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Hardy Succulents


Cold Hardy Landscape Cacti & Succulents for Central Texas Jeff Pavlat 6/10
The following is a list of recommended landscape plants for Central Texas. Keep in mind that there is a great deal of temperature variation across the region. Temperatures in outlying areas are in some cases 10 to 15 degrees colder than those in town. The cold tolerances listed are approximate.
It is important to recognize that there are a number of factors which determine hardiness. Plants placed on south facing slopes receive more solar heat and tend to have a better chance of being undamaged. Plants also fair better with some overhead protection from a tree or shrub. It also helps for them to be placed where they will not receive direct north wind. Generally, low-growing plants receive more ground heat than taller plants and are less likely to freeze. The state of the plant as it enters freezing temperatures is an important factor as well. For instance, many cacti and succulents will endure considerably colder temperatures when dry rather than wet (In fact, cold and wet is often a lethal combination for many cacti). Plants of the same species originating from different parts of the plant’s native range can also result in higher or lower tolerances. It is possible to have two plants of the same species placed side by side and have one freeze, while the other survives. Often some experimentation is necessary to determine what plants will work best for your garden.
Cold Hardy Cacti
Species (*Texas Native) Common Name Min. Temp. Notes
Ariocarpus fissuratus* living rock 15°F Provide excellent drainage
Astrophytum asterias* star cactus, sand dollar cactus 20°F
Astrophytum capricorne goat’s horn cactus 20°F
Astrophytum myriostigma 20°F
Astrophytum ornatum monk’s hood cactus 20°F
Coryphantha sulcata* 10°F
Cylindropuntia imbricata* tree cholla 10°F
Cylindropuntia leptocaulis* Christmas cholla 10°F
Cylindropuntia spinosior cane cholla 10°F
Denmoza rhodantha 20°F
Echinocactus grusonii golden barrel 15°F
Echinocactus horizonthalonius* eagle claw 10°F
Echinocactus texensis* horse-crippler 0°F
Echinocereus coccineus* (E. triglochidiatus) claret cup 0°F Provide excellent drainage
Echinocereus dasyacanthus* Texas rainbow hedgehog, yellow pitaya 0°F Provide excellent drainage
Echinocereus enneacanthus* strawberry cactus 15°F
Echinocereus pentalophus* alicoche, lady-finger cactus 20°F
Echinocereus reichenbachii* lace cactus 0°F Provide excellent drainage
Echinocereus rigidissimus ssp. rubispinus 15°F Provide excellent drainage
Echinocereus stramineus* 10°F Provide excellent drainage
Echinopsis (Trichocereus) pasacana 18°F
Echinopsis (Trichocereus) terscheckii Argentine saguaro 18°F
Echinopsis hybrids 18°F
Escobaria (Coryphantha) missouriensis* 0°F
Espostoa (Vatricania) guentheri 20°F Provide excellent drainage
Ferocactus emoryi v. covillei 18°F
Ferocactus glaucescens 20°F
Ferocactus gracilis 20°F
Ferocactus hamatacanthus* fishhook barrel 0°F
Ferocactus pilosus (F. stainesii) 20°F
Ferocactus pottsii 20°F
Ferocactus robustus 20°F
Ferocactus wislizeni* Arizona barrel 5°F
Gymnocalycium marsoneri 20°F
Mammillaria heyderi* pincushion cactus 15°F
Mammillaria prolifera ssp. texana*
(M. multiceps) 20°F
Mammillaria sphaerica* 18°F
Neobuxbaumia polylopha Aztec column 20°F
Opuntia cacanapa cv. “Ellisiana” spineless prickly pear 10°F
Opuntia engelmannii v. linguiformis* cow’s tongue prickly pear 10°F
Opuntia engelmannii v. lindheimeri* Texas prickly pear 10°F
