Succulents for zone 7

Colder temperatures can signal the beginning of a sleepy time of year in the garden, as many plants are preparing themselves for several months of dormancy. These 10 cold hardy succulents can handle low temperatures, many of them down to 0 and even -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 and even -29 degrees Celsius), meaning you don’t have to settle for a bare winter garden. All of them look great year-round, but they especially shine in the cool season, adding texture and color to the typical evergreen landscape.

1. Queen Victoria Agave (Agave victoriae-reginae)

Many describe Queen Victoria Agave as the most decorative Agave species. Despite being less than 2 feet (60 cm) tall and wide, it makes quite an impression with its dark green leaves arranged in a tight rosette pattern and the stark contrast of its white leaf margins. The leaves curve inward and have smooth edges that end in a spine at the tip of each leaf.

Plant next to boulders for a natural look or in rows for a contemporary design. This small Agave also makes a great container plant and can be brought indoors during the winter in USDA Zone 6 and below.

Native to the Chihuahuan Desert region of Mexico.

Photo via public.asu.edu

Where it will grow: USDA zones 7 to 9, hardy to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celsius).
Water requirement: Drought-tolerant once established; water deeply once a month spring through fall and in winter in the absence of rainfall; in low-desert landscapes, water every two weeks in summer.
Light requirement: Full sun is required for maintaining a tight rosette shape.
Mature size: Up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall and wide.
Planting notes: Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.

2. Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)

Red Yucca’s succulent leaves mimic an ornamental grass by creating graceful mounds of evergreen foliage. Flowering occurs primarily throughout the spring and summer months. The 5 feet (1.5 m) tall stalks with coral-colored flowers, attractive to hummingbirds, herald the arrival of warm weather. In addition to the more common coral color, there are varieties that produce creamy yellow and dark red flowers. Red Yucca’s ability to thrive in full sun, whether planted in the ground or in containers, makes it a valuable addition to the landscape.

Native to Texas and northern Mexico.

Photo via wikimedia.org

Where it will grow: USDA Zone 5, hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees Celsius), depending on the species.
Water requirement: Drought-tolerant once established; water deeply every 3 weeks in summer, monthly in spring and fall, and rely on natural rainfall in winter; in low-desert gardens, water twice a month spring through fall.
Light requirement: Full sun is best but will grow in light shade.
Mature size: Up to 4 feet (1.2 m) wide and up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall (5 feet/1.5 m tall when in flower).
Planting notes: Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or filtered shade.

3. Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum)

Sempervivums also known as Hens and Chicks or Houseleek, have legions of fans who love to watch the mother plant, or the “hen,” produce small baby plants, or “chicks.” There are as many as 50 species of Sempervivum and even more hybrids and cultivars, resulting in countless variations in color, shape and size.

Typically used as a ground cover in rock gardens or tucked into the side of a stone wall, Sempervivum will grow with little attention. It’s also a popular container plant and can be brought indoors in areas that experience rainy winters, to protect it from getting too wet. As with most succulents, it should be grown in well-drained soil and watered only when the soil is completely dry. Remember that you’re more likely to kill a succulent by giving it too much water rather than too little.

Native to the mountains of Central and Southern Europe and the islands of the Mediterranean.

Photo via thespruce.com

Where it will grow: USDA Zone 4 to 9, hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 degrees Celsius).
Water requirement: Once established, water infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out before watering again.
Light requirement: Full sun to filtered shade.
Mature size: Rosettes are 0.5 to 6 inches (1.3 to 15 cm) wide, depending on the species.
Planting notes: Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or filtered shade.

4. Parry’s Agave (Agave parryi)

Parry’s Agave comprises several varieties highly prized for their ornamental rosette pattern, which resembles an artichoke. Artichoke Agave (Agave parryi var. truncata) is the most notable variety and is hardy to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celsius). It has gray-blue leaves with contrasting maroon teeth. Other varieties of this small- to medium-sized Agave include Agave parryi var. couesii, which is hardy to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). Agave parryi subsp. neomexicana is the most cold-hardy variety and can survive temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees Celsius).

