In this article we will share with you some tips on growing succulents in zones 7 and higher. These are plants which thrive in hot climates and have adapted well to the heat of the desert climate. They grow very fast and produce prolifically. They require little care but they do need regular waterings or watering every few weeks.

You can easily keep them alive during dry spells too.

There are several types of succulents available in the market. Some are perennials while others are annuals. All of these types of plants require a certain amount of space to grow properly. If you want to plant one in your garden then it would be best if you have at least 2 feet between each plant so that they don’t crowd out other plants or shade them from sunlight.

The following list includes some of the most common succulent plants available in the market. Please note that not all of these plants are suitable for every location. Some of them may even be invasive. However, there are many varieties which can be grown successfully in any area where you live.

So, let’s get started! Succulents for Zone 5

These are succulent plants suitable for growing in a climate with cold winters like the one you have in zone 5. The plants listed here can tolerate the extreme cold but they shouldn’t be left outdoors during winter. You should move them to an insulated and heated area where they can rest until spring arrives.

Sempervivum – These are also known as “Hens and Chicks” and are very popular with gardeners everywhere. They are hardy and easy to grow. These plants can thrive even in poor soil as long as it is well drained. You can also propagate these by breaking off a piece of the plant and planting it elsewhere.

Jovibarba – The foliage on this plant is green and the flowers are red. This type of succulent grows best when planted in rocky soil and they prefer direct sunlight.

Zygocactus – The flowers on this type of succulent are yellow and the plants can grow very large over time. They have thick dark green leaves which protect it from excessive sunlight and heat.

Paddle Plant – This type of succulent gets its name from the long green “paddles” which protect its center. It grows best when planted in sandy soil and it prefers a lot of sun.

Blue Tooth – These succulents have bluish leaves and they grow in the shape of thick bushes. The best place to plant them is in a hot and dry area. Blue Tooth grows very well in rocky soil.

These are only some of the succulents which are hardy enough to grow in zone 5. You can also research other varieties online and choose the ones which look appealing to you. If you require more detailed information on the cultivation of certain succulents, you should visit a gardening forum specializing in the topic. Best of luck with your garden!

Zones 4 and 5:

These zones are generally too warm for succulents. There are a few varieties which can survive in these conditions but, for the most part, succulents do not do well here. Even in the fall, these zones rarely have frost and snow which is bad for succulents. These plants tend to dry out and freeze when the temperatures drop below 50 degrees at night.

You can, however, grow succulents here if you plant them close to your house or a building which provides some shelter from cold air.

These zones also have short growing seasons. The summers are too hot and the winters are too cold for these plants. You can, however, plant succulents close to your home where it is a few degrees warmer. Some varieties of succulents also require a lot of sunlight in order to thrive.

If you live in this area and don’t have access to sunlight for most of the day, you should probably choose a different plant.

What Succulents Can Be Grown Outdoors?

This is a common question asked by people who are interested in growing succulents. The answer is: not many! Most succulents require a lot of sunlight in order to thrive. If grown outdoors, they will survive the summer but die during the winter when night time temperatures fall below 45 degrees. The only succulents which can be grown outdoors with any reliability are the following:

Haworthia – This is a small genus of succulents with between six and twelve species. They have thick leaves arranged in an eye pattern. The leaves can be green or a strange orange-yellow color. These plants can survive in shade and are very resilient to temperature variations but they cannot survive in wet soil.

A few succulents which can grow outdoors in zone 5 include:

  • Paddle Plant
  • Ice Plant
  • Perle Von Nurnberg
  • Zwartkops Grass

These succulents thrive in gravel and sandy soil and can survive in dry soil conditions.

What Are Some Common Problems With Succulents?

Common problems with succulents are similar to those faced by gardeners in general. These plants are prone to insect infestation, disease and improper irrigation. Fungus is also a common problem for succulents as well as other types of plants.

Succulents have another, unique problem which must be taken into consideration: sunburn. These plants evolved in areas with intense sunlight. When grown outdoors, in areas with less sunlight, they can develop sunburn which leads to skin thickening and roughness. This problem can be solved by planting succulents in soil which does not contain extra limestone.

Another common succulent problem is too much water. These plants store water in their leaves and stems so over-watering is a common problem for succulent enthusiasts. You should only water your succulents when the soil has completely dried out.

Over-fertilizing your succulents can cause problems too. Although these plants require a lot of nitrogen, they do not need large doses of it. Too much nitrogen will cause succulents to develop beautiful green leaves at the expense of flower and fruit production. If you want your succulents to produce flowers, do not fertilize them at all or only fertilize them every few months.


Sources & references used in this article:

The Illustrated Guide of Southern California Hardy Succulents by D Chard, Z Safiulina – 2011 –


SUCCULENTS for most gardens by RAY STEPHENSON – Cactus and Succulent Journal, 2006 – BioOne

Documentation Of Succulents From Agriculture Farm Of Dehgam Area, Gujarat by M Kolhe, S Qureshi, A Mankad, H Solanki –

Cacti and Succulents of the Socorro Sand Dunes by A VAN DAM, M VAN DAM – Cactus and Succulent Journal, 2007 – BioOne

Alien succulents naturalised and cultivated on the central west coast of Portugal by V Silva, E Figueiredo, GF Smith – Bradleya, 2015 – BioOne

Cape Agulhas, Africa’s Southernmost Succulents, and Aloe Juddii, Newly Named from the Region by E Van Jaarsveld, BE Van Wyk, G Smith – 2000 – Tafelberg

The ecological water-use strategies of succulent plants by E van Jaarsveld, J Deacon – Cactus and Succulent Journal, 2010 – BioOne

Pushing the Limits with Cacti and Succulents in Cold Climates# 26 by RM Ogburn, EJ Edwards – Advances in botanical research, 2010 – Elsevier



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