Based on where you live, here's how to get cold-sensitive South African succulents---like crassulas, euphorbias, senecios and aloes---through a North American winter.
Coastal CA from the Bay Area south
Your climate is more similar to South Africa's than anywhere in the US. You banana-belters don't get frost, and winter humidity and rainfall are low, so simply make sure your succulents get good drainage during storms.
Welcome to my own imperfect climate! At 1,500 feet in the foothills NE of San Diego, frosty nights follow rain. When temps are forecast to drop below 32 F, I drape succulents with frost cloth or floating row covers.
Northwest, Northeast, Midwest
You'll need to overwinter all but hardy succulents indoors---perhaps your basement---or inside a climate-controlled shelter.
Go to "How to overwinter succulents"
Most sempervivums, many sedums and a few other types of succulents (generally not from South Africa) are frost-hardy down to -20F (Zone 5). Use them to add vibrant colors and winter interest to rock gardens, containers and more.
Keep your South Africans on a covered patio, and embrace (well, not literally) succulents better suited to your region, such as cacti, agaves, dasylirions and yuccas.
Do you have information to share about your own climate and succulents that do well for you? Please comment below!
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With the exception of sempervivums, jovibarbas, many sedums and yuccas, and certain cacti and ice plants, the majority of succulents are frost-tender. Although they can tolerate temps down to freezing and in excess of 90 (if shaded), between 40 and 80 degrees is ideal. But you can grow any succulent, anywhere, if you understand its needs.
Overwintering Succulents How to keep succulents happy during the cold winter months Where you live makes a big difference when it comes to the well-being of your succulents in winter. Most varieties go dormant in winter and are frost-tender, meaning they can’t handle temps below 32 degrees F. Winter Conditions That Damage Succulents These common…
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