Do Succulents Need Sun?

Succulents are famous for being plants that are easy to care for. However, that does not mean that succulents can be left and forgotten about. You have to make sure that you understand the necessary steps to take care of your succulents so that you do not accidentally lose a plant in the process. One major thing that people get wrong about succulents is the level of sunlight that they require. Succulents by nature need sunlight to thrive but they can be easily harmed by sunlight too. This leads many people to wonder what the happy medium is and if it even exists. Do succulents even need to be out in the sun? How much sunlight do succulents need, if any? 

Succulents and Sun

We know that succulents are plants that come from arid climates, but do they really require bright sun at all times? The simple answer is no. Succulents do require sun, but high, blasting sun and very hot temperatures can actually damage succulents. 

This is because the truth of succulents is that they come from semi-desert environments. These types of plants are accustomed to places like deserts, but they receive more water than plants in actual deserts. In fact, succulents are typically located in low-lying areas where other plants shade them. They can also grow in crevices where rocks and boulders can keep them safe from the sun. 

How Many Hours?

Succulents may be harmed by sunlight but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they need no sunlight. To thrive, succulents need at least four to six hours of sunlight. This is because succulents that do not receive enough sunlight will exhibit problems of their own. These problems include elongation and etiolation which are processes by which the plant stretches in order to seek more sunlight. When a succulent does this, they weaken their stems and grow poorly. 

This is only one of the side effects of not getting enough sunlight. Succulents can also be subject to losing their pigmentation, turning a pale or dull green color. When plants get enough sunlight, you will see that their colors are much more vibrant and full. 

However, not all succulents are built the same. You may want to consult with a professional to make sure that your particular succulent does not need additional sunlight. 

Acclimating to Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight is great for a lot of plants, but it can be harmful to succulents. This is because they can suffer from sunburn. Sunburn damage can actually cause permanent scarring. Even worse, plants can “fry” to death when they are left out in the full sun without any sort of protection. If you want to make sure that your succulents do not suffer this fate, you have to make sure that you slowly condition your succulent to the sunlight. To do this, you can place your succulents in partial shade and then slowly acclimate them to more and more sun. There are a couple of different ways you can do this: you can place them outside for certain periods of the day and then increase the time spent outdoors. You can also place the succulents under taller plants that have more foliage to give them some shade while they adjust to the temperature outdoors.

Because not all succulents function the same way, this means different species are going to be more susceptible to sun damage. 

Too Much Sun

Sunburn is something that affects succulents that get too much sun, but it doesn’t happen overnight. The first stage is brown spots on the leaves. Once you notice these spots, you can prevent further damage by moving the plant to another location with more shade or bringing it back indoors. If you do not notice these negative changes early enough, you could end up killing the plant. While some succulents may power through and toughen up under these circumstances, you do not want to rely on the assumption that they will. The best thing to do is to take the time to acclimate your succulents to sun exposure. This method may be time-consuming, but it will prevent the plants from going into shock and succumbing to sunburn.

The Top Succulents for Sale in Orlando

Succulents are a wonderful plant for beginning gardeners. They are beautiful and come in many varieties, but it is important to know how to care for them so that you can see them flourish. At Sod Depot, we can provide you with healthy, vibrant succulents so that you have the greatest chance of seeing them succeed. If you are looking for the best succulents for sale in Orlando, we can help you find what you need. With our plethora of varieties, you’ll be certain to find the one that best suits your needs. Visit us at our location or shop online at our website.