Will Succulents Come Back 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.

How can I revive my frozen succulents?

Cold fronts occasionally pass through, dropping temperatures toward freezing, even in regions with moderate winters. Most African succulent plants are vulnerable to cold. For instance, the University of Florida IFAS Extension notes that aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) grows in USDA zones 9 through 11 and jade plant (Crassula argentea) grows in the frost-free regions of USDA zones 10 and 11. First to be harmed are delicate new growth or the thinnest plant portions, which typically seem fragile and discolored.

Even if your succulents freeze, all is not lost. If you suspect your succulent has frozen, Gardening Know How advises waiting a few weeks before evaluating and treating frost damage. The frozen plant should be recoverable if there is any fresh growth. Use a sharp knife dipped in rubbing alcohol to chop away the damaged areas of the plant, eliminating any tissue that appears squishy or has brown in it. This will help the plant to recover. Between cuts, clean the knife. Place container plants out of the direct light in a dry location. Resuming routine plant care after the wounds have healed

Succulents can they withstand being frozen?

I can’t seem to find a definitive answer on whether or not to trim the leaves/tips of my two Blue Agave succulents, which have been harmed by the cold winter we had in Texas this past March, writes Gwen Pickering in Frisco, Texas. They appear to be flourishing, although some of the lower leaves are dark green. When I do my research for an answer, I read both “yes cut” and “no don’t cut” the leaves. If you can, please give advice. I want to say thank you.

Gwen’s agaves recovered beautifully!

What you’re seeing on the lower leaves is all that’s left of the damage. The old is being masked by new growth. Essentially, Gwen only needs to trim the damaged leaves to a point to remove the unsightly tips.

What was the big Texas freeze?

According to Wikipedia, “in February 2021, the state of Texas experienced a significant power crisis that was brought on by three severe winter storms sweeping across the USA on February 1011, 1317, and 1520; a massive electricity generation failure in the state of Texas; and consequent shortages of water, food, and heat.”

By March 2021, I had already received a number of letters from Texans requesting advice on how to save their succulent plants. I suggested:

Your succulents’ roots may still be healthy enough for them to survive even though the top growth is severely damaged. For a number of months, you won’t be able to be sure. Spring, which is the majority of succulents’ primary growing season, can be very effective. As soon as there is no longer any risk of frost, take away any damp, collapsed leaves. By May or June, if you haven’t noticed any new growth, it’s probably time to pick up the plants and start again.

Here is my original entry for this page, which primarily discusses in-ground gardens in coastal and southern California (like my own). — Debra

Will succulents recover from frost damage?

It varies. Here are pictures of frost-tender succulents before and after temperatures plummeted to the mid-20s F:

The identical Euphorbia ammak ‘Variegata is shown here following a frost:

Zero chance of recovery. There was too much tissue injury. The Euphorbia tirucalli “Sticks on Fire” beyond it, though, is another story. Because only the top growth was frozen, there is tremendous prospect for a recovery. It shielded the healthy stems below, which were still intact.

This Portulacaria afra, sometimes known as elephant food, will be fine. Although the top growth was frozen, it wasn’t wise to trim it until all threat of frost had passed. It aids to safeguard the robust plant beneath.

If your plants—succulent or not—have experienced something similar, cut the dead top growth once all threat of frost has passed, and the plant will recover—albeit smaller, of course!

How about the aeonium that is frozen below? Basically hopeless Look instead at the Sedum ‘Angelina’ that surrounds it. It’s also a succulent, and it’s fine!

Why does frost not kill other succulents but destroy some? 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. However, some come from arid, chilly regions. See the piece I wrote about this in the Wall Street Journal.

If Your Succulents DO Become Damaged

If it looks like collapsed leaves may decay, remove them since the plant’s health is at risk. In contrast, if they get dry, they will aid in shielding healthy tissue from upcoming frosts. After the weather warms up, leave them on and prune.

Trim tip-burned leaves of slender-leaved succulents (like agaves and aloes) to a point rather than cutting them straight across to maintain their symmetry. (See underneath.)

Just put it down to experience. Now that you are aware, you can find a safe place for that specific plant.

How to trim a frost-burned Agave attenuata

This agave’s leaf tips start to melt at 32 degrees, but otherwise the plant is alright. Here’s how to quickly make things appear good once more.

What does succulent frostbite look like?

Frostbite causes the succulent leaves to look wilted and crunchy, which shows that your succulents are deteriorating over time. Can a frozen succulent be revived?

How can a succulent be revived?

Yes, I am aware that it seems illogical to remove extra water from the soil, but bear with me. This is the justification. Too much water has already put the succulent under stress, and exposure to sunlight makes matters worse. Direct sunlight is a big no because most succulents require brilliant indirect light.

Place the succulent that has been overwatered somewhere dry and bright, but out of direct sunshine.

2. Permit the roots to breathe.

Cut off any brown or black roots as they are already rotting. Dig the succulent out of the ground and remove any excess soil that has become stuck to the roots. Place the plant on a mesh or other strainer until the roots have had two to three days to air dry. Replant the roots in the pot once they have dried completely.

Remove the entire root system and any puckered, spotty, black, or brown stems if the roots are entirely rotted. The succulent stem can be buried in the ground for propagation.

Keep the overwatered succulent on a mesh screen or other strainer until the roots have had two to three days to air dry.

3. Modify the ground

You might not need to entirely alter your succulent if it is already rooted in homemade or commercial succulent soil. Algae (green living matter) typically grows on soil that is too wet. If so, it is your responsibility to remove all of the top soil from the area around your plants and replace it with new succulent soil.

