Growing Succulents Indoors & Outdoors

Updated: September 16, 2022

Growing Succulents Indoors & Outdoors

You have an outdoor succulent garden and wish to maintain it prim and proper. This species is universally appealing. Whether it be window succulents or outdoor succulents in pots - these pretty living beings can add sparkle to your place, in all forms, shapes, and sizes. Taking care of small succulents or the bigger ones is quite easy because they are pretty undemanding. Most gardeners love their sweet succulent heart garden; you will hardly come across anyone exclaiming ‘I hate succulents!’ Having said that, succulent owners are always pestered with innumerable doubts and queries because they always want the best for their backyard succulent nursery. 

In this blog, we will attempt to answer most of the doubts that keep persisting with succulent owners, like, Are succulent plants perennials, how cold can succulents tolerate, should succulents be outside, how big do succulents grow outdoors, can succulents live outside in summer, can succulents stay in small pots, or why ​​my indoor succulents are dying, and many more. There are many queries about hardiness zones too. For example, succulents hardy to zone 5, which are sedum varieties in zone 3, etc.

Outdoor succulent garden

Are Succulents Indoor or Outdoor Plants?

A succulent is one flora variety that can co-habit and co-exist with equal ease in the outdoors and indoors. Succulents love the outdoors because they are plants and their inherent nature lets them prosper well in gardens and backyards. For many people, however, limited space outdoors pushes them to pursue their gardening pursuits indoors. Since these plants are usually quite understanding and not as demanding as other botanical species, they are easy to grow and thrive indoors too.

How to Care for Succulents Outdoors & Indoors?

What do succulents need? Succulents need caring on five different parameters, be it outdoors or indoors.

Tips for outdoor setting are –

  • Succulent temperature: Most succulents happily thrive outdoors at temperatures above the freezing point or 32°F. The winter care for succulents outside includes - Cold-hardy succulents like hens and chicks and sedum can survive outdoors in frost conditions while soft succulents need to be placed indoors when it is too cold.
  • Water: Another aspect of succulent care outdoors during summers is that these plants should be watered once a week. During winters, watering should be once a month. The soil needs to be mostly dry and be well-drained. However, it should be never under-watered.
  • Sun & shade: Succulents generally need a full day of sun. Depending on the latitude and the altitude, you will need to place the succulent in different orientations for the sun to receive the light it deserves. There are some species though like the South African aloes and cacti from the Southwest that need a lot of sunlight.
  • Soil & drainage: How to take care of succulents outdoors? Go in for fast-draining soil mix. It should be coarse, the typical cactus mix. The typical percentage of the soil mix should be one-third each of pumice, compost, and garden soil. For succulents that grow well in desert-like conditions, the compost should be reduced in the soil mix. It should be replaced by sharp and large-grained sand particles. For potted succulents outside, the potting mix should contain 50% pumice and 50% soil.
  • Controlling pests: Succulents can get infested. Such infestations can be prevented by ensuring that the air circulation around the plant is fine. If you need to spray a disinfectant, ensure that you use 70% alcohol with the spray and dilute it with water.

These are some tips for taking care of succulents inside, especially mini succulents.

  • It is important to expose the succulent to enough light.
  • Pour water directly on the soil and not on the succulent leaves.
  • Wipe off dust and dew from the succulent leaves and stems.
  • Keep changing the position of your plant frequently.
  • Minimize watering during winters.
  • Succulents in containers outside or inside should have drainage holes.
  • Another essential step in succulent tree care is to get rid of bugs.

Growing flowering succulent plants indoors in pots


  • How cold can succulents handle?

    One of the first things that you need to know as a succulent gardener is whether succulents are perennial or annual.

    Succulents and cold do not go hand-in-hand. Over-exposure to cold conditions can kill your frozen succulent. However, you should not get confused. Soggy succulents are an indication that the plant is being over-watered. Watering succulents at night is a strict no-no. On the other hand, drop-in succulents mean that your favorite plant is suffering from excessive dehydration. But, can succulents withstand the cold? There are two types of succulents - hardy and soft. Hardy succulents are frost and winter-friendly but not soft ones. Do succulents love the sun, the answer is yes.

