We love Succulents! With more than 10,000 plants with unique textures, colors and characteristics, they are beautiful, diverse, fun, drought tolerant, and relatively easy to grow! Succulents can be roughly grouped into two categories–hardy succulents and tender succulents.
Hardy succulents can typically survive Winter temperatures. One of the most widely-grown hardy succulent is of course, the the Sedum. Part of the Crassulaceae family, sedums are also often commonly called stonecrop because of their stone-like appearance. From low ground cover, creeping type plants, to those of an upright stature, these perennial succulents require well-draining soils and very little water and are among the easiest plants you can grow in your garden!
Another extensive group of hardy succulents is Sempervivum, better known as Hen and chicks. Also belonging to the Crassulaceae family, these have a rosette forming type of growth habit, always growing from the center of the rosette in a spiral pattern. Although their subtropical cousins, Echeveria, are considered a tender succulent, Sempervivums are among the most frost-resistant succulents, making them a great choice for a year-round outdoor succulent.
Annual succulents, also referred to as tender succulents, cover a broad range of succulents that are less tolerant of cold temperatures than “hardy” succulents, and ofter need to be moved indoors to winter-over. Although hardiness varies considerably among the different types, most of the tender Succulents with rosettes of thick fleshy leaves, such as many of the Echeveria, are partially hardy (to at least the mid 20’s F).
Tender succulents with thinner individual leaves, like most Kalanchoe, can briefly tolerate temperatures just below freezing, but are killed back to the roots when the temperature reaches the mid 20’s F. This modest hardiness means that they can do well outdoors in areas that receive only light frost (such as many coastal locations) and in protected spots in colder areas.
Common Tender succulents include Echeveria, Crassula, Jade, Kalanchoe, Aloe, Tender Sedums and Senecio.