How to care for indoor succulents

Credit: Elizabeth Rowlands


Q: Should I keep this succulent planter inside for the winter – and is there anything in particular I should do to care for it? I’ve brought it into the classroom where I teach, hoping it will survive the winter!

Neither the Agave (striped leaf) nor the Aeonium (rosette of leaves) can take rain and cold, which is sure what we have here. The ideal situation for both is just above freezing and dry, but that’s nearly impossible to arrange. So the next best alternative is positioning them by your brightest window, south-facing if possible, as close to the glass as possible (brighter and cooler). NO WATER from now until Easter, unless the Aeonium leaves begin to shrivel, then you could give it a teensy bit of water. If it is at the school, it won’t get heat all weekend, which is even better!

At the Miller Garden, we kept them in an unheated greenhouse unless it was going to be extremely cold. Then they got a space heater overnight. One more thought: weevils love Aeoniums and eat the roots off them during the winter (if they were in the soil when they came inside for the winter, that is.).

Bruce McDonald of VanDusen used to cut the roots right off and overwinter them on sand in a cool greenhouse. I wouldn’t recommend that, but any sign of weevils (leaves wilting, adult beetles walking around, etc.) and you should check the roots to be sure there aren’t weevil larvae in the soil.