List of Cold Hardy Succulents: 34 Species for the Garden with Pictures

Succulents are the classics in the Mediterranean garden. The easy-care and undemanding plants offer a wide range of design options thanks to their sometimes bizarre growth forms and enchanting flowers. Succulents have water-storing properties, which allows them to survive longer dry phases without any problems.

Many succulents can only be kept as houseplant, they are not hardy. Nevertheless, there are species that have good winter hardiness and can thus survive permanently in the garden. Here is a list of cold hardy succulents you can plant in your garden all year long.

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What Makes Succulents

In the case of succulent species, a distinction is made between leaf, stem and root succulents. While leaf succulents are particularly characterized by their thick, water-retaining leaves, stem succulents use thick shoots and the trunk as a water reservoir. With root succulents, most of the plant body is in the ground. Succulents love a sunny and dry place. Protection from winter wetness is essential despite the hardiness of winter. But which succulents are hardy?

Agaves

Agaves stand out due to their imposing leaves with strong thorns. It can take a long time for them to bloom. The inflorescences, which can be several meters high, are all the more spectacular. They always form only one flower.

Agave havardiana

  • Very similar to Agave neomexicana
  • Leaves broader, larger and bluish-green
  • Leaf margins and tips thorny
  • Rosette diameter up to 70 cm
  • Inflorescence panicley, 200-400 cm high
  • Light green to yellow single flowers
  • Frost tolerance down to -18 degrees

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Agave inaequidens

list of cold hardy succulents
  • Kind that stays small
  • Defies temperatures down to -25 degrees
  • Forms large, compact rosettes
  • Diameter up to 100 cm
  • Broad, bluish leaves with thorny margins and tips
  • Flowers yellow-red

Agave neomexicana

  • Probably the hardiest of all agaves
  • Medium-sized, runners, blue-green rosettes
  • Rosette size up to 80 cm
  • Leaves bluish-gray, almost black thorns
  • Flowers only after several years
  • Blooms once and then dies
  • Frost tolerance down to minus 29 degrees

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Agave ovatifolia

  • Forms large, dense rosettes
  • Diameter up to 120 cm
  • Leaves broad, elliptical to oval, gray to light blue
  • Leaf margins finely and irregularly serrated
  • Dark gray to black terminal spines
  • Straight to slightly curved, green-yellow inflorescences, up to 400 cm high
  • Can also cope with humid climates
  • Withstands frosts down to -20 degrees

Available on Etsy

Agave parryi

  • Slow growing variety
  • Grows individually or forms larger, compact groups
  • Spherical habit with a diameter of up to 80 cm
  • Leaves green to gray, smooth, stiff, curved upwards
  • Red-brown, fibrous leaf margins, finely serrated at the base
  • Yellow to orange inflorescences, up to 500 cm high
  • Irregular branches above
  • Withstands temperatures of -13 degrees

Available on Etsy

Agave parryi var. truncata

  • Most distinctive variety of ‘Agave parryi’
  • Compact growth
  • Bowl-shaped rosette with a diameter of 35 cm
  • Short, broad, bluish to silvery-gray leaves
  • Dark red to black teeth on the leaf margins and tip
  • Frost hardiness up to -10 degrees

Available on Etsy

Agave utahensis

  • Small, slow growing agave
  • Thick fleshy leaves with a light green color
  • Brownish thorns on leaf margins and tip
  • Particularly long at the top
  • Inflorescence paniculate or racemose, between 150 and 350 cm high
  • Yellow, cup-like, single flowers 25-30 mm long
  • Winter hardiness up to -20 degrees

Available on Etsy

Agave victoriae reginae

  • One of the most beautiful agaves
  • Dense rosette of numerous leaves
  • Leaves lush green with artistic, white markings
  • Pointed end thorn on each leaf
  • Flowering mostly only after decades
  • Inflorescence cream-colored, up to 400 cm high
  • Winter hardy to -5 degrees

Available on Etsy

Aloe (Aloe aristata)

  • Tolerates temperatures down to -7 degrees
  • Reaches heights of 10 to 12 cm
  • Forms numerous offshoots
  • Over time, dense clumps of several rosettes
  • Leaves arranged in stemless, dense rosettes, curly
  • Small white spots on the top and bottom of the leaf
  • Typical thorns are missing
  • Instead, tiny white and soft teeth on the leaf margins

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Pro Tip:

Temporary freezing temperatures are tolerated on very dry soils. If necessary, they should be cultivated in the container and protected accordingly.

Cacti

From the group of cacti in particular stem succulents come. Here, too, there are some species that can tolerate frost. If your winters are mainly wet and humid, even hardy cacti have to be protected. This is mainly about rain protection.

Escobaria sneedii hybrid

  • Multi-sprouted, branched succulent plant
  • Small, spherical to cylindrical
  • Cushions in old age with up to 200 individual heads
  • Stems up to 7.5 cm high, densely covered with thorns
  • Diameter between 1.2 and 2.5 cm
  • Thorns white, often brown at the tip
  • Long, upright central spines
  • Radial, upright radial spines
  • Flowering period April to May
  • Flowers small, brownish-pink
  • Bears small fruits in October / November
  • Frost resistance very good

Pro Tip:

From April to October, this succulent plant appreciates some low-nitrogen cactus fertilizer.

