As the temperature drops, are your succulents okay? Succulents are hardy, and some of them are also frosted tolerant, but they do require extra care during the winter months. Your succulents may not be able to live year-round outdoors. You will need to bring your plants indoors with grow light for succulents to ensure their safety so they can stay in bloom until the new spring.
In this article, we take you through how to properly care for your succulents indoors during the winter months.
Can Succulents Survive the Winter?
Of course, they can! But do they spend winter outdoors or indoors?
Some of the cold-tolerant “Hard Succulents” like the genera Sempervivum, Sedum, and Euphorbias genus, most of which can withstand temperatures as low as -20°F. Soft Succulents, such as Aloe vera, prefer mild weather, and they prefer room temperatures around 50°F.
Succulents have a very wide temperature range, but it is limiting. Soft succulents cannot survive temperatures below freezing, and even a light frost can damage tender leaves.
When temperatures approach freezing, it is best to bring plants indoors to ensure their safety.
How Do Succulents Survive the Winter?
When to Bring Succulents Indoors?
Autumn is the best time to move succulents indoors. Don’t wait until the actual winter, as you need to prevent your plants from sensing changes in weather conditions.
When temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, some succulents such as Echeveria, Crassula and Aloe will need protection from frost. Regardless of which genus they belong to, you should not put your succulents in freezing temperatures.
Because succulents store so much water in their leaves, trunks and stems, when the temperature freezes, the water expands and breaks through the cell membranes. Eventually, the plant will die.
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How to Take Care of Succulents in Winter?
The winter care will depend on the type of plant; hard or soft.
1) Hard Succulents
a) Cut Off Dry Leaves
During normal development, dry leaves are an essential part of succulent plants. They shed and grow new life at the same time. But in winter, when it is cold and wet, these dead parts will absorb a lot of water, which will cause the whole plant to rot and get sick.
b) Reduce Watering
In winter, you have to water less frequently. But it is also important that you prevent any other water from coming into contact with your hardy succulents.
Snow is a good enough mulch. However, if mulch is not available, consider moving the plants under it. This way, the plants will avoid decay caused by prolonged exposure to moisture.
c) Consider Transplanting
You should start transplanting a few months before winter to make sure the roots are acclimated and the succulents are well-developed. Rather than leaving them in pots, plant the plants in the ground as this will provide better conditions.
If you can’t make it in time, move your plants to a place with a few hours of sunlight and no rain or any other water source.
2) Soft Succulents
a) Transfer Succulents Indoors
Tender succulents cannot survive frost and very low temperatures. If you leave them outside to fight, you will have this group of fighters a few weeks after the season starts.
The best thing to do is to bring them indoors where the temperature is right and frost is not present. They will thank you for it.
b) Reduce Watering Frequency
The soil is slowly drying out due to the winter and the fact that your pots are indoors.
Watering too often is the fastest way to kill succulents. Your watering pattern needs to change and water sparsely, allowing the soil to dry out completely. This will allow your soft succulents to thrive.
c) Ensure Maximum Light
Growing indoors in the winter means little to no light due to the short days.
The succulent light requirement is at least 8 hours of bright indirect sunlight per day to keep their shape indoors. It’s best to place your plants near a window and rotate the pots properly so that your plants don’t grow or fade because of the light on only one side.
If a proper window is not available, consider growing succulents under grow lights. This will help you keep your succulents lighted for steady growth.
Plant grow lights do not need to work all day, they just need to meet the necessary daily light hours for succulents. This is because succulents also need darkness, at night, to complete their normal growth cycle.
d) Maintain a Steady Airflow
Open windows to let the wind in or use fans to keep the air moving around your plants to ensure that the potting mix can dry quickly to avoid rot and pests.
Keep in mind that succulents near heating vents may need to be watered more frequently. Direct air and warm temperatures can dry items faster.