Soft Succulents Hardiness and Weather Requirements

Echeveria ' Blue Rose' and Crasulla sermentosa

Common Soft Succulents include: Echeveria, Crassula Jade, Kalanchoe, Aloe, Tender Sedums, and Senecio.

Soft succulents are a broad range of succulents that are less tolerant of cold temperatures than “hardy” succulents. We typically consider plants rated USDA Zone 9 (20 to 30 F) and above to be Soft Succulents, but some plants in the category go as low as Zone 7 (0 to 10 F). All Soft Succulents can be grown outside in frost free areas (USDA Zone 10+). In colder zones, they can be grown in containers and moved inside for the winter.

Hardiness varies considerably among the different types. Most of the Soft Succulents with rosettes of thick fleshy leaves, such as many of the Echeveria, are partially hardy to at least the mid 20’s F. Soft Succulents with thinner individual leaves, like most Kalanchoe, can briefly tolerate temperatures just below freezing but are killed back to the roots when the temperature reaches the mid 20’s F. This modest hardiness means that they do well outdoors in areas that receive only light frost (such as many coastal locations) and in protected spots in colder areas.

Echeveria Morning Beauty

Succulents tend to prefer a temperate climate. Generally they do best in areas with filtered sunlight and temperatures below 90 degrees. Most succulents can tolerate full sunlight, however some can get sunburn if they are in full sun during the afternoon when the temperatures are highest (Aeonium are especially susceptible). Full sun in combination with temperatures above 90 can damage most succulents. Morning and/or evening sun with afternoon full or partial shade (at least 50%) is ideal.

Newly planted succulents, especially those that have been growing in a greenhouse, will need to be shaded for a few days and gradually introduced to more sunlight. This is also the case when bringing succulents that have been grown indoors outside.

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