When To Cover Succulents

“Frost tender” succulents may experience variable degrees of damage, depending on how long the temperature is below freezing (32 degrees F). A sensitive plant’s cells expand, burst, and transform its leaves to mush when liquid inside them freezes. In a “light frost,” only the tips of the leaves may be harmed (“frost burn”). A “hard frost” is characterized by sustained temperatures below freezing, which can cause entire plants to die. Typically, succulents do not recover from roots.

Ones that are among the most fragile succulents include crassulas, aeoniums, euphorbias, and kalanchoes. Some succulents, in particular, have an inbuilt antifreeze that allows them to endure temperatures considerably below 32 degrees Fahrenheit—in fact, below zero.

Are your outdoor succulents at risk over the winter? Depending on where you reside, Please refer to “Cold Weather Care for Outdoor Succulents, By Region.”

Your area is frost-free (lucky you!) if…

This soft-leaved agave in my garden is the canary in the mineshaft when it comes to cold. Many succulents may survive a brief cold (less than an hour), but Agave attenuata’s leaf tips immediately reveal damage.

Although ugly, this damage rarely results in death. See how each leaf’s healthy green portion is? Cut each leaf to a point using scissors to remove the tissue-paper-like frozen tips. The harm won’t be very evident when you’re finished. Those shorter, clipped leaves will be buried by new growth during the summer. (Note: Such damage is comparable to scorching brought on by excessive sun and heat, which is common of desert conditions, and by wildfire, which, believe it or not, does occur.)

What about a succulent or agave that only suffers damage from frost on the tips of its leaves? Don’t even try trimming them. In a few months, it will shed those oldest leaves nevertheless.

areas with sporadic, light frosts (like Southern California’s interior):

If there is a “frost advisory” for your area, keep an eye on the weather forecast, and before it gets dark, go outdoors and cover your sensitive succulents. After midnight, frost is more common, and temperatures increase colder as dawn approaches. Warm air is lighter than cold air, which travels down hills and gathers in low areas. Succulents in swales are therefore more vulnerable than those on top of berms. You may have heard that Christmas lights slightly increase the temperature. Yes, if they are the traditional variety. LEDs in current use don’t produce heat. You should be concerned about succulents that are exposed to the elements and have nothing over them. I occasionally lean over a succulent and look up. It becomes draped if there aren’t any tree limbs or eaves directly above.

I reside at 1,500 feet in the foothills NE of San Diego (Zone 9b). And yes, after seeing the weather forecast on the late-night news, I have been outside at 11 p.m. in my pajamas and slippers, freezing while I place blankets on delicate plants while my husband holds a flashlight. I may leave the plants covered if several nights of frost are expected; otherwise, I take the sheets off the next morning. I fasten them with clothes pins and rocks to make sure they won’t blow off. AVOID using plastic. The plants are unable to breathe because of it.

In my yard, jades and other delicate succulents are covered in frost cloth. WATCH THE VIDEO

Why cold damages some succulents and not others

The origin of a certain plant type affects it greatly. Most succulents are native to dry, hot areas where they can store water in their leaves to survive drought. The ones that don’t freeze, however, are from dry, cold climates. See my essay, Showy Succulents for Snowy Climates, in the Wall Street Journal. The “hardies” include:

several species and cultivars of sempervivums (hens-and-chicks, above); some cactus, yuccas, and agaves (such as Agave utahensis, A. montana, and A. parryi); and lewisias from the Pacific Northwest.

What degree of heat should I provide for my succulents?

Because they are fickle plants, succulents shouldn’t be kept in temps so low. Succulents cannot survive in cold climates, so if you see the outside temperature lowering, take immediate action to save succulents from freezing.

It is unlikely that succulents will survive in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Succulents are susceptible to freezing and dying at temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees.

When it gets colder than forty degrees Fahrenheit, succulents should be brought inside. Learn how to take care of your succulent in cold weather, why 40 degrees is the point at which it can no longer survive, and what other temperatures are harmful to these plants by reading on.

Can succulents endure temperatures of 40 degrees?

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.

Do my succulents need to be covered throughout the winter?

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!

What Celsius level is too low for succulents?

