Succulents are drought-tolerant plants because they can retain water in their large, irregularly shaped leaves. Succulents have a broad variety of eye-catching shapes and textures, which provide any landscape aesthetic interest. Can succulents live outside? is an often asked question. The quick response is “yes”! Growing succulents outdoors is an excellent alternative because they do well there and can withstand some neglect. They also do well in sunny areas with warm, dry weather.
Succulents can be grown in the ground, in pots, or hidden in unexpected planting locations. Take the uncertainty out of caring for these wonderful conversation pieces with stunning foliage by reading our suggestions for growing succulents outside.
How are succulents maintained outside?
Succulents may not need much attention, but they do need a few essentials to survive:
- 1. Provide plenty sunlight. Succulents require adequate light—at least six hours each day of direct sunlight. Maintaining succulents outside can be quite simple. However, if you have a succulent indoors, you must keep it in direct sunlight near a window. A plant that is slanting toward the light is not receiving enough sunlight, yet a plant with burnt areas on its leaves is receiving too much direct sunshine.
- 2. Use proper water. Depending on the season, succulents might have different water needs. Succulents should be irrigated if their soil dries completely during the growing season, but excess water should be avoided. When a succulent’s roots have time to dry out in between waterings, its lifespan is increased. In the chilly winter months, succulent plants go dormant and require less water. Only water your succulent as often as necessary because overwatering the soil is one of the main reasons of most development problems.
- 3. Use the proper soil and pot combination. The appropriate container and potting soil can make all the difference, whether you’re growing your own succulents or purchasing one from a nursery. Your succulent planter needs to include a drainage hole if it is going to be an outdoor succulent. Proper drainage allows moisture to escape, allowing the soil and root systems to dry and prevent rot. Use well-draining soil instead of standard dirt if you have an indoor succulent. It is coarser than regular soil, enabling more air to pass through and encouraging evaporation rather than requiring to be drained. To increase aeration, perlite and pumice can be added to some potting mixtures.
- 4.Remember to fertilize. The periodic fertilizing is beneficial for even low maintenance desert plants. To give your succulents a boost, use a diluted, water-soluble all-purpose fertilizer a couple times a year. Although it’s not entirely required, if you notice that your soil needs some help, add a little fertilizer.
- 5. Examine your plant life. Pest hazards are more likely to affect a succulent indoors than outside. Make sure your plants are periodically checked for gnats or mealy pests. These insects are a sign that your plants are receiving too much water or fertilizer. Mealy bugs can lay hundreds of eggs and consume the plant juices that serve as their host, gradually harming your plant. Rubbish alcohol can be sprayed on your succulent’s leaves or soil to effectively kill mealy bugs and their eggs. Check the leaves and soil of the succulent before bringing it home from the nursery to make sure no bugs are present.
Can succulents spend the entire year outside?
The fact that many succulents can survive outside year-round, even in snowy climes, surprises a lot of people. We divide succulents into two categories—”hardy” and “soft”—to make it easier for you to choose the best one for your area.
- Hardy succulents: Tolerate frost and can endure temperatures below zero outside. They are perfect for outdoor gardening all year long. Hardy succulents actually thrive outside more than they do inside.
- Not frost-tolerant are soft types. Before temperatures drop below freezing at night, these types must be brought inside. On the other hand, when the warm, sunny weather returns, they are glad to go outside once more.
the USDA Grow Zone finder (based on minimum winter temperature). You may find a plant’s “Cold Hardiness” on the description of each one in our online catalog. If your zone number is equal to or higher than the plant’s, that variety can endure the entire year outdoors in your environment. The plant will need to be brought indoors before the fall temperatures start to drop if you live in a zone with a lower number than the Cold Hardiness of the plant.
Most of our plants are also sent with name tags that state the lowest temperature they can withstand for easy reference.
Zones 4 and higher are suitable for Sempervivum heuffelii’s growth, however zones 3 and lower are not.
Can succulents survive the cold outdoors?
