Do succulents like the full sun? This question often stems from the confusion about whether or not succulents need full sunlight. In this post, let me share with you some tips that could help you grow succulents well.
One of the needs of succulents to grow healthily is sunlight. These plants are native to semi-desert areas so they are accustomed to less water and plenty of sunlight.
But do succulents like the full sun?
Succulents are, without a doubt need sun. However, they are not capable of surviving under the full sun. They love a lot of light but they need protection against the scourging sun. High temperatures could kill succulents especially if they are small.
Aside from the full sun, succulents don’t like too much water and moisture. But this does not mean that they can survive without water.
Both sunlight and water are important ingredients to allow succulents to grow well. However, if too much, both could also kill these plants.
Below are the tips that I think can do a big difference in your succulent plants. Following the simple steps will make you and your plants happy.
1) Provide good air circulation
Succulents can live indoors. I have many succulents inside my house and they are thriving pretty well.
Examples of them are aloe and kalanchoe. There are other varieties that have the same characteristics too. However, not all of the succulents’ species do well indoors. They are better off if placed outdoor.
Most of the succulents love arid climates and good air circulation. If you really want to see succulents grow to their potential aesthetic character, give them enough air to breathe.
This is the reason why most succulents do better outside than inside. Likewise, I don’t recommend succulents in the terrarium. Placing succulents in that small space prohibits them to get enough air.
As a result, might suffer from poor aeration. So I strongly recommend leaving succulents outside. Unless, of course during winter.
2) Provide protection of direct sunlight
While succulents like sunlight, they won’t be able to stand against scourging the full sun. The morning sun is the best for them. I found it good for them to be exposed to morning sun for about 4-6 hours a day.
If the temperature reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you better protect your succulents with shade. The baby succulents are even more vulnerable to direct sun exposure.
Another sign of a vulnerable succulent is the color. Succulents with green, variegated, or pale are vulnerable to sunburn.
If you want to keep succulents outdoor, choose the varieties that have blue, red, or with a spine. These types of succulents are more tolerant of full sun exposure.
3) Provide right succulent soil mix
Providing the right succulent soil mix is more than necessary if you want succulents to grow well. When it comes to soil, choose the one that provides the fast-draining ability. This is very important to keep your succulent plants from overwatering and rotting.
The materials usually found in a good succulent soil mix are coarse perlite, crushed lava, or pumice. If these are available in your house, you can make your own succulent soil.
However, if you are like me who have no time to make my own soil, you can order it online. Check my favorite one that I normally buy from Amazon. The good thing about buying soil mix online is that it is super easy and hassle-free.
4) Water sparingly
Because succulents are accustomed to semi-desert areas, many people think that they don’t need to be watered. Back when I was started, I also believed in this wrong perception.
The truth is that succulents need water as much as they need sunlight. What they don’t like is too much of it.
In fact, overwatering is the fastest way to kill them. Overwatering causes root rot which in turn kill the whole plant.
In most cases, overwatered succulents especially those that are severely damaged by rotting could not be revived. Early cases of overwatering though are treatable by reducing the amount of water they receive.
To keep your succulents safe from overwatering, water them sparingly. In my case, I always use the soak and dry method. This means that when watering, the soil of the plant should be thoroughly soaked in water and then let it dry. Water the soil only when it is dry.
In this way, you’ll be able to keep your succulents from over and underwatering.
5) Provide good drainage
Another good way to avoid overwatering is by providing good drainage. Remember that succulents don’t like excessive water and moisture in the soil. You can simply do this by choosing the best succulent soil mix for your plants.
A good succulent mix provides good drainage and allows the excess water to drain at the bottom of the pot. The good thing about having this type of soil is that no matter how much water you give to the plants they don’t get overwatered.
For my succulents, I use Hoffman Succulent Soil Mix (check this soil on Amazon). It does not only provide good drainage but also aeration for succulent plants.
Along with good soil, you also need to choose a pot with a large drainage hole. Without this, succulent soil mix won’t be able to perform its job at draining the excess water during watering.
6) Give an extra source of nutrients
Aside from sunlight, water, and good succulent soil mix, succulents do need an extra source of nutrients. In short, they love to be fertilized. But not that much.
Depending on many factors, I found it perfect to fertilize a succulent once every six months or one year. Of course, this is not a rigid rule. Some succulents may need more especially those that are actively growing.
In applying the fertilizer, always follow the direction. You don’t want to burn the succulents with too much fertilizer.
7) Keep succulents safe in frost
There are many species of succulents. Some of them can survive frost, but some cannot. It is very important that you know what variety of succulents you are growing. Knowing their weakness is an essential step in deciding appropriate action.
If you are growing soft succulents, they couldn’t withstand the freezing temperature especially outside. The best thing to do in this case is to bring those beautiful plants inside.
Indoor environments are not always perfect for succulents but these plants are better off indoor temperature.
The challenge however when bringing succulents inside is the source of light. They need sun exposure. What you can do is place them in the window sill where the sunlight is accessible in the morning.
Aside from this, you can also use grow light (check my recommended grow light on Amazon). Grow lights are a good alternative to natural light. You can also use Fluorescent light if you don’t want to spend money on commercial lighting.
Final Thoughts on Do Succulents Like Full Sun
Succulents do need sunlight but they cannot withstand full sun throughout the day. You need to protect them by providing shade.
They need sunlight exposure in the morning not in the afternoon. If left under the scourging sun, there’s a high chance that the succulents will get burned and eventually die.
I hope you get something from this post that you can apply to your succulents too.
For more guidance on how to grow succulents, you can visit my complete guide here.
Thanks for reading. And if you want to share something, just feel free to leave a comment below.