Should You Mist Your Succulents and Cacti?

By | Updated November 8, 2023

Succulents and cacti watering requirements are a bit different than other plants.

Because they are desert-like, succulents and cacti do not require as much water to stay healthy as other kinds of houseplants.

That does not mean that you should neglect watering succulents when they dry out. However, many people ask whether or not it is alright to mist succulents and cactus plants from time to time.

So should you mist succulents and cacti?

You should not mist your succulents and cacti for watering because it can cause a weak root system and fungus. Do not use a spray bottle to mist succulents and cacti. Not only does spray misting not provide enough water, but it also can cause the plants to rot.

However, while spraying these plants is not recommended, there are a few times when you should mist succulents and cacti.

The Problem of Misting Succulents and Cacti

Many people believe that it is important to mist succulents and cacti. 

This can become problematic because not all plants need to be watered the same way. They require different amounts of water at different times during their life cycle.

Roots Growth

While misting does allow your succulents and cactus to absorb moisture through their leaves, which can keep them alive for a while, it does not encourage significant root development. 

The problem is that succulents and cactus are known for their wide root systems. 

These plants do not require constant moisture. Instead, they need to dry out considerably before watering again. 

This drying-out process encourages root development. 

When you use a spray bottle to water your plants, the water does not penetrate deep enough to promote root development.

If you keep misting your succulents and cacti, it can damage their roots instead of encouraging them to grow.

Diseases and Pests

Misting also does not allow for proper air circulation around the leaves, which means a greater chance for diseases to set in on your plants. 

When water sits still on the leaves of your succulents and cacti, it can also encourage fungi and molds to grow. 

These things can harm your plants but are easily avoided by letting them dry out before you water them again.

Additionally, misting these types of plants creates a mold on top of the soil where algae begins growing in between the crevices found there, leading to rotting roots and bacteria building up around those areas, causing further damage. 

Moisture also attracts fungus gnats that lay eggs in the soil, hatching and feeding off of decaying matter.


Misting can cause the leaves of your plants to rot from too much moisture being absorbed into their pores. This excess water buildup can cause the leaves to fall off and lead to root rot. 

The leaves of the succulent and cactus are made to hold water. This is why they thrive in dry conditions so that their structures do not rot, but if you keep misting them, it can cause them to begin rotting from excess moisture.

If your succulents or cacti appear wilted despite being watered, this means that the roots are rotting and dying, which is a sign that you should not mist them.

When Should You Mist Your Succulents and Cactus Plants?

While spraying succulents and cacti is not advised, you may use this technique when propagating succulent cuttings.

Misting can be employed to promote the growth of new leaves during the propagation of succulent leaves or a cactus branch.

You would need to place an existing leaf directly on top of moist soil with its cuticle side down. 

This will allow for enough contact between water and air so that your cutting can easily absorb moisture to root itself into the soil.

However, when propagating succulents from their stem pieces, misting is not advised because this could result in rot or other fungal issues, which may harm young plantlets as they grow larger.

How to Properly Water Your Plants Without Using a Spray Bottle

Succulents and cacti are frequently found in regions where the soil drains quickly, and it rains in large quantities but infrequently. 

This means that while you should water your plants thoroughly, the soil must dry out completely before it is watered again.

You should water from below instead of above. This means that you should use a watering can or irrigation system rather than using a spray bottle. 

You can also submerge your plants into the water if they are small enough for this without causing any damage to their roots.

Soak your plant with water until it begins to drip out of the drain holes. 

Allow some of this excess water to run off before you place your succulents and cacti back into their pots or containers.

Don’t be afraid if you see that they have been pushed out of their original designated container because sometimes relocating them can help them grow even better.

Make sure, however, not to leave any standing water in the pot after watering as damp soil could cause root rot which is deadly when encountered in these plants.

If your plants are too large to submerge, you can always fill up a large bucket with water and allow the plant to sit in it for several minutes. This will keep you from having to move your plants too much.

You should also make sure that the potting mix is well-drained before watering succulents because wet soil could lead them towards rot as well.

You should only water your plants when the potting soil is dry to touch, and this should be done with a watering can or by using an irrigation system rather than spraying them directly.

Final Thoughts

When you water succulents and cacti, you should do so from below and allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.

Watering with a spray bottle is not advised because it could damage your plants, but when propagating succulents or cacti, using misting techniques is recommended.

It’s also essential that while succulent plants are generally easy to take care of, you should never allow them to sit in standing water as this could lead to root rot.

Additionally, make sure that the soil is well-drained before watering succulents and cacti because ‘wet feet’ could lead to root rot as well.

You should only water these plants when the soil is dry to touch, and you should use a watering can or irrigation system rather than spraying them directly.

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