How To Bring Succulents Inside For Winter

Making sure succulents receive adequate sunshine indoors, especially during the winter, is one of the most challenging aspects of indoor succulent gardening.

Your succulents should be placed next to the room’s brightest window. The ideal window will receive all-day, brilliant indirect light.

This is crucial because the days are shorter in the winter. To retain their shape inside, succulents require at least 8 hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day.

Your succulents may start to spread out or lean toward the window during the winter months when there are a lot of gray or cloudy days. They aren’t getting enough light, as evidenced by this.

You can rotate your succulents in this situation to help correct any leaning. However, you will need to supplement with a grow light to avoid stretching.

Make sure the lights aren’t on all the time because succulents require darkness at night to complete their normal growth cycle.

At the conclusion of the winter, you can take off the tops and propagate any succulents that do start to stretch out or get tall and lanky. After that, you’ll have an abundance of summertime plants!

This is best done in the spring because most succulents don’t grow as quickly throughout the winter. Check out my post on extending succulents for more information on how to achieve this.

Do my succulents need to be brought inside for the winter?

Before you even plant your succulent in your yard, this is the easiest way to find out if it will survive the winter in your region. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is referenced on the labels of the majority of plants that are sold in retailers. The label will indicate whether or not the plant will survive the winter depending on the zone you live in. The zones are separated by a difference of 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in their lowest annual temperature. There is minimal likelihood that it will survive the winter in that area if your zone is lower than the recommended zone on the label.

Tip #2: Bring Them Indoors

Bring your succulent indoors during the winter even if it is in the right climate zone. Even though sudden temperature dips are uncommon, one chilly night is all it takes to harm your plants. They can be kept in your garage if the temperature there doesn’t fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t forget to give them three to four hours of indirect sunshine each day. Checking for insects like mealybugs and aphids is a crucial factor. Spray the leaves with a mixture of 1 part water and 3 parts rubbing alcohol to kill the bugs because you don’t want them inside your house.

Although it’s frequently overlooked, preparing your put for indoor play is crucial as well. Your succulents’ containers are probably a little muddy if they have been playing hard outside. To prevent them from spreading around your home when you transfer things inside, first clear the pot of any dead leaves and other debris. Second, clean off any extra dirt from your pot; you want a clean transition from the inside to the outside! Lastly, look for bugs. Creepy crawlies taking over your house is the last thing you need. You should be well on your way to your indoor succulents thriving after following those three steps.

Tip #3: Reduce Watering in the Late Fall

Winter is the period when succulents go dormant, so watering is even less necessary. So once the weather becomes colder and the days get shorter, stop watering them. Reduce it to once a month, but you should also check the soil’s moisture content first before watering. When the ground is entirely dry, only do it. It only takes a good five minutes to water. To prevent succulents from dying from moist roots, check that the soil has excellent drainage. Sand or organic matter with good drainage should be added to the soil for indoor plants. Mulch shouldn’t be used near the base of outside plants since it can trap moisture.

Before you fully stop watering your succulents, here’s a short tip: identify them! Winter is when most succulents go dormant, however some are winter growers. The plants that don’t go dormant will require more water than the others. Keep an eye on things at least to prevent your freshly indoor succulents from becoming overly dry. (Succulents will dry out more quickly than others if they are close to vents or heaters.

Tip #4: Sunlight

When putting your succulents indoors, sunlight is absolutely crucial! Making sure they receive adequate sunlight in the winter is challenging. To get the most indirect light, place your succulents close to your home’s brightest window. Try to provide succulents with at least 6 hours of sunshine each day for the healthiest results. They’ll begin to slant toward the window if you’re not providing them with adequate sunshine. Simply turn them the other way to straighten them out.

Tip #5: Cover Up Your Succulents

If you are unable to bring the plants inside due to impending cold weather, you can cover them with various forms of protection. Snow covers are beneficial because they provide protection from snow, frost, and strong winds. You can buy them from your neighborhood garden supply store or online. Bushel baskets can be used to cover and safeguard succulents if you have any lying about. Just be cautious not to leave them covered for an extended period of time. The plants require ample sunlight and clean airflow.

