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May 1, 2020 9:25 PM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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Hello everyone!

We are looking to move out of CA to either SD or states around there by the end of fall. All the states we're looking at have snow, and I'm just kind of freaking out about gardening.

I know a lot of people here garden where it snows, and I'm just looking for some advice.

I have A LOT of succulents and I've become really attached to them, so I just hope they don't die.

What plants are best in the snow? And what is best to do with my succulents in the snow?

Thank you so much everyone, it means a lot to me.
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May 2, 2020 12:42 PM CST
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
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Hi Kim!
I can understand if you are feeling some angst about moving to a gardening climate that seems so far removed from what you are used to. I'm sure I would feel the same way if I was headed to a vastly warmer climate! First of all, let me assure you that you can have a great garden wherever you are headed; it just will be different. I would suggest you check out the climate zone for your destination first; for instance I see that South Dakota can range from zone 3-5. I garden in zone 3 Canada which compares probably to about zone 2 USA. Any plants that you will want to grow outdoors will need to correspond in hardiness to those zones so you will need to determine if your succulents fit those parameters. If they are less hardy it maybe possible to overwinter them indoors if you can provide good sunlight for them. Good snow cover provides a lot of insulation to plants in the ground so anything that is borderline or slightly less hardy may do ok if the snow cover is good. The perennials we grow in areas with snowy winters are usually herbaceous, so basically the top growth dies to the ground when frost hits and new growth from the roots resumes in the spring. Basically they are sleeping through the winter! Trees and shrubs need to align pretty closely to their climate zone. Anyway, I would suggest you view this as an adventure and learning experience!
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May 2, 2020 1:25 PM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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Thanks so much for the great support and info Debbie!

I definitely will try to look at it as an option for more learning and gardening experience.
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May 2, 2020 1:42 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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Hello Kim, ideally and to play it safe bring the succulents indoors by your warmest and south facing window in SD. Some succulents can take 30F but must be kept dry. Any temps lower than that is just death due to the cold temps.

Only a handful of succulents can thrive in winter, especially there in SD. Sempervivums can take the winter cold, the snow insulates them. It is the freeze and thaw cycle that may do a number on them though.

As to other plants for snowy areas, I know some would be planting bulbs in Fall like tulips, crocus, the snow insulates the ground, and some bulbs do need that long cold duration. Then depending on which bulb it is, some may wake up in late Winter to Spring.
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May 2, 2020 2:02 PM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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Thanks so much @tarev for the advice!

At first I wasn't sure if it was sempervivums or not that could tolerate snow, but now I know, so thanks!

So when it gets below freezing (or just really cold) should I just bring all my succulents into the house?
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1Cor. 13:4
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
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May 2, 2020 5:54 PM CST
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 1
Kim, I've gardened in Zone 7, 9, 10 and now zone 4b, when I first moved up here (now 34 years), I thought they can only grow evergreens and rock (lots of rock mulch). Started going to the local nurseries, thought hey there a lot things to grow up here, granted our growing season is shorter mid April to Oct, can go earlier if you plant bulbs. Do I miss the warmer zones, sometimes but you just transition to a different gardening situation, indoor plants and planing for the next growing season. Its just diffferent, there are some cold hardy succulents.
As Yogi Berra said, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
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May 2, 2020 6:37 PM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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Thanks so much for the info RJ! I just wonder how many of my succulents can handle the cold...

Guess I'd better find out before we move!
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1Cor. 13:4
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
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May 2, 2020 7:27 PM CST
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Amaryllis Dog Lover Dragonflies Foliage Fan Hostas Houseplants
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers hot summers Daylilies Critters Allowed Annuals
There certainly are cold hardy succulents. Some include sempervivum (hens and chicks), sedum (huge variety), some yucca, opuntia cactus, ice plant. I don't think there are many echeveria that are cold hardy but I'm not that familiar with them. Like Rj said, lots of us enjoy our indoor gardens and spending the winter months planning for next year. Smiling And, there are plants that we can grow that those in warmer climates can't. Thumbs up Good luck!
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May 2, 2020 7:32 PM CST
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 1
As Yogi Berra said, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
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May 2, 2020 7:39 PM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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Thanks so much for the info guys!

By the way, we're most likely moving to SD.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1Cor. 13:4
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
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May 2, 2020 7:59 PM CST
Name: Don
Meadville, PA - Crawford Co. - (Zone 5a)
Love of gardening grows on you!
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Sempervivums
Hi Kim,

I live in NW PA in zone 5A - where winter minimum temperatures can get as low as -20 degrees F.
As in most cases, different areas of your property may vary as to the zone - some spots warmer or colder than others. I have no trouble at all growing sempervivum in pots. In warmer seasons the pots are out in the open. For winter I move them to a slightly protected area (away from our awesome winds) against the house where they get lots of snow but little direct rain upon them. Also have grown a number of sedums without any difficulty. However, I would suspect the Dakotas probably have colder temps than I experience. Winds are another factor. Winds really strong at our house - basically no barrier against them.

