Can succulents stay outside in winter?
If you are new to growing succulents, you might be wondering whether or not this plant can survive in extreme environmental conditions. Some places may have an extremely hot environment while others have extreme cold.
For years, we receive one of the most common questions: Can succulents stay outside in winter? The answer is it depends on the type of succulents you are growing. There are succulents that can thrive during winter while others aren’t.
It is also important to know whether your succulent is capable of surviving in extremely low temperature because most of them have a different mechanism to cope with surroundings.
In most cases, makes it hard for succulents to survive. The extremely cold temperature minimal presence of sunlight is a threat to succulents’ health.
The increased temperature mostly increases the rate of chemical reaction in the plants. As a response, a plant will need more oxygen, carbon dioxide, and a supply of water. A lack of water may cause wilting.
The cold often slows the process. Because of the presence of ice, it may freeze parts of the cell in plants that could cause damage and interruption in the pathway of nutrients and water flow.
This is horrible because at some point this may cause the death of succulents.
Most of the time, damage can be seen in those that are not capable to survive or grow during winter. Actually, not all succulents hate the winter, some actually love it.
Related: How Cold Can Succulents Tolerate?
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Here are the kinds of succulent capable to survive in winter
It is rosette-forming succulents that produce abundant offspring and it is also known as hens and chicks. These succulent species are capable of adjusting and adapting to their environment.
Stonecrops sedums are vigorous and carefree plants. Yes, carefree, it means minimal of extra treatment is required for it to grow several inches to couple feet tall. Usually, it is capable in rock gardens and garden beds.
Winter Hardy agave
Usually, Agaves form a beautiful rosette of usually thick, rigid, fleshy leaves with marginal teeth and a sharp terminal spine. They are mostly monocarpic, they flower once and die thereafter. Some Agaves produce offsets that will happily replace the dead plant.
Cobweb Sempervivum obviously forms prominent trichomes or hair-like filaments and it criss-cross all the leaves of the rosette that projects a look with spider web effect. It is the trichomes that break up the flow of air around the leaves and it protects them from drying out. It also prevents ice crystals from forming directly on the surface of the leaf.
A very popular with commercial plantings and It is also known as ice plant. It has an amusing low maintenance ground cover that creates blankets of dazzling blooms that causes the attraction of butterflies and honeybees.
Border Stonecrop Sedums
It fits perfectly in a perennial border and it grows 24” tall. It has a long-lasting bloom that is a prized source of color for the gardener and nectar for the butterfly from summer until the fall,
Opuntia Pinta Rita is an example of it that has an extraordinary coloring. The leaf pads are turquoise the projects a vivid, amethyst purple/magenta with the slightest stress.
Coldy Hardy Jovibarba/Sempervivum Heuffeli
It is similar in the form and habit to the hens and chicks (Sempervivum) This type of succulents is richly colored and maintains its vivid hue instead of intensifying and fade with seasons. It develops a baby rosette in between the leaves of the mother plant for an extraordinary appearance.
They refer to it as a charming winter succulent that deserves to be more widely grown.
An example of it which is Orostachys Iwarenge forms a low mat of rosettes that sooner or later will begin to elongate into conical forms that have a pink blush that can reach 6’’ tall.
Stonecrop Sedum Winter
It has amazing forms and color and an example of it is the stonecrop Sedum Fuldagut or fire glow. In the sun, the bronzey green leaves it has will turn into coppery then a deep burgundy in the fall.
Different succulents have a different mechanism to cope up with the unusual factors that winter have. Some need an extra amount of care and most of them take care of their own in order to avoid damage. Most of them maintain their amusing appearance while some of them lose it.
In identifying the kinds, you may want to know the best treatment you can do during the winter season
What treatment should I do when my succulent is outside during winter?
Lessen the frequency of watering
During winter, soils are rich in water because of the humid that winter gives. Obviously, the best thing you can do is to lessen the watering which is different compared to a normal day. Because an abundant amount of water is the quickest way to kill a succulent. If you observe that the soil is too (which happens less frequently during winter) it may be the best time to water it.
Watch your succulent if it’s freezing
Winter season usually causes frost damage and it also interrupts the pathway of nutrients inflow of water inside the succulent. You may want to put your succulent inside somewhere warm to avoid freezing and frost damage.
Check for Bugs
Despite the cold season, bugs are inevitable. Since bugs are a hindrance to the growth of succulent, keep them away as much as possible. Inspect them closely for mealybugs which is the most common pest of succulent.
Make sure it receives plenty of sunlight
It is necessary for succulents to receive sunlight outside. Aside from it is necessary to complete the photosynthesis, sunlight also provides that warm that succulents need in order to avoid freezing. Move it to a place where it receives direct sunlight and removes anything that covers the succulent. An example of it in the snow.
Remove the snow from the pot
The abundant amount of snow could cover the entire succulent. Aside from it may cause frost damage because of the temperature. It may kill the succulent because of too much water when the snow starts to melt.
Winter season is hard for succulents and requires hard work. Because some succulents don’t receive the care they need compared to a normal day. Now you know how to take care of your succulents during winter, always keep in mind to provide their basic needs which are water, light, and protection.
We hope that this article provides you the knowledge you need in keeping your succulents healthy.
For additional information on growing succulents, feel free to visit my Succulents Guide.