Over the past several weeks I've had lots of conversations with customers regarding succulents that have experienced damage from the cold temps and freezing rain we experienced in December. I hate to admit but, I lost a lot of plants this year because I didn't prepare myself for the winter like I should have! So as we find ourselves in the middle of winter, I thought it would be appropriate to offer some care tips.
Three things to remember- Little Water, Lots of Light & Comfortable Temperatures.
Water // Generally speaking, I tell my customers to let the soil dry out between waterings. Your watering regimen is going to change with the seasons. During the winter, your succulents will be taking up very little water, especially if they are indoors and are in dormancy. It will take longer for the soil to dry out between waterings which means you will need to water less- maybe every 3 weeks or so. Don't ever let the soil become so dry that it pulls away from the sides of the pot. If this happens, the roots can begin to desiccate and collapse and you might see that your succulent has begun to shrink or shrivel up. Aim to give them enough water to keep their roots slightly hydrated.
Light // Getting enough bright light in the winter can be tough, especially here in Oklahoma. Although succulents can survive with less light, not enough light can cause them to become disfigured and/or deformed. When not getting enough light, succulents will begin to stretch as they are trying to find more. You will also see that they will begin to lose their color and turn pale green, regardless of what their actual color might be. So during the winter months, you may need to move your succulents closer to a light source. A south facing window is great and even some direct sun in the winter will be okay. Aim to give them 4-6 hours of bright light per day.
Temperature // During the winter months, it is important to protect your succulents from freezing cold temps. Succulents prefer temps between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. A good rule of thumb is, if you are comfortable, your succulents are comfortable. So if you keep your succulents outside during the spring/summer/fall months, be sure to bring them inside during the winter (or if there are any chances of a freeze). Sometimes, a windowsill may provide too cold of temperature for the succulents too so just be cautious.
I hope that these tips are helpful! Above all, you are ultimately the best gauge of giving your succulent babies what they need. Know that every environment is different. Become familiar with your plant, watch for changes and most importantly, don't overthink it!
Best of luck,