Caring for Potted Succulents in Winter

by Jennifer Medina Salter, El Paso Master Gardener

jennifer suculentsOver the past few months I have been collecting small potted succulents/cacti on my patio. Many of them are cold sensitive, and with colder temperatures here it is definitely time to change the plant environment. I brought my plants inside, but many people move theirs into greenhouses. Whatever the environment, remember that although most succulents/cacti are winter dormant they still have 3 basic requirements: light, water and temperature. Light: give them as much direct sunlight as possible. A south facing window is best. Without enough sunlight, your plants can become “leggy” by the time spring arrives. Water: Keep your plants on the dry side, giving just enough water to stop them from shriveling. Too much water and they will quickly begin to rot. Along with low water, remember not to give any fertilizer during the winter months. Temperature: Keep the plants at temperatures above 45˚. On the flip side, temperatures that are too warm will encourage growth during these dormant months you will end up with “leggy” plants. Remember, keep the plants bright, dry and cool and once the danger of frost is over, they can be moved back outside to bask in the sun.

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