In October, I started a new succulent bed in the backyard that is dominated by aeoniums. These succulents are native to the Canary Island and don’t tolerate much frost. I had covered them with an old sheet during the prolonged cold spell that lasted for the better part of January and was keeping my fingers crossed that they wouldn’t be damaged too badly.
When I finally removed the sheets a few days ago, I was relieved to see that they were just fine. Being up against the house clearly helps.
Yes, there are some brown spots here and there indicating frost damage but that’s purely cosmetic:
I left a more mature Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ uncovered throughout this cold spell to see how it would fare. To my surprise, it seems to be undamaged:
I talked to my succulent buddy Candy of Sweetstuff’s Sassy Succulents last night, and her aeoniums show more severe leaf burn although she had them covered, too. But I don’t think she lost any plants.
As beautiful as aeoniums are, they are wimps when it comes to cold weather. Growing them here in the Sacramento Valley (zone 9b) is pushing it. They really are zone 10 plants and hence ideally suited for the Central and Southern California coast. They thrive in places like San Francisco (see my blog post about the gardens of Alcatraz) and San Diego.
Aeoniums on Alcatraz