Purple cactus in snow

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.

CA Inland

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"

Frost hardy 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. 

Click to Learn About Hardy Succulents

Desert Southwest

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.


Plants from dry regions don't like damp, humid climates. This excerpt from Designing with Succulents (2nd ed.) explains those suitable for your area.

Do you have information to share about your own climate and succulents that do well for you? Please comment below! 


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