water therapy for plant care

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How to use water therapy to revive distressed succulents and speed up root growth on plant clippings.

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  • succulent clippings* and/or succulents that need some TLC (shriveled leaves and roots, dehydrated looking leaves, etc.)*this method works for lots of different types of plants including pothos, philodendron etc.

  • small vessel with narrow mouth (like test tube, flower bud vase, shot glass, baby food jar, etc)

  • water


1. Collect your succulent clipping or dehydrated plants that need some TLC. It's best to let clippings sit for about 24 hours before submerging in water, in order to let cut end callus over. For dehydrated rooted plants, rinse as much soil as possible from the root ball and cleansing the roots.

2. Fill your vessel with water to just below the lip.

3.. Submerge your plant in water up to just below the leaves.

4.Place in area with bright indirect light, like a windowsill and leave there. Replace the water every 5-7 days.

5. For dehydrated rooted plants,  you should start to see new root growth within a few days. Within a week the plant should look more plump and vibrant. I typically keep in water anywhere from 2-4 weeks before replanting.

6. For clippings, leave in water for anywhere from 6-12 weeks until you have numerous healthy looking roots growing. Replace water every 5-7 days. 

7. Once your plant looks plump with vibrant roots, replant in pot or directly into soil (if your climate allows it).

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RACHAEL COHEN is the creator & owner of INFINITE SUCCULENT, a plant art styling and educational service in San Diego, Ca.

Through her plant art and styling services, as well as her workshops, Rachael connects and engages her clients with the natural world, while helping them achieve the botanical atmosphere of their dreams!

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If you have any questions regarding caring for and/or propagating your plants, don't forget about our new ASK the Botanist page!