How can succulents survive the winter? | the juicy eclectic (2023)

After a scorching summer, winter is fast approaching. If you're wondering whether succulents can survive the winter, the short answer is yes! But the details matter. Very mild winter climates are safe for all succulents to be outdoors year-round. In colder climates,winter hardy succulentsthrive outdoors, despite sleet and snow, with care. Protect your potted succulents and those in the ground this winter with simple preparation.

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Understanding winter hardiness

In this post we will cover:

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It's important to understand which of your succulents are hardy in your climate. In my garden in Southern California, where temperatures never drop below freezing, all my succulents can be happy outdoors. If you live in a colder climate, you need to knowcoldest average temperatureIn your area. In the United States, they are divided into climate zones and US residents can find their climate zone by entering their zip code atthis USDA website.

For example, if you garden in climate zone 7 (coldest average temperature 0°to -17°C) succulents that are resistant to zone 7 or lowerhe cansurvive your winter. But that doesn't mean they will.Hardy succulents should be planted 6 weeks before the first that they are fully established before the arrival of the cold. Otherwise, as the moist soil around the plants expands when the water freezes, newly planted succulents will literally be spit out of the ground and into the ground. This is called "soil lifting" and can lead to plant death. So the lowest average temperature can be broken in a particularly cold winter. The last thing to watch out for is rain and melting snow. Cold-hardy succulents do much better in cool, dry conditions or buried under a layer of snow than they do in moist soil.

Plan well and make sure you stay vigilant all winter long. start withidentifying your succulents. If you are unsure of a succulent's identity or if it is winter hardy in your climate, assume it is not. It's better to protect a hardy succulent than to lose a frost-sensitive succulent.

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Can succulents survive winter in pots?

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Can succulents survive the winter outdoors when grown in pots? Assuming the succulents are hardy in your climate, this is possible. Again, while the short answer is yes, the details really matter. First, pay attention to thematerial from which the succulent container is made. Both concrete and metal transmit much more cold to the roots than something like wood. Ceramics and terracotta also transmit cold, but these containers can break when moisture contained in the soil expands as it freezes.

Because the pot is surrounded by cool air, a potted plant will experience a cooler climate zone than if it were planted in the ground. In soil, a plant's roots are isolated by all the soil around them. In a container, there is little between the roots and winter weather. Even in a wooden container, a potted plant experiences a total of 10°F winter colder than your neighbor planted in the ground.

Because potted succulents are more vulnerable to winter cold, take some precautions with them. Instead of placing a vase on top of a wall, place it on the floor next to the wall for much more protection. If you bring it from the center of the garden to place it at the base of the wall of your house, it will be even more protected. Essentially, you're taking advantage of small microclimates in your own garden to protect your succulents in the winter.

Can succulents survive the winter if they are not hardy?

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So far, we've been talking about hardy succulents, those that can survive cold weather outdoors. But what about tender succulents? Can succulents survive the winter if they are not hardy? sure, but theyhave toprotect from frost and frost. There are several methods to protect them, depending on the climate in which you live. If you have the space, plan to bring your tender succulents indoors to protect them from the winter chill. pay close attentionwinterizing succulents indoors and how to care for them.

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If you don't have the space indoors to keep all of your succulents safe from freezing or frost damage, there are more options to consider depending on your climate.

Protecting succulents outdoors in the winter

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To protect tender succulents that are not winter hardy, you can create additional microclimates in your garden by adding protection the way farmers protect their crops. When occasional frost occurs, a light, breathable cloth such as aice blanketor even a sheet can be put on at night and removed during the day to prevent frost damage. Cover your plants in the late afternoon, trapping soil heat under the cover. Don't remove it until the sun has warmed the air the next morning. To donouse something like a plastic bag to cover your plants; they will suffocate and die. Where frosts are more frequent, choosefloating roofsMade from spun nylon. These are lightweight, breathable fabrics that can be left covering your soles for a few days at a time. They allow enough light, air and water to penetrate so that the plants do not suffer.


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In colder climates, which are generally below the freezing point, a low rim frame with a polyethylene spunbond covering such asground floor garden coverThis can be used. It can stay in place, allowing sunlight and moisture to penetrate while keeping bugs and small animals away. It traps heat and traps still air, which is an excellent insulator. For a little extra warmth, tie a string of Christmas lights under the bell! (You'll be surprised how effective this is.)

Portable greenhouse for succulents to survive the winter outdoors

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For large, extensive collections of succulents in cold climates, consider purchasing a greenhouse. while a bigpermanent stoveWith safety glass being the gold standard, you may have to work to reach it. Consider a portable greenhouse to protect your beloved tender succulents from winter damage. You will find options forsmall cabinet structures for walk-in greenhouseswhich are easy to assemble, can be heated if necessary in winter and then put away again in spring. Place it close to the house so you can easily connect a wire to a heater, and your succulents will be healthy and happy all winter long.

Can succulents survive the winter outdoors? Absolutely! It's just a matter of preparation and care. Be careful and make a plan. If caring for succulents is helping you keep your sanity this year, protecting them for the winter is worth your time and effort!

If you have any questions or concerns, please leave me a comment. I will contact you!

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PS For more information on succulents, subscribe to The Succulent Eclectic and you will receive my FREE eCourse7 steps to succulent success! ¡Gracias!

psd why don't you join meNon-Facebook group for succulent lovers? We talk about succulent care, propagation, identification and succulent design. It is a warm and welcoming group thatamarI know who you are!

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