Since most succulents are accustomed to hot, arid environments, they are particularly hard hit by winter’s frigid temperatures.
Some succulents, like Aloe, Echeveria, and Crassula, require frost protection when the temperature falls below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The majority of the other species can endure temperatures higher than 40 °F.
No matter the genus, you should never leave your succulents in a freezer. The explanation is straightforward: because succulents hold a lot of water in their leaves, stems, and trunks, when the temperature drops below freezing, the water expands and bursts through the cell membrane. The plant will eventually expire.
The plants can sense fewer days and lower temperatures, which indicate the impending winter. However, by winterizing them, you can deceive your succulent. Before it becomes too cold outside, you can bring the plant inside and give it regular care.
Simply said, the fall is the ideal season to bring succulents inside. You need to keep your plants from detecting the shift in weather conditions, therefore don’t wait until the actual winter.
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. Once frost-free weather returns, the succulents can be returned outdoors for a summer of basking in the sun.
Succulents can they endure the cold inside?
Once you understand what they require, it is possible and not difficult to keep succulents alive throughout the winter. If you live somewhere with chilly winters, the best way to ensure that soft succulents survive is to overwinter them indoors. For the most, it will be within their homes, though it could also be a heated building or greenhouse.
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.
Do succulents survive the cold outside?
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.
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.
In the winter, how frequently should I water my succulents?
During the months that are not winter, when the temperature is above 40 degrees, you should water your succulents every other week. You should only water your succulent once a month in the winter (when the temperature falls below 40 degrees), as it goes dormant at this period.
A few situations constitute an exception to this rule. Because their tiny leaves can’t hold as much water as other varieties with larger leaves, some varieties of succulents need to be watered more frequently. In the non-winter months, feel free to give these small leaf succulents a water if they appear to be thirsty. When they are thirsty, succulents generally exhibit a wrinkled appearance. But always keep in mind that being underwater is preferable to being overwater.
How are succulents maintained indoors?
Succulents may not need much attention, but they do need a few essentials to survive:
- 1. Provide plenty sunlight. Succulents require adequate light—at least six hours each day of direct sunlight. Maintaining succulents outside can be quite simple. However, if you have a succulent indoors, you must keep it in direct sunlight near a window. A plant that is slanting toward the light is not receiving enough sunlight, yet a plant with burnt areas on its leaves is receiving too much direct sunshine.
- 2. Use proper water. Depending on the season, succulents might have different water needs. Succulents should be irrigated if their soil dries completely during the growing season, but excess water should be avoided. When a succulent’s roots have time to dry out in between waterings, its lifespan is increased. In the chilly winter months, succulent plants go dormant and require less water. Only water your succulent as often as necessary because overwatering the soil is one of the main reasons of most development problems.
- 3. Use the proper soil and pot combination. The appropriate container and potting soil can make all the difference, whether you’re growing your own succulents or purchasing one from a nursery. Your succulent planter needs to include a drainage hole if it is going to be an outdoor succulent. Proper drainage allows moisture to escape, allowing the soil and root systems to dry and prevent rot. Use well-draining soil instead of standard dirt if you have an indoor succulent. It is coarser than regular soil, enabling more air to pass through and encouraging evaporation rather than requiring to be drained. To increase aeration, perlite and pumice can be added to some potting mixtures.
- 4.Remember to fertilize. The periodic fertilizing is beneficial for even low maintenance desert plants. To give your succulents a boost, use a diluted, water-soluble all-purpose fertilizer a couple times a year. Although it’s not entirely required, if you notice that your soil needs some help, add a little fertilizer.
- 5. Examine your plant life. Pest hazards are more likely to affect a succulent indoors than outside. Make sure your plants are periodically checked for gnats or mealy pests. These insects are a sign that your plants are receiving too much water or fertilizer. Mealy bugs can lay hundreds of eggs and consume the plant juices that serve as their host, gradually harming your plant. Rubbish alcohol can be sprayed on your succulent’s leaves or soil to effectively kill mealy bugs and their eggs. Check the leaves and soil of the succulent before bringing it home from the nursery to make sure no bugs are present.
Before a freeze, should you water succulents?
The spring and summer are the best seasons for succulent growth. As soon as fall arrives, plants like to rest. Watering should be lessened while plants are dormant in the fall and winter. Some, however, are expanding rapidly and will require greater care.
Plants like Echeveria, Crassula, Kalanchoe, and other delicate succulents that you maintain indoors or in a warm greenhouse over the winter should receive just enough water to protect the roots from drying up. This can happen anywhere from a few times a week to a few times a month.
Sempervivum, Rosularia, and Sedum are examples of cold-tolerant succulents that require even less water during the winter. It is preferable to avoid watering altogether when the temperature is below 50 F (10 C). Rot thrives in environments of low temperatures and wet roots.
Your succulents will probably require more frequent watering if they are winter growers (like Aeoniums).
Desiccation affects a lot of plants during the winter. This occurs when a plant evaporates more water than it can take in through its roots. We thoroughly water evergreen plants before really cold temperatures to help prevent harm (once the ground freezes, the plants cannot absorb water but continue to lose it). With succulents, avoid doing this. They enjoy receiving the incorrect care. You want the soil around your succulents to be as dry as possible when it becomes cold outside.
Winter and dry soil are obviously incompatible (only possible if your plants are in a covered area). Therefore, winter is also the time when having adequate drainage in your soil is most crucial.
You should continue to water your plants less frequently until the spring, when new growth should start to appear on your plants. Even though it may still be cold outside, your succulent plants will benefit from more water as they begin to grow once more.
When it freezes, what should I do with my succulents?
The first step is to relocate them somewhere warm to prevent further exposure to the subzero temperatures.
Next, let them to dry out for many days or even weeks, depending on how badly they were frostbitten. All of the mushy frostbite lesions should be allowed to dry up and scab over. Your succulent will be operating in emergency mode as it attempts to stop additional harm.
Your succulent is more likely to rot and die if you water it too soon after it develops frostbite.
If you can, clip off the frostbitten parts once they have dried out. This may require you to remove significant portions of the plant. Sometimes, you might only be trimming the ends.
For instance, the ends of a fragile Aloe or Agave plant may become dry. In that instance, you may simply trim the leaf so that it resembles a typical Agave or Aloe leaf while also removing the dried-out and crispy portions.
The center of your succulent plant is typically unaffected by frostbite, which typically affects the plant’s outer edges first. In a way, this is the “best case situation” that you would hope for.
It’s likely that the succulent won’t be able to be salvaged if the frostbite extends into the stem. Your succulent is more likely to survive if you cut off and clean out any damaged areas of the plant.
Wait another two to three days before watering once you’ve clipped off the damaged areas. You should allow enough time for these wounds to callus over and heal.
Then, when everything is once more dry, you can begin watering your succulent. To promote healthy root growth, make sure you’re employing the soak and dry technique I recommend.
It’s crucial to understand that the damaged sections of your succulents you’ve plucked won’t regrow. However, if everything goes as planned, the new growth on your succulent should be strong and appear natural.
The succulent will need some time to recover its stunning appearance, but as with most succulent gardening, your persistence will be rewarded. As your succulent grows over the coming weeks and months, it will begin to resemble its former, joyful self once more.
Make sure the succulent is covered from cold, as well as from intense heat or sunlight, when you put it back outside (or in the spot it was growing). You need to gradually reintroduce your succulent to the growing circumstances it was accustomed to before it was in a protected area.
Also problematic is shocking your succulent with abrupt changes in temperature or light.