How long should the soil for succulent plants stay moist?

I know you are only supposed to water the succulents once the soil is dry, and that succulent roots can rot if they are too wet, but how long is ideal for the soil to stay moist?

I'm asking because I just planted a lot of succulents in larger pots using "G&B ORGANICS PALM, CACTUS & CITRUS For In-Ground & Container Planter" soil but even being outside (san jose CA) with 6hrs of direct sun the soil still feels quite moist 5 days after watering.

I'm ok letting it go until it is completely dry but I feel like this is a really long time and I don't want the roots to rot.

  • Succulent, NOT cactus? The two are mostly way different. It's been damp and cool in San Jose CA. Are the plants under cover, or out in the elements. If the later, I'd not water at all this month. Some of those cactus/succulent mixes have vermiculite, which I've always found to be death to things like Aloe or Christmas cactus. Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 15:37
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    Don't worry - I don't water at all in the winter. This was asked back in the mid summer. They are non-cactus succulents. But nearly 2 years later, they are doing really well and have really thrived. So I just kept doing what I was doing.
    – Adam Meyer
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 4:35

1 Answer 1


It depends on the size of the container and the size of the plant. So the smaller the plant relative to container size you may need to wait longer.

Succulents store water in their leaves, stems etc so don't need much water. So, if the potting mix is still moist, leave it another week. You're way more likely to kill it from over-watering than from under watering.

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    I'm not going to water it until it is dry, but I don't want the roots to rot.
    – Adam Meyer
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 14:26
  • Are you asking if you need to move them into a smaller pot? Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 18:43
  • No, I'm wondering is there is enough drainage. If the pot is the right size but the soil retains too much water I assume the roots will rot even if I do not water them again until the soil is dry. Hypothetically speaking say the soil remained very wet for a full month that would obviously be a problem right?
    – Adam Meyer
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 4:25
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    If the pot size is correct, the mix correct, and the mix remains wet, then the plant size is too small. And you'll get root rot. Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 6:00

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