Caring for your succulents during the winter months

Guy Barter, Head of Horticultural Advice at the RHS, answers key questions on how to solve problems in your garden
Various cacti
An unheated greenhouse may be too cold for most cacti and succulents during winter
Question: I have been growing all kinds of succulents outdoors on my patio this summer. They range from little crassulas to quite big agaves.

Now that the cold weather is setting in, and my garden does get occasional frost, what should I do with them until next spring? I can offer them an unheated greenhouse, or a centrally-heated room right next to a big glass window that lets in lots of westerly light. Which would suit them best?

Answer: I fear an unheated greenhouse may be too cold for most cacti and succulents. Instead, the west-facing windowsill sounds like a much safer bet - if, of course, there's enough space.

Where space is tight I suggest keeping the smaller plants indoors and risking the bigger agaves in the greenhouse but with extra frost protection. A cap of polystyrene over the crown of the plant may just be enough to protect the central growing point.

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