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What are Tender Succulents (Soft Succulents)?


The term "tender succulents" (also known as soft succulents) covers a broad range of succulents that are less tolerant of cold temperatures than hardy succulents. We typically consider plants rated USDA Zone 9 (20 °F /−6.7 °C to 30 °F /−1.1 °C) and above to be tender succulents, but some plants in the category go as low as Zone 7 (0 °F /−17.8 °C to 10 °F /−12.2 °C). All tender succulents can be grown outside in frost free areas (USDA Zone 10+). In colder zones, they can be grown in containers and moved inside for the winter.

Hardiness varies considerably among the different types. Most of the tender succulents with rosettes of thick fleshy leaves, such as many of the Echeveria, are partially hardy to at least the mid 20's F. Tender succulents with thinner individual leaves, like most Kalanchoe, can briefly tolerate temperatures just below freezing but are killed back to the roots when the temperature reaches the mid 20's F.

This modest hardiness means that they do well outdoors in areas that receive only light frost (such as many coastal locations) and in protected spots in colder areas.

Common tender succulents include: Echeveria, Crassula, Kalanchoe, Aloe, Tender Sedums, and Senecio.



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