Hens and Chicks are hardy succulents grown both indoors and outdoors. One attractive feature that makes Hens and Chicks popular is their ability to tolerate low temperatures. Though they are cold-hardy plants, they are not fans of hot summers.
So, in this article let us learn all about hens and chicks temperature tolerance.
The ideal temperature for Hens and Chicks would generally range between 65°F and 75°F, which means they can be grown effortlessly in USDA zones 3-8. Hens and Chicks can survive extreme temperatures like -35°F to 90°F, but they will need protection from heavy snowfall and the intense summer heat.
Growing Hens and Chicks in cold regions is easy. But growing them in hot zones is not much appreciated. However, they won’t die. Hens and Chicks will be alive under extreme temperatures with proper care and maintenance.
This article will discuss the temperature tolerance of these succulents and cover information about their summer and winter care.
What is the ideal temperature for Hens and Chicks?
Though they can tolerate extreme temperatures to some extent, the ideal and average temperatures of Hens and Chicks should remain within 65°F and 75°F. If the temperature doesn’t go above or below such temperatures, they will continue growing.
But when temperatures drop below 40°F, they will seize their growth and gradually enter a dormant period.
In this period, they will rest and not grow. It won’t cause any harm to your plant because it is their natural characteristics to tolerate cold. That is why they are called cold-hardy plants.
However, they will undergo cold damage if they receive early frost or no frost at all.
When the temperature goes beyond 90°F, you have to protect them from highly harsh sun rays and amend their situation by watering them to cool them down.
Hens and Chicks can survive winters, but they are not fans of hot temperatures.
If your region receives too cold or hot, you can bring them inside. It will stop the plants from being dormant. You will be able to control their surrounding temperature and watch them grow through the whole winter or summer.
What are the effects of high temperature in Hens and Chicks during summers?
The temperature range Hens and Chicks handles is extraordinary, especially during the winters. But they cannot endure hot summers.
If they get exposed to extremely high temperatures with the full sun, they will suffer sunburn and die in severe conditions.
The growing season for Hens and Chicks is spring. However, they will still tolerate and grow in summer as long as the temperature range is within 75°F and 80°F.
Being spring and summer growers, Hens and Chicks will probably slow down their growth during the hottest summer months. It is exceptional and seen only when the temperature in rises above 90°F.
In the hotter months, Hens and Chicks can enter a semi-dormant stage.
Again when the temperature gets normal, they will open themselves to grow. You will also see some color changes. It will go on up to the first half of the fall.
When the temperature begins to drop from the second half of the fall, they will again slow down their growth.
Some signs they are having problems due to high temperatures are:
- They will be growing very slowly.
- Hens and Chicks will begin to stiffen up.
- You will see them shrinking.
- The rosettes will close as if trying to protect themselves from the too hot weather.
- The leaves will have sunburns due to exposure to the hot climate and scorching sun.
Indoor Hens and Chicks do not get such symptoms. The signs of damage are visible in the outdoor plants.
Hens and Chicks will be growing busily in the spring. They will also continue growing in summer, provided the warmth of the summer is mild. They will grow bigger and, their foliage will appear tight and juicy.
How to care for Hens and Chicks in hot summers?
If your region receives mild-warm temperatures in summer, they don’t need protection. They will grow seamlessly in warm temperatures.
After some years, this warm temperature and long sunny days of summer promote blooming, after which the plant dies. You can collect seeds to grow more plants.
However, if the temperature is too hot, you must protect them from the scorching heat of the sun during summers.
Protect the Hens and Chicks from the rough sun
Some large varieties of Hens and Chicks will need full sun for 8-10 hours. The small plants will need partial sunlight for 4-6 hours.
If the weather is too hot with high sun intensity, your Hens and Chicks will require protection. If these succulents get exposed to direct sunlight along with hot summer temperatures, they will burn their leaves.
Though the mature and large varieties can bear to some extent, the young and dwarf varieties will suffer the most.
Some people transplant Hens and Chicks to a shaded area to protect them from the punishing sun. You can do that too.
But, I recommend arranging a shading net on your Hens and Chicks bed instead of transplanting them. It will give the plants filtered sunlight and save them from sunburns.
If you have kept potted Hens and Chicks outdoors, shift them to a partial shade. Inside, you can give them their average temperature to stop them from slowing down.
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Water the plants frequently to keep them cool.
Generally, Hens and Chicks will require water more often in a hot climate. The larger varieties sitting under full sun need more water to remain hydrated.
When the temperature rises above 90°F, the plant might go through a semi-dormant stage.
Hens and Chicks will need water because they are not dormant completely. They only delayed their growth. But, of course, they will need water less frequently.
However, if the temperatures are not that high, they will grow and need more water to stay hydrated and cool down their roots. Water thoroughly so that it reaches the roots.
Deep watering will make them concentrate more on root development to endure all problematic conditions. Moreover, it can save them from sunburns.
