Succulent Care and Watering

Find out how to plant succulents in pots, how to care for Succulent Pots, and How often to water succulents.

low glazed pot with a variety of small succulents | Maison de Pax

If I’m honest, caring for four children and two adults is almost as much as I can handle. Hence the reason we have no pets. 😉 But I have found that low-maintenance plants, like succulents, are not only easy to keep alive, they bring me so much joy – both indoors and outdoors. So I recently decided to create some new DIY succulent planters for my front porch (tutorial for those coming soon!), and it got me thinking that maybe some of you would enjoy some succulent care tips, including how to plant, water, and care for succulent plants.

succulent growing over edges of terra cotta pot with text overlay: how to pot, water, and care for succulents | Maison de Pax
black planter with a small succulent container garden | Maison de Pax

How to Plant Succulents to thrive

If you’ve seen my back porch, you know that I’ve become quite the crazy plant lady, and I especially love to grow succulents. The fleshy leaves and shallow root systems make them hardy, drought-resistant, and very easy to grow. The color and textural differences they offer is both interesting and beautiful. They are easy to pot, repot, and rearrange, and small succulents are especially fun indoors, as well. They make the easiest diy planters! And I’m going to show you today how to pot succulents so they can not only survive, but thrive.

dusty blue succulent with pink and coral bloom | Maison de Pax

There are a few keys to creating and caring for succulent pots. The main concern, though, is that excess water can create root rot and kill your succulent. The solution? Soil that drains. And an appropriate watering schedule (more on that below). It all starts, though, with proper potting with good drainage.

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  1. Always be sure to have a clear drainage hole in your pot or container.
  2. To protect the hole from being clogged by dirt, put rocks, pebbles, or a piece of broken pottery at the bottom of your pot.
  3. If the pot is particularly deep, consider filling the bottom with more rocks or pebbles, rather than using potting soil for the whole thing.
  4. Use a well draining potting mix (like this one, also available on Amazon, or make your own… tutorial coming soon!).
  5. Water approximately once each week (or two). Soak the soil until the water comes out the bottom of the container.
  6. Remember, that succulents can propagate from clippings, which is just a fancy way of saying that you can cut off a shoot (even without roots), stick it in the dirt, and watch it grow roots and flourish. Cool, right? Use this to spread your succulents to other containers or to fill the pot more quickly as they grow.
blue glazed pots with a variety of light green, dusty purple, and red leaf succulents | Maison de Pax

How often to water succulents

You’ll note that I did not give an exact frequency for watering your potted succulents. That’s because how often you water your succulents and the amount of water needed depends on many factors: sun exposure, temperature, and humidity, to start. And, of course, indoor succulents won’t dry out as quickly as those outside. So use these tips as guiding principles for how often you should water your succulents. Experiment a little, and see where it leads you!

I water my succulents approximately once per week, sometimes less when it’s been raining, and sometimes more in the worst dry heat of the summer. As I mentioned, I usually try to water until water flows from the bottom of the pot. Since I pot them with well draining soil and pebbles or rocks at the bottom, it doesn’t usually take as much water as you might think.

Succulent Pot Ideas

If you can’t already tell, I love how versatile succulents are. I’ve planted them in urns (my newest project… tutorial coming soon!) for a more modern twist on a very traditional style. I’ve also used more classic terra cotta pots on our back porch.

green and red succulent spilling over aged terra cotta pot | Maison de Pax

I’ve used beautiful, colorful, glazed pottery on our back steps.

glazed blue and black pottery with various succulents and ice plants on porch steps | Maison de Pax

And I’ve created a variety of mini succulent container gardens with a combination of several small succulents. Both outdoors…

mini succulent container garden in terra cotta pot | Maison de Pax

And indoors.

succulents in concrete planter on cedar coffee table | Maison de Pax

I’ve even gathered a few pots for succulents that have caught my eye.


Some of these succulent pots hang on the wall, others have cool metal stands. Some are large, and some are small… but all would look beautiful filled with succulent plants!

Don’t forget to pin these tips for later!

glazed pot filled with a variety of succulents and text overlay: succulent care 101 | Maison de Pax

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  1. Recently I too have joined the appreciation team of loving succulents. This series is right in target for me as I am an elderly newbie. Thank you!

  2. I have become a fan of succulents also and am glad for any help i can get, thanks, pinned.

  3. I am using the water propagation method for my succulents. Now that I see roots, when & how do I plant them in soil?
    & Once they are in succulent soil , when do l water them. I live in apt & my bedroom window gets sunlight for 6 hours. We have baseboard heat which is drying. I do have a few pots without drainage holes. How do l water my succulents?

    1. I’m sorry for the slow reply, Judy! I usually plant the little guys once I see the roots forming. A little hole dug with your finger into good, well-draining succulent soil will generally do the trick. As for watering, it’s always a little trial and error process. Every succulent and soil combo has slightly different needs. And we don’t really have baseboard heating down here in Texas, so I’m not familiar with how that will adjust your watering schedule… but I would start with one day/week and see how it goes from there. If you don’t have drainage holes, it will be more important that you don’t overwater. Give them a little less than you might think they need, but then check on them more often. When the soil is completely dry, they probably need another drink. Eventually, you’ll probably find a good balance. I hope this helps!

  4. I only just discovered succulents. I didn’t know so many colours and varieties existed. I’m so anxious and excited to get amongst it all and hopefully start creating. I hope I can some nice colours in Australia.

  5. How can I get different colors with my succulents? Is there something I can do to help this along or do I buy them colored?

    1. Succulents come in many different colors! Some have a little variety within the individual plants (and may just take trial and error with more or less sun to see which colors come out), but you can actually buy varieties that are blue or purple or other shades. I hope this helps!

  6. My friend and I have just recently really become interested in succulents for their many varieties and colors. We have done a dozen or so cactus and succulents gardens in a variety of different kinds of pots also with varying success. Hers are doing so much better then mine but she has perfect sunlight at her windows and porch for optimal growth where as I have the same but only during the spring and summer, during the rest of the year when the sun moves southward my side of the building gets no sun at all so I’ve struggled to keep them alive and doing well. Actually I’ve lost a few and it breaks my heart do you have any suggestions I can try to say least stop them from becoming thin, weak, pale, and just dying in general from lack of sunlight or taking to long to dry out after watering. Without the sunlight even if I just barely water they drain like usual but the soil takes forever to dry out enough and some have just rotted because of their weakened state. I’m so in need of some ideas to help them survive for the fall and winter until the sun comes back in the spring 😢. Please feel free to send me any ideas at all that could help I’ll try anything I’ve even thought of just giving them to my friend across the street just to keep them alive but since we are both older I wouldn’t want to leave her with all the work 😁. Thank you,

    1. That’s so tough, Bobbie! I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble. I have never tried them myself, as our home receives a lot of sun year round, but my father has had good success with indoor grow lights. They are a little space-age looking, but it might be worth a try? You can find a lot of options on Amazon (affiliate link): I hope this helps! Best of luck.

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