Yes, it is the answer. Although certain succulents can withstand frost, they are frequently thought of as drought-tolerant plants. They flourish in chilly, snowy conditions, and the extreme cold even brings out their magnificent, vivid colors. They are referred to as “Hard Succulents.” Sempervivum, Sedum, and Euphorbias genera contain some of the most hardy succulents. You may plant such succulents outside all year round because the majority of them can withstand temperatures as low as -20F (Hardiness Zone 5).
“Soft Succulents” are another group of succulents that are more susceptible to frost. When the weather drops below freezing, they must be winterized inside.
Do succulents prefer direct sunlight outside?
Outdoor succulent cultivation might be beneficial to your plants. Succulents nearly always do better when left outside or given some outdoor time, even for brief periods of time, depending on the lighting, humidity, and temperature in your home. The following are some benefits of growing them outside:
a lot of daylight
The likelihood that your plants will receive enough sunlight is higher while growing outdoors. Some settings in your house might not have enough light to give your plants the sunshine they need, depending on the lighting conditions there. At least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight every day, or more, are necessary for succulents to thrive. Your plants will be exposed to the sun’s rays all day if you leave them outside, and you can nearly always count on them getting all the sunshine they require each day.
Your succulent plants will appear healthier, brighter, and much happier if you watch them after a nice rain. Your plants can benefit from the benefits of rainwater. They give your plants the essential nutrients and minerals they need while cleaning out and removing any unwanted buildup from tap water. By removing dust and other debris that can hinder photosynthesis, rainwater aids in the cleaning of plant leaves. When rain is predicted, I also prefer to move my container plants to locations where they may get a nice soaking from the rain. They will profit from the rainwater in this way. Collecting rainwater to use for later irrigation of plants and for watering indoor plants is a good idea.
The impact that precipitation had on my cactus plant was one of my biggest surprises. Last year, during the cold and rainy season, I worried about this cactus plant since I wasn’t sure if it would survive with all the wetness falling on it. This plant’s size doubled as it grew long and plump after the rains the previous year. Look at the dimpling where it developed and extended. Since then, I relocated this cactus plant, which you can see above in its own pot. It is then simpler to move and transport as necessary.
exposed to the elements of nature
To thrive, plants require fresh air. For breathing and photosynthesis, they require oxygen. A plant needs oxygen to grow. Over time, indoor plants may become oxygen-depleted from outside air, and noxious air may accumulate. Dust can build up on the leaves of indoor plants, obstructing the sunlight’s ability to reach the leaves and preventing the plants from breathing effectively. Plants will grow better if their leaves are kept clean and free of debris. Being outside also exposes plants to pollinators, which are essential to their survival in the wild, such bees and birds.
safeguarded against dogs and young children (and vice versa)
You can avoid the hassle of having to keep your pets and young children away from your plants by keeping them outside. Because they are naturally inquisitive, pets and young children might hurt your prized plants by trampling on them, leaping on them, treading on their pots, trampling on their leaves, etc. For a brief while, my young daughter would pick the leaves off of my plants. Thankfully, she quickly realized that this was very unacceptable and had broken the behavior.
In addition, some succulent plants can be poisonous to people and animals if consumed. Some succulents exude chemicals that are unpleasant or toxic to both people and animals. You can avoid the stress of worrying that your cherished pets will get hurt by eating or playing with your plants by keeping your succulents outside. Visit my post on “9 Succulent Plants Toxic To Cats, Dogs or Pets” to discover more about succulents that are toxic to animals.
Although there are numerous potential advantages to growing succulents outside, not everyone should do so. It’s also a good idea to be aware that keeping your plants outside exposes them to possible pests, insects, and animals that could harm them or spread illness.
Personally, I’ve planted succulents both inside and outside. My succulents do better outside because to my local climate and indoor lighting setup, though. Succulents can grow and flourish in a variety of conditions due to their extraordinary attributes and hardiness, which is part of their attraction and the reason we adore them so much.
Do you want to know where to buy succulents online? For suggestions, see my Resource Page.
Which is best for succulents, inside or out?
Succulents, however, are hardy plants that may thrive in a variety of conditions, including neglect, little access to water, fast-draining soil, and a steady source of sunshine.
It’s excellent if you live somewhere where the weather is just right for them to thrive outside.
But if you don’t, you’ll need to make some alterations and adjustments.
