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Can Succulents Survive Winter?

Can Succulents Survive Winter?

Winter is coming. For succulent enthusiasts, this can be a scary prospect. Will my succulents make it through the cold winter months? Will they die if I don’t take care of them properly? In this comprehensive guide, we will answer all of your questions about whether succulents can survive winter. We’ll provide tips on how to keep your succulents healthy and thriving during the colder months, and we’ll let you know what to do if you think your succulent might not make it through the winter.

Succulents in General

Succulents are popular houseplants due to their low-maintenance needs and aesthetic appeal.

Despite being part of the same family, there is a wide variety of succulent plants to choose from with each having its own unique characteristics.

Succulents in General

The most common type of succulent is cacti, which are usually recognizable by sharp spines on them. These spines provide protection against predators and desert heat and help conserve water loss. Cacti also come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from small pincushion varieties that fit in your palm to tall saguaro cacti that can reach heights of up to 40 feet.

Other types of succulents include jade plants, aloe vera, and sedums. Jade plants are popular for their oval-shaped leaves and ability to produce new shoots from cuttings. Aloe vera is known for its healing properties and also has low-maintenance needs. Meanwhile, sedums have thick fleshy leaves that come in colors ranging from green to deep purple and can be used as a groundcover or even in hanging baskets.

No matter what type of succulent you choose, they all thrive best when given plenty of light, well-draining soil, and the occasional watering. With the right care, these hardy plants will bring years of beauty into your home. [1], [2], [3]

Can Succulents Survive Cold Weather?

Many gardeners however are often concerned about the cold weather and whether their succulents can survive it. The good news is that most types of succulents are capable of surviving temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that if you live in a temperate climate, your succulent plants will likely be able to tolerate winter without any additional care or protection.

Most succulents however can only handle temps of or above the 40 degree Fahrenheit mark for extended periods of time. If the temperatures are expected to drop below this, it is important to take extra precautions to ensure that your succulent survives the winter.

To have a better guess at whether your succulents can handle the winter season, you should take note of their species. Generally succulents can be divided into hardy succulents and soft succulents.

Soft succulents

Soft succulents, also known as winter-susceptible succulents, are not very frost tolerant and need to be brought inside before the temperatures start to drop. These plants can include species such as gasteria, echeveria, haworthia, jade plant, and sedum morganianum (burro’s tail).

Although these plants may tolerate cold temperatures for brief periods of time, it’s best to keep them in a warm environment when the weather starts getting colder.

Hardy succulents

The majority of cacti and other hardy types of succulents are able to survive winter with little help from humans. These plants can tolerate frosts and even stay outside in temps below the freezing point. In addition, hardy succulents are more drought-resistant and can handle periods of no watering for longer than soft succulents.

Can Succulents Survive Cold Weather?

The easiest way to find out if your succulent is winter hardy is to look up its species online or ask your local nursery. The hardiness level of the succulent should be listed on its tag or in the description. [1], [2], [3]

How to Prepare Your Succulents For Winter Indoors

Not only outdoor plants need to be prepared for the winter season, so do succulents indoors. Succulents are pretty hardy and can survive the harsh winter conditions if they are properly taken care of. Let’s discuss some tips on how to prepare your succulents for winter indoors:

Get the time to bring your succulents indoors correctly

The best time to bring your succulents indoors is before temperatures start to drop. This usually happens during the late fall when night-time temperatures are still warm enough for these plants.

Generally, you want your succulents to be ready for indoor living before temperatures reach the 40 degree Fahrenheit mark. If you wait too long to bring them in, it will be harder for your succulents to adjust and they may start showing signs of shock or even die.

Get the succulents ready for indoor living

The most important thing you need to do is ensure your succulents are ready for indoor living. This means ensuring that they have plenty of light, water and food available throughout the winter season.

You should also spray your succulents with an insecticide a few weeks prior to taking them inside, to prevent any pests from coming inside with them. This will ensure that your succulents survive the winter and remain healthy without spreading pests to other plants.

How to Prepare Your Succulents For Winter Indoors

While you’re at it, get rid of any debris, dead leaves or weeds around the succulents, and make sure to clean the leaves and stems. This will help to remove more potential pests and diseases that could hurt your succulents over winter.

