Which Succulents Are Winter Hardy

When the weather becomes colder, this hen and chick turns a deep crimson color that lasts all year. Because of the white growth that resembles a spider web on its leaves, this plant is also known as a cobweb sempervivum. Rosettes spread by sending stalks of baby rosettes out from the mother plant, growing two inches tall and twelve inches wide. Place them in a pot or a rock garden. zone 3 to zone 8.

Which succulents are winter-resistant?

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.

Which kind of succulents are cold-sensitive?

“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.

Can you leave succulents outside in the winter?

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.

Winter succulents: what are they?

The type of succulent you have will determine how to care for it in the fall and winter. They are, on the whole, a group that is simple to develop. If you provide them some sand, some water, and sunlight, they will repay you with beautiful shapes, cleaner air, and comforting company. But it helps to know how to handle a variety of these delicate guests and make them feel completely at home, whether you’re welcoming them inside over the winter or prolonging their stay as houseplants!

Know Your Succulents

With over 6,000 distinct varieties of succulents in 60 different plant families, it’s critical to understand which particular succulent you are taking care of. Knowing if your succulents are indoor growers or cold hardy succulents is important when talking about winter. The majority are from distant, scorching desert locations, but we do have a few that can withstand our zone 5 temperature. Some varieties of Sedums and Sempervivums, among others, may weather the harsh winters in the Chicago area, but many traditional succulents, such as Aloe Vera, Jade Plants, Panda Plants, and Christmas Cactus, must be kept warm and sheltered indoors.

Bringing Succulents Indoors

Before it gets below freezing, you must bring all of your sensitive, non-cold-hardy succulents indoors. Check for bugs and get rid of any ants, spiders, or other small creatures you find if you’re keeping them in the same pot. Additionally, remove any debris from the soil’s surface, such as dead leaves and twigs. Over the winter, you should offer your succulents a clean place to dwell and keep them away from any rotting objects.

Fall and Winter Maintenance

Succulents typically grow in dry, arid areas. They can store water for a long time thanks to their hefty, luscious leaves. This distinguishing characteristic lends them their distinct beauty, but properly caring for them still necessitates a few skills.

Repotting: You might want to do this if you’re bringing your succulents indoors. They could possibly use some fresh soil or a smaller container that will fit next to your window. Sandy, well-draining soil will help these desert plants flourish. Choose a particular succulent or cactus mix instead of a potting mixture that maintains moisture. Give them a container with lots of drainage holes, and take special care not to hurt their fragile roots when moving them.

Sunlight: Succulents are native to a variety of locations worldwide. Many originated in dry, fully-lit locations, while others developed in the cover of a jungle canopy. Find out whether your plants like direct or indirect sunlight by speaking with the gardening specialists at our garden centers or researching them online. Check on your guests sometimes to make sure they are not becoming sunburned because glass can sometimes enhance the strength of the sunshine. However, if you notice them slanting toward the window, it can indicate that they aren’t getting enough light.

Water: Many overzealous plant enthusiasts drown their succulents here. They are unaware that maintaining their dryness is just as crucial as moistening them. Between waterings, the top inch of the soil should be absolutely dry. When you do water them, give them a drenching similar to a desert downpour before cutting them off until their next need. Keep in mind that you should water the soil and not the leaves, which could decay. If the foliage is mushy, discolored, or squishy, you’re providing them with too many refreshments.

Navigating Winter Dormancy

Succulents spend a portion of the year inactive, like the majority of plants. This is a component of their coping strategy during a tough or dry season. Some plants hibernate over the winter, including your hardy sedums, agave plants, and pincushion cacti. They need even less water at this time. Frequently, watering once every two weeks is adequate.

Since many of them are native to the desert, they really hibernate during the hot, dry summers. Popular varieties of summer-dormant succulents include Kalanchoe, Aloe Vera, Snake Plants, Haworthia, and Jade Plants. It follows that the fall and winter are when they genuinely awaken and grow. In other words, they will only require low-normal watering levels. Discovering your plants’ dormancy schedule will help you take better care of them.

Live succulent plants have the beauty of requiring minimal upkeep for the most part. All they want for is soil with good drainage, sporadic moisture, adequate dry spells, and adequate sunlight. These simple conditions must be fulfilled for these gems to not only survive the fall and winter, but even thrive and grow—or, depending on the species, contentedly rest until the following spring!

What succulent is the hardiest?

A sizable genus of succulents is called agave. Their pointed leaves and rosette formations serve as identifying characteristics. There are many different agave species; some are small plants that don’t reach heights of more than 10 feet, while others are enormous. They can be grown in the ground or in pots and other containers. They don’t need much maintenance and can survive in a variety of environments, including full hot sun and mild shade. Some species are cold-hardy as well. These plants are excellent for anyone searching for a low-maintenance, simple plant. They are resilient and challenging to kill.

