Gardening in cold climates can be challenging, but you might be surprised to learn that succulents can thrive in these conditions. Even though most gardeners tend to stay indoors due to the biting cold and the outside world appears to be covered in snow and ice, there are many cold-hardy succulents that can withstand chilly winters.

In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of outdoor hardy succulents for cold climates, highlighting the top 15 resilient plants that will not only survive but thrive in the cold.

Get ready to be enchanted by their beauty and amazed by their tenacity.

1. Pachyveria pachytoides


Cold Hardy Temperature: ≥14℉ (-10°C)

If you're looking for a friendly chubby succulent from the Crassulaceae family, Pachyveria pachytoides is a great choice. This succulent plant stands out because of its unique ability to survive in harsh outdoor conditions of summer and winter.

Different from many Crassulaceae succulents, Pachyveria pachytoides can tolerate freezing temperatures as low as 14℉/-10°C. Even if Pachyveria pachytoides get a little frozen in the cold winter, this succulent will not succumb to the cold and will bounce back to life in the following spring. If you are looking for an attractive and resilient plant, Pachyveria pachytoides is an ideal choice.

2. Sempervivum Arachnoideum


Cold Hardy Temperature: ≥14℉ (-10°C)

Sempervivum Arachnoideum is a plant that remarkable for its spider web-like appearance and incredible cold-hardiness. Native to mountainous regions, this plant has evolved to withstand the harshest of conditions, including freezing temperatures that can drop as low as 14°F (-10°C). Whether you live in a chilly or frost-prone climate, Sempervivum Arachnoideum will thrive and add a touch of unique beauty to your garden. Don't miss out on the opportunity to grow this remarkable survivor!

3. Queen Victoria Agave


Cold Hardy Temperature: ≥41℉ (5°C)

Queen Victoria Agave, a rare and beautiful ornamental plant, is named in honor of Queen Victoria of England. With its striking white stripes on geometric leaves, this small perennial is a stunning addition to any garden. Notably, its leaves lack marginal teeth along the edges, but the tips of the leaves may have one to three spines that are 0.6-1.2 inches long.

After several years of growth, Queen Victoria Agave would produce a dense, ten-to-fifteen-foot flower spike from the rosette. This spike is adorned with creamy white blooms, which add to the plant's beauty. Unfortunately, the bloom marks the end of the plant's life.

4. Ice Plant Oscularia Deltoides


Cold Hardy Temperature: ≥41℉ (5°C)

Oscularia Deltoides, also known as Pink Iceplant, is a type of trailing succulent that is native to South Africa. This succulent belongs to Oscularia genus of the Aizoaceae family. The plant's plump triangle-shaped leaves will turn pink to red at the edges when exposed to sufficient sunlight, while its green stems will turn purple.

If you observe closely, you can notice small serrations on the edges of the leaves, giving the plant a rougher appearance. In late spring and early summer, Oscularia Deltoides would be covered in purple, daisy-like flowers.

Oscularia Deltoides is a great plant for container gardening, especially in hanging planters. It has trailing stems that can cover the mouth of the planter, making it an attractive addition to garden buildings. Some gardeners prefer to grow it in the ground for its bushy appearance and characteristics.

Pink Ice plant can tolerate mild frost as long as the temperature does not drop below 41℉/5℃. If you live in zone 6 to zone 11, you can consider adding Oscularia Deltoides to your garden.

5. Variegated Butterfly Agave


Cold Hardy Temperature: ≥41℉ (5°C)

Variegated Butterfly Agave is a perennial succulent plant that belongs to the Agave family. It has thick green leaves that are arranged in a rosette shape, and the plant can grow up to 7-10 inches in diameter. The leaves have an inverted oval shape with a wider upper part and a pointed tip. The surface of the leaves is covered with a layer of white powder, and the edges of the leaves have short dark brown serrations. The tops of the leaves have reddish-brown to purple-brown hard spines, while the sides and center of the leaves have yellow or white stripes.

Variegated Butterfly Agave blooms during the summer, producing a flower spike from the rosette. Creamy yellow blooms appear at the top of the spike, which signifies the plant's death.

6. Rosularia platyphylla


Cold Hardy Temperature: ≥-20.02℉(-28.9℃)

Rosularia platyphylla is a stunning and resilient succulent that can withstand extremely low temperatures, as low as -20.02℉/-28.9℃, making it an excellent choice for gardens in colder regions.

