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.
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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 winter-damaged succulents be revived?
Don’t be shocked if you notice your succulent leaning toward the window or the nearest light source during the dark winter months when there is less light. In quest of light, you might observe them “extending” rising higher and spreading farther. This is a clear indication that your dormant plant isn’t receiving enough light to survive the winter successfully.
To avoid this, you might wish to move them to a brighter area or even buy a small grow lamp to give them additional light. You might be able to wait it out because spring is coming, but plants in need could use the extra support. If your plant grows out too much, don’t worry—you can always cut some of the furthest growths off and use them to start new plants.
To grow new succulents from them:
- Use a sharp knife or pair of scissors to cut off the top of your succulent. Make sure to leave a stem with at least 1-2 leaves and three to four leaves on it.
- The original plant can stay in place because new growth will likewise sprout from its base.
- Give your cutting a few days to dry out. It is safe to plant your cutting in soil once the end of it has developed a “scab.”
- Within two to three weeks, your fresh succulent cutting will begin to produce roots.
- Within a few weeks, the original plant will start to delay new growth. The original plant can be maintained in the same manner as before it was trimmed back. The original plant’s remaining leaves could eventually die or start to fall off. Despite the fact that they frequently don’t come off at all, it is very usual for this to happen.
Ice plant Oscularia Deltoides
Oscularia Deltoides, a succulent that is native to South Africa, with hefty, green leaves and blooms in the summer with purple daisy-like flowers. You may cultivate this succulent both inside and outside. It needs soil that drains properly and only light irrigation.
General Care: You may grow this succulent both inside and outside. They need a soil that drains properly and only light irrigation. Before you rehydrate the soil, make sure it is completely dry. Pink Ice Plants naturally need more watering when planted in full sun as opposed to partial sunlight.
It is hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as 15-20°F. However, prolonged exposure to cold temperatures and frost can harm ice plants.
This rosettes succulent, native to the semi-arid Mexican regions of Puebla and Oaxaca, matures to a height of 2 feet. Its broad, cream-colored leaves are grayish green in tone. When the weather gets cooler, it enters dormancy after aggressively growing during the spring and summer.
In general, this plant needs bright, full sun outdoors because it loves the sun. It thrives in pots with drainage holes and stony, mineral soils. You’ll notice new offsets or “pups” growing around the mother plant’s base over time.
Hardiness: Agave Butterfly grows extremely slowly and can withstand extreme heat and protracted drought. This cultivar can tolerate light freezing down to 22F.
Although these succulents can withstand extremely severe temperatures, like other succulents, they require sufficient drainage in their growing location in the garden to prevent rot from melting snow.
Before planting them outside in snowy conditions, you must gradually acclimate cold-hardy succulents that you have grown in warmer climates. Even though they don’t seem so nice in the winter, these two varieties of succulents, which are among the most hardy, will come back lush and robust.
Succulents—can I leave them 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. Some of our favorites include Sempervivum heuffelii, which keep vibrant colors for Winter Interest. The frost-hardy Sedum cultivars are especially recommended since they create excellent ground covers in practically all regions.
They’re reaching for the light source.
I had to completely prune back my succulents for a number of reasons, including #1 and the pack rats eating them as appetizers. This pot is situated in a corner directly next to my front entrance. I rotate it every two to three months, but it won’t fit in the area if the planting becomes too leggy and the stems grow too long. The light isn’t excessively low; rather, it’s only that it isn’t uniformly illuminating the plants.
The light they’re growing in is too low.
A tiny portion of my Santa Barbara front garden. Every year or two, I had to trim back the graptoveria, narrow leaf chalk sticks, and lavender scallops because they were encroaching on the sidewalk. Yes, a rosemary plant in blossom is the huge shrub in the background.
My Paddle Plant patch growing under my Giant bird Of Paradise in Santa Barbara needs pruning back after 2 or 3 years of growing. Along with many other fleshy succulents, kalanchoes frequently have lengthy stems.
The leaves on a succulent stalk won’t regrow once they become naked. It must be pruned back so that it can either be rejuvenated from the base or propagated by stem cuttings (the piece of stem & roots still in the soil).
Here’s what you do with those towering, stretched-out succulent stems, whether your succulents are growing in the ground or in a pot.
When Should You Cut Back Your Succulents?
Summer and spring are ideal. Early fall is also OK if you live in a temperate region like I do. Before the cooler weather arrives, you should give your succulents a couple of months to establish themselves and take root.
Can you revive a succulent plant?
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 a dried succulent be revived?
- Symptoms. Succulents’ leaves can become soft and mushy and become brown or black, but the intensity of the cold damage will determine the exact symptoms.
- Causes. Although some succulent plants may endure a light frost, this is uncommon because most succulents are native to hot climes and normally suffer in temperatures lower than 50F (10C).
The majority of succulent types are not cold tolerant and will perish if left in temps below 50F (10C) for an extended period of time.
The majority of succulent species thrive in a standard room temperature environment, with a range of 55F-80F (13C-27C) being ideal for aloe vera.
Succulents’ leaves and stems may become mushy in texture and appear dark or black if they are subjected to chilly weather or even frost.
How to Revive Cold Damaged Succulents
Place your succulent in a location in your home or garden where the temperature is consistently between 55F and 80F (13C and 27C). Make sure that none of the leaves are directly in contact with windows, as these areas of the house can get much colder than the rest of the house. Reduce watering for the time being.
The cold damage should not likely worsen once the succulent is in a more stable environment.
Wait a few days, if not weeks, and the succulent’s mushy, cold-damaged section should dry out and callus over if the leaves feel gooey.
Cut the leaf back to below the injured section once the mushy portion has dried out. Cold-damaged succulent areas normally do not recover, but the succulent plant as a whole can recover.
In order to avoid additional potential issues, you should only restart watering the succulent once the callus of the leaf cut has completely healed over. Cold damage increases the danger of root rot.
The succulent can ultimately sprout new leaves and begin to regain its usual appearance after being damaged by the cold, but it takes a lot of persistence.
- The most frequent cause of succulent death is root rot brought on by over watering and poorly draining soils. Plants that can withstand drought, succulents need the soil to dry out between waterings. A succulent that has mushy, brown, yellow, or black leaves is withering because the soil is excessively wet.
- Overwatering or sunburn cause succulents to turn brown. Brown, mushy succulent leaves are a sign of excessive moisture around the roots. Due to a rapid rise in sunshine intensity, scorched-looking brown succulent leaves may be the result of sunburn.
- Because of excessive moisture around the roots brought on by frequent watering, wet soils, or pots without drainage holes, succulent leaves turn yellow. The soil needs to dry out between waterings for succulents. Yellow and mushy succulent leaves may be a sign of root rot brought on by over watering.
- If succulents are exposed to too much shade, they become tall and lanky. Succulent leaves grow tall in the direction of the strongest light since the majority of succulents need bright, indirect light or full sun. Tall succulent leaves can droop under their own weight and often have weaker, withering leaves at the base.
- Due to inadequate or excessive watering, succulent plants experience drought stress, which causes their leaves to shrivel. As a means of survival, succulents store moisture in their leaves. Underwatering your succulent causes it to draw on the moisture reserves in the leaves, giving it a shriveled appearance.
- Recreate the circumstances of the succulents’ natural environment by planting them in well-draining, rocky soil with the appropriate amount of sunshine, and watering them when the soil becomes dry. To preserve the succulent, take cuttings from healthy areas of the plant.