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How to Grow Succulents Outdoors

5 min read

How to Grow Outdoor Succulents


When it comes to growing succulents outdoor, a lot depends not only on the type of plant but also on environmental factors. However, if you are a novice, you should begin with those varieties that are easy to grow. Succulent like Sempervivum and Sedum which does not require extra care and are adaptable to even dappled areas are your perfect choice.

However, if you want make sure your outdoor plant can grow healthy, it is necessary to take some further steps accessing other external factors that might have impact on their growth. 

Thinking to add a striking collection of succulents to your garden? The idea is not only temping but also pretty easy to put into practice. Since they can thrive in crevasses and cracks, sandy or gritty soils, growing succulents outdoor is not a difficult plan even when you are a newbie or having a gray thumb. However, growing succulent outdoor can sometimes be tricky. There are some major environmental factors that we have to put into consideration: temperature, moisture, and amount of sunlight. 


While succulents usually grow well in most areas, you need to choose the one that can specifically grow and flourish in your temperature zone. However, you need to make sure that you live in planting zones ranging from three to nine to grow succulents outdoor.

Many sturdy succulents, including Golden Barrel Cactus, Pincushion Cactus, cholla, and Graptopetalum, can tolerate mild cold temperatures. You will be surprised to know that some types, specifically species of Delosperma, Opuntia, Agave, Sempervivum, Sedum, and Yucca can survive outdoors in plant zones 4 or 5, where temperature can decrease up to -30 F. However, extreme weather still have a negative impact on your succulents so it is best to take your plant indoor or have some protection when temperature drop below freezing point.


While most of the succulents require plenty of sunlight to grow healthy, some may desire partial sunlight to thrive well. A six-hour sunlight is recommended to keep your succulent happy but putting your succulent under full blazing sun is not always a good idea. 

Succulents with colorful foliage are more likely to bask in intense sun than green species. Large succulents, like Sempervivum or Agave, also have better tolerance towards full sun. Other succulents, despite high drought-tolerance, might be damaged from scorching heat in zone areas 9-12. 

Pink Jelly Bean

Succulents with colorful foliage are more likely to bask in intense sun than green species.

Giving them some shade from the afternoon sun using shade cloth, arbors, lattice, or plants with light-textured foliage is recommended. Also, planting succulents near the house so they can avoid some blazing heat during daytime would be a good idea as well.

Keep in mind that giving proper sunlight depends on the variety you choose to grow. Considering your succulent’s specific needs, choose a proper spot for planting your greens. However, if you do not have a proper spot for your plants to grow, you can put your succulents in a container. This will allow you to move your plant around.


Soil condition is a vital in plant growing. Soil need to drain well; if it doesn't, it could negatively impact plants' health. To high-resistant genus like succulents, well-drained soil is no doubt indispensable.

So how do we ensure we have a good spot to grow succulents outdoor? Do a test to check soil condition: Dig a hole at least 1 foot deep and fill it with water. If the water drains within a half hour, the soil is sufficiently porous. If not, simply mix in 3 inches of sand or other gritty material to increase the texture and drainage. Ingredients like Perlite, Sand or Compost work well in improving drainage in heavy and compacted soil.

You can also top the area with a layer of pebbles or small rocks to act as mulch. This help prevent weeds and conserves moisture while allowing evaporation of excess water.

Similarly, if you are not planning to grow your succulents in the ground but in a container, add small rocks, preferably pebble stones or sand. It will help the soil inside the pot drain well after watering.


Despite being a drought-resistant plants, succulents need adequate amount of water to grow healthy, especially during their growing period.

However, "Less is more" something applies best to succulents. Succulents tend to die from overwatering more than underwatering. Hence, many growers prefer to just water their outdoor succulents once every few week during rainy season, maybe more often in really hot areas in zone 9-12. They also cut down on watering frequency during winter so as to prevent succulents' root from rotting and to help them survive cold temperature.

Other protection might be required such as covering outdoor succulents from rain or moving them inside. Again, always remember to check the soil is a couple of inches dry before giving your succulents more water.


General speaking, succulents do not need fertilizer. However, if you want to add a little lush or to encourage it to bloom, some extra fertilizer would do no harm. Most popular choices of fertilizers for succulents are manure tea, diluted fish emulsion or balanced fertilizers. You can use the all-purpose soluble 8-8-8 fertilizer with a smaller amount for your succulent. Dilute half or 1/3 or the recommended amount on the package with 1 gallon of water. Fertilize once every month; it will keep your plant happy and chubby. Stop fertilizing during winter time.

Fertilize once every month; it will keep your plant happy and chubby.

It is essential to mention here that some gardeners do not prefer to fertilize their succulents. Because their succulents do not need it, they thrive well without any fertilizer. Therefore, if you see your plant is doing well without fertilizer, there is no need to fertilize it. Nevertheless, if you see that your plant has stopped growing, adding fertilizer once every month will help boost its growth.

[Blooming]When your Succulent Blooms Outdoor

Some of your chubby plants will produce striking and vibrant flowers in their respective blooming seasons. Not to mention, these bright and beautiful flowers will grow at the end of the shoot, which emerges from the center of your plant.

However, once the blooming season is over, the shoot will fall off. Therefore, make sure to twist the stalk gently to snag it of your plant. When the next flowering season comes, your succulent will produce a new shoot.

Some of your chubby plants will produce striking and vibrant flowers in their respective blooming seasons.

Final Word

No matter what species you choose to grow, succulents need different care in summer and winter. Therefore, whether you want to grow sempervivum, aeonium, or any other lovely succulent outdoor, keep these tips in mind to ensure that your plants stay happy and healthy. Giving your plants suitable growing conditions will help you maintain a gorgeous garden.

See more about How to Care for your Indoor Succulents

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Find out more other Types of Succulents Care Guide

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