All about drying out the succulent soil

Succulent soil taking too long to dry? I was in the same situation one month back but then I did some research and found out that the soil plays the main role. The type of soil you have used to pot the succulent is the key. Succulents generally don’t like wet soil and their root gets rot if the soil is wet for longer time.

So in this article we will discuss all the problems why soil is not drying the way it should and how to fix it!!

Woman transplanting succulent at table

How long should it take for succulent soil to dry?

A soil takes around 14-21 days to completely dry out. A well-drainage soil, good airflow, less humidity, a good amount of sunlight in a warmer place would dry up the soil in 14 days, and placing the pot in a cooler and humid area would take almost 21 days to completely dry up the succulent soil.

The ways in which we can check whether the soil is dry or not are:

  1. Check the soil by pressing the finger on the surface of the soil. If it’s sticking on your finger, then the soil needs some more time to dry and if nothing comes up on your finger or only dry dirt particles, you should know that your succulent soil is dry.
  2. This is not it. Sometimes the surface gets dry but the inner layers don’t. So, dig an inch with a key or something in such a way that it doesn’t hurt the plant. After digging repeat the above step.
  3. Wait for the plant to tell themselves that the soil is dry and they need water. Each plant has its way of telling this so please study your plant.
  4. If the soil is not drying up even after 14-21 days then you should check your soil whether it has a water clogging problem or not. If it is positive then compose a suitable soil mix or keep reading the article because we are going to discuss that later in the article.

How do you dry succulent soil?

The first and foremost thing is I’ll suggest is that give your succulent soil enough time at least 21 days to dry it all by itself and believe me this way your succulents will grow stronger and healthier. Sometimes it’ll take a bit longer and sometimes it’ll get dry sooner. So don’t hesitate in such a case because it totally depends on the surrounding conditions.

If after a certain time the succulent soil doesn’t get dry up then there are certain ways you can do to dry your succulent soil.

  1. Ensure that your pot has holes beneath it because there were many cases where it may be ceramic/cemented/plastic, individuals might forget to do holes beneath the pot and result in root rot.
  2. Put the pots in the area where they can get good exposure to sunlight but ensure they don’t get sunburn. Please be merciful.
  3. If your succulents can survive in the kitchen then put them there. So what will happen is because of the heat in there the soil can get dry.
  4. Put some towels under the pot. Choose the material of the towel in such a way that it absorbs the moisture of the soil through the pothole.

If you have already implanted the above-mentioned tips then the matter is with the soil….. You have to get your soil right!!

How to get rid of waterlogged succulent soil?

Good succulent soil is the one that stores or holds water for the plant to absorb what they need, but at the same time dries out quickly so the roots won’t rot.

Below mentioned are some ways to get of waterlogged soil:

  1. Gently take out the plant from its pot and place the root ball on the newspaper so that it can absorb the excess water. Keep changing the newspaper until you see that the soil is dry enough.
  2. Make sure that the soil has large particles of size 1/4’’ or 6mm. You can take the reference from Garden Web Forum. Big size particles help in better drainage hence quickly dries up the soil.
  3. If the soil doesn’t contain 6mm large particles then better to replace the soil with the recipe suggested by AI where you have to add
    • 1. Part Pine Bark Fines
    • 1 Part Turface (an absorptive rock)
    • 1 Part Crushed Granite
  4. The above soil mix is for the plant that you want to keep indoor and for the outdoor plants you can use the below

Perlite can be a great addition to enhance the drainage as it has almost the qualities that succulent soil needs except that it can be crushed. So with time, it’ll become powder but if you are going to change the pot in a year or two then you can go with perlite so that you can add perlite to the soil mix.

The succulents grow well in well-drainage soil so these large particles in the soil mix will help you to achieve this. Again it is really crucial part of the recipe, though, is to make sure all the particles are roughly 1/4″ in size. It’s a lot of work to screen gallons of soil to get uniform-sized particles.

How dry should soil be before watering?

Now you have set the plant and the soil but you should know when to water them to ensure that you don’t put them at risk again. There are certain ways to check when to water your plants.

  1. As mentioned above, Check the soil by pressing the finger on the surface of the soil or dig an inch with a key or something. If it’s sticking on your finger, then the soil needs some more time to dry and if nothing comes up on your finger or only dry dirt particles, you should know that your succulent soil is dry and you can water your plant.
  2. You can use a wood skewer (the wooden sticks that we use for barbeque), you can penetrate it to the bottom of the pot and keep for several minutes and take it out. If the skewer is wet or cool to touch then the soil is still dry and let it dry for some more time.
  3. You can also Moisture meter. It shows the moisture level in the soil and when it is low you can water the plants.
    • NOTE: If you’re using the large particle soil as discussed then the moisture meter won’t be exact as the soil won’t be in complete contact with the meter but in case you’re using organic soil, then it’ll work fine.
  4. You can use the weighing machine or feel the weight of the pot in case you don’t have one. Check the weight of the pot every two to three days in the beginning for 14 days and then daily check for it. If you find the weight is less than the previous day then you can leave it for some more time and when you find that the weight is the same as the last day then you can water the plants because the soil is completely dry now.

You can read more about when and how to water the succulents from here.

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