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The Best Succulents for Zone 9b

If you landed on this article it’s likely that you are a zone 9b, gardener, as well. So from my own experience and research, I’ve discovered all the best succulents for zone 9b that you can start growing today!

A Variety of Succulents for Zone 9b

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Gardening in zone 9b is great because it is pretty much a year-round planting zone. But one downfall is that we have pretty hot weather in the summertime.

However that doesn’t mean that we can’t grow succulents, we just have to pick the right varieties, plant them in the right areas, and give them a little extra care.

Zone 9b Succulents

As somebody who loves succulents, I have found out the hard way that many do not thrive in our blazing hot sun. And even though we have fairly mild winters there are some succulents that do not handle freezing or close-to-freezing temperatures either.

So even though not all succulents will thrive growing just anywhere, knowing the growing requirements before you plant them will set your succulents up for success.

So first I am going to list out succulents that I have found to be the best outdoor succulents in full sun to partial shade.

Then further down I will go over succulents that require filtered sun and partial shade, then cold-hardy succulents.

Full Sun to Light Shade Succulents

The first thing to take note of when growing succulents in zone 9b is that even if a plant tag says it requires full sun, it won’t do well in the direct blazing hot sun. Especially in extreme heat.

If you notice your succulent stretching and getting leggy then you may need to move it to an area with more sun.

But otherwise, these succulents will do best in an area where they get at least 6 hours of sunlight per day and shade in the afternoons.

Another thing to watch for is if your succulents start getting sunburnt. If that’s the case you’ll want to move them to an area with less direct sunlight.

Here are some great varieties to choose from.

Blue Tears Sedum (Sedum dasyphyllum major)

This is a low-growing, hanging, and trailing succulent. It is a great choice for green roofs, vertical gardens, rock walls, and retaining walls.

Jelly Bean (Sedum rubrotinctum)

This is a super fun succulent to grow but has very fragile leaves and so you have to handle it with care.

Elephant Bush (Portulacaria afra f. variegata)

This is a pretty easy succulent to grow and does great outdoors in warm climates. I love to plant it in containers and let it creep over the edge.

Bunny Ears (Opuntia microdasys var. albospina)

If you have a collection of cacti this prickly pear cactus is a must-have. Its maximum height is just 12 inches, it’s hard to kill, and has bright yellow-orange flowers.

Pink Ice Plant (Oscularia deltoides)

This succulent originates from South Africa and is perfect for rock gardens, hanging containers, or ground cover.

Jelly Bean (Sedum rubrotinctum) Succulent

Filtered / Partial Sun to Shade Succulents

These succulents will do best in an area with bright light or filtered sun and more shade. They shouldn’t be in direct sun for long periods of time.

You’ll also notice that many of the succulent varieties below are only cold-hardy to 30° F. So during the winter months if you have them under a patio you shouldn’t have to worry but if not just cover them with frost cloth.

Watch Chain (Crassula muscosa)

I remember the first time seeing this succulent at my local nursery and I fell in love with it.

It is a really unique vertical growing succulent with scale-type leaves. It won’t survive a hard frost though so be sure to bring it indoors in a sunny window once the weather gets too cold.

Blue Elf (Sedeveria)

This succulent is another favorite of mine which a blue-green rosette with pink-burgundy tips.

It can bloom multiple times a year and has bright yellow flowers.

String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

If you like hanging succulents this one is a must-have! Its long strands can grow up to several feet long.

Burrito / Donkey’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)

This is a very popular trailing succulent. It has bead-like leaves and can grow up to 3 feet long.

It’s very close to its relative succulent Burro’s Tail but its leaves are shorter and not quite as pointy.

String of Bananas (Senecio radicans)

I love this trailing succulent because it grows super fast! It is an ideal choice for a hanging pot and has beautiful, almost translucent leaves that you can see the sun shining through.

String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) Succulent

Zone 9b Cold Hardy Succulents

If you’re looking for hardy varieties that can handle a hard freeze Sedums and Sempervivums are your best choice. Many of them are hardy down to -20° F. which is amazing!

You’ll pretty much be okay with any succulents in either of those families as long as you have them in the correct sun requirements but I’ll list out some of my favorites below.

Blue Carpet Stonecrop (Sedum hispanicum)

This succulent has tight clusters of tiny, gray-blue leaves with white blooms during late summer. It will thrive outdoors with full sun and good drainage.

Dragon’s Blood (Phedimus spurius ‘Schorbuser Blut’)

This is a very colorful, low-creeping succulent that starts off being bright green in spring and turns deep red by fall.

Cobweb Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum arachnoideum)

This unique succulent looks as if there are cobwebs all over each rosette. It produces lots of offsets and is easy to propagate.

Little Missy (Sedum)

There is just something about this succulent that I absolutely love. It is a beautiful plant with tiny variegated leaves and can tolerate lots more shade than many other succulents.

