Serial Succulent Killer Worrying About Winter

Mandeville, LA(Zone 9a)

I've been murdering succulents all my life. I generally turn them to mush. They shrink away in horror if I even slow down at the cacti and succulents at HD or Lowes. I can hear them pleading for their very lives. This past summer I got a stapelia multiflora that just went nuts for me. Bloomed and bloomed. So, I got another one. Stapelia gigantea. Bloomed twice. Soooo, another...and another...and....

They are all stapeliads. Some orbea, some huernia, an Edithcolea grandis. So, how hardy are they in winter? Provided they never freeze, can I/should I leave them outside? They are protected (under the porch, against the house). I read that I should not water them if I leave them out. True? If I bring them in, then what? Still no water? There are a lot of instructions available on care but I'm looking for practical advice.

My neighbor also gave me an aloe but it's not looking too good. It's turning purple and getting soggy.

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Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

The people on this board are far more knowlegable than I, and they've "cured" many of my mushy plants.
Before another second passes, pull anything mushy out of the pot right now, knock off the soil, and leave it out to dry! (It will be OK!!)

The biggest causes of rot are:
-poor draining potting mix
and in MY case:
-water was too hard (I collected rain and pond water)
- not enough air circulation
-high humidity (these are desert plants)

The others will have specific species info., but I think that's a standard check list for any c/s going mushy.

Mandeville, LA(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the advice. The humidity here is awful and it probably could use a better potting mix. I will pull it out tonight and let it dry. Wish I could've saved my Baby Toes. They were so cute!

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

NN - I for one am jealous of that beautiful bloom!! Good for you!! Jax brought up many of the main points...let me remind you, though that Sue grows these wonderful plants in the FL humidity without any there's hope for all of us yet. :)

Yardley, PA

Stepelia like to stay warm. I wouldn't leave it outdoors. Just moist in the winter seems to work for me. I keep them on my seedling mat in the winter if I have one going.

Mandeville, LA(Zone 9a)

I think I'll bring them in soon then. We'll be warm for most of this month. I'm so proud of them that I'd really hate to kill them at this stage of the game. Here is the gigantea.

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Mandeville, LA(Zone 9a)

and the two little ones

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Mandeville, LA(Zone 9a)

I've seen pictures on this forum of some beautiful flowers. This summer is the first time in my life I've ever had anything in the cactus/succulent family bloom.

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Nottingham, MD(Zone 7a)

It's very pretty, NN. Is that last one known as the lifesaver plant? The flowers look like lifesavers.


Mandeville, LA(Zone 9a)

Thanks! The first one after the gigantea is the one they call a lifesaver plant. I don't know what the real name is. I got that one from ebay. The last one is a Caralluma something or another that I ordered it from a succulent nursery. This is my first experience with any of them. I'm just hoping to keep them alive through cold weather which is about three months here. Dec, Jan & Feb.

Nottingham, MD(Zone 7a)

You should do well if you keep them warm and dry, right? Just resist the urge to baby them or pamper them. Tough love during the winter months. LOL


Mandeville, LA(Zone 9a)

I'll resist the urge to water. Had the hose in my hand yesterday and decided to seek advice first.

Covington, LA(Zone 8b)

Hello NematanthusNut,
I am flicker from Covington...and I have finally figured out how to grow succulents. I ,too, was a serial succulent murderer. But getting into sansevieria has taught me a new way to view pottingsoil.
No cactus and succulent potting soil, no peat, no sand, no cute gravel or lava rock as a mulch. Nothing that might hold moisture against the roots. Do not let plants sit in a dish of water. Water when very dry only.
I use 1 perlite to 1 vermiculite to 1 1/2 ground bark. Add Osmacote to the potting mix, not on top.
And today-during the downpour and lightning-I was in the HD garden ctr and bought my 1st anthurium. A cheepie. I will need a much larger greenhouse if I start a new collection.

Montréal, Canada

I would not do that

Toledo, OH

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