Can Succulents Live in Alaska?

After bringing two adorable succulent “pets” home with me from Arizona last October, it occurred to me that it could be challenging to keep them alive until spring. Yikes!

I figured they would be fine in a window sill, but it seems not all succulents are alike in their lighting and temperature tolerances and it doesn’t help that our windows aren’t all that well insulated when it’s -4F outside. The drafts are making my succulents shiver (well, maybe not literally, but I can just imagine they are shivering inside).

I guess I should have checked a list of succulent varieties before buying these, but it was an impulse purchase (Sandy and I were at a hardware store and there they were …). Since I was heading home to cold, snowy Alaska the very next day, it seemed like the perfect souvenir of my short stay in the desert.

Did you know that different succulents have VERY different care and feeding needs? I didn’t even know the NAME of my succulents, so I sure didn’t have a clue whether they were “soft succulents” or “hardy succulents”. It seems some need very specific degrees and hours of sunlight and warmth per day, while others can tolerate temps dropping well below freezing and even hibernate during the winter months.

Which did I have? I’m still not absolutely sure (let me know if you can definitively identify those in my photo), but by looking at pictures on the computer, I think I have a fair idea of the general variety – and I’m in trouble!

In general, it seems most succulents thrive on a minimum of 5-6 hours of direct or indirect sunlight each day. Heck, the only way my poor babies are going to get that much light, even on a sunny day, would be for me to move them from room to room, window to window, throughout the day. Even then, with sunrise at 10:30-11:00 am and sunset before 4:00 pm, my succulents are NOT going to be happy campers. 😦

I have a nice east-facing window in the bedroom that gets good morning light, but I’m afraid the cat would either eat it, or knock it off the window sill since it’s Qiviut’s favorite sunning window. The window at the bottom of the stairs gets the most direct afternoon light and is where my spider plant lives during the winter (she lives in the RV in the summer). But this time of year, direct sun is precious and doesn’t last long if it occurs at all. I’d probably still need to move my little plants to the west-facing bathroom window sill for any last direct rays before the sun sets at about 3:30 pm.

Internet articles say to watch for the succulents to begin to “stretch”. This can happen if they are not getting enough sunlight and means you should move them to a location that gets more light. Like Arizona, maybe?

I’m adding a “plant light” to my Christmas list. Happy Winter Solstice, everyone. Today, we added several SECONDS to the overall daylight here in Alaska! I told the succulents, but they really didn’t seem impressed. Maybe tomorrow.

Published by 2dachsnite

I’m a RV Sometimer (less than full time, but more than a weekend warrior) living in Alaska, with dreams of seeing the country in my RV. I am 70 years old and married, but my husband isn’t a fan of RV travel, so my journeys are mostly solo except for my navigators; dachshunds Baxter & Rhonda. I’m also a spinner of tales - and a spinner of yarn (my other passion). My spinning wheel, along with the dogs, go along on all my travels. I look forward to sharing my stories, including photos and videos, with you.

3 thoughts on “Can Succulents Live in Alaska?

  1. A “mother in law tongue” takes very little water and can survive in the dark. That’s the only plant I know that does not need the light.


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