I wanted to point out a few genera of succulents from each list above and point out why it makes sense in that particular category. This should help you determine which plants you own fit into these categories.
Let’s start with Sempervivum. So dear to my heart, as it’s one of the few succulents that survives harsh winters in Utah.
These succulents really flourish in the spring. They put off so many new chicks you won’t know what to do with them.
During the warm, but not too hot months of spring they get large and their leaves will be plump and firm.
Once temperatures start getting over 90 degrees Fahrenheit you’ll notice these hens and chicks start to tighten up. They may even seem to shrink. They just aren’t fans of the heat.
When fall arrives, with it’s cooler temperatures, they’ll open up a little more. Along with the trees, they’ll display some stunning color changes before they hibernate for the winter.
These can survive most of the winter without being watered, assuming it rains and snows somewhat frequently. If it gets dry and warm for too long, you’ll want to give them some water, but avoid it if there is a freeze in the forecast.
Once the weather begins warming up you’ll want to begin watering slowly but increasingly. Add some fertilizer around April and these hens and chicks will really take off!
When you think about the desert heat, what comes to mind? Cactus and, since you’re a succulent lover, giant Agave. These fall into the warmer temperature category above.
While these succulents will do just fine in temperate climates, they do most of their growing when temperatures get warmer. They still take a little break when it gets really hot (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) and aren’t too keen on growing during the winter.
In fact, many cacti won’t bloom unless they experience a period of cold weather (around 40 degrees) for at least 60 days. They just like to experience more extremes to bring out the true beauty.
Pay attention for pretty succulents
Let’s bring it all back to the comment from the beginning of this post… Your succulent will tell you when it’s growing. It will tell you what it needs, and when it needs it.
If you’ve read many articles on this site, you’ll know I stress paying attention to your succulents. There are guidelines and rules all over and they are helpful! But you also need to become familiar with your succulents, your growing area, and your tendency to “over love” or “neglect” your succulents.
Water a little more frequently when your succulent seems to be growing more quickly. Cut back if it seems to be slowing down. Look at the leaves… if they’re happy, firm and look healthy, wait a little longer to water.
Limp, dull and wrinkled? Give them a little more. Yellowing, translucent and about to burst? Slow down a bit and let things get back to a more normal state before watering again.
Succulents are generally opportunistic growers. Kind of like Goldilocks… not too hot, not too cold. Just right will make them happy and they’ll grow!