How much Sun do Succulents Need?
Everything You Need to Know

Being a beginner, you may wonder whether your succulent need sun? Read ahead to learn more!

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Kelly Adams

April 14, 2021

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Succulents are plants that usually originate from arid areas. So your first impression is probably that they obviously need a lot of sun.

succulents having sunbathe

As a succulent owner, it’s essential for you to know the sunlight exposure your plant actually needs. If you’re letting it get too many hours of aggressive sunlight, then stop. You’re doing it wrong.

Obviously, succulents need sunlight but only up to a limit. They need bright indirect sunlight for about 5 to 6 hours a day. But this duration is not fixed and depends upon the size and species. You have to adjust their sunlight to exposure to keep them alive. Some species may even appreciate direct sunlight!

How much sunlight do succulents need?

Succulents need sunlight for around 5 to 6 hours a day. Placing them in such a spot where they get the required amount of sunlight to grow is essential. However, depending upon the plant’s area and climate, this duration may differ.

In the hot summer season, when there is a heatwave and the temperature is too high, the plant may need more water. Don’t forget to water it appropriately in such extreme situations. Anyhow, if there is a heatwave affecting your neighborhood, place your succulent under filtered sunlight or a spot where they only get exposed to early morning light.

The afternoon hours usually offer overly-aggressive sunlight which can harm the plant. Therefore, you need to protect your succulent during these hours and place them somewhere safe instead.

succulents having morning sunlight

A research conducted on desert succulents shows that sunlight directly impacts them, and over a specific temperature, they start getting sunburned. They can eventually die if something isn’t done for them.

Don't Do This!

Never put your newly planted or small succulent in direct sunlight as they will burn in a few hours

Do succulents need direct sunlight or partial sunlight?

Placing your succulents underneath direct or partial sunlight can cause a great difference in the plant’s health. However, the right choice depends upon the succulent’s size and type. Now that’s something you should know if you are planting your succulent outdoors.

We know that succulents need sun, but the question is: should you place your succulent in direct sunlight or partial shade?

If you have small succulents that have just begun growing, never put them in direct sunlight. In the start, they can’t withstand it. You better place them under the shade.

succulents are small in size


If you're growing a baby succulent, try to increase its sunlight exposure time slowly. This way, the plant will better adjust to sunlight.

Mature succulents can bear direct sunlight.

It is useful to know that depending upon the succulent type, sunlight requirements may change. Although succulents love the sun but continuously placing it in extreme sunlight can cause sunburns.
You should also consider your succulent type. Different succulent types react differently to the sun. Some love to be under partial shade, while others like full sunlight.

succulents placed under shade

Adopt a schedule and place your succulents in an appropriate spot according to its specific needs.

Sunblock shades can help your plant get only the needed amount of light. This shade product is amazing and you can use it to cover your succulent and save it from sunburn.

Gale Pacific white shade

This pacific white shade is an amazing product which provides upto 90% UV rays blockage and protects your succulents from sunburn.

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What to do if you can’t meet the plant’s sunlight needs?

If the succulent can’t get sufficient sunlight indoors, consider getting a glow light. Technology can help your plant grow by giving it the light it needs to photosynthesize.

Are you a little confused about finding the perfect grow light? Since I am a succulent expert, I have experience with various products. I can tell you for a fact that this grow light is wonderful for your indoor plant.

GE BR30 LED Grow Lights for Indoor Plants

I highly recommend this wonderful grow light than can aid the growth of your succulent!

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Placing your succulents at the right spot

Placing your succulents in a spot where they get sufficient sunlight is crucial. However, they should not get so much of it that they end up experiencing sunburn.

So you need to find the right location for your succulents which suits them the best according to their sunlight needs.

Let’s see how.

Sun changes its position all the day. Succulents placed in your garden or backyard may have different sunlight exposure at different times of the day.

Place your succulents at such a spot where the sunlight hits all sides properly.

Again it depends upon the succulent’s needs. If it’s a newly planted one, you’ve to place it under the shade.

One theory shows how the temperature of succulents can change during different times of the day. Succulents are mainly exposed to sunlight during peak hours in the afternoon.

Another way to identify the best spot for your succulent is the failure check test. You can use trial and error to see the growth of your plant at different locations. Then you can settle for the best one.


Failure Test

If you don't know the best location for your succulent, try putting it at different places. This will help you understand where the right spot for your succulent is.

succulents placed in partial shade

Rotating your succulents

Rotating your succulent is also essential. So far, we’ve understood how to find the best spot for your succulent. But this is not all that you need to do.

Suppose you’ve placed your succulent in a spot and it gets sunlight from a specific direction. The result will be that the part of the plant that is directly exposed to sunlight will either be healthy or sunburned (If exposed to extreme sunlight, especially in summer). However, the opposite side of the succulent which receives minimal to no sunlight will not look like the one that does. Your plant won’t look consistent.

So rotating your succulent frequently is an excellent strategy to help the plant look good and grow well.

Can succulents experience sunburns?

Like overwatering kills succulents, overheating can harm your succulent. Some succulents are sensitive to intense sunlight and may even experience sunburns.

So if you place them outside for most of the day, they can get sunburned for sure.

Small brown dots appearing on the succulent’s leaves are the first signs that your plant needs help. Please place them under the shade. In continuous sunlight, they will continue to turn brown.

succulents sunburned due to overheating

As a beginner, you might be worried about how to care for your succulents like I was when I started gardening.

This beginner’s guide book helped me a lot. It will surely help you know more about your succulents and maintain them in the right way.

A Beginner's Guide to Succulents Gardening

If you a beginner, then this guide book has all the information you need to know about succulents gardening

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Keep Reading

Generally, succulents require 5 to 6 hours of bright light. It is better to give them indirect light since they can experience sunburn, however, this varies depending on the type of succulent. You need to ensure that their needs are fulfilled and may have to rotate their pots so that they get even amounts of sunlight on each side.

Feeling charmed by gardening? Check out our post on some exotic succulents!.

Which are the most exotic succulents in the world? You will love each one of them

Succulents are trending all over the world, while some are very common others can be quite the opposite. Read ahead to learn about rare ones.

Kelly Adams Picture

By Kelly Adams

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Kelly and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Kelly Adams Picture

Kelly Adams

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Kelly and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!



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