Do Succulents Need Sunlight?

Do succulents need sunlight? Succulents need sunlight for six hours per day. It can vary on the type of succulent plant. Make sure to manage sunlight exposure according to the age of the succulent plant. New succulent plants shouldn’t be in direct sunlight.

Do Succulents Need Sunlight?

What is a Succulent plant?

Succulent plants, sometimes known as succulents, have thickened, fleshy and engorged portions, frequently used to retain water in dry regions or soils. Mostly, it’s not utilized to define plant families and genera in the scientific community because it’s difficult to apply to more than a single species.

Hydration may be stored in various ways in succulent plants, including the leaves and stems. Some succulent organs have a water content of up to 95 percent. Geophytes may be considered succulent plants if they die back to their roots to avoid harsh conditions.

Cacti, for example, are not considered succulents by botanists when the term succulent is used in horticultural contexts. In addition to their stunning and distinctive look, succulents are typically planted as attractive plants because of their capacity to survive with minimum maintenance.

Deserts and other arid climates are common breeding grounds for these water-saving plants. With its capacity to grow in environments with sparse water sources like mist and dew, succulents are well-suited to arid climates.


Succulents are found in a wide variety of plant families (more than 25 plant families). Most plants in several families, such as Aizoaceae, Cactaceae, and Crassulaceae, are succulent.

Appearance of Succulents

The Jardin Botanique de in France has numerous succulent plants, including cacti. Succulent plants have a bloated or fleshy look because of their ability to store water, a trait known as succulence. Other water-saving properties can also be found in succulent plants. Included on this list may be:

  • Water loss is minimized by the metabolism of crassulacean acid (cam).

  • Absent, diminished, or cylindrical-to-spherical leaves

  • Stomata are reduced in number.

  • Photosynthesis occurs mostly in the items rather than the leaves.

  • Size-reduced or spherical growth forms; cushion-like; columnar;

  • Ribs allow rapid expansion of plant volume while reducing the amount of exposed surface area to sunlight.

Humid micro-habitat surrounding the plant that limits air movement close to the plant surface, and hence lower water loss and may provide shade, is created by a waxy, hairy, or prickly outer surface.

Small rain showers or heavy dew can suck up water from the roots, which are close to the soil’s surface. Interior temperatures as high as 52 degrees Celsius (126 degrees Fahrenheit) without losing their plumpness or water content.

Do Succulents Require a Lot of Sunlight?

Yes, most of them do require a lot of sunlight. A variety of species can survive in dry regions when larger trees do not provide much shade.

Many types of succulents, however, are difficult to grow indoors because of their lighting requirements. Many succulents cannot thrive in our homes since our windows don’t provide the same light as a plant would get outside.

Certain genera, like Echeveria, appear destined to grow to enormous proportions when placed on even the brightest windowsill. Succulents include all types of cactus (but not all succulents are cacti, of course). Succulents, like many other plants, like full sun, although there are notable exceptions.


How can you know what kind of lighting conditions your Succulent is receiving? Take a look at how it’s progressed. It indicates that your rosette succulent is etiolating if it’s becoming taller or the distance between its leaves is getting wider. In a nutshell, it’s attempting to cram in as much light as possible.

How Much Sun Do Succulents Need Indoors?

If you’re interested in growing succulents inside, you may find a list of low-light succulents at the end of this page. A lack of artificial illumination makes it impossible to grow a wide variety of plants in the winter. However, they’ll become spindly and lose their attractive coloring if exposed.

Here are some numbers to help us understand this better. You may use a foot candle meter or even an app on your phone to get an idea. ‘Lux Light Meter Free’ is an Android app that I use to measure the amount of light in my room.

Succulents may generally be kept at 1,000-foot candles or more as a general rule (although more is still better). It will be a challenge for cacti and larger sun-seekers at this level.

Indoors, your succulents can handle as much direct sunlight as you can provide them with. If a plant was grown in lesser light before, you might have to adapt it gently, but it’ll greatly welcome the sun.

Some succulents require less light than others, so keep this in mind as a helpful tidbit. For example, forest cacti require far less water and sunlight than their desert counterparts. At the end of this post, we’ll talk about them. When it comes to indoor gardening, there is no better option than these varieties.

Remember that 5,000-10,000 foot candles are used in commercial production. You should also not forget to keep the lighting at this high level all day long, not only when the sun shines through the window for a few minutes.

Light Requirements for a Succulent Plant

Succulents have a wide variety of light requirements, depending on the species. Certain types of succulents can flourish in low light, such as ZZ plants and snake plants; others, like cacti and other desert plants, require a lot of direct sunshine. You need to know the type of Succulent to determine how much light it needs.