A big and well-known genus called Aloe contains small dwarf species and giant tree-like species that can reach heights of up to 30 feet (10m). They feature large, fleshy leaves that range in color from green to bluish green. On the stem surfaces of some kinds, there are white flecks. The dwarf species are excellent choices for potted or containerized indoor plants. The majority of larger aloe species can be grown outdoors as landscaping plants or in sizable containers and thrive in full light. Some large species may withstand light frost with minimal or no plant harm. These plants require very little care and attention and are low maintenance.

A sizable genus of succulent plants is called Crassula. Crassula ovata, popularly known as the jade plant, is one of the most popular (also known as money tree, lucky plant, or friendship tree). They are indigenous to Mozambique and South Africa. There are evergreen jade plants. These plants are distinguished by their opposite-pair, thick, meaty, shiny, smooth leaves. Dark jade green in the shade to scarlet on the edges when exposed to direct or full sunshine, are the colors of the leaves. Some variants (known as Crassula Ovata or Hummel’s Sunset) have leaves with a bright yellow-green tint. With time, their branches become thicker.

Jade plants are adaptable and require little upkeep. They can survive in a variety of lighting situations. Once adapted, they may thrive in direct sunlight. When exposed to direct sunlight, their leaves take on a scarlet hue, especially near the tips.

This little pine tree-like succulent, which is native to South Africa, has thin, elongated green leaves and brown stems and bark that can reach a height of three feet. They develop into shrubs and eventually resemble trees. At the tips of the shrub, they produce little white blooms. They should be shielded from the full sun’s glare since they are susceptible to sunburn. These are among the simplest plants to grow from stem cuttings and require very little upkeep. I have many of these plants in various planters that were grown from stem cuttings. My initial plant, which is a few years old, is still alive and well.

This resilient, low-maintenance plant is indigenous to South Africa and is very simple to grow. They can grow up to 20 feet tall and are a source of food for elephants in their natural habitat. They feature glossy green leaves and begin as tiny bushes before becoming tree-like in size. As the plant becomes older, the stem thickens.

I was initially drawn to this plant since I mistakenly believed I was purchasing a miniature jade plant. It has no connection to the actual jade plant, yet it is occasionally referred to as “Dwarf Jade” or “Miniature Jade.” These plants may survive in a variety of environments and are relatively simple to maintain. I have this plant thriving in many planters thanks to stem cuttings I utilized. This plant frequently serves as filler in many arrangements. My original plant is several years old and has endured situations such as neglect.

A hybrid aeonium called “Blushing Beauty” was created by mating two distinct aeoniums. I have discovered that this aeonium is incredibly simple to cultivate and spread. I have a few of these plants that are all stem cuttings that are growing quickly.

Aeoniums are tough, cold-tolerant plants. They thrive in either full sun or little shade. In extremely hot and dry weather, aeoniums go dormant. To reduce excessive water loss, their leaves will curl and fall. The winter or spring is when they experience their true growth. Both containers and the ground can be used to grow them.

These succulents, which are native to Madagascar, are very adaptable to many growth conditions. They can reach heights of up to two feet and are prized for the typically red, pink, or white flowers they produce. These plants have half-inch-long, vicious thorns all over them. The plant is known by the moniker “Crown of Thorns,” which is derived from the biblical account of Christ’s crucifixion and refers to the fake crown that was put on Jesus’ head during the crucifixion. They can be cultivated in either full sun or shade. These are hardy plants that are difficult to eradicate.

This plant, which is indigenous to South Africa, initially has an aloe plant appearance. In reality, they belong to the same subfamily. They have thick, pointy leaves with white stripes that resemble zebra stripes and look warty. They can endure various lighting conditions and can be cultivated indoors or outdoors.

At initially, they grow slowly, but once established, they can develop quickly and produce pups and offsets. I’ve been cultivating mine outside all year. It is one of the easiest plants to care for and has generated a lot of pups and offshoots. Variegated zebra plants have white ridges and horizontal bands of yellow and green hue on their leaves.

These fascinating and unusual-looking plants, also known as Bryophyllum Daigremontianum (also known as Mother of Thousands, Alligator Plant, and Mexican Hat Plant), have enormous green leaves that develop into baby plantlets along the edges. Because of their quick growth and propensity to spread wherever they land, these plantlets have earned the moniker “Mother of Thousands.” They can also be challenging to eradicate.

Once established, these plants are hardy and able to withstand extreme heat. This is the kind of plant to attempt if you’re seeking for one that spreads readily. They can easily spiral out of control, so use caution. Some people find these plants to be bothersome, and some places consider them to be invasive weeds. Grow them in pots or other containers and apart from other plants or the ground to restrict their development.