How To Care For Indoor Succulents During The Winter

The cold season means a change in the way you take care of those babies. Reason? Your succulents’ needs have changed. Sticking to what you’ve been doing all year round will put your plants’ survival in jeopardy. Certainly, you don’t want this. No succulent lover wants their plants getting a hit from the cold.

Keep reading to find out how you can care for your indoor succulents in the winter.

ALSO READ:

How to Care for Indoor Succulents During the Winter
Potted succulent plant @cosas_de_crasas

What Winter Brings With It

Before delving into the care regimen you’ll need during this season, it’s essential to have at least an idea of why the needs of your succulents change. In other words, how the low temperatures affect the plant itself and the surrounding conditions.

First off, a good deal of indoor succulents have varying growth patterns during this time of the year. That means some of them will be:

  • Actively growing – the needs will remain constant; hence, you can keep on with usual care routine. HaworthiaAloe, and Aeonium are some of the indoor jewels that keep growing in winter.
  • Partly dormant – the plant is still growing but a slower rate. That means you have to reduce necessities like water and fertilizer.
  • Or fully dormant – the plant has completely stopped growing. You may have to withdraw or reduce by a significant amount of the growth requirements. For instance, watering can be only once or twice for the whole winter season and no fertilizing at all.

Secondly, a couple of natural growth requirements become scarce, light being the most prominent one. That calls for additional steps to try and maintain those optimal growth conditions. And the other steps are exactly what we’re going to look at.

Make sure to also check out our similar piece “How to Care for Succulents in the Winter” to see different kinds of tips to taking care of your succulents during the cold weather.

Caring For Your Indoor Succulents In Winter – 5 Simple Steps

Grab yourself the following winter care guideline to keep your indoor succulents beaming with life during this not-so-nice season.

1. Sort out your succulents

If you’ve been raising succulents for some time, you may have a collection of different plant types. And as it is, each one of these is going to have its unique requirements, especially in terms of light and temperatures.

It’s possible to find several succulents with common needs. Use this criterion to group your succulents. This makes it easier for you to give each of the plants a dose, albeit a reduced one, of the elements of life.

Additionally, it helps to avert any mishaps that may doom the existence of your plant – like fertilizing a dormant plant and reducing watering for an actively growing succulent.

By the way, an easy way of grouping your plants will be using the growth patterns. So you put the actively growing ones (the AloesAeonium, and Haworthia) in one group and the rest (that is partly and fully dormant) in another.

This just one way of going about it. Be sure to look at each plant’s needs and see what you can come up with.

2. Identify the brightest spot in your house for the succulents

Naturally, there is much less light indoors, and winter only makes the situation worse. So you should pay attention to the light aspect to keep those babies in good shape – even if some of them aren’t growing.

This will be relatively easy if you’ve made an effort to group your plants as per their requirements – light in this case. Some succulent types like the HaworthiaSenecio, and Crassula can still do fine in low light. So you’ll be on the right to dedicate these to a spot that isn’t that much lit.

For those that require more light, reserve the brightest spot in the house for them. This will most likely be a sunny window. And while at it, be sure to rotate the pots regularly so that the rays hit the plant all around. This prevents both stretching and discoloration.

But sometimes the brightest window might not also cut it in shining enough light on your plants. The number of hours the sun is up can be quite little – less than 3 hours per day.

In such a case, a grow light will be your savior. Grab one ASAP and have your succulents soak up those rays – and keep your interiors beaming with plant life.

But…

Don’t let the lights on throughout the day. Take care of your indoor succulents by providing about 8 hours per day for them to thrive. A full 24 hours of light will interfere with the growth patterns, and hence the health of the plant. Those few hours of darkness every day are also beneficial.

Check out our article “How to Successfully Grow Indoor Succulents” to see our guide to growing the succulents.

How to Care for Indoor Succulents During the Winter
Succulents at a bright spot of the house @j.l.perrone

3. Be vigilant about pests

This would be a regular thing for all seasons. But considering the conditions that come with winter, it’s very important to heighten your lookout. The season brings with it some particularly favorable surroundings for pesky little invaders.

Picture this: as you strive to keep your house warm by utilizing that fireplace, you’re creating just what mealybugs love. So you’re indirectly inviting these pests to take a bite of your babies. Should you then brave the cold to protect your plant from attacks? Of course not. Get to know what to do in a minute.

Another contributing factor to pest infestation is the generally calm nature of the indoors. Pests love this and quickly jump in to draw some juices. The solution here is to instigate an artificial airflow – by blasting fans and opening windows.

But if it turns out that several of your plants are attacked, the standard procedure of curbing these insects applies.

The first step is to separate the affected succulents to control any further spread of these agents of destruction. The next step will depend on the extent of the pest attack. If they’re just a few mealybugs (or any other houseplant pests), dabbing them with a cotton swab dipped into dilute rubbing alcohol is all you need.

For significantly larger attacks, you might have to use a spray bottle. Alternatively, you can use a water jet to wash off the insects. 

Make sure you also go check out “Succulent Leaves Changing Color? Find Out What That Means” to see if your succulents changing colors is a good thing or bad.

4. No fertilizer

That is for winter dormant types. Fertilizer is only useful as long as it’s getting utilized. And when your succulents have put growth on hold, there is every chance that it won’t get used – even if it gets absorbed.

This has the same effect as excessive water – it leads to your plant rotting. Only that the rot here will pick off from the leaves as they become soft due to fertilizer accumulation.

You should fertilize your plants near the end of the summer as they prep to enter dormancy.

5. Cut back, significantly, on watering

Succulents need even less water when the cold season kicks off. Firstly because the plants’ rate of growth is zero. Even in the partially growing ones, growth is significantly slowed down. Consequently, the rate of water intake is also slow.

But most importantly, the soils are taking much longer to dry out. As pointed out above, in the enclosed interiors, air circulation is greatly hampered. As such, the rate at which water evaporates from the potting mix is very slow.

This can be a major problem for your plants if you maintain the same watering routine. In winter, watering every once to twice a month is fine.

Or you can let the top part of the potting mix guide you. As usual, water when it is dry 1-2 inches down.

Don’t miss out on our ebook “The Correct Way to Water Succulents” to see our full guide to watering your succulents during all seasons.

How to Care for Indoor Succulents During the Winter
A succulent growing in a white planter @itsjustmejenp

Thank you for reading with us today! Need some options for picking your succulents for your garden? Be sure to read “Summer & Winter Succulents: What’s the Difference?” for succulent picks hardy enough for winter.

Loved learning about this succulent and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor” “Different Types of Planters” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide.

Happy Planting! 🌵

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!

ALSO READ:

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! 🌵

>