How to Acclimate Succulents to Full Sun?

Acclimate Succulents
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Acclimate Succulents

How to acclimate succulents to full sun? If you have indoor succulents and you want them to transfer outdoor, you might wonder what is the best way to do it. In this post, I will share with the tips that will help your succulent plants successful in the outdoor garden.

Succulents that are been indoor for long may die if you bring them straightly outdoor especially under the full sun. You need to be careful during this process to keep your succulent plants alive and thriving.

How to acclimate succulents to full sun?

The success boils down from understanding the very nature of the plant. Some succulents love partial sun while others prefer full sun.

If you don’t know what type of succulents you have, you can gradually expose the succulents under indirect sunlight for half an hour or so. Then every two days try to increase the indirect sunlight exposure. If you see to negative reaction, gradually place them under direct sunlight.

One thing to remember here though is that, sometimes, during the first sunlight exposure succulents may have signs of sunburn. If you notice this in your plants, reduce the sunlight exposure.

The best time is in the morning. I like to have my succulent plants enjoy the morning sun because it is not too hot for them. But during the afternoon they will be under the shade to keep them safe from sunburn.

Basic things to remember when acclimating succulents

Succulent acclimation usually happens after a cold season. This is when I usually return most of my indoor plants outdoor. But when and how to do acclimation?


The best time I found and works really well with my succulent plants is when the temperature does not drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is to make sure that the plants will be safe outside.

If you have soft succulents, they are the most vulnerable to extreme cold temperature. So you need to be sure that they are safe outside.

If after bringing them outside if the temperatures for some reason drops again bring them back inside. Most succulent plants cannot withstand freezing temperature.


When transferring succulents outdoor, temperature is something needed to take into consideration. This is because succulents that are accustomed to indoor environment may easily get sunburned outside.

One of the most common signs of sunburn is the discoloring of the leaves mostly brown. When you notice brown spots it’s an indicator that your plant is probably getting too much sunlight.

If this is the case, you can save the succulents by moving them into the shade. A shade cloth can be a good cover to use (click here to check my favorite and recommended shade cloth on Amazon)


The outdoor environment can be hotter than the indoor especially during summer. This means that the humidity is lower too so succulents need more water now than when they were inside.

In this instance, you need to give more water and frequent watering schedule for your succulents. I always recommend the soak and dry method which I think the safest way.

This watering strategy works by soaking the soil totally and then allow it to dry. Water again only if the soil is dry.

But when you use this strategy, you need to make sure that you’re using pots with drainage holes. The excess water should be freely drained at the bottom of the pot to keep the plants safe from overwatering.

Aside from choosing the pot with a drainage hole, it is also important to use a fast-draining soil (click here to check my recommended soil on Amazon).

A good succulent soil mix helps not only to drain the excess water but also gives succulents good aeration. Avoid compacting soil because it absorbs and retains too much moisture and water. The retained water in the pot can cause root rot.


Unlike indoor, placing succulents outdoor making them more vulnerable not only to sunburn but also diseases and pests.

Squirrels can be one of the worst threat to your succulents outdoor. These small creatures can rip your succulent out of their pots. Sometimes, squirrels eat the leaves of the succulents. Plants can really get ugly.

I have learned that dressing succulent soil with rocks prevents the squirrels from digging. If you want additional protection against these intruders, you can also sprinkle the soil with Cayenne pepper (check this one on Amazon) can also prevent squirrels from ruining the plant.

Apart from squirrels, you might also encounter mealy bugs and other fungal infections. These tiny creatures can surely damage your succulents.

Fortunately, there are simple ways to combat these tiny enemies. I always use a mixture of alcohol and water to spray on my succulent plants. It works well for my plants.

To learn more about how to defeat mealy bugs, check my other post that discusses this subject thoroughly.

Related Questions

Are succulents OK in full sun?

Succulents are native to semi-desert areas. This is the reason why most people think that these plants can thrive under direct sunlight. But the truth is they cannot. Scourging direct sunlight can cause sunburn which will ultimately lead to death of the plants.

But of course, they need to be exposed in the sun. The sunlight is an important requirement for photosynthesis. However, too much heat can kill them.

The best way to expose succulent plants under direct sunlight is in the morning. The not-so-hot sunlight is perfect for them. Expose them for about 4-6 hours a day. During the afternoon, provide shade to keep them safe from sunburn.

Can a succulent get too much sun?

As mentioned, too much sunlight exposure is not good for succulent plants. They probably get sunburned. During the summer or hot season, they need shade to protect them from the hot sun.


I am a university teacher by profession, researcher, blogger, and gardener.

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