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Indoor & Outdoor Winter Care Guide for Succulents

5 min read

Indoor & Outdoor Winter Care Guide for Succulents



While fall is here, your succulents will need extra attention and care to thrive. However, if you have winter-tolerant species, such as Ice Plant, Sedum, Lewisia, Hens and Chicks, or Yucca, you will not need to worry about any extra care in winters.

These chubby greens will be withering, shrinking, and even changing their color as the temperature drops- it is a part of their growth period. You do not need to fret; these winter-hardy succulents can withstand freezing temperatures.

For the varieties that are less hardy, a deadly combination of waterlogged and cold temperatures, soggy soil from snow-melt and rains is a big problem. However, many types of succulents will withstand colder temperatures, specifically when you keep the soil dry enough.

That said, learning essential winter care tips for your succulents are imperative. Fortunately, we have compiled a brief guide that will help you learn how to take proper care for your succulents during winters.

Winter care guide for indoor and outdoor succulents


Succulents Care during Winters

Indoor & Outdoor Winter Care Guide for Succulents


Depends on the types of succulents you have planted and the region where you live, you will need to decide whether to keep your adorable plants outdoor or bring them indoors in the cold season. Keep in mind that some succulents are not good enough at tolerating breezy days and cold nights. 

So, if you have a less-sturdy variety of succulents that cannot handle freezing temperatures and your region see snow in winters, you will need to bring your plants inside to ensure they survive during the season. Most succulent can only endure winter temperature at around 40°F.

If you live in a colder zone and you want to order succulents online during wintertime, it's best to include a heat pack to protect your plants from frost.


How to Overwinter your Outdoor Succulents

If you have a winter-hardy variety of succulents, you may want to leave them outside throughout the winters. However, your chubby outdoor greens still need to care properly or else the frost may cause damage to them.

Not to mention, the soggy soil in winters can cause the roots of your plant to rot. Moreover, if your region experiences excess rainfall in the cold season, it will engorge the succulents’ cells. Besides, the frost can cause the plant cell walls to burst. Therefore, it is essential to protect your plant from all these damaging conditions by taking preventative measures.

While some succulents can tolerate freezing temperatures, none of the variety wants a frequent watering or high humidity in any season of the year. Instead, succulent prefer good airflow, bright sunlight, and well-draining soil. Here are some steps that you must take good care of your in-ground plants during winters.


Build a Greenhouse

Winter care for outdoor and indoor succulents


The temperature in winter nights may drop to 25 F, which most of the succulents will not be able to tolerate. Therefore, if your region experiences the same temperature in winters, move your succulents into a DIY greenhouse; if you have a gazebo, cover it with 5mm plastic and transfer your succulents in there. Make sure to anchor the plastic well and secure the seams with tape. If the temperature drops more, you can also add a small heater.


Cover Your Succulents

Winter Care Guide for Succulents - Cover Succulents

<Source: Youtube channel (Gary Pilarchik)> 

If your area experiences occasional frost, cover your outdoor succulents with bed sheets. You can also use row cover or nonwoven fabric, which arex usually made of spun nylon.  Covering your plants with such sheets will protect them during 2-4 degrees below freezing.

Besides, do not strip off dry leaves from your plants, as it protects them from extreme temperatures. Move your cold-sensitive plants beneath a tree, deck, or eaves; it will help keep heat from scattering away.


When Should You Bring Your Succulent Inside In Winters?

Winter Care Guide for Succulents - Moving Succulents Inside


As mentioned earlier, this largely depends on the region where you live and what you are growing. However, you will have to bring your delicate succulents indoors before the first frost; yet if you have cold-hardy plants, you can leave them outside all year round.

To determine the need to bring your sempervivum species inside for winters, it is essential to know the growing zone of your region. Know the average low temperature of your place. For instance, succulents rated higher than Zone 5 cannot survive the cold, and thus you have to keep them indoors during the cold season.

In the areas that come under Zone 9, most of the sempervivum species will do fine outdoor during winters. Only a few succulents are there that come in Zone 10 and 11. You will need to place these plants indoors.


Moving Succulents Inside

Two to three days before bringing your succulents inside, water them so that they soak up the water and begin to dry out. Prep the pot and fill it with well-draining soil; make sure your plant pot has a drainage hole. Besides, remove the debris and cobweb from the pots or else the dead organic material and dirt can contaminate your succulents. Inspect your chubby greens for mealy bugs; if you find any bug around your plant, make sure to remove it before bringing the plant inside. You can find the way to get rid of mealy bugs on succulents here.

Since these incredible plants will probably shed its leaves during the cold season, maintain and prune them well. Remove the dead leaves with tweezers, as it will help prevent your plant from rotting.


Watering For Indoor And Outdoor Succulents In Winters

Watering For Indoor And Outdoor Succulents In Winters

Echeveria Topsy Turvy Succulent | Click here to purchase


Keep in mind that many succulents do not need much water in winters since they are dormant during the season. On the other hand, some succulents will need you to water them appropriately so that they grow healthy. For the succulents that are winter growers, such as Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’, you will need to water them more frequently. Water your plants only when the soil feels dry on touch.


Sunlight Requirements

Ensuring that your succulents are getting enough sunlight is one of the toughest things about growing the plants inside. You will need to place the plants near the brightest window where they can grow in the indirect sunlight for at least 8 hours.


The Bottom Line 

If you leave your succulents outside in the temperatures that they cannot tolerate, you will begin to notice the damage from frost. The cold season wreaks havoc to these chubby greens, causing the plant cells to burst. Therefore, it is crucial to bring the less winter-hardy plants inside and taking proper care of them.


Enjoy your gardening with our collection of best indoor succulents and outdoor succulents. They are easy to grow, incredibly adaptable, relatively pest-free, and are low maintenance - ideal for any home, office, or garden to make a perfect green space.


See more about 8 Types of Outdoor Succulents for Extreme Cold Weather

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For Types of Succulents Careguide. Read more information here.

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