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Plant care tip: How much water do succulents need?


(Photo: Brenda Lye)

Q: When I bought these succulents, I was advised to sprinkle them with water once a week. When the weather became hotter, I was supposed to sprinkle water on them twice a week. However, the bigger succulent now looks like it is stressed (below) and has released some liquid from its leaves. What happened? How should I care for succulents? - Brenda Lye


(Photo: Brenda Lye)

The larger succulent is likely to be a species of Pachyphytum, while the plant in the smaller pot is likely to be a species of Echeveria.

These plants are generally more challenging to grow as they prefer a cooler and drier environment with a temperature drop at night to thrive.

Without such conditions, the plants are stressed and prone to various pests and diseases.

Prolonged wetness will lead to rot and subsequent death of the plant, as shown in your picture.

It is better to change the soil and grow succulents in a well-drained mix consisting of fine, expanded clay pellets, pumice and volcanic sand.

After watering the plant, allow the media to dry out before the next watering.

Also, place the succulents in a sheltered area and out of rain. Exposing them to filtered sunlight will keep them compact.

Adapted from The Straits Times. Answers by Dr Wilson Wong, a certified practising horticulturist and founder of Green Culture Singapore (www.greenculturesg.com). He is also an NParks-certified park manager.