These look great planted in groups of three and intermixed with smaller ornamental grasses. Parry’s Agave can also make a statement on its own when planted next to a boulder. This Agave makes a great container plant and can be brought indoors in areas that experience winter temperatures colder than the tolerances stated below.

Native to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and northern Mexico.

Photo via cactusjungle.com

Where it will grow: USDA Zone 5 to 9, hardy from 10 degrees Fahrenheit/-12 degrees Celsius) to -20 degrees Fahrenheit/-29 degrees Celsius, depending on the variety.
Water requirement: Low; water monthly in summer; in low-desert regions, water twice a month in summer.
Light requirement: Full sun to filtered shade.
Mature size: 1.5 to 3 feet (45 to 90 cm) tall and wide.
Planting notes: Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or filtered shade.

5. Aloe ‘Blue Elf’

While most aloe species need relief from the hot afternoon sun, Aloe ‘Blue Elf’ thrives in full sun, including areas that receive hot, reflected sun. Combine its sun and heat tolerance with the beautiful orange flowers that appear in late winter into spring and it’s easy to see why Aloe ‘Blue Elf’ is rapidly becoming a favorite in drought-tolerant gardens.

The cold tolerance of this Aloe is better than other Aloe species, increasing the areas where it can be grown outdoors all year long. Plant in groups of 3 to 5 in raised beds or along pathways for greatest effect. Aloe ‘Blue Elf’ also makes an attractive low-maintenance container plant that can be brought inside for winter in USDA Zone 7 and below.

Aloes are native to South Africa, but parentage of this hybrid is unknown.

Photo via public.asu.edu

Where it will grow: USDA Zone 8, hardy to 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 degrees Celsius).
Water requirement: Drought-tolerant once established but does best when watered deeply twice a month in the summer and once every three weeks in spring and fall; in low-desert gardens, water twice a month spring through fall.
Light requirement: Full sun is best, but will grow in light shade; tolerates reflected sun.
Mature size: Up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall and up to 2 feet (60 cm) wide.
Planting notes: Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or filtered shade.

6. Thompson’s Yucca (Yucca thompsoniana)

Thompson’s Yucca, also called Beaked Yucca and Big Bend Yucca, is an iconic, tree-like plant that stands sentinel throughout many natural areas of the Southwest and is equally at home in residential landscapes. Younger Yucca plants grow as a single stem, while the older ones can branch at the top. The blue-gray leaves are arranged in a rosette pattern and occur on the top portion of the stem. As the 2 feet (60 cm) long leaves age, they turn light tan and cover the stem, which can be left alone or pruned close for a decorative look. Clusters of white flowers appear in late spring.

Native to western Texas and the Chihuahua and Coahuila regions of Mexico.

Photo via enciclovida.mx

Where it will grow: USDA Zone 5 to 9, hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees Celsius).
Water requirement: Low.
Light requirement: Full sun.
Mature size: Up to 10 feet (3 m ) tall and up to 3 feet (90 cm) wide.
Planting notes: Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.

7. Broadleaf Stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium)

Broadleaf Stonecrop’s small gray-blue leaves arranged in rosette shapes create a pleasing succulent ground cover. In winter, the outer leaves turn an attractive burgundy color in response to the cooler temperatures. Yellow flowers transform this cold-hardy succulent in summer.

This Northwestern native, also called Pacific Stonecrop, grows best in conditions similar to its native habitat, with rocky, well-drained soil, so avoid planting in areas where water will pool. Because of its rather small size, Broadleaf Stonecrop looks great tucked in the nooks and crannies of a rock garden, grown in containers where it can trail over the edge, or even in a fairy garden.

Native to the western regions of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California.

Photo via plantnu.nl

Where it will grow: USDA Zone 6, hardy to -5 degrees Fahrenheit (-21 degrees Celsius).
Water requirement: Once established, water infrequently in the absence of rainfall, allowing the soil to dry out before watering again.
Light requirement: Full sun to filtered shade.
Mature size: Up to 2 inches (5 cm) tall spreading up to 2 feet (60 cm) wide.
Planting notes: Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or filtered shade.

