How to Revive frozen succulent | How to save it?

Frozen succulent can be a real problem? If you ever wonder whether you can save a frozen succulent, yes you could for some. However, the mode of initiating and conducting it would be varying from one another. It is worth trying to save them rather than giving up on them. Chances are that you will be amazed by the fabulous results once it gets backs to normal.

Rescuing a succulent depends on the variety of the succulent as well as on the time span which it was exposed for frost. Many tropical countries’ grown succulents can be rescued if they face a mild frozen situation.

It is recommended to trim off the badly affected plant material on the woody plants during springtime. Furthermore, during late winter you can identify what are the dead stems exactly simply by scratching the bark.

If you spot the substance beneath is green , it indicates that its  tissue is still in the survival mode. Succulents will tend to lose their leaves as a result of the too cold temperature and due to frost. Nevertheless, they will sprout surely during spring time.

Once the frost is gone, ensure that you keep your plants moist. Meanwhile you can add a mild fertilizer as well. This should be done at the end once you realize that there are no more frost repercussions to the plant. If you take a tender succulent into consideration, they will not tolerate the damage that occurs from frost.

save frozen succulent

What is freeze damage? 

The damage from the frost could be varied depending on a few things. They are, how much it was exposed for frost and the variety the succulent belongs to.

You will end up getting burned leaf tips along with discolored succulents as results of freeze damages. The damages could be visible from roots to crown structure. Getting recovered from that would be difficult.

What happens if a succulent freeze?

Both succulents and cacti have a contrasting formation of tissues when compared to woody plants. Further as everybody knows, Succulents have a special ability in retaining water in their body, leaves, stems too.

Hence, by any chance a succulent gets frozen, cellular damages could occur on a vast area. They could happen both inside and outside. Having said that, it is important to remind you these succulents are exceptionally hardy too.

Actions to take when a succulent freeze

Best thing to start off this with is, observe the succulents for a weeks’ time. Then, try to take off the internal leaves smoothly to identify whether it has affected the core specially on succulents like aloe and agave.

In case they are easily removable, and if the base of the plant is mushy, black , you have to give up on it as then it is dying. On the other hand, if you spot any new leaves, new growth , you could rescue the plant.

Will succulents come back after winter? 

If you consider cold hardy succulent, they could withstand the frost and you can leave them outdoor during below freezing temperatures.

They are considered as year round grown succulents. They would love to  grow outdoors .

If you consider soft varieties of succulents, they do not bear frost.  Ensure  that you bring them indoor prior to the freezing night time temperature arrives.

Having said that ,they would love to go back outside when the climate gets warm.

Will one night of frost kill my plants?

It is essential to figure out how cold hardy your plant is. So that you can take the  most appropriate actions to safeguard your plant when the temperature drops.

Frost could go to the extent where it could cause plant death. Especially the ones which are not cold hardy and frost tolerant ones. Mild frost will not create any significant impact for the plant unless it is a tender succulent plant.

However , if it is possible, you should move the plant indoors to protect it from frost so that you can  be relaxed. Severe frost could result in changes in the cell structure of the plant.

It could injure the cell walls and will create dehydration as well.  Further, it could freeze water in the cells too. Final repercussion of this would be plant defrosting  faster and chances are that leaves and stems could be killed too.

a frozen succulent

Succulent Winter Dormancy

Dormancy is a duration when a succulent is slowing down its growth as well as its physical activities on a temporary basis. When a plant is going through a dormancy it will try to save its energy until they get their required environmental conditions right.

When we talk about succulents in general, we can elaborate them on two categories which are called summer growers and winter growers.

If we take summer growers into consideration, they are the plants which grow well during the months from May to August and go dormant during winter. Hence it is called winter dormancy. It is the other way round for the summer dormancy.

During winter dormancy, you are not supposed to report them. It is important to know. Similarly a different type of care should be given for them whilst they are in their dormancy.

When a succulent is in winter dormancy, it will tend to drop its leaves. Chances area that they could completely die above ground and they will sprout again in spring. ( eg – sedum kamtschticum )

Moreover, you should be vigilant when wearing these succulents when they are in their winter dormancy period.

 Frost cloth for succulents 

If you are growing succulents which prefer heated temperatures during cold season along with freezing temperature, humidity and  with insufficient sunlight, it could be fatal for them. Frost clothes come in very handy in this circumstance.

Frost clothes will be very useful since it will avoid the frost crystal reaching the plants. Additionally, it will help keep warm air within the plant. Ensure that you use a proper frost cloth for this purpose.

It is not advised to use plastic layers which will be unhealthy for the plant since they will keep the moisture inside.  During the day time, you are supposed to remove frost clothes. You have the option of using blankets as frost cloths on the potted succulents.

Cold hardy succulents list

Cold hardy is literally the ability to withstand the winter climate. This is special since; other succulents will tend to slow their growth rate and go dormant. On the other hand, cold hardy succulents will be able to cope up with the minimal temperature.

