Posted 2w ago by @WickedValkyrie

Hey #socalgreg!
Should I bring my succulents inside over the "winter" or will they adapt like my pothos and corkscrew rush did last year? This is my first year having them and I've only been living here for a little over a year, so I'm not really sure... I know our winters are hella mild and our grow season is super long but what do y'all think? Do you bring your plants in?
Best Answer
I don't bring my outdoor ones inside over the winter. In fact just the opposite! Some of my succulent I'll bring in during the summer, Especially the ones with delicate leaves that burn easily or if they're young and not very established... because they just can't take temperatures over 90゚. (Or I give them a shade cloth for the sun.)

Most succulents thrive in Temperatures between 55 and 80 Leaving them outside will replicate natural seasons and temperature changes and the growth will be stunning 😍 much more compared to indoor plants - you'll even get some blooming this way that would not Bloom indoors where the temps are more regulated.

It's very rare in California that temps approach freezing so you don't have to worry about them being OK unless we have an unusually cold week In which case some may need to be brought in until the very cold weather passes.

Another great thing about leaving succulents outside during the Winter is you rarely have to water them if you get a little bit of morning dew and some rainfall you're pretty much good to go with watering once a month and maybe less Depending on type, your soil, plant age, pot type/size, etc. & of course the winter temperature.
@TattedHibiscus sorry I keep all my succulents inside all the time. I don’t have experience with this.
In the part of California you live in, do winter temps ever drop below 55 degrees or so?
But @Jana85 knows more about succulents that grow outside.
@vvvelo I am in a super different climate—it’s rainy and very cold here in winter. I grow a lot of mine outdoors until temps get very cold. I’m not trying to make any of mine dormant since I have grow lights for them in winter, but I bring them indoors if it’s going to get below 45 at night or if there’s a chance of frost. Most succulents (except sempervivums and some sedums) do not appreciate temps much colder than that. If they are very dry, they can tolerate colder temps than wet ones can. Unfortunately here it is never particularly dry, so I have to be careful about the temps. Cold AND wet is a very bad combo. But, I’m convinced my succs enjoy cool nights—it brings out beautiful colors and my Lithops get plump finally.
@WickedValkyrie @Colin @roxyvivien @SirLiquorice I have most of the succulents outside. They love the San Diego climate. The only ones I haven’t are Ric Rac cactus and SOP, SOT, and SOD mainly because I got them to be specifically indoor plants. I do have an in- ground SOP and many of our nurseries have the others for sale outside and inside. So it’s probably what they’re climatized to.
Tysm @roxyvivien! I may just leave them out and hope for the best! I feel like we get a ridiculous amount of rain in the winter, but my soil has a pretty decent amount of perlite in it so it should drain fairly quick and if need be I have an awning I can move them under 🙂🤞
I’ve noticed it can depend on the succulent. You can google search the cold hardiness temperature for each plant. Usually you can find the coldest temperature each one can handle. Might be good to leave some in the cold so they can go dormant and rest for the winter. Most important thing I’ve noticed is to block the cold winds. Freezing winds is what scars and damages them bad. So frost blankets can help keep the wind directly off of them. As long as the soil is dry some might be able to handle fairly cold temperatures for short periods of time. Especially cacti can usually handle some pretty cold temperatures if the soil is dry and if you block the wind. But my dragon fruit however is not able to handle very cold. So under 40 degrees I will probably bring it inside or wrap it really good to protect it. So you have to research each one and watch them closely. If your winters don’t get too cold then I would leave them outside but maybe block the wind. When they get to rest in the cold for winter that usually helps them bloom better the next year. If they don’t get to rest then that can be bad. You have to try to duplicate their natural habitat. In nature they never get to go inside at all. They have to survive in that spot and can’t move, but they may be growing in cracks and crevices in the side of a rock hill and they will have the wind blocked naturally when it’s winter and they will have shade in the summer from the hot afternoon sun so they don’t burned and get fried in the summer sun.
@SirLiquorice thank you! Looks like I have some homework to do! Lol Also some blooms next year would be so cool!!!
@WickedValkyrie If there is a lot of rain, much more than usual than then you can and bring them inside to skip a rainfall or two - however what I find is with most rains in California the the rainfall isn't even enough to drench the entire pot all the way through the soil so it isn't as much of a concern as you would think it is as long as you're not watering them too much in addition to the rainfall.
@WickedValkyrie The only trouble I encountered in winter with my outdoor succulents was when I was inexperienced with plants & I was watering them as usual and not considering the random rainfall. I rotted a cactus 🌵 that way 😥 and got a mealy bug infestation on a couple crassula varieties.... But surprisingly that was the only damage of my first winter with outdoor succus! Outdoor succulents may have a few more bug problems but overall I find they are much easier to care for as they growth quicker & become more resilient over time.😊 💪🏽

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