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How to Care for Succulent Plants in the Winter

By Hollan Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017

Succulents are great plants to grow in hot arid climates. They need little water and usually require just as little care. Plus, they usually look nice year-round. However, if you live in an area that freezes, you might have to protect your succulent plants from the winter weather. Freezing temperatures can kill succulent plants that aren’t properly cared for. Caring for succulent plants in the winter is pretty easy, however, as they don’t require much work.

Stop giving succulent plants excess water in the late fall. Succulent plants need the lack of water to prepare them for the coming winter months.

Make sure the soil the succulent plants are planted in is well drained. Succulent plants need to stay dry during the winter months because damp roots can kill them. Improve the drainage of your soil by adding sand.

Water succulent plants sparingly during the winter, if at all. If you must water your succulent plants, water them only once every two weeks to once a month for 5 minutes a watering. Do not water your succulent plants if the ground is frozen.

Cover any succulent plants that aren't hardy below freezing with frost cloth. Cover the entire plant with the frost cloth while the temperature is below freezing. Remove it once the temperature rises.

Leave succulents plants hardy below freezing uncovered during the winter months. They need the air circulation to keep them dry.


Things You Will Need

  • Frost covers


  • Leave snow on any cold hardy succulent plants because it will keep them warmer than being exposed to the elements.


  • Do not mulch over succulent plants in the winter because mulch retains too much moisture. Succulent plants need to be kept dry during the winter.

About the Author


Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.