7 Cold Hardy Succulents For Northern Climate You Didn’t Know About

Succulents are known for loving sunshine and warm temperatures. So if you live in a cold climate, you probably think you can’t plant succulents in your garden. Well, luckily, you’re wrong! Some succulents can be grown in cold areas of the country, so you won’t have to settle for other plants!

While it is true that lots of succulents come from warm places like rainforests and deserts, some succulents come from colder, mountainous regions. They’ve adapted to handle below-freezing temperatures, severe frosts, and even snow, so they can stand up to any weather you throw at them!

If you live in a cold, dreary climate, you should plant one of these cold-hardy succulents in your garden this winter to brighten things up! Keep reading to see our full list of seven unique cold-hardy succulents that you probably didn’t know about until now!

1. Whale’s Tongue Agave

The Whale’s Tongue succulent is native to northeastern Mexico, a region that gets some pretty severe winter frosts. That’s why it can handle temperatures down to zero degrees and thrive in growing zones seven through eleven. 

This plant isn’t just cold hardy⁠—it’s also absolutely gorgeous! It has wide, blue-gray leaves that are both distinctive and beautiful. Some people say the leaves look like the curved tongues of orcas and other whales, which is how this succulent got the unique name Whale’s Tongue! 

The Whale’s Tongue succulent can grow to be up to four feet tall and wide. So between its distinctive leaves and its tall height, it’s a real statement plant! 

Interested in the Whale’s Tongue? Click here for our in-depth guide on caring for these large beauties!

7 Cold Hardy Succulents You Didn't Know About
Whale’s Tongue Agave @plantsmans_nursery

2. Blue Spruce—Sedum Reflexum 

This sedum got the name Blue Spruce because its leaves resemble pine needles and are a beautiful blue-green color, just like spruce trees. In the winter, though, the blue-green leaves, that they’re known for, flush salmon pink. We love how the blue and pink colors contrast with each other and add visual interest to a mostly dormant winter garden!

Sedum succulents can stand up to frigid winter temperatures. Sedum can survive cold blasts down to negative thirty degrees, which is pretty impressive for a succulent. So if you live in a super chilled area of the country like the Midwest, Blue Spruce succulents are the ones for you! 

If blue is the color for you, here’s 8 Blue Succulents You Need in Your Succulent Garden!

7 Cold Hardy Succulents You Didn't Know About
Blue Spruce @tanne_tante.de

3. Jovibarba Heuffelii

You’ve probably heard of Hens and Chicks succulents, but have you heard of Jovibarba? They’re a small genus of succulents that are native to alpine regions and can withstand temperatures down to negative thirty or even forty degrees. They’re often called the “other Hens and Chicks” because they sprout lots of chicks, both on stolons and around their leaves. Jovibarba succulents also have rosettes that are very similar to Hens and Chicks, so they’re pretty hard to tell apart unless you’re a succulent expert! 

This particular variety of Jovibarba, Jovibarba heuffelii, has beautiful green rosettes that flush red during the winter. They also sprout bright yellow bell-shaped flowers in the warmer months and are a beautiful addition to any garden. They’re a little harder to track down than the more common Hens and Chicks plant, but they’re worth the extra effort!

Check out our guide on How to Grow Hens and Chicks Succulents in this article!

7 Cold Hardy Succulents You Didn't Know About
Jovibarba Heuffelii @dig_if_you_will_the_pics

4. Cooper’s Ice Plant—Delosperma cooperi

Ice plants are succulents that are strong enough to withstand the cold— down to negative twenty degrees. Surprisingly, they didn’t get their name because of their cold hardiness, though! Their name stems from the fact that their leaves seem to glisten. Some people say that their leaves look like they’re covered in frost or ice crystals. Sounds beautiful. 

That’s why ice plants are perfect for your garden! In addition to having beautiful, shimmering leaves, they also produce vibrant blooms throughout the summer that look like daisies. This particular variety, Cooper’s Ice Plant, produces bright pink flowers that stand out. So if you want to plant something in your garden that makes a statement all year round, pick up a few of these ice plants! 

Ready to add an Ice Plant to your succulent garden? Here’s our guide on caring for Ice Plants!

7 Cold Hardy Succulents You Didn't Know About
Cooper’s Ice Plant @trueseptemberlove

5. Bronze Carpet—Sedum Spurium 

This beautiful sedum is called Bronze Carpet because it has shimmering coppery leaves and spreads out quickly, covering up the exposed ground around it. In addition to making excellent groundcover, these plants are also incredibly cold-hardy. They can survive in below-freezing temperatures down to negative thirty degrees because they go partially dormant in the winter. They die back and drop some of their leaves in the winter, but they sprout again in the spring, bringing back their beautiful bronze foliage!

Have you noticed some of your succulents losing their leaves? They may be a monocarpic succulent. Learn more about monocarpic succulents in this article. Click here!

6. Soapweed Yucca

Most yucca plants come from warm, tropical regions, but luckily there are a few cold-hardy varieties that can be planted in temperate climates! This particular variety, the Soapweed Yucca, is cold hardy down to negative thirty-five degrees. 

This plant has thin and pointy bluish-green leaves and looks very similar to agave. It can grow to be three or four feet wide and sprouts impressive white flowers in the warmer months. They’re bell-shaped and grow on a tall flowering stalk that towers above the rest of the plant. You’ll love how this plant looks in your garden all year round, but especially in the summer when it flowers!

Check out these 5 Outdoor Succulents to give your new Soapweed Yucca some friends!

7 Cold Hardy Succulents You Didn't Know About
Soapweed Yucca @dain_carlson

7. Euphorbia Rigida

This Euphorbia isn’t as cold-hardy as some of the other succulents on this list—it can only survive if the temperature is zero or above. But it’s a pretty impressive, beautiful succulent, so it’s worth planting in your garden anyway! It has spiky green leaves that grow off of a stem and sprouts beautiful yellow-green flowers in the spring. It grows upright and can get to be two feet tall, so it’s an attention-grabbing succulent that will become a centerpiece in your garden no matter the season!

For some inspiration on succulent displays, here are the Top 8 Succulent Terrariums of the year!

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7 Cold Hardy Succulents You Didn't Know About
Euphorbia Rigida  @ugghfhfh2

All of the succulents on this list are both eye-catching and cold hardy, so they’d make great additions to your garden! Which of these succulents are you going to hunt down and plant in your backyard? We want to get our hands on some ice plants. Let us know your favorites in the comments section below!

Since we touched upon succulents that can confidently withstand the cold, it’s only fair we display succulents are that extremely heat resistant! Click here for our article “5 Extremely Heat Tolerant Succulents.” And check out our guide on Overwatered Succulent Remedies too!

Join our succulent community today on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! And join our exclusive Facebook Group, Succulent City Plant Lounge, to learn all the best succulent tips from succulent experts themselves. See you there!

Happy planting! 🌵

7 Cold Hardy Succulents For Northern Climate You Didn’t Know About
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