8. Texas Sotol (Dasylirion texanum)

The deep green leaves and spiky texture of Texas Sotol add color to the often dormant and colorless winter landscape. Its growth habit causes the leaves to fan out, creating a semi-spherical fan shape that brings interest to the drought-tolerant landscape throughout the year. A single flowering spike 10 to 15 feet tall may sometimes appear in summer on mature specimens; white flowers attractive to hummingbirds cover the spike.

This Texas native isn’t fussy and is happy growing in a spot with well-drained soil that receives full sun. Plant in groups for a striking landscape statement. Common Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri), a gray-blue relative native to Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and northern Mexico, is also a great cold-hardy choice.

Native to Texas and the Chihuahua region of Mexico.

Photo via tropengarten.de

Where it will grow: USDA Zone 5, hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees Celsius).
Water requirement: Drought-tolerant; water monthly spring through fall; in low-desert gardens, water twice a month spring through fall and monthly in winter.
Light requirement: Full sun.
Mature size: Up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall and wide.
Planting notes: Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.

9. Upright Myrtle Spurge (Euphorbia rigida)

The blue-gray color of Upright Myrtle Spurge, also called Silver Spurge, provides lovely color contrast when planted alongside plants with darker foliage. The unique spiky texture of the leaves also adds a decorative element to the landscape. Chartreuse flowers appear in late winter and spring, adding a welcome splash of color.

Native to the Mediterranean.

Photo via garden.org

Where it will grow: USDA Zone 7 to 9, hardy to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).
Water requirement: Low; water every two to three weeks in summer and monthly in winter in the absence of rain.
Light requirement: Full sun to filtered shade.
Mature size: Up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and up to 3 feet (90 cm) wide.
Planting notes: Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or filtered shade; prune back flowering stems in late spring.

10. Whale’s Tongue Agave (Agave ovatifolia)

With its wide, curved leaves, it’s easy to see where Whale’s Tongue Agave gets its common name. This blue-gray, medium-sized Agave serves as an attractive accent plant throughout the year. Whether planted next to large boulders or used in containers, it provides welcome interest when other plants go dormant in winter.

The sharp terminal spines can be clipped off to avoid being inadvertently pricked. Like all Agaves, this Mexican native will flower just before it dies.

Native to northeastern Mexico.

Photo via landscapingwaterwise.com

Where it will grow: USDA zones 7 to 9, hardy to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).
Water requirement: Low to moderate; water monthly spring through fall and in winter in the absence of rainfall; in low-desert gardens, water every two weeks spring through fall.
Light requirement: Full sun to light shade; provide light shade in low-desert landscapes.
Mature size: Up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall and wide.
Planting notes: Plant in well-drained soil in full sun or filtered shade.

Source: houzz.com

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Hardy Succulents

CARE

  • Light: Most hardy succulents require lots of light, so aim to grow them outdoors in full to partial sun, with more shade when temperatures exceed 85F. To grow indoors, keep them on a sunny window sill or use dedicated grow lights, though you may still see them fade to green and stretch. Succulents recently shipped in a box will need up to two weeks to gradually adjust to full outdoor sun. More info.
  • Soil: Like most succulents, hardy varieties grow best in well-draining, gritty soil. Most garden centers sell a cactus/succulent potting soil, or you can add sand to your own soil mix to make a sandy loam. None require fertilizer, but a slow-release, low-Nitrogen (5-10-10) application in the spring will encourage faster growth.
  • Water: A cycle of deep soaking followed by time for the soil to fully dry will lead to healthy root development. Young plants will need more frequent watering to establish roots, whereas less water is preferable in winter for all hardy succulents. When planting in a container, be sure to use a pot with a drainage hole. More info.
  • Hardiness: Most of the varieties listed here tolerate deep freeze down to -20F (zone 5). Sempervivum heuffelii and many Sedum can tolerate -30F (zone 4). A blanket of snow will protect hardy succulents from winter exposure, but in snow-free regions gardeners can use clear covers and bring potted succulents under shelter to prevent standing water and rot. More info.
  • Propagation: No propagation work is necessary for any of these varieties, but specific instructions on multiplying and transplanting each type are included in their respective category descriptions.