These straightforward suggestions can help you keep your succulents happy and healthy throughout the winter. Give your friends and neighbors the information so they can preserve their succulent plants as well!

How are succulent plants overwintered indoors?

Many of the most popular and stunning succulents will need to be taken indoors for the winter unless you are fortunate enough to live in a place where it does not get below freezing. Although a greenhouse is ideal, few gardeners have access to one. Fortunately, it’s simple to overwinter most succulents inside.

There is a vast variety of various plants classified as succulents, some of which have very particular requirements. But the advice provided here will help most widely cultivated succulents survive the winter.

When grown inside, succulents frequently develop a habit of being stretched out and lanky, producing weak and unsightly plants by spring. When care for succulents indoors throughout the winter, light, water, and temperature are three crucial considerations that can help to reduce this.

Light is Critical

Light is the main component in succulent survival during the winter. Succulents will extend if there is insufficient light in an effort to get closer to the source. In general, succulents want full sun. Although it can be challenging to do so inside, expose them to as much direct sunshine as you can. The ideal window is one that faces south, though east or west windows can also be used.

If there is inadequate natural light, fluorescent lights may be employed. It’s crucial to keep the plants between the bulbs and 1 to 2 inches away from them. Over a distance of 3 inches, fluorescent light is practically useless to plants. For plant growth, incandescent lights emit the wrong spectrum of light and becoming too hot.

Succulents Need Little Water During the Winter

It is always preferable for succulents to be too dry than too moist. This is particularly true in the winter, when plants experience less-than-ideal lighting conditions and below-average temperatures. During the winter, keep your succulents on the dry side. Just enough water should be provided to prevent plant shriveling. You might just need to water once every 10 to 14 days in a cold area.

Keep the plant itself dry at all times, especially rosette plants like Echeverias. The plant will swiftly decay and become mush as water will collect in the rosette’s center. Keep in mind that keeping a succulent moist will destroy it quickly!

Cool Temperatures are Good

The majority of succulents do not require extra warmth during the cold. It’s crucial to prevent them from freezing. The ideal temperature range is between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The plants will remain in a semi-dormant state if kept cool. With the lower light intensity indoors during the winter, a warm environment fosters the growth of the plants, resulting in lanky plants.

No Fertilizer Needed

During the autumn and winter, succulents do not require any fertilizer. Instead of encouraging the plants to develop, you want to maintain them alive.

I’ve had great luck using these methods to overwinter plants like Echeveria, tender Sedum, Aeonium, Agave, Aloe, Crassula, Graptoveria, Kalanchoe, Faucaria, and Senecio.

The plants may endure the winter in a semi-dormant state with little stretching if you keep them sunny, dry, and cool. The succulents can be put back outside for a summer of sunbathing once the weather is no longer frosty.

Succulents should be brought inside when?

An area with at least three to four hours of bright light should be chosen for a dormant succulent. In comparison to the summer, when they are actively growing, succulents require less light in the winter. During the winter, succulents can tolerate indirect lighting.

Bring succulents inside before winter temperatures drop below freezing since sudden temperature fluctuations might kill plants. During the winter, keep the room where the succulents are at no lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. To allow them to relax throughout the winter, some succulents, like Aeoniums, may fare better in a chilly room or basement, between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do succulents survive the cold outside?

Some succulents will thrive outside all year for you if you live in a climate with four seasons, particularly one with harsh winters, but most won’t.

Although most won’t endure prolonged frigid conditions, each succulent has varied temperature requirements.

But there is a whole class of gorgeous cold-tolerant plants that are largely ignored in the succulent world! Many individuals are unaware of their existence or how numerous they are.

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Even if your environment dips well below freezing for the majority of the winter, you may still keep a lovely succulent garden outdoors using Sempervivums, select Sedums, and their hardy Opuntia relatives.

I started off growing succulents in Utah, which has a Zone 5 environment. I didn’t know there were succulents that could endure snow, therefore I was primarily cultivating succulents indoors.

