Whether from social media platforms, friends, blogs, or other growers you have met, I’m sure you have heard of water therapy from succulents. Water therapy for succulents is definitely a great thing for succulents, but it could harm your succulents if you are not careful. If you do practice water therapy for succulents, make sure that you have read a few things and are prepared to begin water therapy for succulents.
Water therapy should only be a “last resort” type deal. It’s like your succulent is basically going to the emergency room because it’s so dehydrated/underwatered, or it’s dealing with a nasty sunburn that made it dehydrated.
Water therapy is great for succulents, it relieves stress that your succulent is experiencing. It can most definitely save your succulents from big time damage or even death. It’s an amazing practice that can truly help or save your succulents. It should definitely only be used for emergencies only because water therapy can definitely harm or kill your succulents as well if you are not careful.
If you do water therapy wrong your succulents could definitely rot in the water and most likely die. This happens because succulents are used to dry areas and don’t want or need too much water. If you aren’t careful with water therapy and do it totally wrong, then there’s a chance your succulents will rot in the water and die.
But we want to make sure that none of that stuff happens to your succulents! We want you to use water therapy to save your succulents so they can grow healthy and happy again! By the end of this article, you will know all about water therapy for succulents, how to do it properly, when to do it, and why you should do it.
Let’s dive in!
What is Water Therapy for Succulents?
Water therapy is a practice for your succulents that are extremely dehydrated/underwatered, or one that has gotten stressed out by too much sunlight. You can also do water therapy for succulents if you just bought some succulents online and they were shipped bare rooted. Succulents that are shipped are rooted and do get dehydrated, they have been sitting in a warm box for several days without water. This is when you would do water therapy for your succulents you just bought.
Water therapy is when you put your dehydrated/underwatered succulents in a jar of water for a couple hours or about 1-3 days. The succulents are unpotted and are bare rooted sitting in the water. This will help the succulents revive and drink as much water as they can because they are super dehydrated or underwatered. You only do water therapy if your succulents are truly underwatered and extremely dehydrated.
How to do Water Therapy
Water therapy is very easy and simple to do. However, if you are not careful enough and let your succulents sit in the water for several days, there's a chance that the succulent will rot up and die. Remember, succulents do not like too much water, so you have to be careful that you don't "drown" your succulents while doing water therapy.
The first step for succulent water therapy is to simply un-pot the dehydrated/underwatered succulent. You will have to take it out of its pot and get all the soil off. Gently take off all the soil with your hand and get it all off until your see the roots of your succulent. Your succulent my be bare rooted if you are doing water therapy.
After you have brushed the soil off and have bare rooted your succulent, then fill up a fair size jar full of water to the top. Once you have a jar full of water, then it's time to add your succulents. Simply add your succulents into the jar of water. Make sure that their leaves do not get water on them, you want them to be out of the water. It's important to just get the roots wet and not the leaves.
You can use the leaves as "arms" for the succulent. Have the leaves hang out of the jar, catching the rim of it so the succulent doesn't fall completely in and drown.
Once your succulent is set and its roots and not its leaves are in the water, let the succulent sit in their for about 4-6 hours. This is plenty of time for your succulents and will help them recover very quickly. Do not go days with your succulents in the water, this will cause the succulents to rot and most likely die due to rotting.
Repot Succulents in Fresh Succulent Soil
After water therapy for your succulents, it's important to repot them in fresh fast/well draining succulent soil. After your succulents are done with the water therapy, you can let them sit out for about 1-2 hours. After 1-2 hours have passed, go ahead and repot the succulents in fast/well draining succulent soil.
After you have repotted the succulents, make sure to not water them for about 4-6 days. Don't water the succulents for a while because the succulents just experienced water therapy. They just got a lot of water and the roots are very very wet soaked full of water. If you give them more water then there's a chance that they will rot up and give your succulent root rot. It's very important that you let the roots dry out before actually watering them again because they don't need water right away after water therapy.
Be Careful Doing Water Therapy:
Don't Submerge the Whole Succulent Under Water
It's very important that you don't submerge the whole succulent under water and only get the roots wet. If you get the whole succulent such as the roots, and the leaves, then there's a chance the succulent will die. The leaves will not be able to breathe in any oxygen, which will harm and most likely kill the succulent. It's very important that you just don't submerge the whole succulent underwater and to just submerge the roots.
Will Water Therapy Rot the Succulent?
Water therapy will only rot the succulent if you simply forget about the succulent and leave it in the water for too long. Let's say you let the succulent sit in the water for 2-3 days or about a week. The roots of the succulent will then start to grow some mold and bacteria and will rot. The stem will also get very mushy and will rot as well.
Basically if this happens then you have drowned your succulent and water therapy went totally wrong. This is definitely not supposed to happen and you should avoid drowning your succulents during water therapy. Be sure to remember to set a timer or something to remind you that your succulents are in water and will need to come out soon.
After water therapy it's also very important to not give your succulents water for about 2-3 days. After being in water for a couple of hours the succulents will not need anymore water.
Water Therapy for Sunburned Succulents?
No, don't do water therapy for sunburned succulents. When a succulent gets sunburned, only their leaves get damaged due to the sun. Sunburned succulents are not underwatered or dehydrated one bit. All that happens to a sunburn succulent is the leaves get a little burned. When a succulent gets a sunburn you will notice brown or black leaves on them. Those are just little sunspots that they got from the sun, the leaves are also a little burnt up.
To treat sunburned succulents you don't need water therapy. The succulent isn't dehydrated or underwatered, it's just sunburn. If you do water therapy for a succulent that doesn't need it then there's a chance root rot will occur and the succulent will die. Again, water therapy for succulents is only for dehydrated or underwatered succulents, not sunburned succulents.
Will Your Succulents Survive After Water Therapy?
Yes, your succulents will definitely survive after water therapy. However, if you water your succulents right away after potting them in the soil then there's a chance they will experience root rot and will be harmed. It's very important to not give your succulent any water right after water therapy.
Since the succulent has been in water for several days it simply just needs a break. When you pot your succulent after water therapy, wait about 2-3 days before watering again. This will allow the roots to fully dry. If you water them right after water therapy then you might overwater the succulent and give them root rot and will most likely kill them if you are not careful. So yes, your succulents will survive after water therapy just as long as you let the roots dry out before watering again.
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