Even though zone 5A theoretically has minimium temps of -15 to -20 degrees F, it seldom gets
below zero in my area. Not sure what type(s) of succulents you grow, but GOOD LUCK!
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll
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May 2, 2020 10:43 PM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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Thanks so much for the info Don!

The types of succulents that I grow varies (senecio, Haworthia, kalanchoe, aloe, etc.) I don't have a favorite type of succulent.

The kalanchoe and probably the senecio won't like the snow, right?
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1Cor. 13:4
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May 3, 2020 2:16 PM CST
Name: Don
Meadville, PA - Crawford Co. - (Zone 5a)
Love of gardening grows on you!
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Sempervivums
I've only grown the ones you mentioned indoors and never had the good fortune to grow plants on the West Coast, Southwest, etc- so have no knowledge how hardy some of them may be. Better rely on the opinion of cacti/succulent experts - I'm not one! But good luck! And let us know how you make out.
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll
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May 3, 2020 9:31 PM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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I definitely will Don!

For now I'm just gathering all possible info and tips for moving! Thumbs up
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1Cor. 13:4
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Last edited by KFredenburg May 3, 2020 9:31 PM Icon for preview
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May 4, 2020 1:10 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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KFredenburg said:Thanks so much for the info Don!

The types of succulents that I grow varies (senecio, Haworthia, kalanchoe, aloe, etc.) I don't have a favorite type of succulent.

The kalanchoe and probably the senecio won't like the snow, right?


All of the succulents you mentioned above will not take the cold/frigid conditions there in the Dakotas. So you will have to bring them indoors once temp starts dipping. Typically once temps starts falling 50F and below, start to bring them in.
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May 4, 2020 1:19 PM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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Ok, thanks! My son's hen and chicks plants will survive in the winter though right? Because it's a sempervivum? Or just in case should we bring it in?
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1Cor. 13:4
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
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May 4, 2020 1:30 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Houseplants Cat Lover Region: California Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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KFredenburg said:Ok, thanks! My son's hen and chicks plants will survive in the winter though right? Because it's a sempervivum? Or just in case should we bring it in?


As long as that hen and chicks is sempervivum..yes it can survive. Sometimes people use interchangeably same nickname with echeverias. So make sure those plants are indeed Sempervivums.
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May 4, 2020 2:11 PM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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Yes, @skopjecollection identified them as hen and chicks.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1Cor. 13:4
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!
Last edited by KFredenburg May 4, 2020 2:23 PM Icon for preview
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May 9, 2020 11:22 AM CST
Name: Nancy
North Dakota (Zone 4a)
Hi Kim,

Welcome to the Dakotas, although you should move to the better one - North Dakota. Whistling I have a lot of succulents but I keep them in planters and take them outside every summer and enjoy them inside during the winter so with some adapting you can garden year-round up here in Western Siberia. I also have hen'n'chicks in my garden that do well. One thing that does really well in this zone are peonies or anything that requires a cold dormancy period. I have a lot of irises and daylilies but was recommended to buy dormant or semi-evergreen daylilies and stay away from evergreens in my zone (4a). Some plants that are considered perennials in your climate may be annuals here but I overwinter some of my favorites inside so I can enjoy them the following summer. There will be an adjustment to gardening in a colder zone but you'll find you still have oodles of choices; unfortunately, a winter vegetable garden may not be one of them. Big Grin
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May 9, 2020 12:33 PM CST
Name: Kim
Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
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Thanks so much for the info @comgoddess!

I like daylilies a lot, but irises not so much. Tall bearded irises (bearded irises in general) I definitely do not really like, but pacific coast irises can be VERY beautiful. Peonies are definitely very pretty as well, but I didn't know that they thrived in cold places such as the dakotas though. Hen and Chicks I am definitely going to bring as well. My son @Johannian went crazy when he got his first Hen and Chicks succulent Rolling my eyes. they are very pretty though.

The fact that I can't have a vegetable garden is kind of a downer, because both me and my son like to grow fruit and vegetables. It makes sense though, because they need lots of sun and warmth.

Once again though, thanks for all the info! Big Grin Thank You!
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 1Cor. 13:4
Let’s talk about Animal Fun Facts, Birds, Trees/Shrubs, or Oleanders!

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