What to Do with Succulents in The Winter?

What to Do with Succulents in The Winter
What to Do with Succulents in The Winter

What to do with succulents in the winter? Although succulents are versatile plants, they might not be able to survive under extreme environmental conditions especially winter. In this post, I will share with you some tips. I hope this helps.

Succulents are known to be low maintenance plants. They can grow well both indoor and outdoor. Their versatility stems from their ability to store water in their leaves and stems.

However, succulents are sensitive to extreme temperatures. The extremely hot or cold environment can jeopardize the health of the plants.

What to do with Succulents in the Winter?

Before winter comes, you need to prepare your succulents for this cold season. Some people called this process winterization. What it is really is preparing succulents for indoor living.

The first thing to do is to clean the succulents before transferring them indoor. And one of the ways to do this is by spraying surface insecticides to the plants. The purpose of this is to disinfect the plants before going inside. The best time to do this is 3-4 weeks before transfer.

The next thing you need to do is clean the succulents. Weeds, dead or dried leaves, and debris should be removed. It is also important to check for insects or infestation.

Insects, if not removed could also infest other indoor plants. Change the soil if necessary before bringing the plants inside.

It is also important to remember that during this process, the amount of water that your succulents receive should also be lessened. This gradually put the succulents into the dormancy state.

Bring the Succulents Indoor

After all the mentioned steps, you can now bring the succulents indoors. Once the succulents are inside, it is better if you temporarily stop watering them. Let the soil dries.

Watering succulents during winter are very different compared to other seasons. During winter, most succulents are dormant. And because they are not actively growing, they need extra water. Giving them more than they need will definitely harm them.

During the cold season, just water them sparingly. Enough amount of water will keep them hydrated.

Aside from water, controlling the temperature is also important. Keep the temperature between 50-60 Fahrenheit. Succulents love temperature like this.

Lastly, don’t forget to give your succulents a good light source. During winter, the natural sunlight is not available. Remember that succulents do need light source especially the non-dormant succulents.

Fluorescent lighting can be a good choice. But if you want something that offers user flexibility, you can use grow light. Click here to check my recommended grow light on Amazon.

Grow light or any other light source is very important for indoor succulents to keep them healthy throughout the winter season.

When to Bring Succulents Indoor?

Most plants can sense when the winter is coming. The shorter day time and the drop of temperature are two key indicators for plants including succulent that a cold season is fast approaching.

The best time to bring succulents indoor is during the fall. This is before the outdoor temperatures get too cold for the succulent plants.

How to Care for Succulents Indoors During Winter?

Again, it is very important that the succulents had been cleaned before they brought inside. This is to prevent insects and other pathogens to spread out to other plants.

If necessary, change the soil and the pot of the plants. This to make sure that no intruders will be able to go along with the plants as you transfer them.

Once the succulents are already indoor, they may have other needs that need to be met. But don’t worry, this is not so arduous on your part. As you know, most succulents can survive with neglect.

However, the winter season really affects the growth and overall health of the succulents. So you need to check there needs.

The following are some of the things you need to remember during winter:

Stop Fertilizing

During the winter season, most succulents are dormant. This means that they are not actively growing so they don’t need extra nutrients. But they should have been given fertilizer at the end of the summer season.

Remember that giving them fertilizer when they don’t need it will harm them. It could result in the development of soft leaves and root rot.

Water Your Succulents Sparingly

Succulents don’t need much water in the winter. This is because most of them are dormant. So watering in this season cold season is critical. If you give too much water, succulents may die.

Root rot is a common problem during cold winter. But you can keep your succulents from root rot by giving them the right soil mix. I recommend that you use a fast-draining succulent soil mix (check my favorite succulent soil mix on Amazon).

A good succulent soil mix helps the plants stay healthy by draining the excess water at the bottom. Also, don’t forget to just use the pot that has a large drainage hole. The combination of good soil mix and perfect pot will help the succulents survive in the winter season.

However, for succulents that are actively growing during winter, they need more water than the dormant ones. This means that not all succulents are equal. You need to check the type of succulents you are growing.

Have The Indoor Succulents Checked Regularly

Although you have already cleaned the succulents before bringing them inside, still, there are instances when aphids and mealybugs were able to sneak to the plants.

Regular checking on the plants can be a lot helpful to keep them from potential harm. If you found those tiny intruders, move the infested succulents from other plants.

Then, make a solution to counter the insects. What I found effective is the mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. What you need is 3 parts of alcohol and 1 part of water.

Mix thoroughly and then spray the solution to the plants. During this process, keep the infested plants away from other plants for several weeks. If necessary, repeat the process until all the insects are killed.

To learn more, read my complete tips on how to kill insects in succulents.

Related Questions

How cold is too cold for succulents?

Some succulents can survive as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is important to remember that not all succulents are tolerant of cold temperatures. That said, you need to know whether or not your succulents are tolerant of cold or not.

How cold hardy succulents can tolerate?

Hardy succulents can survive -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Examples of these succulents are the Sempervivums and Stonecrop Sedums.


I am a university teacher by profession, researcher, blogger, and gardener.

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