How to Take Care of Outdoor Succulents

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Yes, succulent plants can go beyond your desk or even your windowsill. These plants might have the reputation of existing as homebodies, but they grow just as well outside. Yes, they look charming on window ledges or bookshelves indoors but also make excellent additions to landscaping.

Today, we will help you care for your outdoor succulent plants to keep them flourishing.

Caring for Outdoor Succulent Plants

outdoor succulents

When planting succulents outdoors, the majority will not survive frost. Yet, exceptions like hens and chicks go dormant in the winter months. Still, if you live in warmer climates, you can plant succulents in pots to move inside once the mercury drops.

You can then control the water to the sun they need as they are low-maintenance plants. Yet, to truly harm a succulent is with over watering that can damage the delicate roots leading to root rot.

The same applies when your plant receives too much sun. You can move it into the shade. But what are the care needs for succulents growing outdoors? Let’s find out.

Soil Requirements for Planting Succulents Outdoors

succulent soil mix

When you plant succulents in the ground, the important thing is to provide your plants with well-draining soil to prevent root rotting. You can create a 6-inch mound with a succulent-specific soil mix. Then you can plant them on the rise.

If you have sprawling succulents like hens and chicks that grow as ground cover, they need enough space between them to grow. These are tiny plants that spread as they mature. Still, the care is little once you have your succulents in a garden bed.

The soil must drain well if you grow succulents in the ground or in a container to stand outside. Alternatively, you can use a cactus mix for desert and succulent plants. Or you can mix potting soil with sand to loosen it up.

But for outdoor containers, we recommend adding a mix of sand and perlite to the soil. Neither should you place your plants in soil treated with fertilizers and chemicals as it can harm the plant.

Light Exposure for Outdoor Succulents

outdoor succulent light exposure

In your succulent garden, your plants need at least six hours of sunlight daily, and placing them in an area where there is enough light is essential. In addition, planting succulents need bright indirect light to receive morning and afternoon sun.

Without enough sun, your outdoor succulent plants will look discolored and droopy. The truth is that too much direct sunlight can also harm your plant as it becomes brown as the sun scorches the foliage.

Watering an Outdoor Succulents

watering succulent plants

Succulent plants like cacti and desert species are drought-tolerant plants that can go without water for a long time. The reason is that these plants store water, but it does not mean you should not water them.

When it comes to your outdoor potted succulents, you can water them once a week. Yet, the frequency of watering depends on whether the soil is dry or not. It helps to leave the soil dry between watering to prevent the rotting of the roots.

When the soil is dry, you can water them well and leave the excess water to drain from the pot. Still, if the pot has no drainage holes, water sparingly as the potting mix will remain wet, leaving a breeding place for fungi.

For watering succulent plants in the ground, you need not do this often. But when you saturate them, provide them with a decent amount of water. As a result, you may find in the summer; you will water them more often and refrain from watering them in the winter.

The same applies to your succulent outdoor garden by leaving the soil to dry before watering. Also, water your plants around the base and prevent water from falling over the leaves.

The best time to water succulents is in the morning, allowing your plant foliage to dry before nighttime.

Fertilizing Your Outdoor Succulents

organic fertilizer

Most succulents are hardy plants and do not need much feeding. But if you need to feed your plants, it helps to use a diluted liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Giving them added nutrients will help promote growth and flowering at certain times of the year.

Also, please do not use too much as it can do more harm than good to the roots.

Temperature Needs

outdoor succulent temperature requirement

Growing succulents outdoors prefers warm temperatures between 60°F and 80°F. While growing succulents can handle cool to warm conditions, they do not thrive when temperatures drop below freezing. At freezing temperatures, the foliage turns black, and it looks burnt.

Caring For Succulent Plants Outdoors In Summer and Winter

indoor succulent plants

Growing perennial plants is a great way to go if you want a garden with loads of color. You need not water often as they will thrive on rainwater but will need some protection from direct sun.

To protect your succulents, add some mulch around the base of the plant. Doing this controls weeds, and they will be able to get water and nutrients from the soil. You can use a stone or gravel layer to keep them neat.

Also, try not to overfeed your plants; they might need more protection from pests using insecticide spray. Finally, when winter arrives, it helps to keep your succulents in a spot with at least six hours of sun.

For added protection against snow, it helps to tuck evergreen foliage around them or cover them with a sheet of plastic for insulation against the cold. Still, if you live in freezing temperatures, we recommend planting succulents in pots to bring indoors.

Outdoor Succulents Varieties

You might be wondering what outdoor succulents you can grow in the garden. Here are some excellent examples:


sedum succulent

These are perennial succulent plants that are vigorous to plant in the ground to leave during the winter months outside. Once they go through the dormancy period, they grow back bigger and self-propagating.

Hens and Chicks

hens and chicks succulent plant

These are cold-hardy succulent plants that can survive cold winters.


Echeveria succulent

The succulent plants grow well as indoor plants and outdoors. You can plant them in a garden bed.


agave succulent plant

You can grow them year round but will need some frost protection if very cold. Agave flourishes in full sun to partial shade.

Outdoor Succulents Diseases & Pests

When it comes to succulent care, they are tough plants but can still be bothered by pests and disease. Some disease you can find when you grow succulents outside is powdery mildew. It results from a fungus living on the leaves.

The best way to prevent this disease is to keep the foliage dry and prevent overwatering. The same applies to the root rotting resulting from too much water. Common pests are aphids, snails, slugs, spider mites, and mealybugs.

If you notice any of these insects, you can treat them with an insecticide or neem oil.

Where to Buy an Outdoor Succulents Plant?

The good news is that you can find a variety of succulents to grow as outdoor plants at your local garden center. Still, you need not look far as Plantly has a selection of succulent plants you can grow in a sunny location of your yard.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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