    • Name some outdoor succulent plants?

      Some common succulent planters outdoor are - jade plants or Crassula ovata, Snake plant or Sansevieria trifasciata, donkey’s tail or Sedum morganianum, and Zebra plant or Haworthia fasciata.

      • How long do succulents live?

        There is no one-fits-all answer to this question, ‘how long do succulents live’. Succulents vary dramatically when it comes to their lifespan. For example, hens and chicks are succulents that live not more than three or four years. But, they produce numerous offsets during their lifetime that many succulent owners do not realize when the main plant has died and the offsets have taken their place. On the other hand, the jade plant lives up to seventy or a hundred years. Similarly, Barrel Cactus survives up to 100 years while Aloe vera survives anywhere between five and twenty-five years.

        • Can succulents live outdoors?

          Yes, succulents can thrive outdoors, especially because they are used to the sun and easily accustomed to some neglect. Each variety has some unique needs, though. As long as these needs are addressed, the answer to the question ‘can you keep succulents outside’ is a big yes.

          • Can succulents live inside?

            Most succulents need bright sunlight, direct or indirect for survival and growth. Very few succulents can live all lifelong in areas that are dark or lack sunlight. No more than ten days and the succulent starts to fade and deteriorate. There are only certain conditions when you need to bring succulents inside. These conditions are:

            a. When the temperature goes below 40°F, the succulent will start to feel cold. It can freeze to death too. This is the time to get it indoors.
            b. During the first frost, especially in countries like the US, it is vital to get the plant indoors.

              These conditions do not generally apply to cold-hardy succulents - such succulents can be kept outside even during winters. It is important to find out the hardness zone of the place where you reside.

              • What temperature is too cold for succulents?

                Temperatures between 30°F and 40°F are too cold for the plant.

                • How big can a succulent get?

                  When kept indoors, succulents usually grow no more than six inches in height (approximately). With succulents outside, there is lots of natural sunshine. Therefore, they can easily grow taller as photosynthesis occurs more rapidly.

                  • Can you plant succulents outside?

                    When planting succulents outside, take care that you choose a south-facing direction. The use of well-drained soil is advised. While most succulents can tolerate heat and light, it is best to offer them shelter outdoors. An essential tip is to take care that they are rarely watered during winters and waterlogging does not take place.

                    • Can succulents live outside in winter?

                      It widely varies from species to species. Soft succulents love the hot weather - anything above 32°F. Freezing cold temperatures can make the plant rot because their fleshy leaves that store water start to decay. However, their cold-tolerant succulents cousins like Sedums and Sempervivums in Canada are cold-hardy succulents. It means that they are hale and hearty even when the temperature is below freezing cold.

                      Easy guide to planting succulents outside

                      • How long can succulents go without water?

                        Generally, succulents can survive without watering anywhere between one and three months. In the case of growing succulents outdoors, take care because the topsoil tends to dry out faster due to wind and sunlight. When planted indoors, the succulent takes time to dry out. During winters, the soil tends to be moist, both outside and indoors; hence, most succulents do not need watering in the cold season.

                        • Do succulents shed leaves?

                        Succulents are naturally tuned to survive heated and drying conditions. You would often see them shedding their leaves. It is mostly a natural process that is part of its coping mechanism. It happens when the perennial succulent is exposed to excessive heat or drought conditions.

                        • Where do succulents grow?

                          Succulents mostly grow in dry, desert, arid, and semi-arid regions. They are usually found in regions like Africa, South America, and more. Besides, succulents also grow in rainforests and mountainous regions.

                          • Can cactus survive winter? Will succulents survive a freeze?

                            Yes, cactus can survive winters provided they are brought indoors. Only frost-hardy succulents can survive freezing temperatures outdoors.

                            • What are the ways of protecting succulents from frost?

                              The first thing to do is to place the succulent under a tree or a deck or at a covered corner. It is good to place these plants facing the south or west direction. In addition, it is best to bring succulents inside for winter. However, if you have to keep the succulents outdoors, drape the plant with an old bedsheet or a frost cloth. Make sure that the plant is not draped with plastic because it can trap the plant preventing it from breathing. 