Rosularia platyphylla looks similar to that of the Sempervivum hen and chick succulent in appearance, with its flat, green, hairy leaves forming a rosette shape. Rosularia platyphylla is a low-growing plant that can add texture and interest to garden designs, whether as a ground cover, a wall plant, or a stepping stone accent. Its hardy nature and striking appearance, Rosularia platyphylla is a must-have for succulent enthusiasts or gardeners.

7. Sempervivum / Hens and Chicks


Cold Hardy Temperature: -4℉(-20℃ )

Sempervivum succulents, also known as Hen and Chick, are popular among succulent enthusiasts, with over 700 varieties. Sempervivum tectorum, Corsair, Sempervivum arachnoideum, and Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Rubrum’ are just a few of the most popular varieties available. These succulents come in vibrant and beautiful colors that add color to any garden.

Compared to rosette-shaped succulents like Echeveria, Sempervivum succulents have thinner leaves with short hair covering the surface. They also tend to produce side buds, consistent with their natural growth in rocky crevices all year round. Sempervivum succulents are perfect for creating a rough outdoor succulent garden due to their tenacious vitality. These plants are also cold-resistant and can survive even in temperatures as low as 14℉ even -4℉.

If you're looking for a low-maintenance yet beautiful addition to a rough outdoor garden of nature style that can survive any weather condition, Sempervivum succulents are the perfect choice. With their striking colors and unique growth patterns, these plants will surely be a conversation starter and a beautiful addition to any space.

8. Aloe Blue 'Elf'


Image Credit: plantmaster.com

Cold Hardy Temperature: ≥20°F (-6°C)

Aloe 'Blue Elf' is a stunning and compact succulent that belongs to Aloe genus of the Asphodelaceae family. It can tolerate mild freezing temperatures as low as 20°F/-6°C. The long, narrow, grey-green leaves grow upright with small teeth along the edges, forming a charming rosette that can reach up to 18 inches in height.

When exposed to sufficient sunlight, the leaves turn pinkish-red from the margins. Aloe 'Blue Elf' is typically grown in the ground as an ornamental succulent due to its bushy characteristics and attractive flowers. In early spring, Aloe Blue ‘Elf‘ produces purple flower spikes adorned with delicate tubular orange flowers.

9. Sedum 'Golden Glow'


Cold Hardy Temperature: -22℉(-30℃)

Sedum 'Golden Glow' is a beautiful succulent plant belonging to the genus Sedum of the Crassulaceae family. Sedum 'Golden Glow' is a visually stunning plant that boasts thick, waxy leaves. When exposed to sufficient sunlight, these leaves transform into a vibrant jelly-orange-red color, making it an excellent choice for those seeking to add a natural beauty to their surroundings.

This fast-growing plant can be propagated in large quantities through stem cuttings, making it an economical choice for container and ground cultivation. Sedum 'Golden Glow' is highly frost-resistant and capable of surviving outdoors at temperatures as low as -22℉(-30℃ ) in autumn and winter. This resilient and low-maintenance plant is ideal for novice gardeners looking to cultivate a hardy and visually appealing plant.

10. Graptopetalum paraguayense


Cold Hardy Temperature: 5℉(-15°C)

Graptopetalum paraguayense is a cold-resistant succulent from the Echeveria genus of the Crassulaceae family. This species possesses remarkable adaptability and can endure various living environments, withstanding temperature extremes ranging from 5℉(-15°C) to 104℉(40°C). Even if the leaves freeze at -10°C in winter, they can revive in spring after thawing. Their vitality is impressive.

The blue-gray leaves will turn into shades of pink, jelly yellow, or lavender, occasionally accompanied by rare bloody spots. This characteristic arises from an ideal balance of sunlight and temperature. That makes Graptopetalum paraguayense look like Graptopetalum 'Purple Delight', another species of the same genus.

Graptopetalum paraguayense is more prone to forming wooden old piles than Echeveria peacockii 'Desmetiana.' It is recommended to grow this plant in large pots with sufficient height to enable the formation of multi-headed clusters of aged piles. The resulting clusters present an aesthetically pleasing appearance. I often see growers placing several pots of Graptopetalum paraguayense as decoration on both sides of the front door. It adds an elegant and delicate touch.

