Succulents and cacti prefer to reside in the “sweet spot” of temperature, just as is the case with sunlight exposure. These hardy plants can suffer irreparable harm from either extreme of the temperature range, so it’s important to monitor their health and adjust the environment as necessary.
Succulents and cacti thrive most effectively in temperatures between 40 and 80 °F. Outside of this range, little temperature swings are tolerated, but swings of five or more can result in permanent harm. Even more intriguing is the fact that temperatures that are on the edge of the bearable range (about 40°F or 80°F) can operate as “stressors,” positively affecting the plant and encouraging the expression of more vivid hues.
Succulents and cacti should ideally be kept above freezing during the winter to prevent frost damage. While more tropical types like euphorbia and lithops demand minimum temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, other cultivars are actually frost hardy and prefer cooler overnight temperatures of 30 to 40 degrees. Searching for “ideal temperature for insert plant name here” on Google is currently the quickest approach to find out what temps are optimal for your plants. Each plant product page will eventually feature our own documentation.
Extreme Cold and Extreme Hot
Succulents and cactus can, you guessed it, freeze when exposed to freezing or below-zero weather! The water that has frozen inside the plant’s cells expands as it thaws, killing the cells by rupturing them. When the plant finally thaws out, the damaged regions will start to decay or scar permanently—a symptom that could take a few days to manifest. To stop the rot from spreading, the best course of action in this circumstance is to remove the afflicted region with a clean razor blade.
It is preferable to relocate your collection under a patio cover or inside of your home while the freezing conditions last in order to prevent damage from frost and freezing temperatures temporarily. A “frost blanket,” which is just a thin piece of fabric designed to protect plants from cold, can also be used to cover your plants. Plants should be taken indoors for the winter or placed in a sunroom or greenhouse with plenty of natural light in regions of the country where cold temperatures last for months at a time (essentially everywhere else save California).
However, heated temperatures can also do harm if they are not controlled, so they are not the only bad guys in this tale. A variety of things can happen to your plants when it becomes too hot (90 degrees Fahrenheit and above), especially when combined with full sun exposure. For example, leaves may shrivel and/or burn, water inside plant cells may steam and explode, and root systems may become fried.
Because soil is not a very good conductor of heat or cold, succulents planted in the ground with developed root systems can withstand high heat and cold more better than those planted in containers. On the other hand, containers easily conduct heat and cold, focusing such extremes on the roots of the plants.
There are always exceptions to the norm, just like there are in everything else in life. Succulents can withstand temperatures well below freezing and temps as high as 100 degrees. Drive about and observe what sorts of succulents your neighbors are successfully cultivating to find out what varieties work best in your specific climate.
Moisture and Extreme Temperatures = Bad News
Extreme heat and dampness are among the most troublesome environmental conditions. You should never put your plants in a situation where they are both hot and damp or cold and wet. Whether in the ground or in containers, plants that are grown in dry soil perform far better than those that are not. The water in the soil might start to steam in exceptionally hot weather, thus “cooking” your plants. Water can obviously freeze in freezing or subfreezing temperatures, harming the root system and producing rot. If you absolutely must water your plants when extremely high temperatures are predicted, try to do so as early as possible, ideally before 7 a.m.
The TLDR (too long, didn’t read) Summary
Average temperatures are much preferable to harsh ones for succulents. Frost damage can occur in cold conditions, whereas scorching and atrophy can occur in hot temperatures. Paying attention to what your plants are saying is the simplest method to make sure they are content. Bring them indoors or wrap them in a frost blanket if they are suffering from frost damage. Move them to a sheltered spot or cover them with shade cloth if they are scorching or wilting.
THE IMPACT OF TEMPERATURES ON SUCCULENTS
Succulents typically prefer climates with temperatures between 60 and 80 °F. Some people can withstand temperatures as high as 90°F or as low as 40°F. These severe temperatures are occasionally used by gardeners to “stress” their succulents into changing color. Many succulents, especially soft succulents, can often benefit from high temperatures between 80°F and 90°F to keep their beautiful hues. You’ll notice that many hues will start to get more intense when the temps fall (but remain over 40F). The chilly (but not freezing) temperatures over a prolonged period of time intensify these colors. Be mindful that your succulents can suffer from temperatures that are too high or too low. Never recommend a temperature of 40°F or greater than 90°F.
Your succulents may suffer from sunburn in the summer due to the combination of high temperatures and direct sunlight, which can harm both the leaves and the root systems. You should move your succulents to a shaded place during the warmest part of the day or cover them with shade cloth. People who reside in regions with extremely hot climates might think about planting their succulents directly into the ground as opposed to in containers since soil temperatures remain largely stable regardless of fluctuations in the weather. If you want to grow succulents in containers, pick materials like concrete, terracotta, ceramic, or wood that are excellent at protecting plants from rapid temperature changes. Avoid using metal and glass containers.
Keep the temperature above freezing to prevent frost damage to your succulents over the winter. You can do this by covering them with a cloth or bringing them inside. While some tropical species like Euphorbia and Lithops demand temperatures of at least 50-60F, some cold-hardy species, like Sempervivum, can endure frost and love cool temps from 30 to 40F. Check out the Hardiness information on each of our plant product pages, where we provide thorough information on the USDA Hardiness Zone for each plant, to discover precisely whether a certain succulent variety is suitable for the climate in your location.
Can succulents endure temperatures of 30 degrees?
Succulents can be difficult to cultivate outdoors in the winter in colder locations. There are still certain succulent plants that thrive in snowy conditions, despite the fact that they are generally known for preferring sunlight and not the other way around. Three of the most cold-hardy genera are Sempervivum, Hardy Sedum, and Hardy Opuntia, which can withstand subfreezing winter temperatures of -30F. Agave and rosularia are two other succulents with high cold tolerance.
Succulents can withstand weather of 45 degrees outside.
Whether a succulent is a soft or hard succulent determines what temperature it can withstand.
Anything warmer than 32 degrees F will be enjoyable for soft succulents. preferably over 40 degrees.
These plants cannot endure colder than freezing temperatures. Their hefty, thick leaves, which serve as water reservoirs, will freeze and destroy the plant.
Succulents that can withstand the cold can sustain -20 F. The best it can manage is a zone 4 to 5, and let me tell you, that is very impressive.
You must keep in mind that even if they can withstand temperatures below zero, they still like dry soil. That remains constant.
The majority of winters in the contiguous US will not only be dry but also wet and snowy.
Are succulents too cool for 50 degrees?
You might be curious about the lowest temperature at which succulents cannot survive when taking care of them. Warm, arid regions are where these plants are native. Nevertheless, while some succulents can endure colder temperatures, others cannot. What degree of cold is therefore too much for your succulent?
Any temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit is too chilly for succulents, which typically require temps between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the species, a succulent’s lowest temperature tolerance varies.
I have succulents, when should I bring them inside?
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.
Do succulents survive the cold outside?
There are many succulents that can endure the winter outside, even in extremely cold locations. These
Succulents that are hardy thrive in chilly, snowy winters. Sempervivum heuffelii, which maintains vivid colors for Winter Interest, is one of our favorites. The frost-hardy Sedum cultivars are especially recommended since they create excellent ground covers in practically all regions.
In the winter, should you cover 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.
Do I need to protect my succulents?
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!