Cold Hardy Succulents | Cold Hardy Succulents 101 – Care Tips & Unique Traits

Mountain Crest Gardens

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Cold Hardy Succulents 101 - Care Tips & Unique Traits


Hey it’s Cassidy from Succulents and Sunshine and I am here in a greenhouse at Mountain Crest Gardens and I want to talk about cold-hardy succulents. So there is a whole world of succulents that can survive sub-zero temperatures in four seasons and be outdoors year-round. So these succulents will survive under snow and ice and come back looking just as good as ever the next year. These succulents are all pretty low-maintenance. Something that’s kinda fun is that a lot of them will change colors throughout the year The Sempervivum, for example, get really good color in the spring and a lot of times in the fall. They stay pretty low to the ground so you’re looking at more of a ground cover type of succulent. They also work really well in vertical planters, and container gardens rock gardens, and even as a lawn replacement. Hardy succulents can add color and visual interest to any garden year-round no matter where you live. There are a few main varieties so let’s talk about each of them individually. Sempervivums come in a variety of shapes and colors. For the most part, you’ll find them in like reds and greens and purples but as you can see here you also get some more subtle tones of oranges and yellows and then the cilia on top of these arachnoidian varieties add some white and lighter colors. They also come in different sizes so you have Sempervivum Pixie which is pretty small But then you can have larger varieties as well and some will even grow up to a couple feet in diameter. Sempervivums are mono-carpet meaning when they bloom the mother plant dies but they will also put off a lot of chicks before they bloom. Usually the Sempervivums that put off a lot of chicks will bloom more frequently whereas those that don’t put off as many chicks won’t bloom as often. Sempervivums need quite a bit of sunlight in order to maintain their shape and color. as a general rule you want them to get direct sunlight in the morning and they can have direct sunlight in the afternoons as well but in the spring and summer as temperatures get warmer into the 90s and hundreds you’ll definitely want to make sure that they’re shaded in the afternoons. Next up we have Sempervivum heufellii These are similar to the Sempervivums except that instead of propagating by putting off chicks on a stolon you actually have to cut the chicks off of the mother plant. When they’re fully grown they form really nice mounds of rosettes. Another great thing about heufellii is that they maintain their color a lot better throughout the year you still have a lot of really colorful varieties like this “lemon sky” that’s almost bright yellow but you get down into the deep purples and still have your greens and other awesome colors Heufellii I have a lot stronger leaves than other Sempervivum. they also have an edge that almost seems to glow when they’re backlit whichmakes them look really pretty and they stand out from the dirt a lot more than other Sempervivums. Sedums or Stonecrop are another type of cold hardy succulent and these might be the most hardy of all. They can tolerate a lot more sunlight in the summers but they can also get down to temperatures well below zero in the winter and still survive. As you can see, there’s a lot of variety of textures and colors and they are a really good ground cover they’ll fill in between other plants and they spread really easily. You can propagate sedums by dividing them or just taking cuttings and planting those in the ground. A lot of Sedums will also bloom in summer and fall and a lot of them will get really bright colorful blooms In the winter, some of them will go so dormant that they almost look like they disappear and they’ll lose all their foliage But on the other hand a lot of them will also maintain their foliage so you have a nice color still all through the winter with Sedums you do get varieties that vary in height but there are low growing Sedums that make for a really good ground cover. Another hardy succulent that’s closely related to Sedums is Rosularia There aren’t as many varieties but they form these really tiny rosettes and create a nice matte so they’re perfect for using as a ground cover. Rosularia also works really well in containers or miniature gardens and even in living walls. For a completely different shape and texture for cold hardy succulents Opuntia are a really great option These paddle cactus are hardy well below zero and they also have these incredible colorful blooms in a variety of colors so this Grand Mesa Peach has a really delicate petal and you can see it just has a nice transition of these peachy colors. We also have yellows and pinks and purples just about any color you can imagine. Opuntia is propagated from simply removing a paddle and they root really easily Once they’re fully established and well rooted, they can withstand just about anything. During the winter they do kind of go limp and look a little sad but they perk right back up in the spring. Individual hardy succulents are generally grown in two inch pots but you can also get them in hand-picked flats as well as bulk trays and plug trays and then sometimes in the summer and fall you can get Sempervivm cuttings after the mothers have produced a lot of chicks. Overall, hardy succulents are a great collection for your succulent garden Whether you live somewhere that gets a true four season climate or somewhere with a little bit warmer temperatures hardy succulent varieties are gonna add a lot of color, texture, and variety to your garden and really make it look great