11. Orostachys


Image Created: worldofsucculents.com

Cold Hardy Temperature: -4℉(-20℃ )

Orostachys succulents, belonging to the family Crassulaceae, are a testament to nature's beauty and resilience with their unique patterns and shapes. These biennial or perennial herbs are native to subtropical and temperate regions across China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Russia. Some even thrive in extreme conditions, growing on the roofs of tile houses and in mountainous terrains. During summer and autumn, these succulents produce many seeds after flowering. Once the seeds mature, the mother plant dies, but the seeds quickly reproduce in the following spring, allowing for a continuous cycle of growth and beauty.

Due to hybridization, Orostachys succulents have evolved into several ornamental potted plants, including Orostachys chanetii, Orostachys japonica, Orostachys iwarenge, Orostachys spinosa, etc. Orostachys succulents are incredibly hardy and can tolerate temperatures ranging from -4℉(-20℃) to 104℉(40℃), making them ideal for any space.

12. Orostachys boehmeri


Cold Hardy Temperature: -4℉(-20℃ )

Orostachys boehmeri, also known as Chinese Dunce Cap, is a highly regarded succulent species from Hokkaido, Japan, and it is widely popular among succulent enthusiasts. This plant is distinguished by its circular rosette, created by the layering of round blue leaves with a delicate white powder covering.

Orostachys boehmeri is a diminutive plant species that typically attains a 4 to 5 centimeters diameter. Notwithstanding its small size, this species is noteworthy for its remarkable aptitude for producing side buds. The stems of these buds emerge from the mother plant crazily like plant vines and extend outward, imparting an alluring and distinctive appearance.

Growing Orostachys boehmeri in a flower pot of appropriate height is highly recommended. The plant's side buds should be allowed to overflow from the mouth of the pot and hang outside the edge, creating an elegant and beautiful display. Orostachys boehmeri grows faster during spring, summer, and autumn, and its leaves may shrink slightly in winter. Nevertheless, the plant has strong cold resistance and can survive temperatures as low as -4℉(-20℃).

13. Echeveria peacockii 'Desmetiana'


Cold Hardy Temperature: ≥23℉(-5℃)

Echeveria peacockii 'Desmetiana' is a succulent plant from the genus Echeveria of the Crassulaceae family. It has thin blue-green leaves arranged in a rosette shape and covered with white powder, further enhancing its beauty.

This succulent is relatively hardy and can withstand low temperatures of up to 41℉ (5℃), and even as low as 23℉ (-5℃) for mature plants. The stems of Echeveria peacockii 'Desmetiana' are easy to lignify and can become old piles. At this time, you can artificially promote it into the old cliff pile shape, which is highly decorative as a potted bonsai plant. Don't miss the chance to add this elegant and robust succulent to your collection!

14. Crassula Campfire


Cold Hardy Temperature: ≥23℉ (-5°C)

Crassula Campfire is a succulent plant belonging to the genus Crassula of the Crassulaceae family. Its leaves have a smooth surface and are as thin as petals. The slender leaves are alternately opposite, and the stems are slender and prone to lignification. Crassula Campfire prefers living in a sunny, relatively dry environment. It can still grow usually in a cool and ventilated semi-shady environment in summer and can withstand low temperatures of about 23℉ (-5°C) in winter.

15. Sedum stahlii


Cold Hardy Temperature: ≥14℉ (-10°C)

Sedum stahlii is a succulent species that belongs to the genus Sedum of the Crassulaceae family. Its leaves are circular and adorned with numerous fine hairs. In the absence of adequate light, the leaves will turn green and darker, but when exposed to sufficient sunlight, they will turn a rich shade of red, resembling strings of ruby beads. Sedum stahlii is a relatively cold-resistant plant among the Crassulaceae species, with a minimum cold tolerance of approximately 14℉ (-10°C).

You may wonder:
How to water succulents in winter?

3 thoughts on “15 Outdoor Hardy Succulents for Cold Climates

Christin Mann

How can I order aloe blue elf?

July 21, 2024 at 20:08pm
Anton McInerney

There was a native wild New England echeveria are any available to naturalize ?

July 4, 2024 at 19:58pm
Joe Goins

Out of 8 plants that I found interesting. Only three
of your cold hearty Succculents had a price listing.
I am looking for plants that can handle down to 20-25 deg.

December 8, 2023 at 19:06pm

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