Summer & Winter Succulents: What’s the Difference?

Summer & Winter Succulents: What's the Difference?

Spring is right around the corner! The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, the bees are busy pollinating and the days are getting longer. A lot of your succulents should be getting ready to wake up, while some are getting ready to slow their growth down as it gets hotter. But why do some of your succulents look great in summer, while others look great in autumn?

During the hottest parts of the year, Echeveria and Lithops get ready to put on a show, while in February your Kalanchoe are growing like crazy. Why is that exactly? Well, it’s because succulents, like all plants, have different growing seasons. (Even spring has it’s own uniqueness too)!

We refer to these as “summer growers” and “winter growers”, and knowing the difference can not only help you to better care for your plants, but it’s advantageous when potting arrangements to get a flower show year-round from your succulents!

So what exactly are the summer growers and winter growers, and how should you care for them? Let’s find out!

Succulent plant rainbow
Succulent Plants@tudoparasuculentas

Summer Dormant Succulent Species (Winter Growers)

These are a few popular succulents that love it when the temperatures drop! While no succulent appreciates true winter and lots of snow, these generally start to wake up around September and grow until snowfall, then rest a bit until February and continuing to grow vigorously until May.

  • Aeonium
  • Aloe
  • Anacampseros
  • Cotyledon
  • Crassula
  • Dudleya
  • Gasteria
  • Graptopetalum
  • Haworthia
  • Kalanchoe
  • Pachyveria
  • Sansevieria
  • Sedum
  • Senecio

Popular Winter Growers

Aeonium— “Kiwi”

Aeonium ‘Kiwi’ is an essential winter grower! With striking, vibrant pink and yellow rosette’s, they are easy to grow and multiply quickly during their growing season.

Graptoveria— “Opalina”

‘Opalina’ is a common hybrid between Echeveria ‘colorata’ and Graptopetalum amethystinum. With chunky, opalescent, powdery leaves, they are an easy growing succulent that will reward you with lots of babies when cared for properly.

Sedum Morganianum— “Donkey Tail”

Arguably one of the most popular succulents in the world, these trailing Sedums are essential for everyone’s garden. Almost resembling long, chunky hair, these Sedums will grow fast and long and are very easy to propagate.


Donkey Tail Succulent Plant

Winter Dormant Succulent Species (Summer Growers)

These are just a few of the more popular succulent species that thrive in warmer temperatures, usually going dormant from late October to mid-February. It’s important to note that when succulents go “dormant”, that it’s more of a slow growing period than a true dormancy. So while you may see growth year round, the specific growing season of certain species determines how much growth you see as well as blooming periods.

  • Agave
  • Echeveria
  • Euphorbia
  • Lithops
  • Monadenium
  • Pachypodium
  • Stapelianthus

Popular Summer Growers

Echeveria Lola

Lola’s are a gorgeous, easy-to-grow succulent that will give you gorgeous colors year round! With a compact rosette, bright pink tips, and pastel pink on the underside of their leaves, they’re a great addition to anyone’s garden!

Learn everything you need to know about Echeveria Lola here

Agave Attenuata— “Variegata”

Agave attenuata ‘Variegata’ is a striking addition to anyone’s landscape. This is one of those succulents that you can truly let nature take care of, especially in warmer climates. They shoot out large, towering blooms that more closely resemble an alien planets landscape than a succulent bloom!

Agave Attenuata “Variegata” @twigtrunkandleaf

Euphorbia Trigona

An extremely common Euphorbia, they are very tolerant of extreme sun and temperatures. Take care when repotting/propagating, as the white sap they released when damaged can lead to skin irritation and potentially blindness! It is recommended to repot/propagate with gloves and goggles.

How to Care for Summer & Winter Succulents

So what does this mean in terms of caring for your succulents? Well, it’s fairly simple. Whether you have a winter grower or a summer grower will determine how much you water and when. Check out this quick guide on how to water succulents.