Old Man of the Andes (Oreocereus celsianus)

  • Dark green columnar cactus with heights of up to 150 cm
  • Wrapped in a white fur
  • In between, long, yellowish thorns
  • Pink flowers in summer
  • Grow out sideways
  • At the end of summer, spherical fruits appear
  • Frost hardiness very good

Available on Etsy

Prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica)

  • Leaves are flattened, water-storing shoots
  • Regularly branched shoots
  • With fine, standing, bristle-like thorns
  • Flowering time in summer
  • Lemon-yellow or pink-red flowers
  • Only flowers on the annual shoot
  • In autumn edible fruits, the prickly pears
  • Very good winter hardiness

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Cane cholla (Cylindropuntia imbricata)

  • Tree-like growth up to 300 cm, fast-growing
  • Branches pointing upwards, diagonally apart
  • End links strongly humped
  • Thorns brown, up to 3 cm long
  • Blooms on the shoots in summer
  • Flowers dark pink to magenta in color
  • Hardy succulents up to -30 degrees

Available on Etsy

Ball cactus (Escobaria vivipara)

  • Small, maximum 10 cm high
  • Flat-spherical, white, short-thorn
  • Usually not sprouting
  • Flowers mostly pink
  • Requires a cold stimulus for flower formation
  • Planting in the garden is therefore optimal
  • Tolerates a little more moisture than most species
  • Location protected from rain in winter

Available on Etsy

Pro Tip:

Due to its small size, you should pay attention to a location in the garden that cannot be overgrown or shaded by other plants.

Tulip prickly pear (Opuntia phaeacantha)

  • Forms medium-sized, disc-shaped shoots
  • Green to purple in color
  • Medium vigor, height 20-30 cm
  • Numerous dark thorns
  • Blooms from the second or third year
  • Dark fuchsia flowers in summer
  • Dark purple fruits in autumn
  • Winter hardiness down to -25 degrees

/Available on Etsy

Midday flowers (Aizoaceae)

The ice plant is a succulent plant with magnificent ray flowers. The most common ones are orange to red, less often white flowers. In order to defy the winter in the garden, they should also be protected from too much winter moisture.

Cooper’s Hardy Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi)

  • Cushions forming, creeping, up to 15 cm high
  • Leaves dull green, thick, oblong
  • Flowering period June / July to October
  • Cup-like, pink ray-flowers
  • Similar claims to Sedum and Sempervivum
  • Sun protection during cold frosts
  • Otherwise good winter hardiness

Available on Etsy

Hardy Yellow Ice Plant (Delosperma nubigenum)

  • Ground cover for sunny locations
  • Forms dense carpets
  • Growth height up to 10 cm
  • Leaves thick, lanceolate, medium green
  • Flowering period May to June
  • Flowers yellow, cup-like
  • Frost hardy to -20 degrees

Available on Etsy

Delosperma ‘Jewel of Desert Rosequartz’

list of cold hardy succulents
  • Pretty ground cover for area greening
  • Leaves dull green, slightly rubbery, many branched
  • Flowering time from spring to the first frost
  • Flowers pink with a white center
  • Growth height up to 15 cm
  • Frost hardy to -15 degrees in protected locations

White Nugget ice plant (Delosperma basuticum)

  • Forms dense, flat, 10 cm high cushions
  • Leaves evergreen, oblong, medium green
  • Flowering time between April and July
  • Flowers white, radial or cup-like, mat-like
  • Withstands temperatures down to -15 degrees
  • In very cold locations, winter protection recommended

Sedum (stonecrop)

Hardy species of the stonecrop are often smaller. The flowers are in cymes, are star-shaped and usually five-pointed. The flower colors range from white to yellow and pink to chimney red.

Sedum cyaneum ‘Sachalin’

  • Extremely decorative and richly flowering variety
  • Compact, flat growth
  • Growth heights up to 10 cm
  • Leaves round to oval, thick-fleshed
  • Bright blue-gray with a hint of pink
  • Flowering period July to September
  • Flowers small, umbel-shaped, purple-red
  • Withstands temperatures of -17 degrees

Sedum kamtschaticum var. floriferum ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’

list of cold hardy succulents
“File:Sedum floriferum Weihenstephaner Gold 5zz.jpg” by Photo by David J. Stang is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Widely used, well-known variety
  • Spreads like a carpet
  • Growth heights up to 20 cm
  • Leaves evergreen, tongue-shaped
  • Shoots brownish-red in winter
  • Flowering period July to August
  • Flowers small, umbel-shaped, star-shaped, deep yellow
  • Very adaptable, can also tolerate damp soils for a short time
  • Hardy to -23 degrees

Available on Etsy

Sedum acre

  • Very vigorous, quickly forms dense carpets
  • Flat growth, creeping, with heights up to 10 cm
  • Nice green-yellow foliage
  • Most intense in full sun and nutrient-poor locations
  • Flowering period June to July
  • Flowers small, intense yellow, star-shaped and very numerous
  • Frost hardiness very good
  • Very suitable for small bowls

Available on Etsy

Sedum spurium

  • Colorful, lush, cushion-forming area cover
  • Heights up to 15 cm
  • Spread 20-30 cm
  • Leaves evergreen, oval, notched
  • Dark red, greenish in the middle
  • Flowering period July to August
  • Flowers small, umbel-shaped, bright crimson red
  • Has a good frost resistance

Available on Etsy

Pro Tip:

This succulent plant should be divided every two to three years and weak shoots and roots removed. This is supposed to improve the vigor of growth and flowering.

