What To Do With My Succulents In The Winter

Protecting succulents from subfreezing temperatures is the best approach to prepare plants for the winter. This can be accomplished by bringing them inside, moving them to a covered porch, a sunny position next to a protected wall, a greenhouse, or a conservatory. They enjoy light. Do this in the fall or before it drops below 5 °F. You have a variety of options for protecting succulents that need to stay outside.

How can you survive the cold with succulents?

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.

Can succulents survive the cold outdoors?

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.

Water Your Succulent Outside

Water your plant one final time outside two to three days before bringing it inside.

Before bringing your plant home, give it a thorough soak outside and allow the water drain from the bottom of the container.

Dead Leaves Should Be Pruned Away

When you bring your succulent inside, prune away any leaves that are dead or dying. The plant can then direct its energy toward new growth as a result.

At this time, make sure to get rid of all the dry, brown, and brittle foliage.

When brought indoors for the winter, your succulent will transition more smoothly if the leaves are removed.

Check for Pests and Diseases

Examine your succulent for any indications of disease or pest infestation before bringing it inside.

Pests will struggle to survive the winter conditions of the house if they are present when introduced inside.

It’s crucial to make sure all insects are gone before bringing plants inside throughout the fall and winter.

The last thing you want when bringing your succulents indoors is for them to become infected with bugs over the winter.

Check Your Succulent Pot

Make sure your succulents are in a pot with drainage holes when you bring them indoors for the winter and that there is enough airflow around them.

If not, add rocks or stones to the planter’s bottom to allow water to drain when it is irrigated.

Additionally, before bringing succulents indoors for the winter, clean the planter to protect them from any possible bacteria or pests.

Check the Soil

Make sure the soil has sufficient drainage before bringing succulents indoors for the winter.

For growth over the winter, succulents perform best when their roots have sufficient drainage and when they are housed in larger pots with new potting soil.

How to Care For Outdoor Succulents Indoors?

It’s critical to know how succulents will respond indoors before bringing them inside. When taking succulents indoors, proper maintenance is essential.

Succulents Light Requirements Indoors

When grown inside, succulents need direct light that is bright. They can be positioned close to a brightly lit artificial source or at a window where they will receive direct sunlight.

Succulents should receive more direct light indoors than they did outside if you are bringing them indoors to keep as houseplants throughout the winter. When grown inside, succulents require a lot of light, but not too much direct sunlight.

Additionally, if your plants were grown outdoors in a lot of shadow, do not place them in direct sunlight when you bring them inside. While providing your plants time to adjust, brightly lit places should suffice for gently bringing succulents indoors.

If your plants are brought indoors to bright light locations, they could fade when placed in a window with direct sunshine.

Watering Succulents Indoors

Maintaining adequate hydration for succulents over the winter is one of the major worries when bringing them indoors. The lack of natural light and the chilly surroundings prevent water from evaporating quickly.

It’s important to avoid overwatering succulents when you bring them indoors because doing so will cause the roots to rot. Give your plant a healthy drink of water while bringing it indoors if it feels light and dry.

Otherwise, be mindful of how frequently to water when bringing outdoor plants inside during the winter.

It’s crucial to remember not to let the plant’s pot stay in a saucer of still water after watering it. When kept indoors, succulents require good drainage because staying in wet may develop root rot, which can swiftly kill plants.

When succulents are brought indoors, leaves may fade or fall off if too much moisture is provided.

Indoor Temperature Requirements

When taken indoors, succulents require a specific temperature. They dislike severe temperatures and are even less amenable to being brought within from the outside, which can surprise them when succulents are brought inside during the winter.

When you bring your outside succulent plants inside during cold weather, you need maintain an interior temperature above 50 degrees Fahrenheit to keep them dormant.

When bringing succulents indoors, placing them in a bright spot may even help them maintain a higher temperature.

When Can Succulents Go Outside?

Succulents should be able to return outside after the weather warms up if you bring them inside when it’s freezing outside. In most cases, they can be put back outside in the middle of February.

Remember to gently adapt succulents to warmer conditions before returning them outside.

When you bring them outside from the inside when it is chilly outside, they will probably die because of the rapid drop in temperature.

After the winter is over, put your plants back outside, starting with the succulents, and place them in a spot with filtered sunshine.

Increase the time your plants spend outside gradually until they can be exposed to direct sunlight when the weather outside is still comfortable.

typically between mid-May and early June depending on region and climate (north vs. south).

Where should succulents be kept throughout the 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.

How frequently should winter watering be done for succulents?

During the months that are not winter, when the temperature is above 40 degrees, you should water your succulents every other week. You should only water your succulent once a month in the winter (when the temperature falls below 40 degrees), as it goes dormant at this period.

A few situations constitute an exception to this rule. Because their tiny leaves can’t hold as much water as other varieties with larger leaves, some varieties of succulents need to be watered more frequently. In the non-winter months, feel free to give these small leaf succulents a water if they appear to be thirsty. When they are thirsty, succulents generally exhibit a wrinkled appearance. But always keep in mind that being underwater is preferable to being overwater.

Can succulents recover after a freeze?

Can a frozen plant still be saved? This truly depends on the kind of plant and how long it was exposed to the cold. On all save the most tropical plants, light freezes are typically something that a plant can recover from.

Remove damaged plant material from woody plants in the spring. In the late winter, you can detect which stems are dead by scratching the bark. The tissue is still alive if the substance is green below. They will lose their leaves as a result of the freezing, but they normally re-leaf in the spring. After all threat of frost has passed, maintain the plants’ moisture and apply a mild fertilizer.

More delicate plants won’t be able to endure the freezing damage and will turn into annuals. Perennial plants that have been frozen-damaged may only have little root damage, in which case you can divide the plant and replant the pieces. The ones that recovered from the root area’s cold did not deal a fatal blow.

Do succulents grown indoors go dormant?

True dormancy is not experienced by succulents cultivated indoors. As a result, you’ll discover that propagating or transplanting succulents indoors throughout the year is not a problem.

Waiting until the succulent is in its active growing season is optimal for succulents growing outside. The spring and fall seasons are often when you’ll see the best effects.

Extremes in temperature will be your main obstacles when transplanting or planting succulents outdoors.

For my sister-in-law in Southern California, I planted several succulents. The succulents were outside in the ground when we planted them in June, but because of the heat wave, they were experiencing temperatures near to 100F. (38C).

These little 2 (5 cm) succulents didn’t have time to adjust to that scorching temperature and the full sun because the place we were putting them in was also in full sunlight. The majority of them perished.

Even cold-hardy varieties of succulents would freeze if I tried to plant them outside in the midst of the winter when I still lived in Utah since they weren’t used to the extremely cold temperatures.

Succulents can, however, be planted all year round provided you give them a beautiful, temperate climate without too many extremes.

Because (shocking, I know…) they are growing more throughout their active growing season, you’ll discover that your succulents take transplanting better. As a result, they will heal more quickly and acclimate to their new surroundings more quickly.

The process of propagating succulents is comparable. In the end, spring or fall, when that particular succulent is beginning its active growing season, are the greatest times of year. The growth of these plants can be propagated at other seasons of the year, but it will often be slower.

Again, this is relevant to succulents grown outside. Succulents grown indoors can be easily reproduced all year long and develop at a similar rate.

Are succulents meant to be inside or outdoor plants?

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.