There are a lot of colors, forms, and textures from which to choose in the diverse succulent family. Growing succulents outdoors can be tricky if you are in a cooler USDA growing zone. Luckily, zone 7 is not terribly extreme and most succulents will thrive in its relatively mild winters. Succulents are one of the easiest plant groups for which to care and their wide variety and charming appearance adds a quirky sense of fun to the landscape.
What are Hardy Succulent Plants?
Zone 7 is a fortunate growing zone in which to live. The temperatures are mild, and the coldest days of the year rarely drop to 10 degrees F. (-12 C.). The growing season is long, and the average days of sun are off the chart when compared to places like the Pacific Northwest. Therefore, suitable succulent plants for zone 7 offers a broad list from which to choose. The term "hardy" in the plant world refers to the lowest temperatures the plant can withstand. In the case of succulents, there are plants that can thrive and survive in temperatures well below 0 degrees F. (-18 C.). These are hardy plants, indeed. Succulents in zone 7 rarely have to accommodate such low temperatures, which leaves a long list of suitable candidates for the area. Whether you are looking for classics, like hens and chicks, or unusual plants, such as Jovibarba, there are plenty of succulents from which to choose. Most zone 7 succulents are easy to care for and simply need a sunny location with well-draining soil to perform beautifully. Some, like many of the sedum family, are perfect for containers or beds. Hardy succulent plants are an excellent way to add a touch of desert to the landscape even in areas where some snow may be expected a few times in the winter.
Succulent Plants for Zone 7
You can't go wrong with tried-and-true succulent friends. These are the plants that even a novice gardener has heard about, and which are known for their beauty and unusual form. Plants in the Sempervivum family have extremely hardy natures. More than just hens and chicks, it’s a large group that will do wonderfully in zone 7. The yucca family also holds several species which tolerate cold winters. Some of these might include Parry's, Whales Tongue, or Queen Victoria agave. Agaves are another classic succulent plant with fierce pointed leaves and uncomplaining natures that make excellent zone 7 succulents. Try Thompson's or Brakelights Red yucca for landscape impact. Other hardy groups with numerous cultivars from which to choose might be in the Spurge family or Aloe. If you are searching for succulents in zone 7 that are not your garden variety, there are many other groups from which to choose.
- Texas Sotol has the elegance of an ornamental grass but has thicker leaves and is also known as Desert Green Spoon.
- Jovibarba plants produce sweet rosettes with leaves that either sharpen to a point or have spatulate ends.
- Orostachys are compact succulent plants for zone 7. They have such neatly arranged, spiral leaves that the whole effect seems as if they are just opening or closing.
- Some Echeverias are hardy in zone 7.
So, whether you want charming little fist sized plants or impactful statuesque succulents, there are plenty of really amazing plants from which to choose in the zone 7 garden.
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Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.