NOTES FROM THE NURSERY

Hardy succulents are adapted to harsh alpine habitats, so it’s not surprising that they’re such resilient growers in the garden. They are considered “Old World Treasures” and in the Middle Ages were planted on rooftops to ward off lightning. Their presence on roofs continues today in the form of ecologically sustainable green roofs, because they grow so well in shallow soil with little to no maintenance.

Hardy succulents make excellent landscaping and container plants, no matter your level of experience. Try planting them in rock walls, around stepping stones, and in other nooks and crannies around the garden.

The Best Cold Hardy Succulents

In this article I share the best cold hardy succulents , all resistant to cold and frost.Not only do we talk about succulents that don’t die when they freeze, but about those that really thrive even when the winters are intense.There are two main varieties of succulents that can tolerate freezing temperatures, Sempervivums (commonly called hens and chicks) and Stonecrop Sedums.

Most will tolerate temperatures down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Colder temperatures can signal the beginning of a sleepy time of year in the garden, as many plants are preparing themselves for several months of dormancy.

But this next cold hardy succulents can handle low temperatures like a buss.

Cold Hardy Succulents

Sempervivum

Probably the most cold hardy succulents on this list.

Almost all the genus of sempervivum are resistant to frost. Many of them are tolerant at temperatures of -30 ° F (-34 ° C).

These succulents are achieved in a wide variety of shapes and colors.

They grow only a few inches and are excellent covers.

Throughout the year they change colors, in response to environmental factors.

They grow very well outdoors.

They must be in full sun and their only requirement in terms of soil is that it drain well.

Delosperma

It is also called ice plant or pink carpet. This succulent is a cover that requires almost no maintenance.

In addition, it attracts bees and butterflies.

In general, all ice plants love the sun and good drainage.

Supports low temperatures up to -15 ° F (-26 ° C).

Sedum

Among the hundreds of species of sedum, there are some of the best and most colorful winter succulents.

Among the most cold hardy succulents sedums are sedum telephium (street grass), sedum spurium, sedum angelina and sedum reflexum.

These succulents withstand up to minimum temperatures of -15 ° F (-26 ° C).

Nopal

Some varieties of cactus are quite resistant to cold. Opuntia Santa Rita is one of these cacti.

The leaf pads acquire a purple color at the least stress. Opuntia Santa Rita is resistant to cold temperatures up to -30 ° F (-34 ° C).

Orostachys iwarenge-

This succulent silver-colored monocarp is ideal as a cover plant. It is very easy to spread and take care of.

The cold hardy succulents supports temperatures up to -30 ° F (-34 ° C). These succulents require bright light and do not tolerate humid places.

Agave Parryi

Most agaves can’t stand the cold. But agave parryi is not like the others.

It can withstand temperatures as low as -15 ° F (-26 ° C).

Once planted in full sun, they practically do not require care

Agave Queen Victoria

This green agave native to Mexico only grows 2 feet (60cm) tall and wide.

It is widely used in modern gardens for its symmetrical shape.

Like most agaves, their care is minimal and requires full sun.

It supports low temperatures up to 10º F (-12º C).

Euphorbia rigida (blue euphorbia)

The gray-blue color of euphorbia creates a charming contrast when grown alongside plants with darker foliage.

The flowers appear at the end of winter and in spring.

This plant is native to the Mediterranean and grows in full sun or filtered light.

This cold hardy succulents is resistant to temperatures of 0ºF (18º C).

Red Cassava (Hesperaloe parviflora)

The succulent red yucca resembles an ornamental grass due to its leaves.

The 5-foot (1.5 m) tall stems with coral-colored flowers attract hummingbirds and announce the arrival of warm weather.

There are also varieties that produce yellow and red flowers.

They thrive in full sun, although they support some shade.

It is resistant to temperatures as low as -20ºF (-29º C), depending on the species.

Blue Aloe (Blue Elf)

This blue aloe and orange flowers thrive in full sun.

Wait for its beautiful flowers from late winter to spring.

These aloes are native to South Africa, but the family of this hybrid is unknown.

It is resistant to temperatures up to 15º F (-9º C).

Agave Ovatifolia

This medium-sized gray-blue Agave serves as an attractive accent plant throughout the year.

