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Do Succulents Need Sun? (Do They Thrive In Direct Sunlight?)

Succulent makes beautiful house and garden plants and can be grown either indoors or out. Caring for most succulent plants is relatively easy as the beautiful plants are seen as the least demanding plants.

But do succulents need sun? Yes, succulents need sun to survive. Generally, succulents are desert plants that survive under intense heat and bright sun.

While it is agreed that succulents are semi-desert plants and thus can survive in drought conditions, caring for your succulents means knowing that the plants do not thrive very well under blasting full sun exposure and scorching temperatures.

But do succulents need direct sunlight? This post will highlight the exact amount of sunlight your succulents need to thrive.

Do Succulents Need Sun?

Do Succulents Need Sun

Succulents are sun-loving plants that can survive in semi-desert circumstances. However, succulents can simply not survive without sunlight.

While we emphasize the need for succulents to get adequate sunlight (at least 4 – 6 hours of daylight), it must be noted that too much intense sunlight can cause damage to the plants.

Sunburn damage can result in succulents as a result of prolonged exposure to sunlight. Sunburn damage will lead to permanent scarring or death.

How Much Sunlight Do Succulents Need?

While succulents are known to store water to survive arid conditions, it’s a mistake to presume that all succulents need the exact amount of light. For some succulents, too much light might cause them to become sunburned.

When it comes to the amount of light your succulent needs, it’s essential to know that if your succulent falls under the full sun succulents, outdoor shade succulents, Direct Sunlight Indoor Succulents, or Filtered Sunlight Indoor Succulents.

Full sun succulents like Aeoniums and Agaves love soaking up direct sunlight for eight or more hours a day.

On the other hand, outdoor shade succulents like Fairy crassula (Crassula multicava) and Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) grow well with less than eight hours of sunlight or prefer locations with indirect sunlight.

The Direct Sunlight Indoor Succulents like Aloes, Mytrillocactus, and Parodias are commonly used as indoor houseplants. This set of plants usually thrive in direct sunlight for at least four hours a day.

Succulents such as zebra plant, snake plant, and the Christmas cactus fall under the Filtered Sunlight Indoor Succulents.

This set of succulents make excellent houseplants and will thrive comfortably with bright indirect sunlight or filter direct sunlight with sheer curtains.

This set of succulents are recommended for beginners in gardening as they don’t require much fuss.

Do Succulents Need Direct Sunlight?

As already mentioned, your succulents might not survive under blasting sun and extremely hot temperatures, which necessitates the question of how much sun succulents need.

Succulents love light and will require a maximum of six hours of sun per day.

However, newly planted succulents will not require direct sunlight as it could get them burnt. Therefore, for newly planted succulents, you may need to introduce them to full sun exposure gradually.

When you deny your succulents sunlight, they will exhibit problems such as elongation, that is, overstretching to seek more sunlight.

The elongation process will weaken the plant’s growth which invariably will lead to loss of water and vibrant pigmentation.

How Much Light Do Succulents Need Indoors?

You may often wonder since it emphasized that succulents are sun-loving plants, can succulents thrive indoors, and if yes, how much light do they need indoors.

However, succulents are highly tolerable plants and can adapt to living indoors, making them very popular houseplants.

If you opt to grow your succulents indoors, you must take lighting into consideration and look for available bright spots and locations in your house where you can place your plant.

Keep in mind that different species of succulents have different light requirements.

For instance, naturally green succulents like Haworthia and Gasteria prefer shade or low light and thus will thrive indoors.

Roughly, most succulents need at least four to six hours of sunlight to grow properly. However, for your indoors succulents, you’ll want to place your succulents near a window that gets light all day.

How Much Light Do Succulents Need in Winter?

Caring for succulents during winter can be a bit tasking since the sun-loving plants are denied adequate sunlight.

Thus, during the winter period, you are forced to bring your succulents inside since it impossible for the plants to thrive outside.

During winter, your succulents will require at least 8 hours of bright indirect sunlight to thrive. It follows that you will have to place the plant in the sunniest spot in your house so they can get adequate light.

In the thick of the winter season, you will have to get a grow light since, at this point, it is practically impossible for the plant to get any light.

When you find your succulents stretching out or leaning toward the window, it is a sign they aren’t getting enough light. At this point, you will need to supplement the light the plant is getting with a grow light.

Ensure you don’t run the lights 24/7, as succulents do need dark at night to complete their regular growth cycle.

Caring for Succulents Like a Pro

1. Ensure Your Succulents Adequate sunlight

Generally, succulents need about six hours of sun per day. However, this requirement will vary depending on the type of succulent.

As a plant owner, you will need to do adequate research on the needs of a particular species of succulents.

Furthermore, newly planted succulents can scorch in direct sunlight, which means you may need to introduce them to full sun exposure gradually.

2. Rotate your Indoor Succulents Regularly

Some succulents can thrive indoors with indirect sunlight. You will, however, need to keep on looking for bright spots in your house to ensure that the plant is getting adequate sunlight.

3. Water Succulents correctly

While most succulents thrive with a little bit of neglect, you will need to ensure that your succulents are getting enough water.

Succulents need to be watered according to the season. For instance, water more during the spring and summer as the plants are thriving and drinking up much more water and less during winters.

When watering, soak the soil until water runs out of the drainage holes, and avoid using a spray bottle to water your succulents.

4. Clean Your Succulents

When your indoor succulents pick up dust on their surface, wipe off the leaves and spines gently with a damp cloth.

5. Use a Container with Drainage

Avoid growing your succulents in glass containers. The pot or container must have drainage holes as succulents don’t like to sit in waterlogged soil.

6. Use Well-Draining Soil

Succulents need soil that drains well. Choose cactus soil or mix potting soil with sand, pumice, or perlite.

7. Use Isopropyl Alcohol To Get Rid of Bugs

Gnats and mealybugs are attracted to succulents planted in soil that is too wet and doesn’t have proper drainage. To get rid of them, spray the soil with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.

Read Also: Do Succulents Like Humidity?


Almost every beginner in gardening love succulents because they are relatively easy to care for.

The adaptive nature of the plants makes them great houseplants. Also, most succulents will add a unique touch to your home or office.

When it comes to answering the question, do succulents need sun? We realize that while the plants thrive best under the sun, care needs to be taken to prevent the plant from getting sunburned and wilting away.

When it comes to catering to the sun needs of your succulents, you may need to do adequate research to find out precisely what your succulent needs.