Care. They are top-heavy because to their tree-like canopy, so pick a broad and strong pot. Place the plant in a location that receives at least four hours of sunlight using a well-draining potting mix; a south-facing window is excellent. Jade plants will require less light if their leaves are variegated. Avoid cold windows and drafts throughout the winter. With wintertime lows of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 to 12.8 degrees Celsius, they thrive in temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, or 18.3 and 23.9 degrees Celsius. When the top soil seems dry to the touch and once or twice a month, water well, making sure the water drains well and the plant isn’t sitting in water. Reduce considerably throughout the winter. Underwatering is shown by wrinkled leaves. You can get by with feeding plants every other month using a balanced water-soluble fertilizer at half-strength and adding it when the soil is wet to promote growth. To keep leaves dust-free, wipe them with water and a soft cloth. Consider cultivars of C. ovata like “Minima” or “Crosby’s Dwarf” that are a little bit smaller.

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.

When may I return my succulents to the outdoors?

Before anything else, when is it too early to plant new succulents outside?

In general, waiting until after the last frost and when the nights don’t get below 40F is advised. Even while you could grow certain succulents outside before then, planting is most successful in warmer climates.

However, avoid waiting until the summer because the heat can be just as problematic as the cold. When planting your succulents outside, look for temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

My succulents are outside, is that okay?

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.

Can succulents withstand frost?

Australia’s huge landmass has a variety of climates. Certain regions have a tropical or subtropical climate, whereas others are desert or dry, moderate or cold, with freezing temperatures and snow in the winter. In the vast majority of Australia, succulents don’t require much care to survive, but in some areas, they may require a little assistance.

There isn’t much that needs to be done in terms of special care in the tropical and equatorial regions of Australia, such as Northern QLD, Northern NT, and Northern WA, as the winter temperatures are pretty well perfect for succulents. The only issue might be the high humidity and excessive rain. When too much rain is predicted, keep some sensitive varieties under cover or in greenhouses (the greenhouse will need good ventilation). You can also help your succulents grow by planting them in free-draining potting soil, avoiding planting them in areas of the garden that are prone to flooding or sit in water after too much rain, and not planting them in those areas.

You might need to protect succulents against frost if you dwell in Australia’s dry/desert regions. The majority of succulents are not frost-resistant and will wilt in temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius. We’ve discovered that covering succulents with a frost cloth is the best method for preventing frost damage (available from Bunnings or online shipped to your door). Additionally, the plants will require water if they are shriveling.

Succulents thrive in Australia’s temperate regions, so unless frosts are common in your location during the winter, you don’t need to give your succulents any additional care. Perhaps reduce the watering a little bit during winter since succulents don’t require much. It is preferable to cover your succulents with frost cloth if there is a chance of frost.

If your plants are in pots, you can bring them inside during the coldest portions of winter if you live in a Cold Temperate or Alpine zone where the snow can stay on the ground for more than a day (keep them by the brightest window). In these areas, succulents shouldn’t receive excessive watering. Unless your plant is shriveling and pleading for water, once a month will do.

  • Even varieties of succulents that are prone to burning in the summer may tolerate much more sun throughout the winter. The majority of succulents will prefer more light and sunshine during the winter.
  • Keep your succulents that love the sun in as much sun as you can for the finest color. The temperature also affects the color (colder it gets, more colourful your succulents).
  • Only water your succulents if the potting medium or soil is completely dry and the plant exhibits some signs of shriveling.
  • In the winter, many succulents will flower and many Echeverias will have pups, but all of this sensitive growth will draw aphids. Keep a watch out for these little black, green, and brown pests and get rid of them right away because they can harm your plants and kill young plants and puppies.
  • Despite how difficult it may be, resist the urge to spread. Aeoniums, the majority of sedums, sempervivums, and some crassulas will still reproduce well, but it is typically best to wait until spring.
  • According to our observations, the vast majority of succulent plants can thrive outdoors over the winter without assistance down to 0 degrees Celsius. Succulents are liable to freeze and die when the temperature falls below zero.
  • Deep frosts and snow on the ground shouldn’t harm Sempervivums, some Agaves, and some Sedums. Compared to plants in pots, plants in the ground grow more effectively and are more likely to survive frosts.

Here are some links to some fantastic accessories that will aid in keeping your succulents safe from freezing temperatures.