Prepare a pot for your succulent

When preparing a pot for your succulent, make sure to use one with plenty of drainage. This will help prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged and promote better air circulation around the roots.

You should also add a layer of mulch to the top of the soil in order to protect it from extreme temperatures. The mulch acts as an insulator and will help keep your succulents warm during cold weather days.

The soil should also be well-draining and contain plenty of organic matter. The addition of compost, manure or peat moss will help to keep the soil moist and provide additional nutrients for your succulents.

Bring succulents inside

Once the succulents are ready to come inside, you should move them one by one and into the appropriate pot. Make sure that each plant is placed in a location where it will receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight each day.

The temperatures indoors should be between 50-60°F throughout the day. If you are unable to provide this temperature range, then consider using a grow light to create the same environment.

You should also provide your succulents with enough light. Majority of succulents thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. If you do not have an adequate amount of natural light indoors, then consider using artificial lighting to supplement the sunlight.

Consider rotating your succulents often to help them receive light on all sides. This will keep your succulents healthy and prevent them from becoming lopsided or extra leggy.

If you have trouble providing enough natural light, a grow light is a great way to provide additional lighting for your succulents during the winter months. Fluorescent bulbs are the best option for this, as they provide a more natural spectrum of light for your plants.

Finally, make sure to water your succulents regularly throughout the winter season. The soil should stay moist but not soggy. Check the soil each week and if it feels dry, then add some more water.

Reduce watering in winter

Still, as temperatures start to drop, you should reduce the amount of water given to your succulents. This is because during cold weather months plants don’t need as much water as they do when it’s hot outside. Too much water can cause the roots to rot and can lead to diseases such as root rot.

This will help your plants to reach the state of dormancy and survive the cold winter months. Dormancy is important for succulents because it allows them to store energy and nutrients that can be used to help them make it through the winter season.

You should also avoid giving too little water during winter months; this can cause the leaves to dry out which could then lead them to become damaged and die off. Aim for a balance between dry and wet to keep your succulents healthy over the winter.

Provide them with enough airflow

Succulents need plenty of airflow in order to survive winter. Poor ventilation can cause fungal diseases and other pests to thrive in the moist environment, so it’s important to provide your succulents with enough air circulation.

How to Prepare Your Succulents For Winter Indoors

This can be achieved in a variety of ways, including opening windows, using a fan or dehumidifier, and avoiding overcrowding your plants in one pot.

By far the most effective way however is replacing the soil with a well-draining substrate. This will help the soil to aerate and provide more space for oxygen and water. [1], [2]

How to Prepare Your Succulents For Winter Outdoors

If you choose to keep your succulents outdoors during the winter months, then you should prepare them accordingly. Succulents need protection from extreme temperatures, strong winds and other environmental factors that can cause damage over time. However, as long as you take the necessary precautions, it is possible for your succulents to survive and even thrive through winter.

Get rid of dried leaves

When healthy, succulents are covered with lush, vibrant foliage which they will shed as the temperature drops. This is a natural process and should not be a cause for concern as long as you remove the dead leaves from around your plants.

However, if left unpicked, the dead leaves can collect moisture and cause mold or fungus problems within your succulent’s environment. This, in turn, can lead to root rot and even death. So make sure you take a few moments every week throughout the winter months to remove any dead foliage from around your plants.

Transplant potted succulents into ground

For succulents that have been planted in pots, it is often best to transplant them into the ground one month before the winter frost arrives. This will provide greater protection from cold temperatures as the soil can act as an insulator and help keep roots warm.

Transplanting will also ensure that your succulents will be fully rooted in the ground before winter arrives and can provide better support for heavier snowfalls. Make sure to choose a planting area that will not be exposed to full sunlight or too much moisture, as this can cause your succulents to become stressed or diseased.

Protect them from moisture

Succulents enjoy water just like any other plant and need it for healthy growth. However, too much moisture can cause them to become diseased or rot. So during the winter months you should make sure that your succulents are not exposed to excessive moisture.

How to Prepare Your Succulents For Winter Outdoors

Most of the time, snow will protect your succulents from excess water. But if you live in an area that receives heavy snowfalls or is particularly wet, then it might be wise to provide some extra protection. You can do this by relocating your succulents to sheltered areas or by providing a layer of mulch around the base to help absorb any moisture. [1], [2]


Can I leave succulents outside in winter?

