Hello Houston, Texas - Let's show you how to successfully grow succulents in your area year-round.
As I was doing my research on Houston's climate, something especially unique caught my eye - it's the world capital of air conditioning. Sounds like it gets a little hot. :)
Air conditioning actually helped Houston become what it is today - on track to being one of the top 3 populated cities in the nation, where over 90% of homes have AC units and most run them 7 months out of the year due to the heat and humidity.
While Houston technically has 4 seasons temperature wise, it really only has 2 weathers - rainy and dry.
With the right placement and precautions, succulents will do just fine here.
Let's get into care by season and plant type (soft and hardy varieties), some tips, and we'll finish it off with succulents in particular that I recommend for your area.
Fall weather typically stays within a 40 degree F low and 80 degree F high, making it perfect for most succulents, with a little extra care.
There's the Gulf of Mexico nearby, which can sometimes bring in heavy rains, and every so often, hurricanes - but that doesn't happen often and when it does, you'll have time to prepare your plants for it.
While technically they can be planted in the ground here - there's a couple of things to consider:
1.) 40 degree weather is the absolute lowest temperature a soft succulent can handle - covering them with frost cloth overnight and keeping track of weather is important
2.) flooding - succulents in general despise prolonged wetness so long periods of time
3.) the chance of hurricanes is worrisome as they will get pummeled by debris
Planting your succulents in raised beds with a fast draining soil or planted in containers that can be easily be moved indoors is a good option too.
They can handle the cold, down to -20 degrees F, but would not be safe in a flooding or hurricane. You could gamble it and plant them in the garden, or be safe and plant them in containers or a raised bed.
While the fear of flooding and hurricanes goes away in Houston over the Winter, the cold is next hurdle you have to figure out. A winter here is relatively dry and mild, with a few scattered days of below freezing temperatures.
Should be planted in containers that can be easily moved indoors when needed. Keep an eye on your weather forecast, especially the lows at night. The frost will destroy your plants overnight outside.
If succulents don't have access to sunlight, grab some full-spectrum grow lights to keep them from stretching out.
These will be just fine outdoors - in the ground or planted in containers. No notes needed. :)
Perfect weather for succulents - both soft and hardy versions. Rainy season officially starts in Spring and the lightning rain storms are magical for succulents. It's a great time to get your raised succulent garden beds all set up to enjoy.
All you need to do is ensure your succulents are placed or planted in spots that get early morning sunlight and afternoon shade to avoid succulent sunburns.
Very humid and very hot can be quite unpleasant for you, but succulents in general will do best here with little to no help from you.
If you plant them in places that provide them with early morning sunlight and afternoon shade, and provide them with a very, very fast draining soil mix to keep the roots dry between water, they will be fine.
Due to the high humidity, it is very possible your succulents will not need to be manually watered over your Houston summer.
I cannot emphasize enough how much the soil will play a role in keeping your succulent's roots dry. Planting them in a heavy pumice, light soil mix would be best.
If you won't or can't figure out a good soil mix that's extra fast draining, it's best to bring them indoors.
Best Succulents for Houston
Succulents that can handle the Houston weather, in our opinion, are:
1.) Cacti - they can handle the heat and adjust to the indoors when moved inside.
2.) Frost hardy varieties will do well outdoors if you can find them a dry place - in a container that can be moved
3.) All succulents if you plant them in containers and keep track of your weather forecast - moving them indoors when it gets too hot, or too rainy.