  1. Queen Victoria Agave (Agave victoriae reginae )  – native in Mexico )
  2. Red Yucca ( Hesperaloe parviflora) – native succulent in Texas and in northern Mexico
  3. Hens and chicks – ( Sempervivumm) – native in mountains of central and Southern Europe  / Islands of Mediterranean.
  4. Parrys agave ( Agave Parryil )- Native in Arizona , Mexico
  5. Aloe / Blue Elf
  6. Thompson ‘s Yucca ( yucca thompsoniana) – native in Texas  / Mexico
  7. Broadleaf Stonecrop (sedum spathulifolium) – native in Oregon / British Columbia / California
  8. Texas Stool – ( Dasylirion Texanum )- native in Texas / Mexico
  9. Upright Myrtle Spurge ( Euphorbia rigida ) – native in Mediterranean.
  10. Whale’s Tongue Agave – native in Mexico

Can succulents tolerate frost damage?

Succulents would react in different ways based on the time they are exposed for freezing temperatures. If we consider the frost tender succulent plants, they will indicate damage on a significant area.  This is because , when the moisture of a tender succulent freezes it spreads out and even it could  burst the cell walls as well.  Finally, it will cause leaves to turn mushy. If you consider mild frosting conditions, you could only spot frost burns of the tips of the plants.

How do you revive a frozen jade plant?

Jade plants are tolerant of mild frost and hence they are grown mostly indoor. It cannot survive a severe frost . However they can bear an insignificant surface freezing. Nevertheless, chances are that the healthy wood will die if they freeze.

Steps to follow when you recover a frozen Jade Plant Succulent.

First thing you should do once you realize it’s frozen , is to scratch the main trunk with suitable equipment and observe whether it has some green left underneath that. You are lucky if you spot some green which means  it could form sprouts once again within a few weeks time.

They could not be visible significantly,  but the damage they do to the plant is immense. They could obstruct the plant in absorbing the nutrients. Further they will make more trouble as it could block sunlight as well.Secondly take out any dead leaves that are still holding on to the plant whilst using your hands.

Thirdly , go ahead with pruning of unwanted dead limbs as well as the branches of the plant. In case you want to ascertain whether the branch or the limb is dead , please follow the steps which were described earlier in the first paragraph.

It is recommended to use a pruning saw and to cut it above 4 or 5 inches from the dead wood.

Please make sure that you take off any unwanted mushy foliage  or wood on the plant. Freezing temperature could result in rot of parts of the plant. Chances are that the rot will spread through the whole plant if we do not remove them then and there.

You may use pruning shears or sharp knives for this purpose. If you expose your Jade plant to frost for several hours continually , you will most probably end up losing your plant irrespective of what you do to get it back.

Little trick you could do is to move them indoors so that they can be heated up faster. Keep in mind to not keep them in too heated conditions as well.

How to protect succulents from frost?

When the temperature drops down to 5 degrees Celsius or below, chances are that frost could take place. Hence, we need to safeguard the succulents to the best possible way we can.

Firstly figure out what kind of a succulent you have and how hardy they are, so that you could take appropriate steps to save them.

First and foremost  you could wrap  your succulents with frost cloths / horticultural fleece. When you are using a frost cloth, you could place a Christmas light as well  which will add warmth to the plant. If you are using a horticultural fleece , you should use the most suitable one for your plant as it has so many varieties based on the severity of the frost.

This will help in withholding the heat within the plant too.  Further, it will obstruct the excess rain reaching the plant as well.  As such the plants will be safe from rot as well. Make sure that you take off dead leaves as well.

You could move them to an indoor greenhouse to protect them from frost. It could be a porch or a conservatory as well.  If you can facilitate this, you can move them to a dry spot near your home.

If it is a unheated greenhouse, you could place them on shelves as well so that they could be protected from ground frost. Ensure that you cut down on watering during this time.

How to revive a frozen Christmas cactus?

It is possible to revive a frozen Christmas cactus. However it is recommended to wait for a few days before you resume  cleaning the cactus. Ideally, you must be patient until the soft areas turn black in color. Once you spot your succulent tips have turned to purple from green, just be patient as it will be cured naturally.

How to revive a frozen spider plant?

Spider plants love to grow in filtered sunlight as well as in partially shade areas as well. They also have rhizomes which could conserve water. That helps them to survive in warm climates.

If by any chance, your spider plant gets frozen, the best thing to do is to place them in a location where they will get bright indirect sunlight. Refrain in watering anymore.

Only exception for that would be, if it is entirely dried out only. Avoid adding fertilizers as well. Pruning and misting are also discouraged at this point of time. if possible, you could place them in a mini greenhouse.

Credits to Angel’s Grove Gardening

Do succulent which can store water damaged by frost bite?

Succulent which store water mainly adapted to live in drought environments. Therefore they are vulnerable to frost damages.

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About author

I’m chamika, I love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.