Grow Succulents Outdoor - UK Calendar Guide
I know it sounds ridiculous but all succulents lovers know that growing succulent outdoor are challenging but very rewarding as you can see your plants at their prettiest! I'm sharing my personal experience on how I grow and protect my outdoor succulents.
First of all I live in Kent, so it's on the warmer side of the UK.
I don't have a glass greenhouse, just wire racks of shelves, sun shading net and polysheet.
Spring (their prettiest mode)
The temperature difference should allow them to stress and change colours. Don't over water them.
Taken during mid-Feb
Mid February- March
if the weather is getting sunny and over 10 degrees perhaps it's time to wake them up. As my babies are outdoor succulents so they could tolerate days of sun shine. If you are thinking to bring your succulents outdoor, you should slowly introduce them to outdoor sun by placing them under the shade. Protect them from the rainwater.
To wake them from hibernation, I just soak my pots into bucketful of water for like 5 seconds and let them dry overnight. Spring is also perfect for pruning the roots and repotting.
March is actually a quite horrible season, we tend to get extremely windy during this month but blessed with few days so sunshine. So if you are growing them outdoor, you do really need to check the wind direction and speed.
The weather is getting warmer and you do sometimes get like a random heatwave. If there's heatwave, MUST protect them under the sun shade net as they are still expecting milder weather, the sudden increase of temperature might damage them. You can start to increase your water frequency and your succulent should be awake from their hibernation. You can start buying new succulents.
I love May as they are quite easy to look after. I don't really bother to put any sun shade net and I only water them once a week. I start to mix some succulent/ cactus food when I water them. If you could collect the rainwater that's even plant. Yes to new plants!
Summer (survival and rooting mode)
June. I'm lucky if there's still some blush
Watch out for rain. Root or leaf propagation should not be an issue at all. You can read here for more extensive guide
Another happy month like May
July (hottest month)
You have to watch out if the temperature has increased to over 25 degrees. It's probably hottest month of year so full sun shade should be set up to prevent sun damage. However if your succulents got sun damage, I wouldn't recommend trimming them- it just shows your succulents have been through alot and with characters too. I would increase my water frequency to like every 3 days for terracotta pots and probably once a week for other type of pots.
August (mix of sun and rain)
Pretty sure everyone and your plants could use some rain but you really need to watch out if your plants are not protected from the rain. There is pros and cons with rainwater. As all my succulents are left outdoor and I won't water the plant if I know it's raining the next few days; I just let the rain does its job. You will notice that your succulents should be soaking wet but within a day or two you will get the fattest chubbiest babies! However remember to provide maximum air circulation to let them dry as soon as possible to prevent any rotten stem!
Autumn (another prettiest season)
October: officially my favourite month.
September would be like August with the mix of sunshine and rain, average temperature of 10-20 degrees. This month should be happy month for them as it's not too hot and humid, you do get maximum sunlight during day time whilst a nice breezy evening, so they should be showing their true colours due to temperature difference.
I wouldn't expose them for the rain anymore but I will definitely try to collect rainwater. This should be another stress colour month for them but watch out for the rain and do not overwater them as your plants will take longer to dry during cold weather. I would normally prolong the water frequency to prepare for hibernation. Try to find a best location for your plants and stop moving around.
Stop whatever you are doing to the plants. It's time for them to be less active. Meaning no more plant food and less water frequency ( I would say once or twice a week). Most of your succulents should be closed up (sign of hibernation) and their stress colours are at their most vibrant, it's normal and enjoy!
Cover your babies as it rains most of time in November
Winter (Hibernation mode)
Hibernation mode on...
Taken during mid-Jan
Winter in Kent area isn't that bad, we do get days where they were so freaking cold. Depending where you grow them, some of them might be in dormant but as I grow them outdoor with heater so that they are in semi-dormant where I only water them once a month.
Most of days they are exposed to cold weather but with little sunshine they are expected to lose some stressed colours. You still can get new plants but they will take longer to grow new roots and I tend to water propagate them indoor with grow light.
Read here for my full winter tips.
Always remember that healthy roots mean healthy babies.