Propogating Succulents

The topic of watering succulents seems to emerge quite often these days, especially on various social media platforms.
In this article, we will mainly be discussing water therapy. Is water therapy good for succulents? What is the purpose of water therapy? Don’t succulents rot in the water? You will find the answers to these questions, as well as many others in this article.


Succulent Plants

We hear a lot about water therapy for succulents here and there. So what is it all about? Some people like to use water therapy to revive extremely dehydrated succulents or tense succulents which are suffering from too much heat and very little water. Some people also use water therapy for plants that have been sent bare roots and have dried and dehydrated from delivery and packaging. These succulents are also likely to be under stress from all the treatments and transportation.

Water therapy consists of leaving the plant in the water somewhere between a few hours and a few weeks and then burying it in the soil again. The purpose of water therapy is to re-energize an extremely dehydrated, stressed plant.


Remove the dehydrated plant from its pot and remove any remaining soil around its roots. You can do this by blasting or spraying the roots with water. Immerse the roots of the plant in water. Try to immerse only the roots and do not let the water touch the stem. If the plant for which you are doing the water therapy is a newly supplied plant that was sent without roots, just leave out the plant in a shady area for a day or two for it to callous ( this will prevent the stem from rotting ) and then place it in a container which has a narrow neck and can hold the succulent in such a way that the tip of the stem ending slightly touches the water in the container.

Some people like to use rainwater that has been collected and stored because rainwater has the right pH balance, which is preferred by succulents. Rainwater also provides some of the nutrients that succulents need minus salt and other minerals present in tap water. If you do not have rainwater, you can use regular tap water. You do not need distilled or purified water.


Succulents are susceptible to rotten roots. The main culprit of root rot is bacteria in the soil. If the plant is constantly in wet soil, root rot may develop. In theory, succulents sitting alone in water are not prone to root rot because the bacterial pathogens present in the soil are not present in the water.


Water Their Potted Succulents

This could be an option. Some people only water their potted succulents by immersing their pots into a shallow water container. It is also caused by the “ageing and drying method”. How does the seasoning and drying method work – instead of water from above, the pot is placed in water for a few minutes until the plant absorbs water from the root upwards. Remove the plant from the water and then repeat the process when the plant is dry. By following this method of watering, there is no wastage of water and also the soil present in the pot is completely dampened with the right amount of water.


Tanned or sun-damaged succulents do not necessarily dehydrate. A succulent may get sunburns from too much sun exposure in the summer months or during a hot wave, or a succulent may get sunburns from too much sun exposure. Young plants, plants babies, or smaller plants are particularly susceptible to damage from the sun. When succulent sunbath, leaves or parts of the plant become brown or get burnt spots. Unfortunately, there is little you can do about these burnt spots. Water therapy will not help with this. Remember! The plant has already received a blow, it is stressful for it. In most cases, sunburns on succulents are harmless. You just need to wait until the brown spots disappear or new leaves grow to get rid of them. Or you can gently pull out the leaves with burnt spots.

Water therapy for tanned succulents will only work if the plant is also very dehydrated. The plant should swell up almost immediately, but it will not get rid of burnt spots.

WATER-THERAPY and use of WATER for rooting succulents.

Rooting Succulents

Another controversial topic related to water and succulents is the use of water for succulents.

Using water for succulents is not the same as hydrotherapy, because it has a different purpose. In short, water therapy is the use of water as a medium for the rooting of succulent cuttings. After rooting in water, the plant is usually transplanted back into the soil. Some people prefer to use water as their method as a medium for the transition of succulent cuttings. They think it is easier than the dry propagation method, and they have more success with it. If you have problems reproducing succulents and keeping them alive, try to reproduce and revive them with water. And by the way, you may be one of those people who are more fortunate with rooting in water than with other methods of rooting.