Can cold shock be reversed in plants?

Do not become alarmed if it appears that the cold weather has hurt your plants. As soon as you can, relocate the plant into a warmer location. Bring indoor houseplants and potted plants, or start winterizing right away. Simply give the plant warmth and leave it alone. It will soon cease shivering and recuperate, much like a person. Plants are fairly robust, despite the fact that the damage to the leaves is permanent. The leaves will perish and fall off if they are significantly injured. They should be replaced with fresh leaves. Full recovery could take weeks or months, although most plants quickly recover when given warmth, appropriate light, and water.

How can frozen plants be revived?

How quickly do plants perish when exposed to extreme cold? Can you make them come to life again? There are too many “ifs in the way to provide simple solutions to this problem. It depends on the weather, how long the plant was exposed to the cold, and the type of plant we are talking about, as a landscaping expert could remark. Depending on your ability to act quickly, your level of understanding, the type of plant involved, and how much of the plant has been exposed to the frost, you may be able to save a frozen plant.

At What Temperatures Do Plants Die?

It is based on how resilient the plant is to adverse weather. Some people cannot survive in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, while others can. Light frost frequently won’t harm plants unless they are really sensitive. Of course, the more damage they will sustain the longer they are exposed to the frost. You should evaluate your plants’ ability to withstand cold weather so that you can decide how best to safeguard them or whether it is worthwhile to make an effort to save them.

Why Do Plants Freeze?

Water in plant cells freezes when it gets cold. They dehydrate as a result, which can be fatal. While it would seem that plants would be able to revive once the sun emerged, they are rather startled. The quick defrost will just ruin their stems and leaves because their cells are already destroyed. Plant tissue is undergoing change as a result of the destroyed plant cells. Plants lose water from their cells as a form of defense against the cold, which causes them to become dehydrated.

Can You Save Frozen Plants?

It depends on the plant and how long it was exposed to various temperatures, therefore it is a difficult issue to answer. Scratching the plant’s bark is one way to see if the roots have perished. If the plant’s underside is green, start grinning. This indicates that although it has lost its leaves due to the shock of the freezing temperatures, its tissue is still in good health. It can bloom once again when the weather improves. When the frost has passed, you can add some garden fertilizer and make sure these plants have appropriate hydration.

Bring indoors and out of the sun any potted plants that can be relocated to more shaded locations. It is preferable to trim the bark back and let the plant recuperate on its own. However, don’t prune plants that are left outside. For as long as the frost lasts, their bark provides some shelter. When spring arrives, you can prune them. It is preferable to prune plants with soft stems because they are more likely to decay.

Saving a plant that has already frozen depends on a variety of factors. But as is the case with everything, prevention is preferable to treatment. Try to keep in mind to take action before the temperatures drop and to always enlist the assistance of a qualified landscaping maintenance specialist.

What does succulent cold damage resemble?

Most succulents commonly suffer frost damage in really cold weather. It often happens when ice crystals build inside of their tissue, harming their cells. When that occurs, you’ll start to see some signs of frost damage, like drooping leaves on your succulents, which will eventually turn brown or black and get crispy. In other words, your succulent plants are currently slowly dying.

There is still hope, nevertheless, if there are some remaining healthy leaves or even viable leaf fragments with frozen tips.


Don’t prune immediately. Wait till it warms up outside or until the plant starts to produce new leaves. Once it is certain that there is new growth at the root, use clean, sharp scissors to carefully remove the afflicted areas. Using clean scissors will help stop bacteria from further hurting your plants.

Refuse to water. Plants that have just been pruned shouldn’t be watered right away. Your fragile succulents may experience shock if you water them too soon. Before watering the cuttings, wait until they are entirely calloused over. When they do, water your plant thoroughly once every two weeks.

  • Avoid areas that receive direct sunlight. It should be sufficient to just set your succulents on a sunny windowsill. Depending on your climate zone, direct sunlight might still harm or burn you even though it is weaker in the winter. Your plants will be able to cure themselves with just a little bit of partial or filtered sunshine.
  • Wait tolerantly. Usually, a few weeks after the plant has been trimmed, part of the leaves will die and drop off. Do not panic if you see the leaves beginning to wilt. Your succulent will eventually heal as new leaves begin to emerge from the center.

Precautionary measures

  • Prevent pruning in the early or late fall. Pruning encourages the formation of new growths, such as leaves or offshoots, hence avoiding it helps prevent this. They would struggle to survive in the intense cold, so your succulent would have to work harder to attempt to develop as they were working to heal.
  • Water the ground well. As wet soil maintains heat better than dry soil, doing this will assist warm the air close to the soil and save your plant’s roots.
  • To protect them, cover them. To protect any delicate plants, you can simply wrap them in blankets or another warm material. Just remember to uncover them the following day when the temperature rises, as leaving them covered could lead them to wilt.
  • Place a grow light near your succulents. A average grow light will be between 35 and 40 watts, which should be adequate to keep your plants healthy during the winter.
  • Use a spray anti-perspirant. These sprays aid in preventing moisture loss in plants. The anti-transpirants offer a clear, flexible protective layer to stop moisture loss during winter’s typically crisp, dry winds. It won’t obstruct the osmosis, photosynthesis, or organic growth of your succulent. To keep moisture in the foliage of delicate plants, apply it there.
  • If your plants must stay outside, group them in containers that are close to one another and place them in a protected area that is easy to access, like your patio, so you can take care of them and keep them alive and healthy.