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by Shawn
(Buffalo NY)


Hello, I live in Buffalo NY (zone 6a) and I wanted to know if you can recommend some perennial succulents that can be left outside during the winter months. I am hoping to create a large bowl similar to the picture I am attaching. I do not have room to bring it inside during the winter. Thanks for your help!

Comments for Outdoor succulent advice in NY

Feb 11, 2021

Zone 6a
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

There would be very few of the succulents in that bowl that would survive outdoors in a New York winter. So the best solution is to choose those that thrive in the cold. The best alternatives are Sempervivum, or hens and chicks. There are many many different forms and sizes, with an equally wide spread in colour.

See more about Sempervivum here.

Things to remember; the roots of any plant are the most sensitive to cold. This means that even if the plant itself is hardy enough, the roots may not be, and they’ll need more protection. Bury the bowl in the soil of a garden bed, wrap some kind of insulating material around it, or immerse it in a box or pile of dry leaves or straw to protect it.

More about preparing your succulent containers for winter here.

The other part of this is that if you have freezing temperatures your container could be at risk of cracking.

There are other hardy succulents that might work for this project but they aren’t as easy to find as Sempervivum.

One thing I recommend is to not attempt to keep the plants in the container. I find they do better if they are removed, placed on the ground, and in the spring you can replant them in the same container. You can see a similar project here and here.