Not only warm climes are suitable for a succulent garden outside! Check out what you can accomplish with succulents planted in the ground in four-season regions.
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In contrast to southern California’s sunny environment, where there are many beautiful succulent gardens, Utah’s four-season climate makes it more difficult to find outdoor succulent gardens.
The two main types of succulents that can withstand freezing temperatures are Stonecrop Sedums and Sempervivums, also known as hens and chicks. Most animals can survive at temperatures as low as –20 °F.
In order to maintain a stunning outdoor succulent garden year-round, even when there is snow on the ground, I have been developing a variety of arrangements using only cold-hardy succulents.
You’ll see affiliate connections to Mountain Crest Gardens for the many succulents I utilized for these projects all throughout this post.
I received a lot of succulents for free, but my favorite succulents are from Mountain Crest, and I wholeheartedly suggest them to everyone! Nowhere else will you find a finer collection of resilient succulents.
In the movies below, you’ll see a wide variety of succulent collections and items, but I wanted to make it simple for you to see them all at once, so here is a list of the things I used to produce these succulent landscapes:
Can you leave succulents outside during 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.
What succulents can survive the winter 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.
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!
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 indoor succulents be placed outdoors?
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.
In the winter, should I cover my 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.
What succulent is the toughest?
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.
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.
What causes my succulent plants to die in the winter?
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 considerably 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!