How Long Can Succulents Live Without Soil? (Expert’s Best Guide)

Succulents along with being a popular house plant, are also currently fashionable in home décor. In addition to being minimal care and simple to cultivate, these plants bring richness into your life.

They are the most often used plant and make the best aesthetic piece, natural decor, and present.

But, do you know how long can succulents live without soil?

Well, succulents can live without soil for a few days to few weeks depending upon a few variables like temperature, climatic situations, size etc.

A suitable soil permits the roots to receive sufficient water while limiting over wetting and preventing the roots from rotting. Additionally, loose soil gives succulent roots the oxygen levels they need, which are essential for optimal photosynthesis.

If you use a mineral-based Or sand-based potting mix, your succulent might not need soil. The succulent can also be placed in a deep bowl of water, with the water level covering the succulent’s roots.

How long can Succulents live without soil
How long can Succulents live without soil?

Can Succulents Survive Without Soil?

Well, the answer is yes! Succulents are desert plants that may grow naturally in harsh environments. This increased adaptability allows them to survive without soil.

Do succulents need a lot of soil to thrive?

No, succulents require a very basic amount of soil to thrive. While some sources advise preparing the soil three inches deep, others advise doing so at least six to eight inches.

How long can succulents live Without soil?

Although they resemble epiphytes in appearance, succulents are not epiphytes. Soil is crucial for the proper growth of succulents since they require it as a source of nutrients. The soil best for succulents contains all the nutrients required for its growth.

Without soil, succulents survive for a few days, however, with the right care, they may thrive for almost two weeks.

Factors that affect this period of time are:

How long can succulents live out of the soil
How long can succulents live out of the soil?
  • High temperatures: Anything above 32 degrees F is comfortable for soft succulents.
  • Climatic conditions: High humidity isn’t ideal for succulents. It could induce fungi to invade succulents, causing black, grey leaf spots, and ultimately root or leaf to rot.
    • Newly planted succulents may burn in direct sunlight, so gradually expose them to the sun.They have evolved to withstand extremely dry, desert circumstances
  • Dormant or active succulents- Unlike active ones, dormant succulents don’t require much from you.
  • Size- The larger the succulent, the longer it will live without soil, as a general rule.

Why Is Soil Essential to the Succulents?

Epiphyte plants are unique natural species that only survive by affixing themselves to the limbs of trees, are not succulent plants. Succulents get the majority of their nutrients from the earth.

However, it’s crucial to remember that succulents don’t thrive or at least don’t live long, in compact or garden soil. These plants require soil that does not absorb or hold too much water in order to stay dry.

Why Is Soil Essential to the Succulents
Why Is Soil Essential to the Succulents?

In order to make chlorophyll and construct proteins, among other vital tasks, plants require certain minerals. As per the mix, minerals normally account for 40–45% of soil, which is also its greatest component.

A natural medium for plant growth, the soil is made up of both organic and mineral components. Five elements that make up soil are organic matter, minerals, living things, water, and gas. Therefore, the soil is extremely essential.

Tips to Increase the lifespan of the succulents without soil

Naturally, you might have a valid justification for not wanting your succulents in the ground. Maybe you detest the sensation of dirt beneath your fingernails.

Or perhaps you have a pet who enjoys tipping over plants. In either case, you should choose a soilless method!

You should be aware that this is a challenging task before beginning. After all, you don’t want a plant to have a life expectancy of just two weeks.

Tips to Increase the lifespan of the succulents without soil
Tips to Increase the lifespan of the succulents without soil

Although Succulents have a sluggish rate of growth, they appear to live forever and follow their own set of rules. Therefore, by giving them a little more attention you can expect them to live longer even without soil.

So, what can you do to extend the life of your succulents?

By giving them extra nutrients

For succulents to develop healthily, the soil is essential. The earth provides the plant with all of its necessary nutrients. These nutrients are essential for growing a beautiful, long-lasting plant that is prosperous and in good health.

We take a supplement or alter our eating habits to meet our demands when we are deficient in vitamins and nutrients. Plants cannot, however, carry out these actions. They must rely on us and the environment to meet their needs.

Therefore, it’s our duty to take the best care of them and feed them with the right nutrients. We advise using the diluted fertilizer once a month because using it more frequently will harm the plant.

Don’t water your plants again after using the diluted fertilizer water to avoid overwatering.