For summer growers like Echeveria, they prefer a lot more water during the hotter months and very scarce amounts during winter. On the contrary, Sedums, an extremely popular succulent and winter grower, will need a lot more water during chillier months, and less when it’s hot out.

Not too hard to care for right? Now here’s where things get interesting. When it comes to succulent arrangements, mixing and matching winter growers and summer growers can result in a year-long psychedelic show of colors and blooms, especially when you throw some cacti in the mix! But since summer and winter growers require different watering schedules, how do you keep them together and alive?

Well, it’s important to look at exactly HOW you water your succulents. Do you hose them down, soaking them fully? What about watering around the base of each succulent with a pipette or small watering can? Do you just let nature take care of them?

When it comes to succulent arrangements, whether they have drainage or not, it’s always best to water around the base of each succulent, as compared to soaking the entire arrangement. That way, you’re able to meet the needs of each individual plant more precisely.

Read how you can repot your succulents so that no matter if it’s summer or winter, your succulent can grow healthily and vibrant.

When arranging summer and winter growers in a singular arrangement, it’s often times a lot easier to separate them, giving you the ability to water one side more during summer, and one side more during winter. This will also make it easier to fertilize, as you can simply inoculate one side with nutrients, letting the other side stay relatively unfertilized until it’s time for their growing season.

Growing Succulents in Winterless Climates

So you’ve read through everything so far, but you’re confused because you don’t get winters colder than 45℉. Don’t worry, the same rules still mostly apply! Except you will have to pay closer attention to watering your succulents.

If you live in a place where sometimes January or February can reach 60℉ or more, a lot of your succulents will grow and bloom all year, just slowing down a bit during hotter or colder months.

Often times, master succulent or cactus growers will separate summer and winter growers into greenhouses with differing environments, only keeping them outside during spring and fall! However, if you don’t have access to heaters and coolers and greenhouses, a simple fix can be to bring some summer growers inside during the winter, to be placed in a bright window or under grow lights, so they can still experience a simulated winter!

Conversely, the same can be done for winter growers during the warmer months. Just pay close attention to their lighting needs, as succulents always prefer bright light! Here’s a great guide of the best grow lights if you’re growing succulents on indoors

With all this new information under your belt, it’s time to start planting! Look at what you have, what care you can give, and start planning your succulent garden today! It’s always helpful to figure out what plant hardiness zone you live in, and go from there.

Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, the best soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

10 Beautiful Flowering Succulents You Need for the Summer

10 Beautiful Flowering Succulents You Need for the Summer

For just a few months through the year, succulents will flower in the summer. The rest of the time, most of these desert plants are appreciated for their beautiful leaves. Well, when it comes to succulents, their blooms are worth the wait. They appear in a burst of color, different shapes and sizes, completely transforming what may have appeared to be a basic garden. If you want your garden to be a sight to behold during the summer and in some cases other times in the year, here are 10 succulents that you should nurture.

Aloe Vera

Most succulents are native to Mexico (see more here), though this succulent with abundant healing properties is native to Africa and the Mediterranean. The leaves grow long, slender and upright through the year. Then in early spring, spikes with bright yellow or orange flowers shoot out of the plants. They offer a delectable feast for hummingbirds, adding even more beauty to your garden. Aloe Vera comes in numerous flowering varieties, so choose a plant that matches your style.

Learn more about the Aloe Vera

10 Beautiful Flowering Succulents You Need for the Summer
Aloe Vera plant all the way from Mexico @mosullivannyc

Christmas Cactus

Also known as the Schlumbergera, the Christmas Cactus sprouts lots of flowers when in bloom. These come in a large number of colors including bright pink, red, yellow, and orange. Where most succulents flower at the beginning of spring, these will flower closer to the end of autumn. This explains why they are called the Christmas Cactus. They have one other characteristic that makes them worth keeping, and that is that they will often bloom more than once in the year. If they stay in a cool and dark place, then you will see more flowers out of them.