                              • Is echeveria frost hardy?

                                Sempervivums are cold-hardy succulents. But, echeverias cold hardiness is comparatively low. The temperature tolerance of this variety is between 60°F and 85°F.

                                • Can echeveria grow outdoors?

                                  Yes, echeverias can grow outdoors. However, they are not frost tolerant. Protect the succulent from rain & frost. So, when the temperature starts to dip below 45°F, it is time to get the succulent indoors. If you live in the southern regions, you can keep your plant outdoors during winters also. Just make sure that it gets enough sun exposure. Also, avoid watering during winters.

                                  • Will sedum survive winter?

                                    Sedums can survive winters, including excessive cold since this species is a hardy succulent.

                                    • Will hen and chicks survive winter?

                                      Sempervivum or better known as hens and chicks are winter hardy succulents. They can, therefore, easily survive winters. They can survive without much care indoors and outdoors.

                                      • Is it possible to grow kalanchoe outdoors in the UK? How about kalanchoe outdoors in NZ?

                                        Kalanchoe that is a cousin of the jade plant is a perennial succulent. Native to South-eastern Asia, it is a soft succulent plant that survives well in a frost-free climate. Thus, growing kalanchoe is not ideal outdoors if you live in a place that is prone to experience extreme cold. Since the UK and New Zealand are prone to frost, it is best to grow the kalanchoe species indoors in these countries.

                                        • Is it a good idea to grow sempervivum in NZ? Also, can you grow sempervivum plants in the UK?

                                          Sempervivum or the hen and chicks are good succulents for growing in New Zealand and the UK because the succulent is winter-hardy.

                                          Growing & taking care of Echeveria, Sedum, Kalanchoe succulents outdoors

                                          Planting Succulents Region-Wise

                                            • Name winter hardy succulents in Canada.

                                            a. Texas Sotol or Dasylirion texanum
                                            b. Red Yucca or Hesperaloe parviflora
                                            c. Sempervivum or Hens and Chicks
                                            d. Agave parry
                                            e. Agave victoriae-reginae or Queen Victoria Agave
                                            f. Sedum spathulifolium or Broadleaf stonecrop
                                            g. Yucca thompsoniana or Thompson’s Yucca
                                              • Is it possible to grow Michigan succulents?

                                                Since Michigan gets snow, it is important that tropical succulents are brought indoors during the harsh winters. During summers, the plants can be outdoors and benefit from the heat. Hardy succulents can, however, be left outside irrespective of the weather conditions.

                                                • Which are the common outdoor succulents in New England?

                                                  Some of the common good succulents for outdoors in New England are a string of pearls, aloe, desert rose, snake plants, pin cushion plants, jade, a string of bananas, sedum, hens, and chicks, burro’s tail, agave, desert rose and baby toes.

                                                  • Describe a few stunning succulent arrangements in the UK.

                                                    Succulents planted in terracotta pots, antique urns, glass planters, or dish gardens especially for spilling succulents. You can use a succulent collection in the UK as an alternative to the conventional bridal bouquet. Succulents in groups look amazing too. Use the plants for a timeless appeal by planting them in the crevices of a stone wall.

                                                    • Where can I buy succulents for sale in MN & wholesale succulents in Georgia?

                                                      The best place to buy succulents at good prices in Minnesota or wholesale in Georgia is online. Whether you wish to buy succulents in the UK or invest in

                                                      Colorado outdoor succulents, there is no better choice than an online store. You get exotic choices at multiple specialized succulent stores like Planet Desert online.

                                                      • Name a few hardy trailing succulents in the UK.

                                                        Some of the trailing succulents outdoors that are hardy include:

                                                        a. Senecio Herreianus (String of Beads) is moderately hardy.
                                                        b. Fish Hook Senecio or Grey Fishhooks Senecio is moderately hardy.
                                                        c. Dischidia Nummularia (String of Nickels) is hardy.
                                                          • What are the types of succulents in California?

                                                            These are some succulents to plant in California - Agave attenuata, Aeonium arboreum, Aloe arborescens, Crassula ovata, Aeonium haworthii, Euphorbia tirucalli, Echeveria agavoides, Echeveria topsy turvy, Senecio mandraliscae, and Portulacaria afra.