Sedum spurium ‘Tricolor’

  • Impresses with a striking leaf color
  • Leaves small, greenish-white-purple
  • Spreading to broadly spreading growth
  • Growth heights up to 10 cm
  • Flowering period July to September
  • Flowers star-shaped and pink
  • Hardy succulents to -22 degrees
  • We recommend 23-27 plants per square meter

Available on Etsy

White stonecrop ‘Chloroticum’

  • All year round, low cushions lying close to the floor
  • Outward appearance resembles small pearls
  • Growth height up to 15 cm
  • Leaves small, rounded, light green
  • Flowers appear from June to August
  • White star flowers arranged in umbels
  • Winter hardiness down to -23.3 degrees

Available on Etsy

Sempervivum (houseleek)

These outdoor succulents are very hardy. They tolerate extreme heat and severe frost. Houseleeks also feel most comfortable in full sun and sheltered locations. The only thing that can cause them problems is wet winters.

Common houseleek (Sempervivum tectorum)

  • Dense cushions made of 5-7 cm large rosettes
  • Very short stem with leaves arranged like a rosette
  • Evergreen rosettes, open or closed
  • Green, golden yellow, reddish to purple, bluish or brownish
  • Flowering period June to August, pink flowers
  • Flower shoots 20-60 cm long
  • Petals pointed, white, pink or purple in color

Available on Etsy

Rolling Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum globiferum)

  • Leaf rosettes with a diameter of 0.5-7 cm
  • Rosettes round, greenish to pale yellow
  • Leaf ends reddish or reddish brown
  • In autumn / winter partly bronze-red leaves color
  • Flowering time July / August
  • Flowers take a few years to bloom
  • Greenish-yellow stone flowers
  • After flowering, the respective rosette dies

Available on Etsy

Pro Tip:

This houseleek can only be cultivated in extremely dry, full sun locations with minimal root space.

Sempervivum calcareum ‘Mrs. Giuseppi’

list of cold hardy succulents
  • Undemanding variety with medium-sized leaf rosettes
  • Height between three and fifteen centimeters
  • Spherical rosettes with a gray-green color
  • Leaf tips intensely red
  • Leaves evergreen and dull
  • Flowering time in June and July / August
  • Cymes in delicate pink with a yellow eye

Sempervivum ‘Blaukraut’

list of cold hardy succulents
  • Unusually colored houseleek
  • Large, even, dark purple rosettes
  • Center black-purple in early spring
  • Towards summer, with slightly bluish tones
  • Color very similar to red cabbage
  • Winter hardiness -20 degrees to -25 degrees

Sempervivum ‘Leopold’

list of cold hardy succulents
  • New breed with rosettes up to 15 cm in size
  • Leaves strikingly broad, finely serrated
  • Year-round dark purple color
  • Particularly intense in spring
  • Moderate flowering
  • Winter hardy to -20 degrees

Pro Tip:

The Leopold variety is ideal for cactus gardens, for planting in gravel beds and as a hardy container plant.

Sempervivum ‘Morning Dew’

list of cold hardy succulents
  • New cross between ‘Tour De Force A’ and ‘Albion’
  • Vigorous, medium-sized houseleek
  • Five centimeter rosettes
  • Light green with bright red edges
  • Leaves finely hairy
  • Flowers almost white
  • Has a very good winter hardiness

Pro Tip:

In the case of white-flowered houseleek in particular, it can happen that they literally bloom to death by blooming from the rosettes and offshoots.

Sempervivum ‘Rubin’

  • One of the first known Sempervivum hybrids
  • Beautiful, evenly shaped rosettes
  • Year-round ruby ​​red color
  • Height about 15 cm
  • Delicate pink flowers in June / July
  • Hardy succulents down to -28 degrees

Available on Etsy

Sempervivum ‘Tesoro’

list of cold hardy succulents
  • Strong, vigorous houseleek, forms large cushions
  • Height about 20 cm, diameter 10 cm
  • Flowering period June to July
  • Leaf color varies depending on the season and light intensity
  • Nice color from spring to autumn
  • Light to olive green leaf ends
  • Rosette center pink with a strong pink center
  • Winter hardiness -20 to -25 degrees

Available on Etsy

Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Early Winter’

list of cold hardy succulents
  • Medium-sized cross with white flowers
  • Small rosettes, medium strong growth
  • Forms dense and flat cushions
  • Diameter of a rosette about 2.5 cm
  • The most striking feature is the thick, white, cobweb-like hair
  • Blooms early in summer
  • Flowers just a few centimeters above the cushions
  • Frost hardy to -25 degrees

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