Water-rooting a succulent is usually advised against, but if you’ve recently found a new plant or grown a new propagation that has thin, wispy, or just plain wimpy roots then this may be a good option for you!
This Reddit post demonstrates that certain succulents root better in water than they do in soil, which is awesome because there are a few plants I’ve come across that don’t propagate by simply neglecting them (as most succulents do).
Apartment Therapy also encourages water rooting, especially if you have limited space for your garden and want to add a pop of green to your kitchen.
Personally, I like to use water rooting for the plants I find (or grow myself) that have thin, hair-like roots. Even though I do the best I can with keeping my plants big and strong, sometimes you just can’t control how much water or sunlight a single plant gets compared to the rest.
This technique is also ideal if you have long, thin planters (like my tin can pictured above) and want your succulent to grow securely within your chosen container. Especially if your planter is vertical or a wall-mounted planter like this one.
I’ve found that cleaning off the plants roots entirely and then placing them in a bottle filled 3/4 of the way full with clean water is a great home for challenging succies. You just have to be sure that the water is barely touching the roots of your succulent. Evaporation and your succulents roots will work on their own to grow your plant. You DO NOT want to leave your succulent soaking, unless you want a dead succulent!
Keep an eye on the water level, be sure to refill as necessary. Here’s a visual for ya:
Still skeptical? Here’s a before and after photo of a plant that I recently water rooted (about three months ago) and then placed on my front porch to soak up the sun.
If you look closely, you can see that the image on the right has more leaves and there are less spaces between the leaves. This is a good sign that my succulent is happy and healthy.
As long as you pay close attention to your plant’s roots, you should be able to avoid accidentally rotting your plant and have some great results!