Does succulent need direct sunlight? This is another common question that I get from my readers. In this post, I will share with you the best answer that I learned from my experience.
Generally, plants have four major needs to survive and thrive. And those major ingredients are water, sunlight, temperature, and soil.
So, does succulent need direct sunlight? It is a quick yes. Succulents are normal plants that have similar needs as with other plants.
But how much direct sunlight succulents need? Well, it depends on the type of succulent. Succulents come with many varieties. And each variety has certain sunlight requirements.
In most cases though, succulents need at least 3-4 hours of direct sunlight exposure every day. The morning sun is ideal for succulents. But harsher sunlight is detrimental to the succulent plants.
Some succulents are vulnerable to sunburn and become damaged when exposed under direct sunlight for a long period of time. This commonly happens with soft succulents. If left untreated, the plant may eventually die.
If you are living in a tropical area where the sun is hotter than other geographic locations, providing the succulents with shade will help the plant survive.
Many have fallen in the misconception that succulents are resistant to scourging sunlight. But the truth speaks the opposite.
The truth is that succulents could not stand the punishing sunlight. In fact, if left unattended, succulents die under the direct sunlight.
I receive many complain about why their succulents die. Well, the common reason is extreme sunlight exposure.
If you transfer an indoor succulent outside, do not directly bring the plant outside and expose under sunlight. The plant needs a transition period.
This means that indoor succulents need gradual exposure to direct sunlight to allow them to adjust to the new environment. This way the plant will be able to endure the hotter environment.
If succulents are placed under minimal sunlight, they tend to stretch their stems. The stems will lean towards the well-lit areas of the house. Succulents do change color too if they receive too little sunlight.
This is good evidence that suggests that succulent does need direct sunlight to thrive and live longer. In the absence of one important ingredient, succulents will not grow healthily.
This video will give you more helpful ideas on how much direct sunlight does a succulent need to grow well.
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What Succulents Don’t Need Sunlight?
This is another question I receive from time to time. This means that many succulent growers wonder if it is possible to grow succulents without giving them sunlight.
Well, as I mentioned earlier, succulents do need sunlight to grow. Without it, the plants will eventually die.
However, there are indoor succulents that can tolerate low-light environments. These types of succulents can grow well indoor with minimal sunlight exposure.
In this post, I will share with you 10 best indoor low-light succulents. Here are the succulents that don’t need much sunlight to grow well.
1. Snake Plant or Sansevieria trifasciata
Snake Plant is also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue. This succulent is super versatile that it can survive in dimly lit areas for a considerable amount of time.
This is the reason why snake plants are commonly found in offices as ornamental plants. They seem okay with no direct exposure for a long period of time. They can even tolerate neglect.
They can also tolerate with minimal water. You can just water snake plants a few times in a month and they will be alright.
But what fascinates me the most about this plant is its ability to propagate almost effortlessly. You can start with a little shoot and grow a garden of snake plants later.
2. Jade Plant or Crassula ovata
Another great succulent that does not need much sunlight is the Jade Plant. When it comes to versatility and low-light tolerance, this plant is one of the best.
This succulent is not only good for indoor but also outdoor. But unlike other succulent varieties, the jade plants grow bigger. I personally love this plant in my garden due to its size.
Jade plants are also known for their ability to survive neglect and extreme environmental conditions such as drought. They can be considered as one of the most resilient succulents you can have in your garden.
Most succulents die on neglect and abuse. Jade plant on the other hand always makes its come back after losing their leaves or any tragic situations.
If you are looking for a succulent that could survive nearly on its own, you might want to try Jade Plant.
3. Bear Paws or Cotyledon Tomentosa
Another good contender in this category is the Bear Paw. Bear Paws do prefer direct sunlight exposure but they can grow well indoors.
This succulent gets its name from its very structure. It has thick and fuzzy leaves that have 3 or more teeth at the end similar to the paw of a bear.
Because Bear Paws need more sunlight than other succulents, I suggest that you expose this plant under the sun once a day for about 3-4 hours.
4. Zebra Cactus or Haworthia attenuate
If you are looking for a succulent that does not need much sunlight and can also boost the ambiance of your office, then the Zebra cactus is what you are looking for.
This succulent variety has a unique feature that makes it stands out of other succulent varieties.
The Zebra Cactus is a slow-growing succulent making it one of the best indoor ornamental plants you can have in your office or house.
5. Burro’s Tail or Sedum morganianum
The Burro’s Tail is another excellent variety of indoor succulent. And probably the easiest trailing succulent to grow.
This succulent is good for the low-light environment. The only drawback that I have seen with this plant is that its leaves could easily fall when firmly touched.
If you are growing this plant indoor, I suggest that you place it in the corner of the house to protect it from traffic. You can also hang it from the ceiling to make the plant undisturbed.
What I like the most about this plant is that it is super easy to propagate. You can propagate using the leaves. As long as you do it right, this succulent will just grow almost on its own.
6. Aloe or Aloe vera
As you might notice, Aloe is everywhere. You can find it in many homes. So people love this plant.
Well, there is a very good reason why millions of plant enthusiasts grow this plant. And that reason is Aloe plants are super easy to grow. You don’t need a green thumb to grow it. As long as they get their basic needs, they just grow without your constant care.
Just water this plant once a week and it will thrive on its own. You can place this plant in your office or in the outdoor garden.
7. Ponytail Palm or Beaucarnea recurvate
You might not expect it, but the Ponytail Palm is actually a succulent. This plant has cute features that will surely enhance the aesthetic value of your garden.
What I like about this plant is its ability to survive on neglect. It grows slowly and requires low maintenance too.
This plant can grow well both indoor and outdoor. I like this plant outdoor though due to its size. It can be a great inside because it can survive in the low environment.
8. Cylindrical Snake Plant or Sansevieria cylindrical
The last but not the least succulent that only a little sunlight is the Cylindrical Snake Plant. This one is one of the most unique and beautiful succulents you can have in your garden or house.
What I like about this succulent is that it can both grow well indoor and outdoor. Its ability to survive under low or direct sunlight makes this plant versatile. It only needs little maintenance too so you don’t have to worry about its health.
You need to be careful though. This plant has sharp leaf tips that can cut your skin if you accidentally bump on it.
Final Thoughts on Does Succulent Need Direct Sunlight
Although many succulent varieties are versatile and seemingly resistant to low-light, they cannot survive with the total absence of light.
However, there are succulents that can survive with minimal sunlight source. But they too need at least minimal sunlight exposure.
As a succulent grower, it is part of your job to figure out what type of succulent you are growing. Different succulent varieties have different sunlight requirements.
I hope that this post helps you to successfully grow your succulents. For more information about succulents, feel free to visit my Succulent Guide page.