                                                            • Where to buy succulents in Michigan? Where to get succulents for sale in Toronto?

                                                              The best place to buy and order healthy succulents in Michigan and Toronto is the online medium.

                                                              • Succulents for the pacific northwest - outdoors or indoors?

                                                              Succulents can be grown outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. Especially during summer when the weather is warm and sunny, the conditions are ideal. During winters, however, the plant should be sheltered indoors.

                                                              • Do sempervivums grow in Ireland?

                                                              Sempervivum tectorum does not grow well in northern Europe where the winters are extremely cold and wet too. It is native to the Pyrenees or the Alps but cannot handle Scandinavian conditions.

                                                              • Which are the ideal Washington succulents?

                                                              Some succulents for Washington conditions can be Sempervivum heuffelii, Sempervivum arachnoideum “Cebenese”, Sedum “Golden Moss”, Prickly Pear Cactus, Yucca, Pearl plant, and Aloe Vera.

                                                              • Which is one hardy succulent for sale in the UK?

                                                              Sempervivum calcareum grows in the Alps. This is the only sempervivum for outdoor in the UK that is fully hardy.

                                                              • Name some common succulents in Minnesota?

                                                              For the outdoors, hens and chicks, and sedum are the best choices as succulents in Minnesota.

                                                              • Name winter hardy succulents in the UK. Does overwintering cause any harm?

                                                              A few hardy succulent plants in the UK include Sedum varieties and Sempervivum heuffelli. Overwintering in the UK means exposing succulents to frost. It can kill them if they are not winter hardy.

                                                              • Can succulents grow outside in the UK?

                                                              Growing succulents outdoors in the UK is easy as long as they get enough sun.

                                                              Green perennial succulents care outdoors

                                                              Hardiness Zones and Succulents

                                                              It is common for plant lovers in specific hardiness zones to enquire about succulents, for example, which plants are good for zone 5 succulent garden, perennial succulents in zone 6, are hens and chicks meant for zone 6, and more.

                                                              Here’s a brief:

                                                              • Zone 4 succulents - This zone has a long and extreme winter period. Outdoor succulents in zone 4 are Sedum Stonecrop, & Sempervivum Red Lion. The Echinocereus is one of the cold hardiest groups and an apt cold hardy cactus in zone 4.
                                                              • Zone 5 succulents - Common examples of Outdoor succulents in zone 5 are Sempervivum, Agave, Opuntia Compressa, Ice Plant, and yucca. These are marginally hardy succulents in this zone.
                                                              • Zone 6 succulents - Examples of outdoor succulents in zone 6 are Sedum acre, Sedum Autumn Joy, Trailing Ice plants. Examples of hardy cactus in this zone include Cylindropuntia and Echinocereus.
                                                              • Zone 7 succulents - This zone has mild winters. A zone 7 succulent garden should have plants like Sempervivum, Agave, Yucca, Spurge, Jovibarba, and Orostachys. Zone 7a succulents include Parry's, Blue Yucca, Queen Victoria Agave, Whales Tongue, Adam's Needle Yucca, etc. Succulents for zone 7b, on the other hand, include Leiberg stonecrop and Hylotelephium wildfire.
                                                              • Zone 8 succulents - The examples include Claret Cup Cactus, Walking Stick Cholla, Kalanchoe, Echeveria, etc.
                                                              • Zone 9 succulents - This zone faces prolonged summer. Examples are String of pearls, Sempervivum, Cactus, Echeveria, etc. Succulents for zone 9b are soft succulents. Zone 9a succulents include cactus, String of pearls, Sempervivum, Cotyledon, Echeveria, Aloe, and others.

                                                              This blog gives you an insight into succulent temperature tolerance, how cold can cactus tolerate, how cold is too cold for succulents, care for growing succulents in the winter, the relationship between ​​succulents and frost, and plenty of other questions. If you wish to know more about succulents, keep reading our blogs.

                                                              1 comment

                                                              • Cindy Heck

                                                                Hello! I see you used our nursery for garden pictures. That is a high compliment! Thanks guys

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