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How to Take Care of Your Succulent in Winter

Introduction

Taking care of succulents in the winter requires special attention to their needs (or lack thereof), as with all elements of succulent care. They seldom do better in temperatures higher than 10 degrees Celsius, and almost none do better below 0. Nevertheless, succulent care in the winter is not that difficult, as they go into dormancy, or hibernation during the season. To care for your succulent in the winter, all you need to do is give them less care than you would in warmer months, as they do not grow as much in the winter as then. Just remember not to neglect them completely!

Winter: A Season of Dormancy

Winter is a season when many succulents go into dormancy

To understand why it is best to minimise care for your succulent in the winter, one must understand the growing patterns of succulents in the wild. In the wild, many succulents grow in environments with dry winters, when the nutrients and water they need to grow dissapate until the coming of spring. As a result, they go into dormancy. In a dormant state, most of their growth is kept to a minimum, and as a result they take in very little water, nutrients or other natural elements that would aid to their growth. They only take in what is absolutely necessary to survive.


You may be wondering why this is all necessary if your succulents are likely in a warm house. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, you may have succulents growing outdoors, and you need to bring them in for winter. Secondly, many of your succulents will be depending primarily on natural sunlight to photosynthesis, not the artificial electric lights you have in your home, and they will go into dormancy mode as a result of the lack of sun they need to produce nutrients, meaning this reduced care will still be necessary.

Winter Succulent Care

You should reduce care for your succulent in winter, but not stop it altogether

With these pieces of information in mind, it goes without saying that you’ll need to reduce care for your succulent in winter. It’s best to only water your succulent once every two weeks at the most— succulents store water in leaves and roots especially during their dormancy, and if you water them too much, they may begin to rot away. Remember to keep your succulent’s soil dry in the winter. This is normally important advice when taking care of your succulent, but particularly important when caring for your succulent in winter. Succulents do not appreciate damp soil, and when they aren’t growing they are particularly susceptible to rot.


Likewise, fertiliser isn’t particularly needed in winter because they will not be growing that much, if at all. Stop fertilising your succulent in the fall; the last time you fertilise your succulent should be in September. Environment-wise, it’s also best to tone down the amount of light your succulent recieves, as they do not need to photosynthesise as much when they are in dormancy. It’s best to only expose your succulent to light about 3-4 hours a day, just enough to continue the existing life functions.