Hardy succulents can usually survive temperatures below freezing. However, it is important to remember that temperature fluctuations throughout the day and night can take a toll on succulents. To keep them safe during cold weather, always make sure to monitor your outdoor succulents for any signs of frost damage or stress.

Be sure to protect your outdoor succulents from moisture and wind as much as possible. If you live in an area with harsh winters, it is best to move your plants indoors or into a greenhouse. This will help keep them safe from the cold and frost while still allowing them to receive some sun and air circulation.

How do you keep succulents alive in the winter?

While succulents are hardier than other plants, they still need some extra care during the winter months. Care needs to be taken to ensure that your succulents have enough light, water, and warmth.

When it comes to providing light for your succulents during the winter, try to keep them in a bright spot where they can get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. If you live in an area with long winters and short days, you may want to consider supplementing their light with artificial lights (grow lamps or LED strips).

Soft succulents should be prepared for being transferred indoors weeks in advance. This will help them acclimate to all the different changes in environment and temperature and ensure all the applied treatments will work.

Can succulents be left outside in the winter?

Certain varieties of succulents definitely can be left outside in the winter. Some succulents are actually hardier than others and can tolerate colder temperatures, so it’s important to do your research and make sure you understand which varieties can handle cooler climates. Generally speaking, most tropical succulents (such as jade plants) should be brought indoors for the winter months where temperatures may dip below freezing. However, some common desert-dwelling succulent species such as Aeoniums, Echeverias, Sempervivums, Agaves and Yuccas can survive outdoor temperatures down to 20°F and lower.

How cold is too cold for succulents?

The answer to this question varies based on the type of succulent you have.

Generally speaking, most succulents can tolerate temperatures as low as 40°F.

However, some species may become damaged at temperatures lower than this. Cold-hardy varieties are more tolerant of cold conditions and can survive temperatures down to 30°F or even lower. It is best to research the specific needs of your particular type of succulent before taking it outdoors in colder climates.

When considering outdoor winter weather for your plants, temperature isn’t the only factor that needs to be taken into account. Succulents will also suffer if they experience wind, frost, rain, or snow. Make sure to protect them from these elements with a shelter or cover if necessary.

Do succulents come back to life after winter?

The short answer is yes. Succulents can survive winter and come back to life in spring. However, the type of succulent and its environment have a major role to play in whether it will thrive or not during the cold season.

In general, most succulents are adapted to survive in arid climates where temperatures can drop below freezing. To prepare themselves for winter weather, some species of succulents will go dormant and slow down their metabolic processes so that they use less energy and are better able to cope with colder temperatures.

To ensure your succulent has the best chance at survival during the winter months, you should take necessary precautions. Make sure to protect them from any extremely cold temperatures by bringing them indoors if needed or placing a protective layer of mulch around the base of your plant. Also, reduce watering to once every 2-3 weeks as overwatering can cause root rot and eventual death.

Useful Video: Can succulents stay outside during winter? | Succulents in Seconds


Succulents are hardy plants that can typically survive in temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and sometimes lower! However whether succulents will survive winter depends on the variety of succulents and several other factors, such as their type, the temperature, amount of sunlight, humidity level and amount of care they receive.

Some succulents can survive winter outside with protection, while others may need to be brought indoors before the cold weather sets in. If you live in an area where the temperatures dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to bring your soft succulents inside during the winter months.

Provide your succulents with bright, indirect light, and water them only when their soil is completely dry. Ensure that you use well-draining soil and containers with drainage holes so that excess water can evaporate quickly. Additionally, consider adding a few inches of organic mulch around your succulents to help protect their roots from temperature changes.

And don’t forget to treat your plants with insecticide a week (or weeks) before bringing them indoors if you are worried about pests and diseases.

By following these tips, you can give your succulents the best chance of surviving winter, no matter where you live. With a little luck and lots of TLC, your succulents will be ready to thrive in warmer weather when spring comes around again!


  1. https://mountaincrestgardens.com/blog/how-winter-cold-affects-succulents/
  2. https://succulentsbox.com/blogs/blog/how-to-prepare-your-succulents-for-winter-time
  3. https://succulentsbox.com/blogs/blog/best-outdoor-succulents-for-extreme-cold-weather