Watering Succulents with Ice Cubes

Watering Succulents with Ice Cubes

Watering succulents with ice cubes is not advisable because the roots of the succulents are very sensitive to cold temperatures. The cold will make the roots unable to properly absorb water. The roots will go into shock when ice-cold water is introduced suddenly, which may cause the plant unneeded stress.

Should I be watering my succulents with ice?

No, you should not be watering your succulents with ice. In nature, succulents would never experience getting watered using ice and they thrive with no problem, so your succulents do not need anything more than tap water.

Succulents will grow better if you are able to replicate the conditions these plants have in their natural habitat. Most succulents grow in arid deserts and do completely fine in hot weather with very minimal rain. The temperature of the little rain they do get is nowhere near the freezing point of water. The temperature of the rain in these places is affected by the location, the time of day, the season, and the temperature of the upper atmosphere.

Watering succulents with ice is not a good idea. The plant will become stressed due to the lowered temperature at which the roots are drinking the water. The effects of doing so may not be apparent immediately, but the longer you continue the practice, the more obvious the effects will be.

Is cold water bad for succulents?

Yes, because succulent roots are very sensitive to any extreme temperatures. If you use cold water on your succulents, they will become stressed and have a hard time adjusting to the changes.

Succulents prefer water temperatures that are around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature their roots need to absorb the water properly. Cold temperatures affect the same plant mechanisms that lead to defective water absorption and nutrient deficiency.

Why should I never water succulents with ice cubes?

Succulents are already very low maintenance.

This ice cube method of watering your succulents apparently came about because people saw it as a simpler way to water their plants. But when you think about it, succulents are already super easy to care for. Most of them need to be watered only every two weeks. It is actually more difficult to remember that you have to water your succulents than it is to actually water them.

Succulents do not like damp soil.

Depending on the weather in your area, a melting ice cube can keep a plant’s soil damp for hours. Succulents do not like this. They want a quick soak with water, and the excess to just drain away. Keeping the soil moist for longer than necessary can result in root rot or make the plant more susceptible to fungal problems and pests.

Succulents love a quick soak.

In a succulent’s natural habitat, they only get rain a few days a year. But on the days that they do get rain, the soil around them will be completely drenched in water. As mentioned above, the best way to grow succulents is to simulate the conditions of their natural habitat. Soak the soil, but make sure the pot has drainage holes, and only water your plant if their soil feels dry.

Depending on the type of succulent, you should water it once or twice every 14 days. You need to drench the soil with water until you can see the excess water flowing through the drainage hole.

Using ice cubes will not be able to replicate the soaking plants get in the rain. Instead, it will moisten the soil slowly. This is not the method of watering succulents like.

The same can be said for misting the plants. Misting does not provide enough water to drench the soil. Succulents do not absorb water through their leaves; they use their roots. Drench the soil around the roots and you will have a happy succulent.

What will happen to a succulent if I use cold water on it?

The effects of using ice cubes will not be apparent in the beginning. The succulent will still be able to adapt to the changes. But if you continue this method for months, the signs of stress will start to show. The roots will go into shock, eventually leading to permanent damage to the roots. The roots will be perpetually moist, which encourages the presence of pests and fungi. 

What is the correct way of watering my succulents?

Succulents are very easy to take care of and require very little.

First, make sure that the soil in the pot or around the succulent is dry to the touch. The last thing you want to do is to overwater your plant. If you need to, stick your finger in the soil to check for dampness.

Do not use a spray bottle. Sprinkling water on the leaves and stems of succulents will do nothing except promote the growth of destructive fungi. Choose a sprinkler that will not wet the leaves but will soak the soil. Make sure you are drenching all of the soil in the pot. Keep pouring the water until you can see the excess water exit the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Water the plant only every five to nine days, or when the soil becomes dry. Make sure the soil you are planting your succulent in is a special mix designed for it. This soil is airier and allows water to drain much easier.

If you follow these simple instructions, your succulents should be just fine.

Conclusion

Watering your succulents using ice cubes is not advisable because the water’s low temperature can cause stress to the roots. The constant moisture will also make the plant more susceptible to root rot, pests, and fungal problems.

Succulents thrive in your garden when you provide for them the same conditions that they would get in their natural habitats. Ice cold water is not natural to them, but plain room temperature water is completely fine.

Image: istockphoto.com / karandaev