Fortunately, Mountain Crest Gardens was recommended to me, and as a result, my succulent garden underwent significant improvement. According to my knowledge, Mountain Crest Gardens is the main source of cold-tolerant succulent species.

Their nursery is really located in a mountain valley near Mount Shasta in northern California, where they receive snow all winter. They have the most exquisite assortment of succulents that can withstand chilly temperatures.

These Sempervivums, Sedums, and Opuntias (also known as “Prickly Pear Cactus”) are wonderful since they can also survive in more temperate climes!

In the video below, you can learn more about what succulents can withstand below-freezing temperatures:

I have many sizable pots full of Sempervivums and Sedums that made the journey and are now flourishing here in Arizona, in addition to the numerous plants I did plant in the ground for my parents in Utah. I also want to expand my collection here with some cold-tolerant Opuntia.

Sempervivums are significantly harder than other rosettes succulents, such Echeverias, and make excellent rosettes if you are unfamiliar with how these succulents look. The color choices are also quite beautiful, ranging from pinks, reds, and purples to greens, yellows, and blues. You truly receive the entire rainbow!

The resilient Sedums are more of a ground cover and come in a wide range of forms, textures, and hues. You’ll find that some of them generate a wonderful trailing effect over the edge of your succulent pots, which looks fantastic when combined with Sempervivums.

My eye has been particularly drawn to the tough Opuntia. I was able to visit the Waterwise Botanical Gardens in Escondido, California, when they introduced a line of cold-hard Opuntias a few years ago. The most stunning flowers you’ll ever see on a succulent are produced by these plants in the spring, despite the fact that they may look like regular “Prickly Pear” cactus on the outside.

Opuntia “Pina Colada,” which has a blossom that truly changes colors, was one of my all-time favorites. It changes from being an orangey-pink color to yellow with pink and orange stripes in the middle the following day.

The amazing thing is that these cold-tolerant Opuntias are now available on Mountain Crest Gardens’ website thanks to a collaboration between Mountain Crest Gardens and Waterwise Botanicals.

So everyone who lives somewhere with four seasons, don’t forget to think about these incredible succulents! You’ll find that being able to observe some color and life in the midst of winter is very satisfying, in my opinion. Nothing compares to the Opuntias blooming at the start of spring, though!

It’s fascinating to observe how these hardy plants recover with vibrant, gorgeous hues even after spending the winter months buried beneath several feet or inches of snow. My awe for succulents never wanes!

Ice plant Oscularia Deltoides

Oscularia Deltoides, a succulent that is native to South Africa, with hefty, green leaves and blooms in the summer with purple daisy-like flowers. You may cultivate this succulent both inside and outside. It needs soil that drains properly and only light irrigation.

General Care: You may grow this succulent both inside and outside. They need a soil that drains properly and only light irrigation. Before you rehydrate the soil, make sure it is completely dry. Pink Ice Plants naturally need more watering when planted in full sun as opposed to partial sunlight.

It is hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as 15-20°F. However, prolonged exposure to cold temperatures and frost can harm ice plants.

Agave Butterfly

This rosettes succulent, native to the semi-arid Mexican regions of Puebla and Oaxaca, matures to a height of 2 feet. Its broad, cream-colored leaves are grayish green in tone. When the weather gets cooler, it enters dormancy after aggressively growing during the spring and summer.

In general, this plant needs bright, full sun outdoors because it loves the sun. It thrives in pots with drainage holes and stony, mineral soils. You’ll notice new offsets or “pups” growing around the mother plant’s base over time.

Hardiness: Agave Butterfly grows extremely slowly and can withstand extreme heat and protracted drought. This cultivar can tolerate light freezing down to 22F.

Although these succulents can withstand extremely severe temperatures, like other succulents, they require sufficient drainage in their growing location in the garden to prevent rot from melting snow.

Before planting them outside in snowy conditions, you must gradually acclimate cold-hardy succulents that you have grown in warmer climates. Even though they don’t seem so nice in the winter, these two varieties of succulents, which are among the most hardy, will come back lush and robust.