of the leaves doesn't get washed away and stays intact on the leaves. 
  • Prevents rotting--In the winter season or humid climates, the water evaporates very slowly. So if you water from the above, it stays on the leaves for a long which can cause the rotting of your succulent. It can also promote the growth of fungus and bacteria, which could cause trouble for your succulents.  
  • Helps build stronger roots--As you water the plant from the bottom, the roots tend to grow towards the moisture, making them stronger and longer. 
  • Uniform distribution of water--As the water moves from the bottom to the upwards direction, it distributes in the soil evenly. The moisture will reach all the way to the top.

Bottom watering might not be a convenient method of watering succulents. However, its benefits are quite more. In order to keep succulent plants in good condition, bottom watering is the best choice to water succulents.

If you want to know when and how to water your succulents, here is the free care guide video.


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