Winter Care for Indoor Succulents
Ever noticed some succulents stop growing in winter while others take off? We see it all the time in our greenhouses. Echeveria seem to shut down for the winter, while Christmas cacti bloom and grow like crazy. Blame it on a phenomenon called “winter dormancy,” a rest period when plants save up energy to grow and bloom in more opportune times. The funky thing is plants, like Christmas cacti, from the Southern hemisphere are on a reverse calendar from those in our Northern hemisphere. So, it helps to know where your succulents fit. The winter dormant ones especially require a different playbook.
Our team at Groovy Plants Ranch put together this handy chart, growing tips and video for a winning succulent season.
Find the Light
First, find a nice sunny window, ideally a south- or west-facing one. An east one will work too; just remember, succulents need at least six hours of bright light per day.
If you’re short on natural light, we suggest trying a grow light. LED lights are our favorite. They may be a little more expensive, but they’re highly efficient, longer lasting and more luminous with a full spectrum of light.
When succulents grow leggy, it’s a telltale sign they’re stretching to find more light. They get weak and leggy and lose their signature compact shape. We always tell customers to give them a good trimming, and save up the clipping to grow more succulents. Just let the clippings’ ends dry out for a couple days, then pot them in soil to grow more plants.
Let Them Dry Out
Next, we advise customers to be super careful not to overwater succulents especially in winter. Really let them go dry as much as possible. Indoors, air movement is much less than outdoors, so plants dry out slower and need less water.
Look for clues like crinkling leaves to know it’s time to water. And when you do water, take the potted plants to the sink and fully soak the soil until water drains out the bottom hole. Then, allow the soil to fully dry out before watering again.
Save the Fertilizer
While it may be tempting to fertilize succulents, save it for spring. They aren’t actively growing now, so they don’t need to be fed. Also hold off on repotting succulents until April or later. And when you’re ready to fertilize try ALGOPlus Cacti and Succulent Fertilizer.
Be patient during the winter months. Your “succies” thrive on neglect and will rebound come spring.