Direct Light

When the sun’s rays fall on your plant straight through the window, it is said to receive “direct light.” With a window facing south or west, you may receive six to seven hours of direct sunshine each day with succulents that need it (although this can vary depending on your variety).

It is vital to remember that direct sunlight indoors is not as powerful as direct sunlight outdoors since it is still being filtered via a window. An abrupt shift in sunlight exposure might scorch the leaves of your indoor succulents if they are moved outside for an extended time.

Indirect Light

Before reaching the plant’s leaves, the sun’s rays are filtered by anything other than the leaves themselves, resulting in indirect light. Even if the light isn’t direct, the region is still bright. A wide variety of succulents may survive in indirect light, including Haworth, cactus, a string of hearts, Rhipsalis, bacteria, peperomia, and more.

Low Light

Succulents come in various colors and can all thrive in low light. The word “tolerate” is critical in this case. In the home, bright, indirect light is ideal for most plants, but a few can make it in lower light situations just well. Low-light succulents may have a leggier appearance than those cultivated in indirect light because of their slower development.

At least a few feet from a window, plants are usually placed in low light, which means they don’t receive any direct sunlight on their leaves or any other form of brilliant filtered light. Snake plants, ZZ plants, kalanchoe, mistletoe cactus, the string of hearts, Christmas cactus, and fishbone cactus are just a few of the succulents that may thrive in low light.

Note: Start with largely indirect light outside for a couple of weeks, then gradually transfer the plants into outside direct sunshine. These include desert cactus, Echeveria, sempervivum, aloe, agave, sedum, hoya, and more.

How Many Hours of Sunlight Do Succulents Need?

To thrive, succulents need at least four to six hours of direct sunshine daily. They enjoy spending time in places that are bright and sunny. Low light causes elongation or etiolation when the plants extend to find more light for their needs. Weak stems and slow development are the results of this method.

Lack of sunlight will cause succulents to lose their bright coloring and become a drab green. The full spectrum of vibrant colors can be seen in plants that receive enough sunlight, demonstrating their true beauty.

Do Succulents Need Direct Sunlight or Full Sun?

Succulents need shelter from direct sunshine and extreme heat. Too much sun harms plants. Sunburn can cause lasting scars or plant death if left in full sun without protection. To avoid sunburn or sun damage, gradually expose yourself to bright sunshine.

You achieve this by providing shade at first and then gradually exposing it to light and heat. Morning sun is less powerful and better tolerated by most succulents than afternoon sun. First-time solar exposure can be done beneath the cover or taller plants. Gradually increase light exposure to avoid surprising and injuring the plant.

Shade-loving species, tiny plants, and freshly propagated plants are sun-sensitive. Red, grey, blue, or spine-covered plants thrive in direct sunshine. Sun-hardy species growing indoors are prone to sunburn or sun damage when initially transplanted outdoors.

Doing so gently is best to acclimate the plant to the more intense heat. Newly propagated plants don’t like direct sunlight. You can leave them unprotected after they’re mature.


Sunlight hits different portions of your outdoor environment at different times. Finding the right spot for your succulents may require some trial and error. Some prefer the early light, some the midday heat, while others prefer shade.

What to Do with Succulents During a Heatwave?

Provide shade

Prepare ahead for a heat wave. Protect your smaller, more vulnerable succulents if a heat wave is imminent. Move them to shadier areas if feasible. Small container plants thrive well in less sun or inside.

I shade my smaller plants with taller ones. Keep an eye on hardier, more established plants that are used to the heat. If you can’t relocate your succulents, cover them with shade cloth or muslin during a hot.

Promote humidity

Under excessive heat, it’s important to monitor your succulents for enough hydration. Not watering succulents during a heat wave is as bad as overwatering. Smaller, more vulnerable plants won’t survive harsh circumstances if left unchecked.

Determine soil moisture. Prose the soil if you haven’t watered your outdoor succulents in a week. Extreme heat dries up the soil. Water deeply until water leaks out of the pot. During a heat wave, I water succulents every 6-7 days.

What Not to Do with Succulents During a Heat Wave?

During a heat wave, do not do anything extreme to your plants. Stressing out your plants at a time when they already have plenty to deal with isn’t the ideal way to take care of them.

Do not repot your plants.

It’s not a good idea to repot your plant during a heat wave, even if you’ve been aching. Repotting any plant, even an established mature one, causes stress to the plant, and repotting during a heatwave increases this stress even further. After the heatwave, repot your plant to give it a better chance of survival.

Do not propagate

It’s best to propagate your plants when the weather isn’t as hot and humid. You want to start with a healthy plant when trying to propagate from an existing one. It’s possible that propagating from a stressed-out plant primarily concerned with living would not yield the best results. In addition to causing stress to the plant, pruning and cutting it for propagation also causes the plant to focus on healing and regrowth.