Orchid Cactus

There are many ways to enjoy succulents, and this is one flower that looks stunning when the plant is grown in a hanging basket. The stems of the succulent are long, serrated, and broad. The flowers are wide and bright and come in a wide range of colors. These include shades of orange, yellow, red, purple, pink, and white. There are also some flowers that have more than one color if your indecisive and would prefer getting more for less effort.

Purple Ice Plant

This succulent is also known as the Delosperma cooperi. The leaves of the succulent are thick and needle-shaped. Throughout the summer, bright purple flowers that resemble daisies blossom from this plant. They normally shoot out at least four inches from the base of the plant creating what appears to be a purple flower carpet on the ground.

10 Beautiful Flowering Succulents You Need for the Summer
Known as the Delosperma Cooperi

Carrion Flower

Also known as the lifesaver cactus. This is a flower that is all about character, as it looks cool and funky. The flower has two colors a light yellow and brown. On one part of the flower, there are stripes, and in the middle of the flower, there are spots. There is only one feature of this plant that you need to be aware of, and that is their smell. They are meant to attract flies, and that they do. Thankfully, the smell is not too strong, so no need to invest in a gag for your gardening. A brilliant flower to keep indoors.

See more popular indoor succulents.

Peanut Cactus

Large and vibrant, the flowers of this plant will stop you in your trucks. They come in two colors, orange or white and are quite large compared to the cactus plant itself. It is ideal to keep this plant flowering indoors as it has smooth spines, which makes them safe for children as well as pets.

Night Blooming Cereus

For a touch of adventure, you should get your hands on this succulent. While others flower during the day, you will need to stay up late to catch this succulents’ flowers opening up after dark. The flowers are white, abundant and thick. There are so many flowers that you may find it hard to see the stalks of the succulent when the plant is in full bloom.

10 Beautiful Flowering Succulents You Need for the Summer
Night blooming Cereus succulent plant.

The Desert Rose

With a delicate name like Desert Rose, you can look forward to a stunning offering from this plant. The flowers come in various shades of red and pink, as well as white. This succulent features a fat trunk and can grow to an astonishing 10 feet tall over a long period of time. In the spring and summer in cold areas, the flowers will blossom. If you happen to be nurturing this plant in a warm climate, then you can look forward to enjoying the flowers all year round.

Ruby Ball

Not all flowers need to have delicate petals. There are some which are bright statement pieces with a totally unique look. That is what you can expect from the Ruby Ball. The flower actually looks like a bright cactus atop a stem. There are at least 15 different colors available including yellow, white, red and purple.


10 Beautiful Flowering Succulents You Need for the Summer
Pieces With a Distinctive Look @kaiaplaca

Prickly Pear Cactus

The Prickly Pear Cactus, seen in homes around the world, as well as celebrated by Baloo the bear in Jungle Book, this common cactus has brilliant, bright flowers. They come in several colors and grow at the tips of the paddle-shaped stems of the succulent. The colors include orange, yellow, red, and pink. These flowers give more than just beauty. They turn into a fruit that is sweet and can be used to make juice, jam, or sweets.

Whether you like rose-shaped flowers, the pretty petals of a daisy, or even the delicate bell shape of honeysuckle, you will find a succulent with a flower to match your preference. You can decide which flower you want based on whether you are keeping your plants indoors or outdoors. The beauty of these succulents is that even though most flowers in the summer, there are some which you can care for which will flower all year round. Don’t rush to pluck them and put them into a vase just yet. They look their best when they are left to blossom on the plant.

Do You Know Any Other Flowering Succulents?

Let us know some of your most favorite succulents that bloom beautiful flowers too! Go ahead and comment it down below, or better yet, show it to us with a picture here at the Succulent Plant Lounge.

Also, before we end off this article. How would you answer this question, are you having trouble with growing your succulents? If you answered yes to this you might be a victim to the common issues and mistakes that beginners make. Learn more about these mistakes and how you can easily fix them step by step, just click here for the ebook!