I love seeing her planted next to big rocks.

This native of northeastern Mexico prefers to be in full sun. It is resistant to temperatures of 0º F (-18º C).

Yucca Thompsoniana – Palmilla

Palmilla is one of the best succulents resistant to cold. It is native to western Texas and Mexico.

It is widely used in residential landscapes because of its great resistance and the bluish-gray color of its leaves.

Clusters of white flowers appear in late spring.

It supports temperatures as low as -20º F (-29º C).

Sotol (Dasylirion texanum)

The green leaves of Sotol add color to the landscape in winter, often inactive and colorless.

This plant is not at all demanding, it only requires being in a well-drained soil and in full sun.

The sotol is native to Texas and the Chihuahua region of Mexico.

Withstands low temperatures up to -20º F (-29º C).

Queen Victoria Agave

This compact succulent radiates a tight rosette of deep green, toothless, spine-tipped leaves, accented with delicate white markings.

May bloom at a considerable age, forming a tall bloom spike densely packed with reddish-purple flowers.

Use as a single specimen in pots or as a focal point in a small succulent garden. Evergreen.

Red Yucca

Although called Red Yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora is more closely related to the Agaves than the Yuccas, and its showy blooms, carried on long, arching stalks, are generally rosy-pink or salmon.

A native of the Chihuahuan desert of northern Mexico, the plant is heat and drought tolerant and recommended for USDA hardiness zones 5 to 11.

The succulent grows in clumps of grass-like, blue-green foliage dominated by flower stalks which may reach 5 feet (1.5 m) long.

A fringe of fraying fibers edge the Red Yucca’s leathery leaves, which spread up to 4 feet (1.2 m).

Flowers are tubular and appear in clusters on pink stalks.

Blooming begins in early summer and may continue for most of the rest of the year.

Categorized as evergreen, the foliage develops a purplish cast in the winter.

Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum)

Hens and chicks plants are mat-forming succulents that produce clusters of rosettes.

The parent rosettes are the “hens,” and the smaller rosettes that spring from them are the “chicks” or “chickens.”

This low-growing perennial will quickly spread to 2 feet or more in width through propagation or self-propagation.

Although grown for its foliage, hens and chicks do sometimes flower on a tall flower stalk.

The foliage of hens and chicks plants is most typically red, green, blue, gold, copper, or some mixture.

Hens and chicks can be grown in planting zones 3 to 11. Sempervivum species are very cold-hardy and have been known to thrive in winters from Michigan to Colorado, with temperatures to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Broadleaf Stonecrop

Sedum spathulifolium is a quite variable, succulent plant up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall, producing mats of basal rosettes from a system of rhizomes.

The basal leaves are up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long.

They are sometimes coated in a waxy, powdery looking exudate.

The inflorescence is a short, erect array of many small flowers with yellow petals.

The specific epithet “spathulifolium” refers to the spade-shaped leaves.

When growing Sedums, keep in mind that this plants need very little attention or care.

They will thrive in conditions that many other plants thrive in, but will do just as well in less hospitable areas.

They are ideal for that part of your yard that gets too much sun or too little water to grow anything else.

A common name for Sedum is Stonecrop, due to the fact that many gardeners joke that only stones need less care and live longer.

Sedum is easily planted. For shorter varieties, simply laying the plant on the ground where you want it to grow is normally enough to get the plant started there.

They will send out roots from wherever the stem is touching the ground and root itself.

If you would like to further ensure that the plant will start there, you can add a very thin covering of soil over the plant.

Texas Sotol

Texas Sotol (Dasylirion texanum) is a showy, very cold hardy succulent that brings the look of the Southwest to wherever it’s planted.

Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant.

Texas Sotol (Dasylirion texanum) is a showy, very cold hardy succulent that brings the look of the Southwest to wherever it’s planted.

Bright green, strap-like leaves with small, sharp teeth line the leaf edges, form a large growing rosette.

With maturity, the plants will eventually grow a small woody trunk.

Tall narrow flower spikes appear in early summer and make an excellent perch for hummingbirds in the xeric garden.

Cacti shipped early in the spring may be dormant. As the weather warms, these cacti will expand and green-up.