Take a stem or pruning of leaves. Allow the cuttings to dry for a few days until the cut has healed and sealed. Place the cuttings directly above the water without touching it, or let only the stem tip or leaf touch the water. I’ve tried both, and they both work, but if you want to reduce the risk that your succulents will become soft and rotten, try not to let them touch the water. The cuttings will begin to form roots in about a weeks or so, some earlier, some later, depending on the type of plant you use and the environment in which they are found. After rooting, you can remove the plant from the water and plant the rooted cuttings in the soil. Wait for about a day or two before planting for the cuttings to dry a little. After you plant the cuttings in the soil, keep them in a bright place but away from direct light. Water the cuttings when the soil is dry. Watering it after 3-5 days or so is a good idea.


YES. Although not 100% guaranteed that all your plants will do so, succulents can survive in the soil after being rooted in water. I used to breed succulents in water and transplant them back into the soil, and most of my plants have survived and still feel fine. I find stem cuttings no matter which method (dry or water) usually do better than leaf cuttings, so if you are new to this, try stem cuttings first for more success. The stem cuttings also take up water faster than the leaf cuttings to grow new plants. If you’re using leaf cuttings it’s better to have a few, because not all of them will do that so it’s good to have some extra.


Water Succulents

Some people grow succulents in a hydroponic way. You can watch some YouTube videos of people who grow their succulents in water. Although this is interesting, it is not a common method and therefore there is not much information available. When growing hydroponically, the plants will eventually have to feed on nutrients that they would otherwise get from the soil. Diluted fertilizer treatment applied to water once a month may be sufficient. I assume that some trial and error is necessary as there is not much information about it. I would start with the smallest amount of fertilizer as succulents are not heavy feeders. I suppose they can grow in water infinitely, and as long as they grow perfectly, it does not matter where they grow.

I found this aeonium (Eonic ‘blushing beauty’) on the ground after a particularly stormy and windy night. It broke away from the mother plant, and frankly, I have these plants growing in a few pots that I didn’t want to keep, so I left it on the side and kind of forgot about it. A few weeks later, I noticed that it had small roots. It was also very dehydrated by that time (see photos below). I didn’t dare to give it up, so I decided to do a little experiment and see how this water therapy works. The little guy came to life just a few days after his roots were submerged in water. And about a week later, many new roots have already grown.

Once you notice that the juicy plant looks swollen and replenished, usually within a few days to a week, depending on the type of plant and the degree of dehydration, you can take it out of the water. Wait for about a day or two and pour it into a well-draining potting mix. You don’t need to water it immediately, because the plant is still saturated with water. And this is how you can use water therapy to revive a very dehydrated plant.

At this point, you can take the plant out of the water. The purpose of water therapy is to rehydrate the plant and transplant it back into the soil.

Instead of transplanting my plant into the soil, I decided to continue the “experiment” and continue growing it in water. I also liked the way these fresh succulents looked in my house, on my dining table, so I added another head of anion (it’s a varicose tree head or Black Rose anion), which also broke off after another stormy night and a few stalks of SenecioRadicans bananas.

This may be something new for me in my home. Instead of fresh flowers in vases, I will have fresh juicy cuttings. Anyway, I wanted to see how long these succulents can live in water and if they start to produce new growth, there are new leaves from above, not just roots.

Succulents Pots

So far, they all feel good in the water and look quite healthy and happy. This first aeonium, however, is beginning to look paler than usual. We had a lot of cloudy days here, and it was raining heavily, so I think the room is not bright enough. But now that the rainy days are over, we got a lot of suns, so I think everything will be fine. Maybe I will even move it outside and see how it goes. At the moment it looks normal and it is still healthy, in three months. As soon as I feel that the plant is suffering, I will take it out of the water and plant it in the soil again. In the meantime, I will also grow other kinds of succulents in water. I just replaced the water a couple of times and used tap water {purified}. I did not add any nutrients to the water.

This article covered many basic questions that people have about water therapy and growing succulents hydroponically. It is great to see the juicy roots growing in water. Water therapy and water distribution may not be for everyone. I have many cuttings to save, so I can afford to play and see what happens to them. Besides, I have tried it in the past and know how to keep them alive in different situations. If you are new to growing succulents or are just starting your collection, you can keep these “experiments” for a later date.