Succulents outdoor all year? Here are the ones that resist and the story of my “resurrected” Echinocereus

Many succulents, whether cacti or other succulent families, tolerate the cold well. Not all cacti and not all succulents, of course, but many species can face the winter without problems even outdoors not only in the regions of Southern Italy, but also in many European states or in Asia and in northern America. The story of the Echinocereus laui in the photo above contains a very important lesson from this point of view. With the exception of epiphytic cacti (Schlumbergera, Epiphyllum, Rhipsalis, etc.), for species such as Melocactus and Discocactus and for succulent plants native to Madagascar or some African regions (Adenium obesum, Uncarina, Aloe, many Euphorbia and almost all Asclepiadaceae), many succulents can spend the winter months at temperatures close to zero Celsius degrees, as long as the soil remains dry at least from October to the end of March. However, there are some cacti and some succulents capable of surprising us and surviving the rigors of winter without problems, in some cases even in damp soil (therefore partly exposed to the elements).

Among these, some species of Echinocereus, as the plant you see in the photo, which I had given up for dead, and whitch instead was reborn after two winters spent entirely outdoors, exposed to the cold and humidity whitch characterizes northern Italy. In this article here is the history of this plant and a brief overview of the succulent plants that we can keep outdoors all year round. (…)

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Where to keep succulents in winter? Outside, on a landing or in the house? A practical handbook


A practical handbook and an in-depth analysis on a much debated topic among those who grow succulent and/or cactus plants. Here’s what you’ll find by reading this article, designed specifically to help those who, with the first drops in temperatures, are starting to wonder where to place their succulents when the real cold arrives. Unless you have a greenhouse, perhaps equipped with a burner regulated by a thermostat, the question is in fact more than pertinent: during the winter it is better to keep the succulent plants outside (sheltered from the rain), or in a cool environment such as a landing, an internal staircase or even a garage? Or should we bring all the plants indoors? It is good to clarify immediately that the answer to these questions cannot be tranchant or “absolute”: obviously the correct winter location depends on many factors, starting from the area in which the plants are grown (North or South Italy? North or South Europe? Sea or high mountains?) to arrive at the type of plant (Cactaceae, succulent native to Africa or Madagascar? Sempervivum, Crassula, Euphorbia?). In short, the range of cases is very broad and as always there are no absolute rules. Luckily there are many fixed points and many precautions that should be respected to ensure that our succulents pass the winter securely and take advantage of the vegetative stasis to be able to flower again the following year.

The following article answers these questions, and you will also find an indication of the correct measures to be taken to ensure that cacti and succulents overwinter in the best possible way, have abundant blooms and, above all, you’ll find a practical handbook with an indication of the best location for cacti and succulents organized in alphabetical order, so as to facilitate the identification of the plant, understand in which minimum temperature range it can stay and where it can be placed (for example outside, on a landing, or directly inside the house). (…)

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Sudden changes in temperature and first colds: with cacti and succulents there is nothing to fear

From the highest peak to the lowest, about thirty degrees Celsius passes. This is the sudden change in temperature to which my succulents (90% cacti) have been exposed in recent weeks, almost all kept in the greenhouse which is still rigorously open 24 hours a day. All the Agaves remain outside the greenhouse, some Aloes, various Opuntia, Tephrocactus, Pediocactus, some Echinopsis and some cacti that I placed in the ground for experimentation. Can such sudden changes in temperature damage plants? Are nighttime lows starting to get too low for cacti and succulents in general?

There are many who wonder and, since I have received several messages in this sense, I have decided to write this short article to answer these questions. (…)

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Succulents and cold: how to care for cactus in winter and the minimum temperatures tolerated

Do cacti resist frost? In winter, do succulent plants have to be kept indoors or can they stay outside? And what are the minimum winter temperatures they can tolerate? Even among experienced growers, the minimum temperatures of cacti and succulents are still debated today. I tackle the topic starting, as always, from my personal experience, which is my only way to have accurate data, found in the field, related to my system and my growing conditions, here in North of Italy. Let’s say right away that during winter I keep most of my plants in the greenhouse. It is a large greenhouse of 60 square meters and with a height, at the top, of 4 meters. These dimensions guarantee a satisfying volume of air, which in turn prevents moisture stagnation, the first real enemy of cacti and succulent plants in winter.

Let’s see, in the following article, the various factors that influence the resistance of cacti and succulents to cold. At the end of the article, you will also find a schedule with the minimum temperatures tolerated by the various families of succulents. (…)

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