Caring for succulents indoors during the winter season requires attention to lighting, temperature, watering, and pest.
Provide your succulents with ample bright light by placing them near a south-facing window or using artificial grow lights. It’s important to maintain temperatures between 50°F and 60°F, avoiding drafty areas and keeping them away from direct heat sources.
Winter can be a challenging time for succulents. With the chilly temperatures and reduced sunlight, these resilient plants require a little extra care to thrive indoors during the colder months.
Succulents crave bright light, and during winter, natural light becomes shorter. Place your succulents in the brightest spot you can find in your home. If natural light is limited, consider using grow lights to supplement their needs.
These plants have relatively fewer requirements when coming to their care. They come in various sizes, shapes and in different colours which makes them the perfect plant for any home.
How to care for succulents indoors during winter?
Taking care of your indoor succulents during winter requires a little extra attention. Whether you have hardy or soft succulents, here are some points to keep in mind –
Change the location
Changing the location of your indoor succulents can make a significant difference in their health. As the sunlight patterns change and become less intense, find the best possible spot to provide adequate light for your succulents.
Look for a sunny area in your home that receives ample natural light. South-facing windows are usually ideal since they receive the most sunlight throughout the day.
Reduce the watering
Succulents go into a dormant phase during winter, which means they need less water. Be mindful not to overwater them and if you keep the same routine as in the summer, you can cause the plant to rot.
Instead, allow the soil to dry out or check with the hand top layer of the soil is slightly dry.
Maintain steady airflow
While succulents prefer dry conditions, it’s still important to provide adequate airflow. Adequate airflow helps prevent excess moisture, reduces the risk of fungal diseases, and promotes healthy growth.
Avoid overcrowding plants, leave space for air circulation, and ensure they are not placed too close to walls or objects. Opening windows or using a gentle fan can also help improve airflow and prevent stagnant air.
During winter, it’s best to hold off on fertilizing your succulents. Succulents naturally experience slower growth during this time, and their nutrient requirements are significantly reduced.
Applying fertilizer can actually do more harm than good. Excess nutrients can accumulate in the soil, leading to salt buildup and potential root damage. Instead of fertilizing, focus on providing your succulents with the ideal growing conditions. Ensure they are receiving adequate sunlight, as this is the primary source of energy for plants.
Watch for pests
While succulents are generally resilient, they can still fall victim to common pests. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests such as mealybugs, scale insects, or spider mites. If you notice any pests, isolate the affected plant and try to remove them. This can include wiping them off with rubbing alcohol or using natural insecticides. Maintaining good care, such as proper watering and cleaning the leaves, can also help prevent pest problems.
Types of Succulent
Succulents come in two main types – hardy succulents and soft succulents. Understanding these types will help you choose the right succulents for your specific environment.
Hardy succulents are a robust group that can withstand frost and colder temperatures. They are well-suited for outdoor and can thrive in various climates. These resilient succulents can handle harsher conditions and continue to grow and flourish in colder regions.
On the other hand, soft or tender succulents are more delicate and sensitive to frost and chilly temperatures. They require a warmer and more sheltered environment to thrive. These succulents are best suited indoors or in areas with mild climates where the temperature rarely dips below freezing.
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When to Bring Succulents Indoors in Winter?
Knowing when to bring your succulents indoors during winter is important to keep them safe.
1. Check the weather
Keep an eye on the weather, especially the nighttime temperatures. When it starts dropping below 50°F consistently, it’s time to bring your succulents indoors.
2. Consider your succulent needs
Different succulents have different levels of cold tolerance. Hardy succulents can handle colder temperatures better than soft or tender ones. If you have a mix of succulent types, bring in the soft ones earlier to protect them from frost.
3. Look for signs of stress
If you see your outdoor succulents showing signs of stress like discolouration, wilting, or leaf damage, it means they’re struggling with the cold. Even if the temperatures haven’t dropped much, it’s best to bring them indoors to prevent further damage.
4. Plan for frost
If you live in an area where frost or freeze warnings are common, it’s safer to bring your succulents indoors a few days before the frost. This way, you can prevent any potential damage caused by sudden drops in temperature.
Check this: How to Keep a Palm Tree Alive Indoors During Winter?
How to Water Succulents in Winter?
Adjust your watering schedule during dormancy. Check the moisture level of the soil before watering by feeling the top inch with your finger. Water your succulents only when the soil is completely dry to prevent overwatering.
When it’s time to water, give your succulents a deep soak, ensuring the water reaches the roots. Water the soil around the base of the plants until it drains out from the bottom of the pot. It’s crucial to use a well-draining soil mix that allows excess water to flow out quickly, preventing further problems.
Take into consideration the temperature and humidity levels in your environment, as lower temperatures and indoor heating can affect the rate at which the soil dries out. Adjust your watering frequency accordingly, being cautious not to overwater.
Remember, it’s safer to underwater your succulents during winter than to overwater them. They can tolerate periods of drought better than excessive water.
Check this: Jade Plant Winter Care
How to Revive Frost Damaged Succulents?
Start by carefully examining the succulent for any visible signs of damage. If you notice frost-damaged areas, use clean and sterilized pruning shears to carefully trim off the affected parts of the plant. This helps prevent the spread of any infection or further damage.
After trimming, leave the plant for approximately 2 to 3 days before resuming your regular watering routine. This waiting period allows the plant to recover from the stress of pruning and reduces the risk of overwatering, which can harm the already vulnerable succulent.
During the recovery period, ensure that the succulent is placed in a warm and well-lit location, providing it with the necessary sunlight to aid in its revival. Maintain proper airflow around the plant to prevent excessive humidity, which can contribute to fungal issues.
Keep a close eye on your succulent’s progress as it begins to recover. Be patient, as it may take some time for new growth to emerge. Water the plant when it is in need and avoid the use of fertilizers until it has fully recovered.
Remember, not all frost-damaged succulents can be revived completely, and some may require propagation or replacement with new plants.
Also Read: Should You Fertilize Houseplants in the Winter?
Caring for succulents indoors during winter requires a bit of care for their specific needs. By following a few key practices, you can ensure their health throughout the colder months. Remember to change their location to provide adequate light, and reduce watering frequency while keeping an eye on soil moisture.
Maintaining steady airflow, avoiding fertilizers, and watching for pests are additional measures to consider. Adjust your care routine accordingly to the need of your plant. With proper care, your succulents will be ready to flourish when spring arrives once again.
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Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting