I have a huge collection of succulents outdoors as well as indoors. Just before the winters, I used to get a little worried about my outdoor succulents and the only question that used to cross my mind was Are succulents frost resistant? As a beginner, it was an obvious question and I am sure you might also be wondering the same thing, that’s why you are reading this article right? Well, let’s answer your question quickly.
Succulents are frost resistant but not all succulents can tolerate frost. Hardy succulents are the ones that can thrive in cold and are considered frost resistant. Hardy succulents can still grow even if they are covered in snow.
There are two varieties of succulents one as I have mentioned hardy succulents that are tolerant to cold and the other one is soft succulents they are usually conditioned to thrive in a desert climate. If you live in a region where it gets too cold and you are one of those who loves to have succulents outdoor throughout all seasons then consider hardy succulents.
What Succulents Are Hardy?
Few species are hardy and my favorites are Sempervivum and Sedum varieties. These succulents are capable of withstanding cold and are hardy succulents. If you are planning to have a hardy here is the list of all hardy succulents.
These are a few succulents that are hardy and can be a good addition to your collection. Now let’s get to know about soft succulents.
What Are Soft Succulents?
Succulents that are habitual to thrive in the desert climate are generally called soft succulents. They do not tolerate frost and should be brought indoors as the temperature drops down. Soft succulents go dormant in winter what that means is their growth stops. So it is preferred not to fertilize them in winters.
How Winter Dormancy Affects Succulents?
Winter affects differently to every succulent species; they have different growing categories for succulents during winter. Some succulents stay partially dormant while others grow in this season. Most succulents do not change their appearance during winters; they stay as they are, neither they grow nor they die. These succulents are usually soft succulents during this season. It is very important to care for them as they might not get away with the cold. It is important to bring them indoors at night as they are not prone to the night temperature.
Hardy succulents are the ones that usually grow during winters. It is their growing season and they usually love winters. They grow vibrant in colors and look very beautiful. It is very beneficial to give them fertilizers right before their growing season as that will promote their growth.
What temperature is too cold for succulents?
As you know the cold affects differently to soft and hardy succulents. Therefore it is important to understand them separately and what temperature suits the succulents.
For Soft Succulents:
Soft succulents are usually capable of handling temperatures over 33 degrees F. These succulents can retain water in leaves and are habitual to desert climatic conditions so it is very tough for these soft succulents to thrive in below-freezing temperatures. They are not capable of surviving frost therefore they can be called non-tolerant to frost.
Soft succulents tend to start rotting when the temperature gets as low as freezing. Due to the freezing of the leaves, water inside the leaves freezes and eventually they die at this temperature. Therefore it is important to care for the soft succulents in winters.
For Hardy Succulents:
Hardy succulents are frost tolerant and can go up to -20 degrees F. This temperature is below freezing. As they are capable of thriving in this kind of temperature hardy succulents can tolerate frost. They do great in zone 4 and 5 as that climate suits their basic needs.
Although these succulents are capable of thriving in cold weather, they do need their soil to dry quickly. They cannot sit in damp soil as that damages the succulents so keep the succulents in soil that drains faster.
What happens if a succulent freezes?
Freezing of succulents is the last thing you would wish to happen to your beautiful plant. As freezing will completely damage the plants and their cells will change the plant’s cellular structure or tissues forever. The hardest thing is to save the frozen succulent. Therefore, it is essential to take care of succulents and protect them from frost.
How do I protect my succulents from frost?
Protecting your succulents from frost is a task whether you are growing hardy succulent or soft succulents, you are growing them indoors or outdoors, you have to take a bit of care for your succulents.
Let’s differentiate this into two succulent categories firstly we will talk about the hardy succulents then about the soft succulents.
1. Protecting Hardy succulents from Frost:
Hardy succulents can be left outdoors during the winters. Therefore the first thing you can do to protect your plant is by taking the succulents out of the pots and then plant them into the ground. That will help succulents to stay insulated and will help the soil to dry way faster than that of pots. But remember you should do this at least a month before the winter so that the roots can get fully accustomed to the soil.
The second one is to protect the plant from the water. No succulents like to be overwatered. As it is already winter that we are talking about, you should water the succulents very little in it. Succulents do not like to sit in cold and wet surroundings. If you make them sit in such a way then surely they will start to rot.
The third thing is to pull off the dead and dried leaves from the succulents. That will avoid the rotting of the stem and the plant and also it will enhance the new and fresh growth. Succulents usually will get rid of the dried leaves to grow the new ones.
2. Protecting Soft Succulents From Frost:
Soft succulents cannot thrive in cold they need to be taken care of during winters. Bring the succulents indoors as soon as the temperature drops. These succulents need a few things to stay healthy that are sunlight, airflow, water, and well-draining soil. If you can provide these during winters that will ensure your succulents thrive winter.
Give them the Light
Succulents love sunlight but most of the time during winters it is impossible to get direct sunlight. In these kinds of situations keep your succulents under the artificial lights or you can buy grow lights from amazon (I am not an affiliate to it just sharing my honest opinion). Succulents need at least 1-2 hours of light daily to grow. You can also keep the indoor succulents near the window to get the shade of natural light.
Keep them in a ventilated area
It is very important to keep the succulents in a place where they can get good air. That will help the succulents to get rid of moisture faster and will avoid rotting and the formation of pests. Keep succulents near the window to help them get some natural air and light.
Having a correct watering schedule
During winter succulents do not need much water, therefore, you must give a little amount of water. It takes time to dry the soil during winter. Therefore before watering the succulents make sure that the soil is completely dry. You can follow this method of what I call soak and dry, just wait for the soil to dry before watering.
Keeping them in well-draining soil
Succulents do not like the wet and damp soil that causes harm to them and starts rotting. During winters it is important to keep succulents in good quality soil that dries faster to avoid moisture in the soil. Also, it is very useful to have pots that have drainage holes that will also help to dry soil quickly and will flush away excess water from the pot.
It is important to care for succulents during winters whether they are hardy or soft succulents they both need little care from you to survive frost. Hardy succulents are frost-resistant plants that can stay outdoors even if it snows and temperature drops. They grow beautifully and vibrant in winters as it is their growing season.
Finally, I hope you have found this article helpful if you have any queries make sure to leave a comment below. I will get back to you as soon as possible.