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Caring for Succulents During Cold Weather

As the season changes and it gets colder (Somewhat. Just this week we are looking at temps ranging from 45-75. Good ol’ South Carolina), you have to switch up your routine for caring for your succulents. It’s helpful to know what zone you live in (South Carolina is an 8 zone) as that will help you care better for your succulents (or any plants) but there are a few general things that can be done.

Less Water:

Most plants have a dormancy (non-growing) period and succulents are no different. In the fall/winter you want to water your succulents less; maybe once a month. You may get away with not even watering them at all. We have had some rain so that has taken care of me needing to water them. But, be careful to not let any water sit in the crevices of the succulents or on the bottom of the pot or planters. You don’t want to get root rot. Also, put the fertilizer away until Spring.

shanika pichey, caring for plants during colder months

Bright Light:

Whether they are indoors or outdoors, place your succulents where they can get plenty of bright, indirect light. Some think they need less during the winter, others think more. I have my plants placed on the front porch where they get the early morning light and continue to get it for most of they day and they look healthy. Whereas my others succulents placed on my deck have received less and are not looking the greatest.

shanika Pichey, caring for plants during the winter

Check for Bugs:

While succulents are plants that can be treated “crock-pot style -fix it and forget it,” it doesn’t mean you can neglect them completely. Unfortunately, plants will attract unwanted guests. Mealybugs are a major issues but so are spiders. I have seen a couple hanging around my succulents. This is why I am keeping them outside.

Temperature:

If you’re growing them indoors, keep it around 50-55 degrees. If you live where there is a chance of frost, you may want to cover them at night. So far we haven’t had too many cold mornings so it hasn’t been an issue for me.

Research:

The tips given are a “One size fits most.” If possible, try to find out exactly what type of succulent you have (it can be tricky, there are hundreds) or at least get a general ideas of its genus (sempervivum, aloe, cacti, etc) so you can get specific ideas to cater to it’s needs.

 

shanika Pichey, succulent propagation

Now I  am going to switch gears and talk about propagation during the colder months and why it may be better. I have had much more success during the colder months than I did in the summer. For one, summers are H O T in South Carolina. My leaves were drying out too quickly and getting sunburnt. Even if I placed them in shaded areas. Even if I placed them on the windowsill!  I would place the dry leaves on lightly misted soiled and the next day or two, my leaves were dried out, dead. During the colder months, the sun is not as strong, it’s less humid and the temperature/environment can be controlled.

Shanika Pichey, succulent propagation during colder months

After I line up the leave for propagation, I like to sprinkle the tips with soil. I’ve had more success when they are slightly covered instead of just placing them on top of the soil.

shanika Pichey, succulent propagation during the winter

Not all leaves will successfully propagate so it is best to have several going.

But, right when you think one might be dead and done, well, you may get a surprise.

Shanika Pichey stonecrop sedum propagation

 

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