Can Succulents Live Outside? (Answered)

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Are you curious about the survival skills of succulents? Do you want to know if your favorite plants can withstand the harsh winter or thrive outside?

If so, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we will delve into the world of succulents and explore their remarkable ability to adapt to different environments.

From the blazing sun to the freezing snow, we will uncover the secrets to keeping your succulents healthy and happy throughout the year.

Can Succulents Live Outside

Get ready to discover the truth about succulents and their resilience!

Can Succulents Live Outside?

Yes, many succulent varieties can thrive outdoors as they are well-suited to a wide range of climates. These plants are known for storing water in their leaves, stems, or roots, making them a great choice for outdoor gardens and landscapes.

When growing succulents outside, it’s important to consider factors such as the amount of sunlight and water they receive, as well as the temperature and humidity levels in your area.

Some succulents may require more shade or less water than others, so it’s important to research the specific needs of your chosen plant.

Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the soil in which your succulents are planted is well-draining, as these plants are susceptible to root rot if they are allowed to sit in water for too long.

With proper care and attention, succulents can thrive outside and add a unique and beautiful touch to your outdoor space.

Can Succulents Survive Winter?

Some succulents can survive winter, but it depends on the specific species and climate.

Some succulents are naturally adapted to colder climates and can survive winter outdoors.

Cold-hardy succulents like hens and chicks (Sempervivum), stonecrop (Sedum), and ice plant (Delosperma) can withstand freezing temperatures as low as -20°F (-29°C) with proper care.

These plants have evolved to tolerate the cold by developing special adaptations, such as thicker and more waxy leaves that help to retain moisture and protect against frost damage.

However, more tender succulents like echeveria, aeonium, and kalanchoe may not be able to survive the cold.

These plants are native to warmer climates and are not adapted to tolerate freezing temperatures.

If you live in a region with cold winters, it’s important to research the specific needs of each type of succulent and take appropriate measures to protect them.

This can include bringing them indoors, covering them with frost cloth or other protective materials, or providing them with a sheltered spot outdoors.

How to Care for Succulents Outdoors in Pots?

Caring for succulents outdoors in pots is a rewarding and relatively easy way to add natural beauty to your outdoor spaces. Succulents are known for their ability to store water, making them resilient and adaptable to various climates.

Here we will explore essential tips and practices to ensure your outdoor potted succulents thrive, from selecting the suitable pots and soil to understanding their watering needs and protecting them during winter.

With the proper care, you can enjoy healthy and vibrant succulents that brighten up your garden or patio all year round.

Select the Right Pot

Choosing the right pot is crucial for the well-being of your outdoor potted succulents. Opt for containers with drainage holes at the bottom. These holes allow excess water to escape, preventing waterlogging that can lead to root rot.

Consider drilling some at the base if your preferred pot doesn’t have drainage holes. Additionally, select pots that provide enough room for your succulent to grow.

A too-small pot can restrict root development and cause stunted growth. However, avoid using overly large pots, as this can lead to overwatering issues.

Well-Draining Soil

Succulents thrive in well-draining soil, allowing excess water to flow away from the roots.

Regular potting soil retains too much moisture, which can harm succulents. Instead, use a specialized potting mix formulated for succulents or create your combination.

Combine regular potting soil with coarse sand or perlite to make your succulent soil mix.

A typical ratio is one part potting soil to one part coarse sand or perlite. This blend provides the right balance of moisture retention and drainage.

Sunlight Requirements

Succulents are sun-loving plants and require plenty of sunlight to thrive. Choose an outdoor location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.

South or west-facing areas are ideal; they receive the most intense sunlight. If you live in a region with scorching summers, consider providing some afternoon shade to prevent sunburn on your succulents.

You can achieve this by placing the pots under the eaves of a building, using shade cloth, or arranging them among other larger plants that provide some shelter.


Despite their drought-tolerant nature, outdoor potted succulents need water to survive and thrive.

However, overwatering is a common mistake that can harm these plants. When watering, make sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Water deeply but infrequently: Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Stick your finger an inch or two into the soil; When it seems dry, that’s a sign to water it.
  • Water in the morning: Watering in the morning allows excess moisture to evaporate during the day, reducing the risk of fungal diseases.
  • Avoid wetting the foliage: Aim to water the soil directly at the base of the plant to prevent water from sitting on the leaves, which can lead to rot.
  • During the winter months or dormant period, reduce watering frequency significantly, as succulents require less water during this time.


Succulents have modest fertilization needs and can thrive in nutrient-poor environments.

However, a little boost during the growing season can promote healthier growth and flowering. Use a balanced, diluted fertilizer specifically formulated for succulents. Fertilize once or twice during the growing season, typically in spring and summer.

Avoid excessive fertilization, which can cause succulents to become leggy and less resilient.

Pest and Disease Control

Regularly inspect your outdoor potted succulents for signs of pests or diseases. Common pests that may affect succulents include aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.

If you notice any infestations, isolate the affected plant immediately to prevent the pests from spreading to other succulents.

You can use a mild insecticidal soap or neem oil spray to control the problem of minor pest infestations. Consider consulting with a local horticulturist or plant expert for more severe issues.

Pruning and Deadheading

Pruning and deadheading are essential tasks for maintaining the appearance and health of your succulents. Remove dead or damaged leaves by gently pulling them off or using clean, sharp scissors.

