One of the more interesting classes of plants are the succulents. These adaptable specimens make excellent indoor plants, or in temperate to mild climes, landscape accents. Can you grow succulents in zone 8? Zone 8 gardeners are fortunate in that they can grow many of the hardier succulents right outside their door with great success. The key is discovering which succulents are hardy or semi-hardy and then you get to have the fun placing them in your garden scheme.
Can You Grow Succulents in Zone 8?
Parts of Georgia, Texas and Florida as well as several other regions are considered to be in the United States Department of Agriculture zone 8. These areas receive average annual minimum temperatures of around 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 to -9 C.), so freezing does occur occasionally in these warm regions, but it is not frequent and it is often of short duration. This means that zone 8 succulents must be hardy to semi-hardy to thrive outside, especially if they are given some protection.
Some of the more adaptable succulents for an area that is mostly warm but does receive some freezing are the Sempervivums. You might know these charmers as hens and chicks because of the plant’s propensity to produce pups or offshoots that are “mini mes” of the parent plant. This group is hardy all the way to zone 3 and has no problem accommodating occasional freezes and even hot, dry drought conditions.
There are more succulents hardy to zone 8 from which to select, but Sempervivum is a group that is an excellent start for a beginner gardener because the plants no special requirements, multiply easily and have a charming bloom.
Succulents Hardy to Zone 8
Some of the hardier succulents will work beautifully in the zone 8 landscape. These are adaptable plants that can thrive in hot, dry conditions and still withstand a freeze occasionally.
Delosperma, or hardy ice plant, is a common evergreen perennial with hot pink to yellow blooms that occur early in the season and last all the way until the first frost.
Sedum is another family of plants with unique forms, sizes and bloom colors. These hardy succulents are almost foolproof and they readily establish large colonies. There are big sedums, like autumn joy, which develop a large basal rosette and a knee-high flower, or tiny ground hugging sedums that make excellent hanging basket or rockery plants. These zone 8 succulents are very forgiving and can take a lot of neglect.
If you are interested in growing succulents in zone 8, some other plants to try might be:
Growing Succulents in Zone 8
Zone 8 succulents are very adaptable and can withstand many changing weather conditions. One thing they cannot abide is boggy soil or areas that don’t drain well. Even container plants must be in a loose, well-draining potting mix with plenty of holes from which excess water can leach.
In-ground plants benefit from the addition of some grit if soil is compacted or clay. Fine horticultural sand or even fine bark chips work well to loosen soil and allow for complete percolation of moisture.
Situate your succulents where they will receive a full day of sun but not get burned in midday rays. Outdoor rain and weather conditions are enough to water most succulents, but in summer, irrigate occasionally when the soil is dry to the touch.