Remember, after an initial watering to settle the soil around the roots, no further water should be applied until the weather warms up.

If plants are dormant and the spring weather is rainy, protect the plants from too much moisture by covering them with a gallon plastic milk container with the bottom cut out.

Leave the top off the jug so heat build up isn’t excessive in sunny weather.

All the species of hardy cacti and succulents require fast-draining soil.

Upright Myrtle Spurge

Euphorbia rigida is a small shrub up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and up to 3 feet (90 cm) wide, with attractive steel blue-green, up 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), lance-shaped leaves arranged in tight spirals around the thick upright stems.

In late winter and spring at branch tips appear the domed clusters of small, green flowers with showy chartreuse-yellow bracts that age to a reddish tan color, as the flowering stems dies back.

The leaves can take on these red hues in late fall as well.

Euphorbias are very easy to care for.

They require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient.

In fact, more die from too much care and watering than from neglect.

Euphorbias need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight.

They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerant wet soil.

Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia does not handle long periods of drought well.

It may need weekly watering during the summer. Water whenever the soil is dry several inches below the surface.

Water deeply, but don’t let them sit in wet soil, which can cause root rot.

Add some organic matter or fertilizer to the planting hole.

If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.

Euphorbia can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). It is usually propagated by cuttings.

This can be tricky, because of the exuding sap.

Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.

Whale’s Tongue Agave

Agave ovatifolia (Whale’s Tongue Agave) – A solitary (non-offsetting) succulent that grows from 2 to 5 feet tall by 3 to 6 feet wide with a rounded rosette of short wide gray leaves that are distinctively cupped.

Leaves have small teeth along their margins and a 1 inch long dark gray terminal spine.

It has been noted that this plant has stayed smaller in hot dry locations where water has been withheld but responds well to irrigation and grows much larger.

When this plant flowers it forms a 10-14 foot tall spike with greenish-yellow flowers.

Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. A drought tolerant plant but it grows considerably larger when given regular irrigation.

Has proven hardy down to at least 4-5° F.

This Agave occurs naturally at elevations from 3,700 to 7,000 feet in the Sierra de Lampazos in northern Nuevo Leon in northeastern Mexico.

It was originally collected and distributed by Mrs Anna Nickels as Agave “Noah” but was never properly described or published under this name.

This plant was synonymized with Agave wislizenii by Trelease in 1911 and more recently included with A. parryi.

It was properly described as Agave ovatifolia by Greg Starr and Jose Angel Villareal (STARR G, VILLARREAL JAQ. 2002. Agave ovatifolia (Agavaceae) Una Nueva Especie De Maguey Del Noreste De Mexico.Sida 20 (2): 495-499.

There is speculation that this plant was distributed in California unnamed but there is no documentation on this or information how this plant performs in cultivation in California.

As it is similar and related to Agave parryi, the presumption is that it will grow as well as Agave parryi does in cultivation – so far this has proven true.

Our original stock plants were purchased from Starr Nursery in 2004.

The specific epithet, from the Latin words ‘ovatus’ for “egg” and ‘folius’ for “leaves”, is in reference to the broad ovate leaves and the common name, whale’s tongue agave, also describes the leaf shape.

The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery’s garden and in other gardens that we have visited.

We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Agave ovatifolia.

Hardy Succulent Plants – Tips On Growing Succulents In Zone 7

There are a lot of colors, forms and textures from which to choose in the diverse succulent family. Growing succulents outdoors can be tricky if you are in a cooler USDA growing zone. Luckily, zone 7 is not terribly extreme and most succulents will thrive in its relatively mild winters. Succulents are one of the easiest plant groups for which to care and their wide variety and charming appearance adds a quirky sense of fun to the landscape.

What are Hardy Succulent Plants?

Zone 7 is a fortunate growing zone in which to live. The temperatures are mild and the coldest days of the year rarely drop to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 C.). The growing season is long and the average days of sun are off the chart when compared to places like the Pacific Northwest. Therefore, suitable succulent plants for zone 7 offers a broad list from which to choose.

