The best way to water succulent plants! (Using what? How to? - over the leaves or on soil)

The best way to water succulent plants! (Using what? How to? - over the leaves or on soil)


Watering plants is a crucial aspect of plant care, but knowing the best method can be confusing. Should you water over the leaves or on the soil? In this article, we will explore the two methods and provide insights on how to water plants effectively to ensure their health and vitality.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding the Watering Methods
  2. Water-on-Soil Method for Pots with Drainage Holes
  3. Why Avoid Spraying Water Over the Leaves
  4. Tips for Ensuring Proper Water Absorption
  5. Soaking Method for Pots without Drainage Holes
  6. Watering Terrariums: Water-on-Soil Method
  7. The Best Time to Water
  8. Pros of Watering at Night
  9. Conclusion

Understanding the Watering Methods

There are two primary methods of watering plants: water-on-soil and watering over the leaves. Let's explore each method and understand their benefits and considerations.

Water-on-Soil Method for Pots with Drainage Holes

When it comes to pots with drainage holes, it is best to water directly on the soil. This method ensures that the water reaches the roots effectively and avoids creating a humid environment. Here's how to use the water-on-soil method:

  1. Use a water syringe or squeeze bottle for precise watering.
  2. Water the plants until water flows out of the drainage holes.
  3. Avoid using a water spray to prevent increasing humidity and damaging the succulents' farina layer.

Why Avoid Spraying Water Over the Leaves

  1. Increases the humidity of its microenvironment. The case will be worsened when the plant is also under a hot sun: water turns into steam, creating a warm and humid environment around the leaves –  a condition that succulents loathe very much 😣🤢 (They like to be in dry and well-ventilated places :D)
  2. It can wash away your succulents’ Farina layer (the white powder coating your succulents’ leaves), at the same time leaving patches or water stains on the leaves. Farina layers act as UV protection for the plants (Didn’t know these buddies needed sunscreen too huh? 🤭)

Tips for Ensuring Proper Water Absorption

In some cases, the soil may be dry and hardened, preventing proper water absorption. To ensure sufficient water reaches the roots:

  1. Lift the pot and gauge its weight before and after watering. The pot should feel heavier after watering, indicating that the soil has absorbed enough water.
  2. Avoid watering during noontime or when the sun is bright. Early morning or nighttime is the best time for watering.

Soaking Method 

  • Prepare a tray and place all your succulent babies in it. Add water to the tray until it covers half of the pot. Let the plants soak for 5-10 mins and then remove them from the tray.

    Water-on-soil method vs. Soaking method
    The first method is faster and gives a more fun and vivid watering experience compared to the second method. However, the second method does provide a more guaranteed watering process since time is given for the soil to slowly soak up the water, while water may just flow out easily without being absorbed under the first method.

Watering Terrariums: 

Only the water-on-soil method would be viable in this case. A water syringe would come in handy as you can direct water to a specific spot. Not to mention, an exact amount of water can be given, allowing you to better avoid overwatering the plants (since the situation can be hard to control without a drainage hole!)
Not sure how much water to provide your terrariums with? Worry not, as we will state it clearly for you when you adopt one of our terrariums 😆

Small tip #2: Avoid watering during noontime, or when the sun is brightly out! Times such as early in the morning or nighttime are best for watering :)

The Best Time to Water

Watering plants at night offers several benefits:

  1. Plants can have the whole nighttime to absorb the water, improving water absorption
  2. When plants experience great temperature differences (cold at night and warm during daytime), it creates space for them to change in colour, often into more vibrant and beautiful colours, whilst boosting their overall health :D 
  3. As mentioned above, this can avoid increasing the humidity of its microenvironment during daytime under hot sun.

Pros of Watering at Night

Watering at night provides optimal conditions for plant growth:

  1. Improved water absorption during the nighttime.
  2. Temperature variations enhance color and plant health.
  3. Avoidance of increased humidity under hot daytime conditions.


Choosing the best watering method for your plants is crucial for their well-being.  Watering terrariums requires precision and care. Additionally, watering at night offers benefits such as improved water absorption and vibrant plant colors. By following these guidelines, you can ensure your plants receive the proper hydration they need to thrive.