Bihrmann's   CAUDICIFORMS   

 Water   Watering   Nutrition  pH   Light   Ventilation  Temp.   Soil   Pots   Pruning   Rest

Watering your plants can be tricky. I guess most are killed by over-watering, but it might not always be the case. In the wild, they tend to get all the water in a short period, soaking them quite a lot.
It is my experience, the plants prefer a constant level of moister in the soil. I have seen the label: "Prefer to dry out in-between watering". That make no sense to me. The plant grow small roots in the growing season, and will loose them, if the soil get too dry. Growing them back takes energy.
Besides from watering little but often, larger Pots is preferable.

In the wild, the rainy season might be sort, and might only consist of a single thunder shower, or a month with them. The plants are soaked, and sets out small roots and start growing. Where the wild plants covers huge areas, our normally sits in real small pots, and can't breath the same way. They might choke, as the roots need oxygen to work.
We might get away with it, if we just keep the soil slightly moist, but never soaked. Where the plants in the wild might only have a short growing season, we can keep them going as long as we have sufficient heat and light. The shorter the dormant period is, the more plants survive.
We want all our plants to pull through, but in the wild, it is a fraction that does. Consider this: A wild plant might have 10.000 seeds through out its lifespan, but it only take one of these, to maintain the population. Else, the world would be flooded with this species!
Where the wild plants have to deal with most water in the start of the growing season - where they don't need it, we can crank-up the watering as the plants ability to absorb water raises.

Starting the growing season is tricky. Many plants are opportunists, and will wait for an eternity for water. If you don't give it to them, they wait for years, till they die. Others will rot instantly, if they are not ready. Winter-growers tend to be opportunists, and many can be grown successfully at summer time.
In general, I would start watering my plants when the first one starts to wake-up, but only really careful. You might consider watering the leaves, not the caudex, regarding its size. A huge caudex with no leaves need next to nothing, while a huge amount of leaves with no caudex take a lot of water.

Desert plants actually get quite some water, but only in a short period. I have actually seen cacti, growing within an annual creek. The have a large area to call  theirs, and do actually soak-up quite some water in the growing period. And some years are El Nino years, and a true highlight in their lives. They might only receive 50 mm of rain one year, but get it on several square metres, while your plant only sit in a 0,01 square meter.
Some of them thrive with being grown as any other plant, and can grow to enormous size within a few years. They might survive at "home", but given more water, they thrive. I have had many growing in aquaponic systems, their roots soaked all the time - and they love it, given the temperature and light is sufficient.

The amount of water depends on other factors as well. The species, the amount of leaves, the  Light, Temperature and the Ventilation have a huge impact to the need.
Even though you have a bad Soil, you can get away with it, with a good watering.

Over-watering causes the roots to choke, as they don't get oxygen. They die, and fungus attack the dead tissue. That rot can spread to the major roots and the caudex. At first, the plant might look dry - which the leaves actually are, as they get no water from the dead roots. If in doubt, have a look at the roots. If they have gone, remove the leaves and dry out the plant. Give it some fungicide on the wounds and cross your fingers.

Where you water is important. I realise the water come from the top, in the wild, but as we have altered other factors, it is better to add it from the button. The soil will not be pressed as much, and the level changes better. The deeper the Pots are, the more difference is there in the level of moisture. The the plant can grow its roots, where the perfect conditions occurs.

Stop watering can force many plants into dormancy, which is convenient, if your winter is cold or/and dark. At the same time, it is what is needed for some species to initiate flowering.

 Water   Watering  Nutrition   pH   Light   Ventilation   Temp.   Soil   Pots   Pruning   Rest