This helps prevent the spread of diseases and keeps your succulents looking tidy. Deadheading refers to the removal of spent flowers.

While not all succulents produce flowers, those that do benefit from deadheading to encourage new growth and additional blooms. Pinch off the faded flowers at the base of the stem.

How Often Do You Water Succulents in Outdoor Pots?

The watering frequency for outdoor potted succulents depends on various factors such as climate, pot size, and succulent species. Generally, water the succulents thoroughly when the soil is dried.

During hot summer months, this may mean watering every 1-2 weeks, while in cooler seasons, watering frequency may reduce to once every 3-4 weeks.

Always check the soil moisture level before watering by inserting your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.

Overwatering is a common issue with succulents and can lead to root rot, so avoiding waterlogged soil is crucial.

What to Do with Outdoor Potted Succulents in Winter?

As mentioned earlier, some succulents can survive winter outdoors, while others require protection. Here’s what you can do:

  • Cold-Hardy Succulents: If you’re growing cold-hardy succulents that can withstand freezing temperatures, you can leave them outdoors during winter. However, provide them with a thick layer of mulch around the base to insulate the roots and protect them from extreme cold.
  • Tender Succulents: If you have tender succulents that are not cold-hardy, it’s best to bring them indoors before the first frost. Place them in a location with bright indirect light and water sparingly during the dormant winter.
  • Greenhouses or Cold Frames: Alternatively, you can use a greenhouse or cold frame to shelter your tender succulents during winter. This protects them from freezing temperatures while allowing them to receive adequate light.

Recommended Outdoor Succulent Varieties

Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum spp.): Hens and chicks are cold-hardy succulents that form rosette-like clusters. They come in various colors and can tolerate a wide range of climates.

Stonecrop (Sedum spp.): Stonecrop is a diverse group of succulents with various shapes and colors. Some varieties are hardy and can survive freezing temperatures.

Agave spp.: Agaves are stunning succulents that add a striking focal point to any outdoor space. Many agave species are suitable for outdoor cultivation.

Aloe spp.: Aloe plants are known for their medicinal properties and can be grown outdoors in warm climates with minimal frost.

Echeveria spp.: Echeverias are popular rosette-forming succulents with beautiful colors and textures. They thrive in well-draining outdoor conditions.

Non-Cold Hardy Succulents

Some succulents are not cold-tolerant and are best suited for indoor cultivation or outdoor growth in warmer climates. Examples of non-cold hardy succulents include certain varieties of:

  • Euphorbia
  • Kalanchoe
  • Senecio
  • Aeonium
  • Crassula

Before planting any succulent outdoors, constantly research its specific requirements and hardiness in your region.

Providing the proper care and considering your local climate will help ensure your succulents thrive in their outdoor environment.

Succulents can live and thrive outside when given the appropriate care and attention. Understanding the specific needs of each succulent variety and the climate in your region is crucial to their success.

With the right conditions and care, outdoor potted succulents can become stunning additions to your garden or patio, offering low-maintenance beauty and unique textures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can succulents live outside in winter?

Yes, some succulents can live outside in winter, especially hardy succulents that can tolerate freezing temperatures. However, it depends on the specific type of succulent and the climate in which it is being grown.

At what temperature can succulents be outside?

The optimal temperature for most succulents is between 60-75°F (15-24°C). However, many succulents can tolerate temperatures as low as 40°F (4°C) and as high as 90°F (32°C) for short periods of time. For extremely cold weather, there are some hardy succulents that can survive temperatures as low as -30°F to -5°F (-34°C to -20°C).

Can I put my indoor succulents outside?

Yes, you can put your indoor succulents outside during the summer months. However, it’s important to gradually acclimate them to the outdoors and bring them inside when temperatures drop below 40°F (4°C) to prevent damage or death.

When should succulents be brought inside?

Succulents should be brought inside when temperatures drop below 40°F (4°C) to prevent damage or death. Additionally, extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, or strong winds can also damage succulents and may require them to be brought inside for protection.

Do succulents like to be outside in the sun?

Most succulents prefer bright, indirect sunlight and can be damaged by too much direct sunlight. However, some succulent varieties, such as those with blue, red, or spiny leaves, are adapted to direct sunlight and can thrive in full sun conditions. It’s important to research the specific needs of your succulent variety to ensure it receives the appropriate amount of sunlight.

How Can I Protect My Succulents from Deer if They Can Eat Them?

Deer and succulents can coexist peacefully with a few precautionary measures. Firstly, consider planting deer-resistant succulent varieties, such as aloe, hens and chicks, or agave. Installing a sturdier fence around your succulent garden is also effective. Utilize natural deterrents like strong-scented plants or homemade sprays. Finally, keep your succulents well-maintained and healthy, as deer are more likely to shy away from thriving plants.


So, succulents are fascinating plants that can adapt to various environments. They can thrive both indoors and outdoors, and with proper care, they can survive even the harshest winter.

By understanding the needs of your succulents and providing them with the right conditions, you can enjoy their beauty and benefits all year round.

Whether you’re a seasoned succulent enthusiast or a beginner, we hope this article has provided you with valuable insights and tips on how to keep your plants healthy and happy.

So go ahead, experiment with different planting techniques, and enjoy the beauty of succulents in your home or garden!

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