Watering them correctly

Even plants that can withstand severe drought benefit from the occasional spritz or sip of water. Making sure that the plants receive the right amount of hydration is the key.

Therefore, your best bet is to spray your succulents rather than overwatering them. It will be easier to give your succulent enough water if you use a plant mister, spray bottle, or syringe.

Well, if you’re keeping your succulents in a terrarium or other soilless arrangement, water is the most important consideration.

A succulent that is overwatered will become mushy and soft and a succulent underwatered will shrink and dry up. Hence, providing them with the right amount of water is the only way to keep them alive.

Further, if you notice that certain areas are starting to get crispy, consider watering them.

Adequate Sunlight

One of the most important aspects of plant maintenance is lighting. In the case of Succulents, it’s certainly the easiest way to secure their life by just removing them from the soil for a brief period of time and keeping it in direct sunshine.

 Well, there are numerous varieties of succulents, which are members of the Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) family. They can endure drought better than other plants because they store water in their leaves and stems.

Tips to Increase the lifespan of the succulents without soil
Tips to Increase the lifespan of the succulents without soil

 Because they are CAM plants, succulents also have smaller stomata, which lowers their daytime evapotranspiration and increases their ability to store carbon dioxide at night.

 For these reasons, it’s crucial to make sure that your succulent receives the right quantity of lighting.

What Kind Of Soil Is Perfect For Succulents?

Succulents don’t require nutrient-rich soil. Succulents grow best in soil that has both organic and inorganic components. This type of soil is ideal for succulents because it offers the correct balance of nutrients, sufficient airflow, and drainage.

How Long Can Succulents Be Left Bare Root?

The question of ‘How long may you leave succulents bare root?’ arises when you are repotting them or wish to maintain them in different setups. It is not advisable to leave the roots of seedling succulents exposed. Succulents, however, should only be kept bare-root for no more than a week.

How Long Can Succulents Be Left Bare Root
How Long Can Succulents Be Left Bare Root?

Plants begin to die when kept bare-root for longer than a week. Although they may be repaired and replanted if you spot the damage, they won’t be able to recover on their own.

Can succulents grow in shallow soil?

Absolutely! Due to their relatively shallow root systems, succulents do not require a lot of soil. In reality, succulents prefer a moderately shallow container or just enough soil to help the roots and the pot plant to spread out.

How do you preserve succulents without soil?

Since the succulents don’t have soil, they need something to stick to. The succulents can either be hot glued or wired to the driftwood.

However, having a structure on which your succulents may cling can assist to extend the life of the plants.By retaining the moisture inside, the structure will aid in their expansion and lengthen their lifespan in this configuration.

Can succulents grow in rocks without soil?

Succulents are not particularly hungry plants, yet they nevertheless require specific minerals to thrive. While macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are necessary, some micronutrients like zinc or iron are only required at lesser quantities.

Without these nutrients, the plant won’t grow at all or live very long. Rocks don’t naturally release nutrients quickly enough to maintain the plants’ life.

Can succulents grow in rocks without soil
Can succulents grow in rocks without soil?

Although they are made of minerals, their sluggish rate of decomposition prevents them from being suitable for self-sustaining growth. Additionally, they don’t hold onto moisture well enough, causing the roots to dry out soon after draining almost instantly.

But regrettably, succulents require soil in rocks to survive permanently. On the nutrients present in the leaves, they might survive for a few weeks or months, but without routine care, they will degenerate.

Frequently Asked Questions (fAQs)

How long can succulents go without water and soil?

When it comes to how long succulents can go without water and soil, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact figure. But generally speaking, depending on the type of succulent, this period can range from days to up to a week. It might also vary depending upon the climate of the region.

How many days can succulents survive in a box?

Succulents may survive for 10 to 15 days in a box with the right soil. Others, with the appropriate sunlight and watering, can endure from a few months to many years. It varies depending upon the species of the succulent, its size, and its age.

How do you keep succulents alive before planting?

To keep your succulents alive before planting make sure to place them under proper sunlight. Try to avoid bugs and pests from around the plants and never position them in moist areas.
Additionally, water them if necessary and store them in a way so that their roots can breathe.


Succulents may survive for a brief time without soil, but they should always be planted in soil. Without soil, they lack nutrients, so you may spritz them with fertilizer that has been added to water.

They must be exposed to bright light as well, which is crucial. Succulents may be kept alive by taking care of these items, but they eventually must be planted in soil.

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