It is the perfect filler to add to containers with other succulents.

Sempervivum calcareum Succulent

Succulent Care Tips

I’m sure you’ve heard people say succulents are low-maintenance plants and don’t require much care. But I’d like to argue and say that isn’t completely true, at least when you’re growing succulents in zone 9b.

If you’ve ever killed succulents you’re not alone.

An underwatered succulent can eventually die. Succulents that get too much sun can die. Succulents that freeze can die. And more often than anything… they die from too much water.

The most important thing you can do other than planting your succulents in the correct lighting and weather conditions is to plant them in a well-draining cactus mix soil, in a container with drainage, and water correctly.

Let’s go over each of these tips more in depth.

Tip 1 – Use a Well Draining Soil

If succulents sit in wet soggy soil for too long their roots may rot which makes them more prone to disease and pests such as mealybugs. Or it may even kill the succulent completely.

So it’s important to plant your succulents in the proper soil which typically consists of a gritty sand mixture.

My favorite choice is Bonsai Jack’s Succulent Mix.

Or if you want to DIY it, you can even make your own succulent soil.

Tip 2 – Use a Container With Drainage

One super important thing you have to make sure of when you have container plants is that the container has drainage.

Truthfully, I can’t believe how many pots don’t actually have drain holes. Or if you’ve ever bought a succulent arrangement and it unexpectedly died, I bet it was because the container it was in didn’t have a drain hole.

It is definitely one of my pet peeves. But thankfully drilling your own drain hole is super easy and you can learn how to do it yourself in my post here, How to Drill Your Own Drain Hole.

Tip 3 – Water Correctly

Now you’re likely wondering, what does “water correctly” even mean? And unfortunately, it sort of just depends.

If you start off planting your succulents in the proper soil like Bonsai Jack’s mix then the soil and have a container with drainage, the roots of the succulent shouldn’t say wet for too long, which is good.

But here is where it can get a bit tricky.

The way you water your succulents will depend on the type of succulent, the weather, and the time of year.

But we’re going to keep things simple.

1.) Water deeply. Don’t just mist the leaves of your succulent plant. Water at the base of the plant until water drains out the bottom of the container.

2.) Start with watering once per week. The nice thing to know is that it’s pretty easy to revive an underwatered succulent. But it’s pretty much impossible to save an overwatered succulent.

So if you start by watering just once per week you can either increase that to twice per week if the succulent looks underwatered or water less often and go every 2-3 weeks.

3.) Only water when the soil is dry to touch. If you start off watering once a week but the soil is still moist when it’s time to water again, skip that day.

You only need to water when the soil has completely dried out.

Summary of Succulents for Zone 9b

By now I hope you’re excited to add to your succulent garden or maybe even buy your first succulents ever.

Depending on where you want to plant the succulents will depend on which varieties are best for you to grow.

If you want to plant succulents outdoors in full sun with afternoon shade look into varieties such as,

If you want to plant succulents outdoors in partial sun with more shade look into varieties such as,

If you want to plant succulents outdoors that will survive a hard frost, check out sedums and sempervivums.

Or if you want to skip planting succulents outdoors altogether, there are many indoor plants you can grow as well.

A few of my favorites include,

If you’d like to learn more about growing succulents and gardening in zone 9b, be sure to check out my articles below!

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A Variety of Succulents Growing in Zone 9b


  1. Nice article Audrey- I liked it.
    I live in zone 9b too- 94582.
    A few other succulents that can take full sun:
    First, my favorite, echeveria. So many different species and beautiful colors. These are ‘meaty’ type succulents meaning their leaves are fuller and hold more water. Unfortunately, with a frost, some may need to be covered with a bed sheet the night before so they are protected from the frost. But some are very hardy, and if planted early enough in Spring will establish before Winter and be able to survive with no protection once it gets bigger. But they are so worth it.
    Second, aeonium. These are a close 2nd because of their ability to survive 9b Winters and hot Summers with no protection needed. Their flat rosette form and upright growth makes them ideal for tight spaces. Very disease resistant too.
    Third is a tie between flapjacks (kalanchoe) & sedum. Flapjacks is very cool looking. Disc & flapjack-shaped upright leaves. Able to take full sun & the cold and heat of 9b.
    Sedum is great to look at but is a little delicate so its best to grow them in bunches with mycorrizhe so they all work together to create 1 plant symbiosis.

  2. I have been super successful with aeoniums here in inland San Diego County, they really thrive in my yard, especially with some sun protection. I have been able to propagate them and transplant them very easily. Even when my big dog breaks off a rosette, I can just stick it in the ground and it takes root! I have a vigorous big pot full of those kalanchoe flapjacks, and I am going to try putting them in the ground to see what happens!

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