The term “hardy” in the plant world refers to the lowest temperatures the plant can withstand. In the case of succulents, there are plants that can thrive and survive in temperatures well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 C.). These are hardy plants, indeed. Succulents in

zone 7 rarely have to accommodate such low temperatures, which leaves a long list of suitable candidates for the area.

Whether you are looking for classics, like hens and chicks, or unusual plants, such as Jovibarba, there are plenty of succulents from which to choose. Most zone 7 succulents are easy to care for and simply need a sunny location with well-draining soil to perform beautifully. Some, like many of the sedum family, are perfect for containers or beds. Hardy succulent plants are an excellent way to add a touch of desert to the landscape even in areas where some snow may be expected a few times in the winter.

Succulent Plants for Zone 7

You can’t go wrong with tried and true succulent friends. These are the plants that even a novice gardener has heard about and which are known for their beauty and unusual form. Plants in the Sempervivumfamily have extremely hardy natures. More than just hens and chicks, it’s a large group that will do wonderfully in zone 7.

The Agavefamily also holds several species which tolerate cold winters. Some of these might include Parry’s, Whales Tongue, or Queen Victoria agave.

Agaveare another classic succulent plant with fierce pointed leaves and uncomplaining natures that make excellent zone 7 succulents. Try Thompson’s or Brakelights Red yucca for landscape impact.

Other hardy groups with numerous cultivars from which to choose might be in the Spurgefamily or Aloe.

If you are searching for succulents in zone 7 that are not your garden variety, there are many other groups from which to choose.

  • Texas Sotol has the elegance of an ornamental grass but has thicker leaves and is also known as Desert Green Spoon.
  • Jovibarba plants produce sweet rosettes with leaves that either sharpen to a point or have spatulate ends.
  • Orostachys are compact succulent plants for zone 7. They have such neatly arranged, spiral leaves that the whole effect seems as if they are just opening or closing.
  • Some Echeveria are hardy in zone 7.

So whether you want charming little fist sized plants or impactful statuesque succulents, there are plenty of really amazing plants from which to choose in the zone 7 garden.

11 Best Cold Hardy Succulents (and a Bonus Tip!)

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Most people think that succulents are only happy in warm, sunny climates and that they don’t tolerate the cold very well at all.

While this may be the case for tender succulents, there are many hardier species for people that live in colder geographical locations.

These succulents are particularly great because you can keep them outside year round! They’ll do better in the ground than in a pot, though. For more tips on keeping succulents outside in chilly weather, check out this article about overwintering your succulents! If you’re not sure about hardiness and zones and whatever – look at this neato guide.

Below we list some great succulents that’ll survive snows and frosts alike. Check ’em out!

Table of Contents

1. Queen Victoria Agave – Agave victoriae-reginae

Grab these at Planet Desert!

Hardy to an impressive 10°F when kept dry, the Queen Victoria Agave thrives in full sun during the summer and winter months. Keep it in bright sun to maintain the formation of a tight rosette shape. It’s drought-tolerant once established and requires minimal care. Upon blooming, it produces delicate, cream-colored flowers. This slow-growing succulent is often a solitary plant, although it can produce offsets for propagation.

2. Hens and Chicks – Sempervivum

This is a lovely Sempervivum arachnoidium “Cabanese” – available at Leaf & Clay

Likely the most cold-hardy succulent on the list, the ever-popular Hens and Chicks (a catch-all phrase for the whole genus) are pretty much all frost-resistant. Many of them are tolerant to an incredible -30°F.

Growing with little-to-no attention in full sun or shady areas, the only real requirement is keeping the soil surrounding the plant well-drained to avoid rot due to over-watering. With a huge range of colors and shapes to choose from, you’re sure to find one of these to be the perfect addition to your colder-climate garden.

3. Pink Ice Plant – Lampranthus deltoides

Beautiful! Grab yours at The Succulent Source!

The sizable Pink Ice Plant can grow up to a foot tall, spreading its dark pink stems anywhere from 2-3 feet. The distinctive leaves, often with reddish teeth, create a dense visage, and the delicate flowers bloom a very pretty lilac during late spring and early summer and have a sweet fragrance to them. While it is cold-weather tolerant, this succulent is a little happier when covered and protected from frost in winter months.

