Winter Dormant Succulents – How To Care For The Summer Growers

Succulents are plants that have thick and fleshy tissues to store water. The term succulent itself is from Sucus, which means juice or sap. Can succulents live outside in summer? Hell yes, especially those winter dormant succulents. They are natural summer growers and will bloom vastly during the hottest season. This article will discuss summer succulents and how to care for them.

If you didn’t already know, summers are here, and it’s getting hotter by the day. If you have a garden full of plants, it’s about time to start prep for the hot weather so that your plants don’t die on you. How to care for succulents in summer? While succulents are hardy plants that can survive almost all weather, they need elaborate care. If you own succulents, keep checking the current and upcoming weather on Tomorrow’s weather site or app to know when to start prepping for the hot summer.

Proper care in the summer is vital for keeping your succulent plants happy and healthy. Whether you have your succulents in a container or on the ground, here’s what you need to do to keep them healthy and vigorous.

Popular Winter Dormant Succulents

There is quite a large pool of succulents that remain dormant in winter. This is because most succulents need relatively intense sunlight to grow and bloom. The following is a list of some of the most popular winter-dormant succulents. We have listed them according to their genus because they usually have similar characteristics at that level. Therefore, each of the names listed below could comprise a few species to thousands.  

  • Pedilanthus
  • Adenium
  • Echinocactus
  • Ceropegia
  • Tillandsia
  • Opuntia
  • Mangave
  • Cold hardy varieties of Sedum
  • Notocactus
  • Ferocactus
  • Pachypodium
  • Stapelianthus
  • Aloinopsis
  • Agave
  • Euphorbia
  • Titanopsis
  • Sempervivum
  • Echeveria
  • Mammillaria
  • Schlumbergera
  • Rhipsalis

Transplant & Propagate Succulents

Transplanting

After propagating, you need to move the plant to where you want it to grow permanently. The place could be in a garden or a pot, depending on your preference and type of plant. These plants are winter dormant, and therefore, the best time to transplant them is in summer, which is their growing season, to get established fast.

To transplant them, you require a well-draining substrate, as with other succulents. You can buy a cactus mix or mix loamy soil with sand. Put this pottage in a pot with suitable drainage holes at the bottom. A breathable pot is vital since it allows water to pass through easily through evaporation. An unglazed terracotta pot is the best as it is breathable. However, it should have drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to flow through.

If you are transplanting your succulent in a garden, ensure the soil in that garden is easy to drain, such as gravel or sandy soil. You can do French drains or use other methods to drain the soil before transplanting if it doesn’t drain naturally.

How To Care For The Summer Growers

watering succulent plants in the summer
Watering Houseleek plant
Photo by marijana1 via Pixabay

Temperature

Different summer growers have different temperature needs, but they are generally heat-hardy. The main concern is cold because the plants are not cold hardy. You will need to move many of these plants indoors if you experience colder winters than the plant’s cold threshold. Some of these summer growers can’t endure temperatures below ten degrees Celsius for long, but others can go below zero degrees. It is crucial to determine the exact USDA zone recommended for the succulent and the temperature ranges.

Watering

Watering is the most critical aspect of these succulents’ diets. You should always wait until the soil is dry to water again. Always check if the ground is ready for the next drink by sticking your finger into the soil. You can water the plant if the first two inches of the earth are dry.

Watering these plants is more intensive in summer and spring since these are the growing seasons. The higher the temperatures, the more frequently you will need to water due to evaporation. You will need to consider the structure of the specific plant before watering it. Some can’t be watered from above since getting water without wetting their leaves is difficult. Water lodging on the rosettes should be avoided; it leads to leaf rot.

The best way to water such summer growers is either from below by soaking the pot in a tub of water and allowing the water to seep slowly through the pot’s breathers or drainage holes. If the plants are grown directly in a garden, you can use drip irrigation to deliver water directly to the soil. Allow the water to dry after watering and repeat the cycle.

Acclimatize Your Succulents To The Sunlight

Because of the abundance of sunlight outside during summers, outdoor succulents are often more thrifty than their indoor counterparts. With more daylight and much better airflow outdoors, these plants get a better growing environment.

To acclimatize your succulents, move them to a shady area first. And then gradually start moving them to a place with more sunlight. Ensure to keep newly planted or baby succulents in the shade for longer. Remember, bigger plants with stronger roots can handle more prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Lastly, the morning sun is ideal for flourishing succulents, especially when it gets hotter. Do take all your succulents outdoor for the summer but be on the lookout for signs of sunburn. The most common symptoms include bleaching o color change.

If you see any of these signs on your succulents, move them back to the shade. However, if you see your succulents and their leaves stretched out towards the light, it indicates that they need more light. Move them outside when you see this phenomenon.

echeveria succulent enjoying the sun in the summer
Echeveria enjoying the sun
Photo by DJnyanko via Pixabay

Beware of Pests

Keeping your plants outdoors means dealing with pests. While not many problems bother succulents, those who do can be very annoying. These include mites, mealy bugs, rodents, birds, and snails. They either munch on the succulent leaves as food or find them to be a good water source during dry periods.

To avoid destroying your plants, use appropriate repellants to deter mites or mealy bugs. Additionally, you can use netting around your plants to prevent rodents and birds from eating your succulents.

pests attacking succulent
Photo by Myriams-Fotos via Pixabay

Closing Thoughts

These are the top tips to take care of your succulent plants during the summer season. Apart from these, ensure that the area around your succulents is free of leaf debris, mulch, and anything that can retain water.

Avoid overwatering your succulents, and make sure to water according to the plant type. Follow these tips to ensure that your succulents look lush green even during hot summer days.

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Posted in Guides & Care Tips