These bizarre plants have evolved to survive in the worst conditions, including the wettest climates, little to no soil, and the steepest slopes.
A variety of surprises, including vibrant edges, tips, or complete shifts in foliage color, can be found in the sunlight or the chilly outdoors.
When succulents are grown outside, the weather will determine and set off when the plants are dormant or active, depending on the species. On the other hand, when it warms up, that can cause new births, color changes, or blooming.
When is the best time to bring indoor succulents?
Again, a lot of this depends on where you reside and what you’re growing. You should generally bring your succulents inside before the first frost. In the US, this occurs during the end of September for many people.
Naturally, if you are raising cold-tolerant succulents, they can spend the entire winter outside.
Knowing your local growth zone is crucial. You should at the very least be aware of your region’s typical low temperature. For instance, we were in Zone 5 when I lived in Utah. The majority of my succulents at the time were Zone 9 plants.
All succulents with a Zone rating higher than 5 must spend the winter indoors since they cannot withstand the cold.
Since I currently reside in a Zone 9 region near Phoenix, most of my succulent plants perform well year-round outside. Only a few succulents classified as Zone 10 or 11 will require spending the winter indoors.
Therefore, begin by classifying your succulents. Afterward, ascertain which growth zone you are in. Look how how the two contrast! Plants that are rated higher than where you reside should be brought inside.
You can use this video to decide whether you should bring your succulents indoors for the winter.
When it rains, should I bring my succulents inside?
Your succulents won’t actually be harmed by a little rain. In fact, it will aid in clearing the plant’s soil of any dirt and contaminants while also providing the necessary nitrogen to the succulents. On the other side, you should be concerned if the rain falls too frequently and heavily. Therefore, if you reside in a region where it frequently and strongly rains, remember to protect your succulent plants outside or, even better, move them within for safety, especially if;
- There are no drainage holes in your pots. If necessary, you can drill one yourself.
- Your succulents are placed in a metal or wooden container or planter. Remember that metal can rust both when it’s wet and when it’s dry. If this rust gets into the soil where your succulents are growing, it could damage the roots. On the other side, wood containers might decay, which will cause fungus and bacterial growth.
- The succulents are placed in a pot with a subpar or inappropriate soil mixture. Moving potted succulents indoors is the best option because they don’t have as much room for their roots to expand and acquire the nutrients they require during the rainy season as in-ground succulents do.
- Unless you have planned your outside garden with a great slope of well-draining soil, you live in a region where you get more than 25 to 30 inches of rainfall per year.
The rain assists in cleaning the plant’s soil of all the dirt and contaminants while also providing the necessary nitrogen for the succulents.
In the winter, should I cover my succulents?
If you have a variety of succulents that can survive the winter outside, you might wish to do so. Your plump outdoor greens still require adequate care, though, otherwise the frost risked damaging them.
Not to mention that your plant’s roots could decay due to the winter’s damp soil. Additionally, if your region gets too much rain during the cold season, the succulents’ cells will swell. Additionally, the plant cell walls may rupture as a result of the frost. As a result, it is crucial to take precautions to safeguard your plant from all of these harmful situations.
Although some varieties of succulents can withstand below-freezing conditions, none of the species prefers frequent watering or excessive humidity throughout the year. Succulents prefer healthy soil that drains well, good airflow, and bright sunlight. Here are some precautions you should take to ensure your in-ground plants are taken care of over the winter.
Build a Greenhouse
The majority of succulents cannot withstand temperatures below 25 F during the winter nights. Bring your succulents into a DIY greenhouse if your area has the same winter temperatures, or if you have a gazebo, cover it with 5mm plastic and move your succulents there. Make sure to securely anchor the plastic, and tape the seams. You can even include a little heater if the temperature falls any lower.
Cover Your Succulents
Cover your outside succulent plants with bed sheets if your region occasionally suffers frost. Row covers and nonwoven fabrics, which are often constructed of spun nylon, are further options. Your plants will be protected when it is 2-4 degrees below freezing if you cover them with such blankets.
Additionally, don’t remove the dried leaves from your plants because they protect them from high temperatures. Move your plants that are sensitive to cold under a tree, deck, or eaves; this will prevent heat from escaping.