How Long Can Succulents Survive and Live Without Water?

Side view of a focused calm female floriculturist holding a watering can over potted succulents

Succulents are a wide range of plants that have adapted to grow in dry conditions. Succulents hold water in their roots, leaves, or stems, which allows the plant to survive through droughts. Although succulents still require water to survive, so how long can a succulent go without water? 

Succulents can typically survive for about 1-3 months without water, depending on the conditions and variety of succulents. Different species within the succulent family can survive for different amounts of time without water, with some desert cacti capable of surviving for two years without water. 

Keep reading this article to learn more about how long succulents can survive without Water in various conditions. We will also examine which succulents are capable of surviving for the longest without water. By the end of this article, you will have better insight into how you can best care for your succulents. 

How Long Can Succulents Go Without Water in the Winter?

Beautiful winter scenery with trees and mountain tops in the Alps on a sunny day with blue sky and clouds

Most succulents enter what is known as a dormant phase during the winter months. During this time, the plants are almost in hibernation. As a result, they require far less light and Water to survive as they rely on stored water and nutrients, but how long can succulents go without water in the winter? 

Succulents can usually survive and live without water for about three months during the winter months, depending on the climate and species of succulents. Some species of succulents need watering during the winter as they go dormant during the summer months instead. 

Succulents that Go dormant during the summer months can not Last as long as winter dormant succulents can without water. This is primarily due to dry weather conditions causing the soil to dry out quickly, therefore the right kind of soil must be used so they don’t die when you plant succulents. As a result, summer dormant succulents need watering periodically to ensure their survival. 

Winter dormant succulents can actually be damaged by watering during their dormant stage. If the succulent can’t absorb the water around it, bacteria start to grow and develop. This leads to Infestations and rots starting within the plant. Therefore, it is best to only water your succulent once or twice throughout the winter months. 

How Long Can Indoor Succulents Last Without Water?

Succulents make excellent houseplants. Succulents are low maintenance, resilient, and, most importantly, beautiful plants. However, growing plants and succulents indoors can seem confusing to people at first, especially when figuring out how much water your indoor succulent needs. 

Indoor succulents can last for roughly 1-3 months without water, depending on the variety of succulents. Indoor Succulents are sheltered from the sun and wind, which means they require less water to thrive.

While indoor succulents can go months without water, it is best to provide them with water about once a week. You can water indoor succulents by spraying with a spray bottle, or you can choose to use the soak dry method. 

The soak dry method is when you soak the soil surrounding the succulent, then wait for the soil to dry before watering again entirely. This process usually requires you to water the succulent about once every ten days. Most issues with succulents are caused by overwatering, so make sure that the soil has completely dried before watering again. 

How Long Can Outdoor Succulents Last Without Water?

Outdoor succulents are fantastic additions to any property. The resilient plants are ideal for growing in hot climates, and they can add a new dynamic to your property’s aesthetics. But how long can succulents go outdoors without water and still survive? 

Succulents can typically survive for up to 3 months outdoors without water, depending on the season. However, in arid climates, succulents will require watering more often as they will have access to less water in the soil. Although, some cacti can Last for years outdoors without access to water. 

The species of succulents and the climate greatly influence how long your succulents can last without water. If you live in a tropical climate, your succulent may require water every week to thrive. In contrast, if your climate is more temperate, your succulent may be able to go for 90 days without water. 

Also, not all succulents can last for the same amount of time without water. Some varieties of succulents may need water at least once or twice a month, whereas some desert cacti can go up to two years without water. Therefore, it is best that you check out what your specific succulents’ water requirements are. 

Which Succulent Survives the Longest Without Water?

Cacti are a variety of succulents with distinct drought-resistant features. Cacti can grow in the driest and hottest places on earth, like scorching deserts. So which variety of Cacti can survive for the most prolonged period without water, and how does it last for so long without a drink? 

Selaginella lepidophylla is a desert species of Cactus that can survive for years without access to water. This species can live and breed in arid conditions. This Cactus curls up during droughts and will only unwind its stems when it has access to water again. 

Selaginella lepidophylla can lose up to 97% of its mass during droughts. This allows the plant to wither away until it rains again. Once this happens, the plant absorbs the water and swells back up to average size. This process is known as desiccation and earned the plant the nickname of the resurrection plant. 

Most desert-dwelling cacti are capable of surfing for eighteen months to two years without access to water. Deserts often go a long time without seeing rain, so plants that live there must be able to outlast the droughts to ensure the species survival. Therefore any desert cacti can go months or even years without a single drop of water. 

How Long Can a Succulent Go Without Light? 

Succulents are drought resilient, but they are also capable of surviving for some time without access to any light. This is a crucial aspect of succulent success as indoor plants. However, people are unsure of how long their succulents can go without sunlight. 

Succulents are usually able to go for up to two weeks without light and deterioration. Some varieties of succulents have evolved to grow in the shade and can survive for much longer. In contrast, other succulents evolved for sunny conditions and will require more sunlight. 

Common succulents like aloe vera and the Jade Plant do not need much light to flourish. In fact, aloe vera can grow using only indirect light or even in dark rooms. At the same time, succulents like Euphorbia Tirucalli and agave require more sunlight to grow strong and healthy. 

Different succulents have different requirements. Some succulents can be severely damaged by direct sunlight in warm climates, while others are dependent on the hot summer sun to ensure their survival. Therefore, you need to do some research to figure out how long the succulents in your home can last without water. 

Final Thoughts

Succulents are low-maintenance plants that require little water when compared to most varieties of plants. Succulents can go for months without water, with some desert cacti capable of going for years without any water. The succulent species, alongside the time of year and outdoor conditions, all influence how long succulents can last without water. 

Succulents can also go a while without any sunlight. Most succulents can last a few weeks without light, although some species have adapted to growing in the shade and can thrive even in dark rooms indoors in your home.

Learn even more about succulents!

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