Can succulents survive without natural light? If you are living in a cold area where the sun barely shows up, you probably ask this question too. In this post, I will answer this question with some tips you can use for your succulent plants.
Succulents are versatile plants. This means that they can survive with minimal care. But can they survive in areas where natural light is limited?
Yes, succulents can survive without natural light. They can grow or live even if they are not placed near windows for direct sunlight.
Some growers know that succulents are tolerant of cold conditions. Succulents can thrive in places with a high temperature in the morning and cold at night.
Succulents can live in places with no access to natural or direct light such as in apartments, offices, etc. This is why succulents are very popular as an indoor decoration.
But succulents grow best in the temperature ranges from 55-85 degrees.
Succulents are some of the plants that can thrive under artificial light. But using artificial light is quite complicated as it requires a specific amount of light needed in order for the succulents to grow well and not burned or deprived of light.
Growing Succulents Indoors Using Artificial Light
Growing succulents using artificial light requires around 15 watts per square foot of illumination. While using fluorescent light, succulents should be placed 12 – 15 inches under the light.
The higher the wattage the light has the farther the succulents should be to avoid succulents from being burned.
Plants do well if the duration of light is constant. About 12 – 18 hours’ exposure a day is best for the succulents.
As mentioned, using artificial lights can be challenging especially if you’re a beginner. You need to use reflectors to catch and concentrate as much light as you can into each plant. You also have to rotate the plant every two weeks to make the plants grow evenly.
Related: Can Succulents Grow in Shade?
What is the difference between LED Grow Light and Regular light?
Grow lights have specific light spectrum wavelengths and support photosynthesis. This is why it is good to use for indoor plants such as succulents. It’s also convenient for homes as it uses low energy but produces great power.
Grow lights are good for growing succulents. The only problem is that they are more expensive than normal lights.
Regular lights, on the other hand, are of course, less expensive. They can do serve as artificial lights for indoor succulents. Like grow lights, they are energy efficient too.
The only problem with the regular lights is that they tend to be hotter than can cause burn on the plants.
What grow lights should I buy?
In choosing grow lights, price is one of the things you want to consider. You can buy either the cheap or the expensive one.
As you might already know, price somehow comes along with quality. That said, the higher the price is, the better the quality of the commodity.
In this post, I will share with you some of the best grow lights that I personally used.
4 Best Grow Lights for Succulents
This light is ideal for seedlings, cuttings, flowers, and house plants, especially for succulents. It’s effective as it grows seedlings faster with 15-20% more lumens. Also, use a simple toggle clamp for easy lamp height adjustment.
- Comes with a built-in timer
- Easy to use and schedule with a single press of the button
- With adjustable height
- Easy to assemble
- With T5 grow light output
- With 6’ cord with on/off switch
This light is 30% more light than other light systems. It has a 2000 lumens-light output – a powerful grow system.
- Comes with a 20000 Lumen that produces a high light output
- With 95% reflectivity
- Comes with chains and hooks for easy installation
- With 8’ power cord
- Easy to adjust the light output using two switches
- One of the safest grow lights in the market
- With 5-year warranty
This light keeps plants cool and it also has low power usage making it convenient for homes. They also added a secondary magnifying lens to every bulb.
- One of the best grow lights in the market
- One of the most efficient and energy savers
- Also, the safest grow light you can use for the plants
It includes 4 6400K T5 tubes and has up to 20,000 Lumens. It is also convenient to use for plants as it has three ways to hang—overhead, vertical or horizontal.
- Comes with 8 6400K T5 tubes
- With steel housing
- Offers three ways to install including overhead, vertical, and horizontal
- With 10’ power cord
- Can produce up to 40,000 Lumens
What is LED grow lights?
LED or Light Emitting Diodes are small yet efficient bulbs used to customize the light spectrum, and typically used in a panel to emanate more than one wavelength at a time.
This makes LED effective grow light for all growth stages. It is a monochromatic source of light designed to provide the right spectrum for the growth of your plants.
LEDs also save not only power but also space making it convenient for growing succulents. Using other regular lights can be dangerous to succulents as they might burn the plant due to high temperatures.
In contrast, LEDs do not generate much heat making them safe and perfect for indoor succulents. LED bulbs are also different as they are customizable which means you can choose different color wavelengths mostly required by plants.
LED lights are also known as low heat artificial sources of light and sometimes they can also grow succulents healthier and faster than with the sunlight.
Grow lights are necessary especially if you are growing succulents that need more sunlight.
But there are succulent varieties that can tolerate low light. These succulents are perfect for an indoor environment.
5 Low-Light Indoor Succulents
These are options given if you don’t want to buy grow lights but still want to plant or grow succulents indoor. The following are examples of succulents that can survive under low light conditions.
1) Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
It is also known as mother-in-law’s tongue. This is the ultimate indoor succulent. It is a succulent you commonly found in offices. Because it is tolerant of low sunlight, it can definitely live long indoor.
The best part is that snake plants can thrive in neglect. All it needs is water a few times a month and it will be okay.
2) Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
This plant can get big, unlike other common cute succulents. Like the snake plant, jade plants are everywhere too. Unlike other succulents, jade plant has woody stems making it stronger and not so easy to kill. It is so resilient that it can still be alive even after losing its leaves.
3) Bear Paws (Cotyledon tomentosa)
This succulent has soft fur. It likes direct sunlight but because of unusual patterns, it’s hard to notice the etiolation that accompanies low-light situations making it still part of indoor and low-light plants.
4) Gollum Jade (Crassula ovata ‘gollum’)
This is one of the easiest to grow succulents. Its young leaves tend to look like the ears of Shrek and it’s the reason why it is sometimes called the ogre’s ear. Unlike other succulents, this likes more water. But the good thing about this plant is that it is super easy to take care of.
5) Zebra Cactus (Haworthia attenuata)
Lastly, the pretty zebra cactus is slow-growing and easy to take care of which makes it a great fit for an office or desk. It also has elegant striking curves making it look really pretty. Needless to say that this plant has a unique aesthetic feature that works solo or in a group. It does not need frequent watering making it one of the easiest plants to grow indoor.
Succulents can thrive indoors but they may need a regular source of light. You can place your succulents near the window to somehow expose to natural light in the morning.
If this is not possible, you can use the grow light mentioned in this post. Just choose the one that best serves your succulent plants.
Aside from light, you also need to give indoor succulents enough water. But you need to be cautious because indoor environments are different from outdoors where water and moisture quickly dry.
If giving water for your indoor succulent, always check the moisture in the soil. If the soil is still wet, then refrain from watering the succulents to avoid overwatering or root rot. I hope this post helps. If you have more questions, feel free to leave a comment below.