Do not fertilize

Adding fertilizer to your succulents might have a positive impact on their development. However, it’s important to fertilize at the proper time and in the right season. Your plants should be fed or fertilized when they are actively developing.

Note: The plant’s first goal in a heatwave is to remain alive and well. It isn’t actively growing, so adding more nutrients to the soil might do more harm than good.

Succulents: How to Take Care of Them?

To thrive, succulents require a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight daily. A translucent veil or gradual introduction to full sun exposure may be necessary for newly planted succulents to avoid scorching.

Reasons Explanation
Rotate Succulents Frequently Succulents should be rotated. They recommend rotating the plant often. When you rotate your succulents, they’ll be able to stand up straight.
Seasonal Aspects of Water Use Succulents, like us, require extra energy during periods of development. Plants thrive in the spring and summer and use much more water than in the fall and winter.
Directly irrigate the soil. Succulents should be watered until the water flows out of the drainage holes when they are watered. Make sure to use less water if you don’t have drainage holes in your container.
Keep Succulents Clean Indoor plants, warn Langton and Ray, “will gradually gather dust on their surface,” preventing them from growing. Use a moist cloth to remove the leaves and spines.
Choose a Container with Drainage Drainage is vital to keep succulents from rotting since they don’t enjoy sitting in damp soil.
Plant in the right soil Potting soil may be improved by adding additional ingredients such as perlite, pumice, or sand. When repotting succulents, take care not to damage the delicate roots.
Get Rid of Bugs Indoor succulents shouldn’t attract pests, but you should be prepared to deal with bugs from time to time.

Keep in mind: Avoid over-fertilizing your succulents, as this can lead them to grow too rapidly and become brittle. Mealybugs are frequently brought on by overwatering and fertilization. Spray 70 percent isopropyl alcohol on sick plants and remove them from other succulents.


Some related questions are given below:

1 - Can succulents survive without sunlight?

Succulents, on the other hand, will not thrive in total darkness. Succulents that thrive in low light may benefit from a tiny tabletop grow lamp if you live in a basement flat with only a north-facing window or if your apartment is completely devoid of windows.

2 - Why are my succulents wilting and fading away?

The most common cause of a succulent’s death is root rot caused by overwatering and poor drainage. When watering a succulent, the soil should be allowed to dry out between waterings for it to thrive. Succulents with mushy, brown, yellow, or black leaves wither because the soil is too wet.

3 - How much light do succulents require to thrive in the house?

Lack of sunlight may cause your succulents to become lanky or lean toward the light. Between waterings, allow the potting soil to dry out.

4 - How do you know when a succulent plant wants water?

Succulents with wrinkly, withered leaves are clearly in need of additional water. During evaporation, the plant’s cells attempt to replenish the lost water.

5 - What’s causing the browning of the ends of my succulents?

Sunburn or sun damage is the most prevalent cause of brown leaves on succulents. The brown marks you see on the leaves of your plants if you just relocated them to a bright place or had a heatwave or high heat are similar to a sunburn.

6 - What are the symptoms of overwatering?

The leaves of an overwatered plant will be mushy and squishy to the touch. What do you mean? The leaves look paler or more transparent to the eye than a healthy plant. Succulents overwatered will often shed their leaves even if just lightly handled.

7 - Can you tell me how to revive my wilting succulents?

Remove the Succulent from the ground and remove any dirt that has accumulated around the roots, cutting off any brown or black roots that are already rotting. A screen or filter can hold the plant until the roots have dried for two to three days. Replant the roots in the pot once they have dried fully.

8 - Is it necessary to report succulents?

Your succulents should be repotted once every two years to ensure that the soil is well-nourished and has enough room for growth, on average. You should also keep in mind the importance of timing.

9 - Is it possible to hydrate succulents using ice cubes?

Watering a plant with ice cubes isn’t pleasant for any succulent plant. Instead, use room-temperature water to avoid putting them under any unnecessary emotional or physical strain. Planting them in containers that allow sufficient water drainage and good air circulation is also important.

10 - What is the lifespan of a succulent?

Some succulents don’t last long, but they produce offsets that can be used to replace them. Chicks & Hens is a fantastic illustration of this. The primary plant survives for only a few years, but it produces a lot of offsets.


Succulents look great in the garden or indoors and are easy to care for. Remember that these plants require enough sunshine to be healthy if you plan to place them all over your home. Too much light can cause discoloration on the leaves of succulents and brown crispy edges and patches.

When it comes to low-light and indirect-light succulents, they’re more prone to be affected by overexposure to too much light. A fast shift in lighting circumstances, such as moving from a low-light position to a direct-light spot, might be dangerous.

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