How Cold Hardy Are Succulents? Your Complete Guide

How cold hardy are succulents? Maybe you want to grow a succulent in a cold climate and want to know if it is possible.

Keep reading to find out how cold hardy succulents are and how best to care for your succulents during winter.

How cold hardy are succulents? Sempervivium covered in frost

Most succulents are cold-hardy, but cannot tolerate frost.

Succulents can typically survive temperatures as low as 32.9 degrees Fahrenheit (0.5 degrees Celsius), but once frost arrives at freezing point (32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius), your succulents will get frost burns.

When the frost hits, the water inside the succulents freezes. A mild frost is unlikely to kill your succulent, but as the temperature drops to 28.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 degrees Celsius), succulents can freeze and turn to mush quickly!

Now, it isn’t all doom and gloom. This does not apply to all succulents. Some succulents can survive harsh frosts. These include:

  • some Agaves (including Queen Victoria Agave, Agave Parryi, Agave Palmeri)
  • Sempervivum
  • some Orosrtachys
  • most Sedums (also known as Stonecrops)
  • some Opuntia
  • Euphorbia Rigida
  • Aloe Blue Elf
  • Aloe Humilis (Spider Aloe)
  • Yucca Rigida

The majority of succulents, however, need to be kept in a greenhouse or indoors when the weather gets frosty.

Queen Victoria Agave
Queen Victoria Agave

Cold weather can impact succulents in different ways. When temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), the brightest and best colors will appear on your succulents.

Why? The cold weather can stress succulents. This can prompt some succulents to produce more pigments resulting in brighter, stronger colors in the leaves, especially reds and purples.

Not all succulents will exhibit significant color changes during winter, and the extent of coloration can vary depending on the species, growing conditions, and individual characteristics of each plant.

How To Care For Succulents In Winter

How Cold Hardy Are Succulents Your Complete Guide

Let’s look at how best to care for your succulents during the colder weather and winter months.

To achieve the best colors in your succulents, you want to place them in a sunny spot. Doing so will help your succulents achieve brighter colors and still get some of the sunshine they need to survive.

If you live in a mild climate, your succulents can stay outdoors for most of the year.

If you are in climates where you see frost at around 28.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 degrees Celsius), your succulents can still survive outdoors. However, they will need some help! You don’t want the frost to get inside them and cause harm, so you will need a frost cloth.

Frost cloth is a light, white cloth that is placed on succulents or large pots that are too heavy to be moved indoors.

Smaller succulents can be moved indoors during the frosty weather to remove the need for a frost cloth.

If you are growing succulents in a cold climate, it’s a great idea to keep them in pots so they can be transported inside easily for the winter. When reports of frost come in, you can move the pots into a greenhouse or indoors.

Take care when transporting your succulents indoors though, as a lot of them don’t enjoy it. They miss the bright lights and might start losing leaves, stretching, or rotting.

To best care for your succulents indoors, put them in the brightest window you have with lots of sun.

If you have rare plants, it’s worth considering a grow light. This will imitate the sun’s rays and provide your sun with the light it needs to grow indoors.

How To Keep Succulents Alive in Winter

Final Thoughts

Succulents are generally cold-hardy but do not survive the frost very well. When the frosty weather rolls in, you will need to change how you care for your succulents.

You can either use a frost cloth or move your succulents indoors, provided you can replicate their desired conditions indoors!


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