Winter in the Succulent Garden: Protecting Tender Succulents from Cold Weather

Tags:landscaping with succulentstender succulents

We recently had several nights of frost, and the thermometers dipped down as low as 32 ̊F here at nursery. Keeping an eye on the weather predictions, we use frost cloth to cover our more tender varieties during chilly nights. Frost cloth is a specialized fabric used to protect plants by increasing the ambient temperature, is porous so the plants can breathe, and allows some light to pass through so it can be left over plants temporarily during the day without shading them too much. 

frost cloth

This photo shows Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire', which is listed as winter hardy to 30-32 degrees F.

Frost damage on succulents

The Sticks on fire that had been in the combo container for years, and was further from the protective structure fared worse. Root-bound or dry plants usually suffer worse than plants with more moist protective soil around them to buffer low temperatures.

This photo shows Agave attenuata 'Ray of Light' which is listed as winter hardy to 25-30 degrees F.

Frost damage on agave attenuata ray of light

To note: the plants on the edge of the frost cloth in the Agave 'Ray of Light' bed suffered slightly more.

When freezing temperatures are predicted, get the frost cloth handy and water your plants!

Next month be on the lookout for our follow up article about tending to frost-damaged plants.


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