Constantly water the Hens and Chicks early in the morning when the weather is cool. Thorough watering in the morning will keep them cool all day.
Watering in the daytime accompanied by heat can burn the leaves and rot the plant. Water accumulated at the center of the plant enacts as an amplifying glass for sunlight. It heats up and burns the leaves.
Take them indoors if needed.
Sometimes, instead of amending their temperature by watering or shading, you can take the Hens and Chicks indoors. Locate them near a spot where they can receive an ample amount of sunlight.
Indoors, you can regulate their surrounding temperature. Taking Hens and Chicks indoors will also stop them from slowing down and keep them growing at an average pace.
Check the condition of the soil.
Check whether the soil is soaked well in water or just stagnant on top of the soil.
Watering will only work if it has reached the roots of the plant. If the water sits on the soil, you will fail to save the plant from the effects of high temperatures.
To confirm that the water reaches the roots, aerate the soil bed or add soil wetting agents.
Mulch the soil bed
Mulching the soil bed with gravels or small stones can decrease the evaporation rate of the plant. These stones will help the soil to hold moisture for long periods.
How much low temperature can Hens and Chicks tolerate in winters?
Now, coming to the part where Hens and Chicks become more demanding – their nature of enduring freezing winters.
By now, you must have known how Hens and Chicks need protection from high temperatures. On the contrary, Hens and Chicks will not require such protection during the frozen cold.
These succulents are cold-hardy succulents that can tolerate temperatures about -40°F and even below. Despite being exposed to such low temperatures, it will remain the same without any signs of cold injury.
However, they will undergo cold injury in two cases:
During the early frost in the fall
When the temperature is frozen cold, but there is no snowfall.
Some symptoms of cold injuries are:
- Reduction in their shape and size
- Leaves shrinking inwards.
- Leaves will wrinkle because they won’t be able to hold juices.
- Leaves will freeze and begin to crackle.
- Leaves will turn black and start rotting.
- The enormous broad leaves will suffer the most.
Hens and Chicks will need the appropriate cold temperature to survive winter. There must be an adjustment between the winter and snowfall.
There have to be low temperatures (-30°F to -40°F) and snowfall. Only then the Hens and Chicks will survive the winter seasons without any damage or struggle.
Again when spring arrives, you can see the bright, colorful rosettes in your garden.
How do I care for Hens and Chicks in cold winters?
Here are a few steps that will help you take care of Hens and Chicks in harsh winters.
Frequent watering is not necessary.
When the temperature drops in winter, Hens, and Chicks enter a dormant period. They will switch on their survival mode.
In this period, they will not grow but survive. They will not need water due to no growth. The leaves will be already holding lots of moisture. So if you skip watering for some weeks, the plant won’t mind.
Moreover, suspected snowfall and rains can take care of the watering.
You can take Hens and Chicks indoors.
It stops the plant from going dormant. Indoors, the temperature won’t remain low like the outdoors. You can control their surrounding temperature to encourage them to continue growing.
In such conditions, you will have to continue watering them.
Place them near a sunny window to let them have good sunlight throughout the day. Water them once a week or two. Check the moisture level before watering-no need to fertilize.
Overwintering outdoor Hens and Chicks in containers
If you placed Hens and Chicks outdoors in pots, keep them at ground level. It will stop the freezing winds from causing damage to the leaves.
Use plastic pots instead of clay or ceramics. Clay or ceramics can crack due to frozen ground. Or, you can take them indoors, as explained in the previous point.
Prepare Hens and Chicks for winters.
When the temperature starts dropping, your task is to prepare the Hens and Chicks for winter. In the cold months, there are high risks of fungal development. Chances increase when:
The temperature is cold, but snowfall is absent. You can’t do anything about this because it depends on nature. However, taking them inside can help.
- People try to mulch them with dried barks and stems.
- Spray some fungicides to reduce the risks of fungal diseases. Instead of mulching with dried barks and leaves, mulch them with stones and pebbles. It will also give your soil bed an exciting look.
Final words on Hens and Chicks temperature tolerance
Hens and Chicks will be unable to tolerate high temperatures to that extent like they endure cold temperatures. In the hottest months, they might grow slow, but do not stop watering them.
Thorough watering in the summers helps them to remain cool and saves them from sunburns. If the winters get accompanied by snowfall (depending on the temperature), Hens and Chicks can survive without any difficulties. Don’t water the plants in winters.
Follow the summer and winter care tips to protect your Hens and Chicks from damages by extreme temperatures.
Can Hens and Chicks be kept outside in winter?
Yes. Hens and Chicks can stay outside in winter. They are grown primarily in hardiness zones 3 to 8. When they remain outside, they are hibernating. This rest helps them to grow more precisely in the spring.
Just follow the winter care tips, and your Hens and Chicks will survive outside in winter at ease.