Care for succulents in weather extremities
Succulents are the crown of a garden, they are sturdy. And, they can always come up with a thriving succulent in every season with little care. But, then also every gardener worries about how to care for succulents in winter & other seasons.
You trim them down, cut them apart from the main plant, and they will be back on their feet again. All you need to do is to give them soil, some water, and lots of faith and patience to see them flourish.
But for that, starting preparation is that one should be aware of the weather conditions in his area. Having a better understanding of the weather conditions, not only helps in selecting a suitable succulent variety for your garden. But, also assists in chalking out methods to nurture them in different situations.
Climate Zones in the USA
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) works for the uplifting of agriculture and plantation in the US. Based on the climate conditions and minimum winter temperatures that happen across the continent. They have created a chart that divides it into a grade of hardiness zones. Hardiness zones or climate zones or growth zones are an indicator for gardeners. As, to which part of the country is suitable for a plant type. And, what basic practices one needs to follow to bring out the best in them.
- They have divided the country into 13 hardiness zones; based on them, one can opt for the succulent varieties that will suit his region’s climate.
- One can prepare their plants for the coming weather conditions better if they have an understanding of the annual climate conditions of an area.
There are some more alternatives for USDA charts like the sunset weather chart, which also considers summer temperatures, latitude, elevation, precipitation, etc.
Despite having multiple seasons over a year, some regions experience one climate extremity more than another. Some are mostly cold although they have the summers, their winter temperatures are more on the extreme side. Similarly, some may fall in a warm climate belt but may have extreme summer temperatures in comparison to the winter temperature average. Likewise, some areas like coastal may receive a lot of rainfall, etc. Depending on that, one should know the general steps one needs to follow to handle the extremities of all-weather. Extreme temperatures of every climate are not favorable for any regular plant. But as succulents are hardy and mostly belong to arid regions, frosting winters are a crucial concern for them.
Tips to care for succulents in winter season
Regions having winters as the prime season mostly experience lower temperatures than the hotter areas. Therefore the succulent varieties that thrive better in cold climates are a better choice for these areas. However, those succulents also need care, as dramatic changes in the temperature may harm a succulent it doesn’t matter how hard it is. If the temperatures are going too low, your succulent may freeze, and therefore, you must know facts and methods to keep them safe.
Frost Cloths as Savior
If the freezing temperatures are last for some time, one can opt for frost cloths. They trap the plant heat within, and also help in restricting the cold air from getting in. For better effectiveness, you need to put frost cloths close to the ground, and should fully cover the plant. And then you can hold it down by something so that it doesn’t get blown away by the wind. Light-colored frost clothes are helpful for the daytime as they allow sunlight to pass through.
Use Burlap Cover
Burlap is an organic product from natural fibers but is also available in synthetic material. It is found quite helpful in saving plants from winter frost. Cold air can freeze your plants; burlap keeps them warm by allowing some sunlight to pass through it. Burlap also prevents the plants from winter sunburn, a situation when the sun rays come down hard on the plants after a cold night. However, one needs to take care that the burlap cover doesn’t get wet or frozen under the snow. One can handle this situation by leaving some space between burlap and succulents.
Use the garden furniture as cover for a light freeze
When temperature drops are not sudden, covering your plants with furniture is also a good option. You can place a chair or table above your succulent to save it from direct exposure to freezing winds at night. Space between the furniture and plants will allow them to remain warm in the daytime. Also, it will make sure that the plastic of your chair does not meltdown on your plants.
Move your Plants in the shade
However, outdoor plants are mostly large and have their roots deep into the ground; therefore, moving them is not possible. But, some plants in containers and smaller in size definitely should be moved away to avoid the freezing conditions. One can place them under a structure away from the direct exposure of freezing winds or under a large tree. It is quite feasible if the temperature is not dropping drastically and all of a sudden, and your plants are winter hardy and have adapted themselves to the cold season. You can bring them to shade in the evening and move them back in sunlight in the daytime.
How to care for succulents in the rainy season
Every succulent lover understands how excess water and rainy season can hurt the healthy future of succulents. They are a breed from arid climates, and they don’t love stagnant water, so monsoon season or rainstorms can also do serious harm to them.
Their water-storing cells can burst with excess water, with combined possibilities of insects, etc. Here are some tips that may help a gardener in tackling the rainy season.
Put your succulents under a structured frame
Rains are harmful to succulents as they may result in standing water in the garden, but the daytime with bright sunlight is also essential for them. Covering outdoor succulents in burlap is also not enough to be safe from the rain. In that situation, we can erect a framed structure above them to protect them from rains, without interrupting the air and brightness supply. The framed structure could be somewhat like a corrugated shed, large enough to save the plants from the rain on all sides. No need to say, they should be on higher ground than the base garden level to stop the inflow of rainwater. Moisture in the air will be managed by fluent aeration from the sides, and brightness supply will be adequate through a translucent roof.
Use Pumice in soil
Adding pumice in potting soil while doing the plating might help in negating excess moisture. Pumice stones are suitable for aeration and can absorb excess moisture and release it at a steady rate, hence, reducing the chances of rotting. They also enhance drainage in garden beds, removing the excess water in rains.
Care for succulents in the summer season
It may sound weird to many, as succulents are understood as desert plants, fully equipped to handle overheated and extreme sunlight situations. But, that’s not the case every time; many succulent varieties come from humid areas and are accustomed to low light environments. Most of the succulents preferred for home gardens do well in indirect brightness or limited exposure to direct sunlight. So, it is quite possible that if your succulent gets exposed to overheating in summers, it may come up with issues like sunburn patches, drying up of leaves, etc.
Check the Garden’s Orientation
If you are planning to have a succulent in your garden, first judge the orientation of your garden. As your home can prevent your succulents in the garden from afternoon sun rays if planned, like east facing garden, will have a proper supply of morning sunlight, but avoid intense rays of the sun in the afternoon.
Protect the new plants under shade
Young plants are more susceptible to sunburn as they have not developed their hardiness yet. One can save them by putting them under the shade of a structure or larger plant, or at least can move the furniture over them in the afternoon.
Plant-shade giving large trees in the garden
You can plant your succulents under a large tree with lots of leaves, which will save them from the extra heat. Having a shade has a benefit, as they will allow morning and evening sunlight from sideways, but will majorly block the afternoon sun rays.
Don’t break dried up leaves of the succulents
Dried up leaves below the fresh ones have their purpose, as they save the plant’s stem from extra heat.
Little understanding about the weather of your area and awareness about the simple methods that one can follow can be quite useful in providing extra care to your succulents in adverse weather conditions. So, always look for sources from where you can gather credible info about your locale’s weather conditions. It will help you be ready in advance, and your blooming succulents will be thankful to you for that!