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!
How cold should it be for succulents?
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.
Succulents can be left outside in the winter.
Yes, it is the answer. Although certain succulents can withstand frost, they are frequently thought of as drought-tolerant plants. They flourish in chilly, snowy conditions, and the extreme cold even brings out their magnificent, vivid colors. They are referred to as “Hard Succulents.” Sempervivum, Sedum, and Euphorbias genera contain some of the most hardy succulents. You may plant such succulents outside all year round because the majority of them can withstand temperatures as low as -20F (Hardiness Zone 5).
“Soft Succulents” are another group of succulents that are more susceptible to frost. When the weather drops below freezing, they must be winterized inside.
How does a succulent react to extreme cold?
You will start to notice damage from the frost or cold if succulents are left outside in temperatures that are too low for them to endure. It’s a hideous sight!
You can use a frost cloth to cover your succulents during the coldest nights in some places (like zone 8 or 9), where temperatures only fall below freezing for a few nights.
For colder climates where the temperature is regularly below freezing, day and night, this is not a long-term option.
Even if your succulents seem to be surviving the harsh cold, don’t take the chance. Frost injury frequently takes two to three days to manifest.
I experienced this when residing in Utah. When the weather dropped below freezing, I kept my young succulents outside for three to four nights.
The dark mushy tissue was the most frequent feature I noticed on these plants. An appearance of rot may result from plant cells bursting in overly cold weather.
In general, aeoniums are extremely susceptible to freezing temperatures (above and below). The one below wasn’t as badly damaged because it was shielded by several other plants.
Knowing which succulents you own and what temperatures they can withstand is crucial for this reason.
For details on different succulent kinds, be sure to visit our page on Succulent Types.
For additional guidance on selecting the succulents you should be cultivating based on your location, preferred watering schedule, and more, you can also download our ebook, Choosing the Best Succulents.
Do succulents recover from freezing?
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.
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.
I have succulents, when should I cover them?
“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.
How are succulents prepared for winter?
Succulents should be sprayed with malathion to get rid of mealy worms and mites before being brought indoors.
Avoid overwatering cacti or succulents that are dormant. The plant will perish in perpetually wet soil.
Never use insecticide on a plant right before bringing it inside. Before being transported indoors, these chemicals must have diminished for two to three weeks because they can injure people and pets.
Before moving succulents and cacti indoors, it is crucial to winterize plants. According to Greg Stack, a horticultural with the University of Illinois, many succulents are pleased to remain in our homes and may even withstand occasional neglect. Succulents and cacti must be forced into hibernation by gradually modifying their surroundings in order to survive the winter.
Before bringing succulents and cacti inside, spray them with a surface pesticide three weeks in advance.
Remove all weeds from the plant’s pot and look for Sciara flies. If there are flies, change the soil since they can spread to other plants when indoors.
As the weather starts to chill, gradually cut back on the water your succulents receive while continuing to leave them outside. Succulents should start going dormant because of the less water and cooler temps.
Before moving succulents and cacti indoors, it is crucial to winterize plants.
When watering flowering succulents, such as cacti, add a blossom builder. A little 1-10-10 strengthens the roots and aids in triggering dormancy.
As soon as it gets to be 40 degrees outside, bring your succulents and cacti inside. Stop watering the plant and let the soil totally dry up.
During the winter, water dormant succulents and cacti sparingly, only enough to prevent the plant from exhibiting symptoms of dehydration.
As needed for your particular type of succulent, provide lighting. While non-dormant succulents may benefit from exposure to fluorescent illumination, dormant plants may prefer the gloom.