Hardy Succulent Plants – Tips On Growing Succulents In Zone 7
By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
There are a lot of colors, forms and textures from which to choose in the diverse succulent family. Growing succulents outdoors can be tricky if you are in a cooler USDA growing zone. Luckily, zone 7 is not terribly extreme and most succulents will thrive in its relatively mild winters. Succulents are one of the easiest plant groups for which to care and their wide variety and charming appearance adds a quirky sense of fun to the landscape.
What are Hardy Succulent Plants?
Zone 7 is a fortunate growing zone in which to live. The temperatures are mild and the coldest days of the year rarely drop to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 C.). The growing season is long and the average days of sun are off the chart when compared to places like the Pacific Northwest. Therefore, suitable succulent plants for zone 7 offers a broad list from which to choose.
The term “hardy” in the plant world refers to the lowest temperatures the plant can withstand. In the case of succulents, there are plants that can thrive and survive in temperatures well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 C.). These are hardy plants, indeed. Succulents in zone 7 rarely have to accommodate such low temperatures, which leaves a long list of suitable candidates for the area.
Whether you are looking for classics, like hens and chicks, or unusual plants, such as Jovibarba, there are plenty of succulents from which to choose. Most zone 7 succulents are easy to care for and simply need a sunny location with well-draining soil to perform beautifully. Some, like many of the sedum family, are perfect for containers or beds. Hardy succulent plants are an excellent way to add a touch of desert to the landscape even in areas where some snow may be expected a few times in the winter.
Succulent Plants for Zone 7
You can’t go wrong with tried and true succulent friends. These are the plants that even a novice gardener has heard about and which are known for their beauty and unusual form. Plants in the Sempervivum family have extremely hardy natures. More than just hens and chicks, it’s a large group that will do wonderfully in zone 7.
The yucca family also holds several species which tolerate cold winters. Some of these might include Parry’s, Whales Tongue, or Queen Victoria agave.
Agave are another classic succulent plant with fierce pointed leaves and uncomplaining natures that make excellent zone 7 succulents. Try Thompson’s or Brakelights Red yucca for landscape impact.
Other hardy groups with numerous cultivars from which to choose might be in the Spurge family or Aloe.
If you are searching for succulents in zone 7 that are not your garden variety, there are many other groups from which to choose.
- Texas Sotol has the elegance of an ornamental grass but has thicker leaves and is also known as Desert Green Spoon.
- Jovibarba plants produce sweet rosettes with leaves that either sharpen to a point or have spatulate ends.
- Orostachys are compact succulent plants for zone 7. They have such neatly arranged, spiral leaves that the whole effect seems as if they are just opening or closing.
- Some Echeveria are hardy in zone 7.
So whether you want charming little fist sized plants or impactful statuesque succulents, there are plenty of really amazing plants from which to choose in the zone 7 garden.
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10 Hardy Succulents That Survive Anything
I love landscaping with hardy succulents! They’re surprisingly hardy, and depending on the variety chosen, you might find that they require very little care. And depending on your area of the country, tons of hardy succulents can survive the winter, making them perennials that grow well into Spring, Summer, and beyond. Here is a list of my favorite hardy succulent varieties ! Keep reading below to learn more.
Hardy Succulents: Garden Outdoor
If you live in growing zones 6-10 you can plant any of these hardy succulents outdoors. They’ll go into a hibernation period over the winter and will come back vibrant in the Spring.
Aloe Vera plants are part of the succulent family and its not hard to see why. It too stores water in big, gigantic leaves. Its pulp can be used for a variety of things like sunburns. These plants are seriously HARDY, too. They can grow in just about any condition. I can personally affirm this, I had an aloe in the back of my yard that had been forgotten for years. After some tending, it sprang back to life. Aloe does wonderfully in zones 7 and up!
Put this unique succulent in the sunniest corner of your yard and forget about it. Only water when the soil is bone dry as it is extremely susceptible to root rot.
Zone 7-Donkey’s Tail
These pretty succulents can grow to be at least 2 feet long, just so long as they are grown in the correct lighting conditions. It requires bright morning sun with afternoon shade. This variety of succulent hates the heat, so be sure to take note of your growing zone…it does best between 6-7.
Zone 8-String of Pearls
Similar to Donkey’s Tail, the String of Pearl plant is great for hanging containers based on the way that it grows. All this plant needs to thrive is plenty of drainage and not much else. Growers should make sure to test the soil with your finger before watering. Only water when the soil feels dry up to your first or second knuckle. A string of Pearls needs a bit of a warmer climate to thrive, I recommend planting in zones 8-10.
Hardy Succulents: Zone 5
You’ve probably seen one of these succulents as part of a centerpiece somewhere. These succulents can literally survive ANY kind of condition. It thrives in heat, cold, or places where drought is common. It’s impossible to kill this beauty!
You can grow Crassula succulents in as low as zone 5, just as long as you bring them inside over the winter. Crassula, or a Jade plant, needs well-draining soil and plenty of sunshine. It’s slow-growing but is a beauty when it does get larger! Water no more than once weekly.
Hens & Chicks
Like most succulents, this plant loves well-draining soil. These plants require no fertilization and are used to going extended periods without water. They are called “hens & chicks” because the “chicks” can be removed from the “hen” for propagation. This hardy succulent does beautifully in zone 5 because it loves the chilly winters!
Hardy Succulents: Zone 4 (and Under)
It can be hard to find hardy succulents that can survive heavy snow and frost. The three below can take all the snow (and more!) that you can throw at it!
Frost- Queen Victoria Agave
If you’ve ever visited the desert, you’ve probably seen these plants growing all over the place! Not only are the leaves delicious when made into a sweetener, but they are one of the hardiest succulents in the frost. Let agave plants dry out completely before watering deeply.
Cold Hardy Succulents-Broadleaf Stonecrop
This is a succulent variety that survives just about anything. In fact, it is hardy up until -5 degrees! As with most succulents, make sure the soil is well-draining. It also likes to grow in between rocks, so keep this in mind when planning your landscaping.
Winter Hardy Succulents-Texas Sotol
Though it looks more like wild grass, the Sotol is actually a succulent. And an incredibly cold-hardy one, at that. This plant is hardy in temperatures that get below -20. Keep your plant in full sun, however, and water sparingly!
Keep reading for more information about succulent care.
Succulent hardy to zone 8 should enjoy a mild winter and hot summer. Such succulents can be Cactus, Sedum, Sempervivum and some Echeveria.
See more about Choosing Succulents for Zone 3,4,5 & 6 - New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Minnesota
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