4. Chinese Dunce Cap – Orostachys iwarenge

Mountain Crest Gardens sells these… if they’re not sold out!

Almost like growing three plants in one, the Chinese Dunce Cap starts off as a low, densely spread mat that bursts into an array of conical, silvery-lavender spires and continues to grow upwards of 6 inches during the summer and fall months. Producing tiny flowers, the succulent dies after it blooms, but is incredibly easy to propagate and often creates its own offsets that prevent the plant from dying out altogether.

5. Blue Elf – Aloe

Available at The Succulent Source.

The Blue Elf is an interesting plant because we know it’s a hybrid… just nobody is sure what its parents are! It’s a popular landscaping plant nevertheless.

Sun-tolerant, cold-tolerant, and drought-resistant – the Blue Elf is an all-around gem of a plant that thrives in many different conditions. Forming upright stems of blue leaves, at maturity this impressive plant can grow up to 18 inches tall and 2 feet wide. Hummingbirds love this plant, which blooms beautiful orange flowers in late winter through to early spring, providing a much-needed dash of color in cold climates.

6. Parry’s Agave – Agave parryi

Grab an Agave like this one at Mountain Crest Gardens.

Highly prized due to their rosette presentation that resembles an artichoke, Parry’s Agave has delightful gray-blue leaves with maroon-colored tips, making this succulent a striking addition to your outdoor garden. It’s cold-hardy to 0°F and produces an incredible 12-foot stalk with bright yellow flowers when it blooms at maturity. After blooming, the plant dies, but it can easily be propagated with both offset and seed.

7. Bronze Carpet – Sedum spurium

Grab these beauties at Mountain Crest Gardens!

Hardy enough to be grown in Hardiness Zones 3-9, the Bronze Carpet succulent is the perfect border plant. It grows to a maximum height of about 6 inches but spreads up to 24 inches, making it a colorful filler as it creates a mat of stems and leaves. This succulent is green with red edges, but as the seasons change it takes on a bronze color and produces small pink flowers when it blooms in the spring.

8. Blue Spruce – Sedum reflexum

This Sedum can also be purchased at Mountain Crest Gardens!

As the name suggests, the Blue Spruce has a furry, fern-like structure that changes color throughout the year. During the spring and summer months, the tall, 10-inch stems and leaves have an almost lime green brightness, turning to a golden or bronze hue during the colder months. This succulent does not always produce flowers, but when it does they are bright yellow appearing in the springtime.

9. Powder Puff Cactus – Mammilaria bocasana

This cutie can be picked up at Leaf & Clay by clicking this picture!

Uniquely beautiful, the Powder Puff Cactus appears delicate but can withstand temperatures as low as 10°F. When in bloom, the flowers range from creamy-white to yellow and pink, creating a halo-like appearance of color. The white, hair-like spines give this cactus a charming look and the small size means it can be used as a pretty filler plant in outdoor containers and flowerbeds. Be sure to keep this cactus in a bright spot with plenty of airflow and well-draining soil.

10. Rosularia platyphylla

These dense growers can be bought at Mountain Crest Gardens

Small and extremely easy to care for, the Rosularia platyphylla succulent does best when left alone to grow. It is susceptible to rot if the soil is particularly wet, so when planted outside, the soil should be well-draining and of a sandy mix. While quite slow-growing, it spreads quickly, forming dense rosettes of lush green leaves measuring up to an inch in diameter. Its flowers grow on upward stems and are often white or ivory-yellow in color.

11. Lace Aloe – Aloe aristata

Lace Aloes like these can be found at Mountain Crest Gardens.

Stemless and growing in a dense rosette formation, the Lace Aloe or Torch Plant produces dark green leaves with white margins and teeth. At 12 inches tall, this cute succulent blooms with delicate orangey-red flowers in the fall. It’s a very easy plant to take care of, and while it is hardy down to an impressive 5°F, it’s advisable to keep it at warmer temperatures during the winter.

Thats’s our list of the top cold hardy, frost resistant succulents! Want to browse more? Mountain Crest Gardens has an extensive, dedicated hardy succulents section!

Check it out:

Look at all these bad boys!

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