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There are succulents and there are tender succulents. They look similar but are not alike.

The sempervivem will do fine left outdoors during our Pacific Northwest winter. As long as they have good drainage, they will flesh out come spring. This also applies to some of the hardier cactus.

The huge variety of tender succulents, with their larger sized leaves of different shapes and colors, have been striking additions to your rock gardens, pots, and tabletop displays this summer. They have loved the heat! But the cold is another matter.

They do not like wetness and cold! Most will do fine down to 45 degrees - they will just go into a semi-dormant state - but colder than that and they will turn to mush.

So, to answer the question, YES!

You really do have to protect your tender succulents from the cold.

What can you do? There are several ways you can minimze your loss.

  1. Put them in your winterized greenhouse. Right....and for the majority of us who are not fortunate to own such a thing?
  2. The easiest is to put your pots under the eaves where they will still get sunlight but no rain. If cold nights are forecast, you can cover them with a frost protection blanket. If freezing temperatures are on the way, you can bring them inside to a cool garage for those days.
  3. If you do not have many or your pots are not too big, you can bring them inside for the winter. Make sure you check for hiding insects and slugs under the pots, under the leaves and on the soil. Find a spot near a south or west facing window so they get as much as possible of the few hours of winter sun. They still might get a little leggy as they stretch toward the light but you can pinch back come spring. Consider using a grow light.

Water very sparingly and only after the soil is dry. Do not fertilize. You want your succulents to go into a semi-dormant state because conditions in your home can seldom meet their optimum growth requirements. Being in a cool room is perfectly acceptable.

  • If you have a huge selection, you might consider taking cuttings of the ones you love best. Grow the tiny plants inside the house for the winter.  Share some of your extras with friends. Maybe, with several people involved, your collection of different tender succulents will continue to expand over the years.

These are all acceptable choices but they require the right conditions, proper care and vigilance. An even simpler way to go is to remember that these are tender plants and therefore considered annuals here in the PNW. Give yourself a rest for the winter.

Come to our greenhouses next year to get new individual succulents, large and small, to add to your garden and displays. Find beautiful tabletop arrangements that will thrill you for another full season.

What's Blooming 10.06.2016 Fall Color

Shrubs with Great Fall Color

'Sunshine' ligustrum

'Red Elf' pyracantha

'Orange Rocket' barberry

And to add to the season, try some of these...

What's Blooming 9.30.2016

The changing season brings out fresh new blooms and color.

     Camellias are just starting to bloom.            Enjoy the blue centers of Bloomstruck -

                     Appleblossom                           Rebloom of Endless Summer hydrangeas.


          Supreme Cantaloupe Echinacea        Golden Ruby barberry has a yellow edge.

The flowers of the Wild Swan anemone have strong mauve/purple stripes on their back.

Plants and color for your Fall displays.