Opuntia macrocentra* long-spine purple prickly pear 10°F
Opuntia microdasys yellow bunny ears prickly pear 18°F Beware of the glochids on this plant
Opuntia microdasys v. rufida* red bunny ears prickly pear 15°F Beware of the glochids on this plant
Cold Hardy Cacti (Continued)
Species (*Texas Native) Common Name Min. Temp. Notes
Opuntia macrorhiza* plains prickly pear 0°F
Opuntia santa rita* 0°F
Opuntia strigil* marble-fruit prickly pear 10°F
Oreocereus trollii old man of the mountain 20°F
Thelocactus bicolor* glory of Texas 20°F
Thelocactus (Ferocactus) setispinus*
(Hamatocactus bicolor) twisted-rib cactus 15°F
Cold Hardy Succulents
Species (*Texas Native) Common Name Min. Temp. Notes
Agave americana century plant, maguey 15°F
Agave americana v. marginata 20°F Can burn some in low 20’s
Agave americana v. medio-picta alba 15°F Can burn some in low 20’s
Agave bracteosa squid agave 15°F
Agave colorata 15°F
Agave havardiana* -10°F Provide excellent drainage
Agave lechuguilla* shin dagger 0°F
Agave lophantha* “compact form” 10°F Much nicer form than the species
Agave neomexicana* -20°F Provide excellent drainage
Agave ocahui 15°F
Agave ovatifolia whale’s tongue agave 5°F
Agave parrasana 10°F
Agave parryi v. parryi -20°F
Agave parryi v. parryi “Estrella” 10°F Leaves burn back when too dry
Agave parryi v. truncata 15°F
Agave salmiana maguey de pulque 5°F
Agave scabra 10°F
Agave schidigera 15°F
Agave striata 15°F
Agave victoriae-reginae Queen Victoria agave 10°F Provide excellent drainage
Agave weberi 12°F
Agave cv. “leopoldii” 17°F
Agave cv. “sharkskin” 10°F
Agave xylonacantha 12°F
Aloe brevifolia 20°F
Aloe ciliaris 20°F
Aloe dewetii 20°F
Aloe ferox 20°F
Aloe marlothii 20°F
Aloe nobilis low 20s
Aloe saponaria type spotted soap aloe 20°F Remove offsets to grow a larger plant
Aloe spinosissima
(A. aborescens x A. humilis echinata) low 20s
Aloe striata 20°F
Aloe striatula 18°F
Aloe cv. “blue elf” low 20s
Calibanus hookeri 17°F
Dasylirion acrotriche 15°F
Dasylirion berlandieri 10°F
Dasylirion miquihuanensis 15°F
Dasylirion quadrangulatum Mexican grass tree 15°F
Dasylirion texanum* Texas sotol 5°F
Dasylirion wheeleri* blue sotol 0°F
Delosperma species/cultivars ice plant -15°F Provide excellent drainage
Dyckia encholiriodes low 20s
Dyckia platyphylla low 20s
Dyckia cv. “Cherries Foster” low 20s
Euphorbia antisyphilitica* candelilla at least 15°F
Euphorbia resinifera at least 18°F
Fouquieria splendens* ocotillo 10°F
Cold Hardy Succulents (Continued)
Species (*Texas Native) Common Name Min. Temp. Notes
Graptopetalum paraguayense ghost plant at least 18°F
Hechtia texensis* 15°F
Hesperaloe funifera giant red yucca 10°F
Hesperaloe nocturna night blooming hesperaloe 10°F
Hesperaloe parviflora* red yucca -20°F
Manfreda maculosa Texas tuberose 10°F
Manfreda virginica -20°F
Mangave (Manfreda) “Macho Mocha” 9°F
Nolina lindheimeriana* Devil’s shoe string 15°F
Nolina matapensis Sonoran tree bear grass 15°F
Nolina microcarpa* bear grass -15°F
Nolina nelsoni blue nolina 10°F
Nolina texana* bear grass -15°F
Sedum species/cultivars stonecrop varies Not all are cold hardy
Yucca aloifolia 0°F
Yucca baccata -20°F
Yucca elata -10°F
Yucca faxoniana* Spanish dagger 0°F
Yucca glauca* soapweed yucca -35°F
Yucca gloriosa soft-tipped yucca 22°F Deer sometimes eat
Yucca pallida* 0°F
Yucca recurvifolia 0°F
Yucca rigida 5°F
Yucca rostrata* beaked yucca 5°F
Yucca rupicola* twisted leaf yucca 0°F
Yucca thompsoniana* Thompson’s yucca 5°F
Yucca treculeana* Spanish dagger 10°F