When to Plant Succulents

Succulents are desert plants that enjoy dry weather for most of the year. If you don’t live in that climate, it is hard to know when to plant your succulents.

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Succulents are desert plants that enjoy dry weather for most of the year. If you don’t live in that climate, it is hard to know when to plant your succulents.

If you plan to plant your succulents outdoors, you should plant them in the spring after the threat of frost at night is gone. If you are planting indoor,  you can plant your succulent at any time of the year, although they will grow best if planted in the spring or summertime.

Succulents are hardy plants but do need proper care in order to thrive. Picking the ideal time to plant your succulents is necessary to ensure healthy growth. To know when your succulents should be planted, you will need to identify the climate you live in, the correct season to plant, sun versus shade ratios at different times of the year, the light requirements of your succulent, and the time of day you should plant your succulents. Succulents enjoy dry, hot climates and will not do well if it is too cool, wet or if they do not get enough light. Analyzing these factors will help you find the perfect time to plant your succulents for optimal growth and health.

As a succulent enthusiast, this information is designed to help you plant healthy succulents and keep them that way. We have grown enormous amounts of succulents and done research on succulents from climates all over the world.  

Table of Contents

What time of year should I plant my succulents?

Picking the proper season to plant your succulents in is critical to allowing them to establish themselves in the ground before cold weather. Planting succulents according to the average temperatures in each season is the best way to ensure your succulents do not freeze. Planting in the proper season will also provide ample growth from your succulent soon after planting.  

It would be best if you always planted your succulents as the weather is getting warm or when it is consistently warm outside. Planting in warm weather will simulate your succulents to grow. Whether you are planting outdoors or indoors, planting in the Spring or Summer is the best time to get your succulents started. Planting in the Spring or Early summer will help ensure that your succulent can establish its roots into the soil and strengthen its leaves in time to deal with the darker and cooler months.

Succulents grow the most during the spring and early summer when the weather begins to get warmer and there is more light. This is especially true if you live in the northern United States, where there is much more sunlight in the spring and summertime. If you live in the southern United States or an area such as Arizona, where it is always warm, dry, and sunny, then succulents will likely do all year round. However, if you are planting outdoors, it is still best to grow in the spring and summer when it is the warmest and there is no chance of frost.

Planting in the wintertime can have several harmful effects on your succulents. The first and most prominent is that if you plant succulents outside during the winter, they will freeze, and because they do not have established root systems, they will be less likely to tolerate the cold. The second issue that happens during the winter is that often, plants go dormant in the winter and experience a season of less growth and activity. If you plant during this season, your succulent will grow very, very slowly.  

Does climate affect when I should plant my succulents?

The climate you live in does affect when you should plant your succulents. Those who live in very cool or wet environments should try to plant their succulents during the warmest and driest months. If you plant outdoors when it is very cold or very wet, it can stunt your succulent's growth or even kill it.  

Succulents are native to a dry and desert-like climate. This means that if you live in a climate similar to this, your succulents should do well indoors or outdoors year-round. If you like in a damp or cool climate such as a coastal or northern state, your succulent will need more care. During the months that are most like a succulent native climate, planting will give it the best chance to acclimate to the new climate after it gets strong and healthy.

Does the amount of sun my succulent will get affect when I should plant it?

Succulents are high-light plants. This means that they enjoy 6 hours or more of direct sunlight every day. In many areas of the world, 6 hours of direct sunlight might be hard on certain sides of your house or areas of your yard that tend to get shade. If your front yard only gets 3 hours of sunlight during the wintertime, it is not ideal for planting your succulent there. Instead, you should find another area of the yard, or you should wait for a different time in the year when your site has more hours of sunlight and fewer hours of darkness or shade.

The same general principle can be applied to indoor succulent planting. Succulents always need a window with more light, but it might not be possible to find a window that gets six-plus hours of sunlight a day during the winter. If this is the case, you should consider waiting until the spring or summer time to plant your succulent.  

The amount of sunlight that your succulent will get is another reason that season is critical to succulent planting times. Succulents need light in order to grow properly, and this requires a specific time of year in most locations. If you can provide an area of your lawn or yard that is not shadowed by other things and can see the sun from sunrise to sunset, you can plant your succulent during any time of the year.

Another factor of light is the weather. In places like Washington state, the winter months bring rain and cloud cover that blocks plant life from getting the sunlight it needs. In this type of climate, it is even more critical that you avoid planting succulents October-February due to lack of sunlight. While plants are still able to get some of their light needs through cloudy weather, newly planted succulents will not thrive on purely cloudy weather.

If you live in a similarly cloudy climate, it is best to wait to plant your succulents March-September. The early in this planting season, the better your succulent will do because it will be able to grow during the high-light summer months. This growth will lend to supporting the plant for months with worse weather. Again, if you live in a sunny climate with high natural light year-round, you will likely not have to worry about this issue.

Do different succulents need to be planted at different times?

Based on your succulent light and temperature requirements, different succulents will need to be planted at different times. A succulent with lower light requirements that does not enjoy high heat would be better planted in the spring rather than summer months. If you have a low heat succulent and live in the northern hemisphere, it would be unwise to plant your succulent in August when it is the hottest.

Newly planted succulents are much more fragile and therefore need careful consideration in deciding when to plant them. It is important to read up on the requirements of your succulents and plan your planting accordingly. A one size fits all approach will not work for succulents. If you are planning on planting different types of succulents together, be sure that their requirements are all similar to one and other so that you do not have a six-plus hour high heat succulent with a three-plus hour low heat succulent.  

What time of day should I plant my succulents?

While the planting season is the most important to the success of your succulent planting, the time of day in which you plant is also important. While succulents enjoy high-light, freshly planted succulents are very fragile and need to be handled with care. Planting your succulent mid-day during the hot summer months will leave your succulent exposed to the sun unnecessarily before it has the chance to adapt to its new environment. Newly planted succulents will drop, get sunburn on their leaves or even die if they are planted in direct sunlight.

The best time to plant succulents is late afternoon. This is because the sun is going down, and the succulent will not be in danger of drying out or burning in the hot sun. If you plant in the afternoon and then immediately water your succulent, the succulent will have time to absorb the water because the sun evaporates it. Water is critical to newly planted succulents, and if you plant during peak sun hours, the sun evaporates all the water before your succulent's roots have a chance to absorb it.

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