How to Bring Succulents in for the Winter

Succulents are a unique and fascinating group of plants that are known for their ability to store water and survive in harsh conditions. However, as winter approaches, it’s important to take steps to protect your succulents and ensure they stay healthy and thriving. In this article, we’ll discuss how to bring succulents in for the winter and provide you with tips and tricks to keep them happy and healthy until spring arrives.

Understanding Succulents

Before bringing succulents inside for the winter, it’s important to understand what they are. Succulents are plants that store water in their leaves, stems, or roots. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and many are native to arid regions. Succulents are popular plants due to their low maintenance requirements and unique appearance, making them a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor gardens.

Common Misconceptions

One common misconception about succulents is that they don’t need water. While succulents are drought-resistant and can go long periods without water, they still require hydration. Another misconception is that they can only thrive in hot, sunny climates. While many succulents do prefer warm, sunny conditions, some can tolerate cooler temperatures and lower light levels.

Preparing Succulents for Winter

As the temperatures start to drop, it’s important to prepare your succulents for their winter indoors. Here are a few steps to take to ensure your succulents thrive during the winter months:

Key takeaway: Before bringing succulents inside for the winter, it’s important to inspect for pests, reduce watering, adjust light levels, and choose the right container with proper drainage. Once inside, continue to care for them properly with less watering and [adequate light and temperature conditions]( Gradually acclimate them back outside in the spring.

Step 1: Inspect for Pests

Before bringing succulents inside, inspect them for any pests that may be hiding in the soil or on the leaves. Common pests include mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. If you notice any pests, treat them with an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

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Step 2: Reduce Watering

Succulents go dormant during the winter months, which means they require less water. Reduce your watering schedule to once every two to three weeks, or when the soil is completely dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues, so it’s important to be mindful of the amount of water your succulents are receiving.

Step 3: Adjust Light Levels

Many succulents require bright, direct sunlight to thrive. However, during the winter months, the sun’s angle changes, and there may not be as much direct sunlight available. Consider moving your succulents to a south-facing window or supplementing with grow lights to ensure they receive enough light.

Step 4: Avoid Drafts

Succulents don’t do well in drafty areas or areas with extreme temperature fluctuations. Keep your succulents away from windows and doors that may let in cold air, and avoid placing them near heat sources.

Choosing the Right Container

When bringing succulents inside for the winter, it’s important to choose the right container. Here are a few things to consider:


Choose a container that is slightly larger than the plant’s root ball. Succulents don’t like to be in containers that are too large, as this can lead to overwatering and other issues.


Choose a container made of a porous material, such as terra cotta or ceramic. These materials allow for better drainage and can help prevent overwatering.


Make sure your container has drainage holes to allow for excess water to escape. Succulents don’t like to sit in water, so it’s important to ensure proper drainage.

Caring for Succulents Indoors

Once your succulents are inside for the winter, it’s important to continue caring for them properly. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

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As mentioned earlier, succulents require less water during the winter months. Stick to a watering schedule of once every two to three weeks, or when the soil is completely dry.


Make sure your succulents are getting enough light. Consider supplementing with grow lights if necessary.


Succulents prefer temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid placing them in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations.


Succulents prefer low humidity levels. Avoid placing them in areas with high humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchens.


Succulents don’t require fertilizer during the winter months. Wait until spring to begin fertilizing again.

Bringing Succulents Back Outside

As the temperatures begin to warm up in the spring, it’s time to start thinking about bringing your succulents back outside. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Gradual Acclimation

Don’t immediately move your succulents outside once the weather warms up. Instead, gradually acclimate them to the outdoor conditions by moving them outside for a few hours each day.

FAQs for how to bring succulents in for the winter

What should I do with outdoor succulents when the temperature drops?

When the temperature starts to drop outside, outdoor succulents are vulnerable to damage or death caused by frost or cold weather. To protect the plants and help them survive, it is best to bring them indoors. Before you bring them inside, it’s important to inspect the plants for any signs of pests or disease. If you find any problems, treat the plants before bringing them inside. Also, acclimate the plants to the inside environment by bringing them inside for a brief period each day in gradually increasing increments.

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What kind of indoors environment should I provide for my succulents?

Succulents prefer a lot of light, so when you bring them indoors, you will need to find a spot that receives plenty of light. South or west-facing windows are perfect, but if you don’t have a lot of windows, you can also use grow lights or fluorescent bulbs. Keep the plants away from drafty areas and radiators, as well as any areas with low humidity. You may also consider using a humidifier to increase the level of humidity indoors.

Do I need to change the way I care for succulents when they’re indoors?

The care for succulents doesn’t change much when they are brought indoors. The most important thing is to ensure that the soil is only moist, not overly wet, and the plant is getting enough light. Succulents also benefit from a regular fertilizing schedule during the growing season, which is generally spring through fall. But when you bring them indoors, the growth slows down, so reduce the frequency of fertilization.

Should I worry about pests when my succulents are indoors?

Yes, you should still monitor for pests even when succulents are brought indoors. Common pests that can infest succulents indoors can include spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs. Inspect the plants regularly and treat any pest problems immediately. You can use natural or chemical controls, but make sure to follow all instructions carefully.

Can I keep my succulents indoors permanently?

While succulents can be kept indoors for an extended period, they do best outdoors in their natural habitat. Indoor conditions may not be the best environment for them to grow. Additionally, when you move the plants back outside in the spring, you need to follow an acclimatization process before placing the plants in full sun to avoid sunscald and other damage.

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