Succulents are mostly drought-tolerant. They can survive and thrive under intense heat conditions because the leaves are adapted to store water. But, do succulents like the sun, and do succulents need direct sunlight? Not always. However, it does not necessarily mean that succulents and direct sunlight go hand in hand. The truth is that there are some shade-loving succulents and some full sunlight admirers. Full sun succulents love being outdoors exposed to the direct rays of the sun, but shade-tolerant succulents can be damaged in the direct sun.
This blog will answer the question - "do succulents like direct sunlight?" We will also list out a few succulents that like full sun and a few succulents that like shade.
Sun and Succulents - The Relationship
The relationship between succulents and the sun is fantastic. Succulents and cacti need light to survive and grow happily like all other plants. As a succulent lover, it is natural to wonder if succulents can be in full sun. You would wonder if succulents need a lot of sunshine or just a little shade. The one-word answer to this question is yes. Most of your houseplants like the sun; some prefer shaded sun while some direct sun.
You may have seen that some of your succulent species find it difficult to have healthy growth indoors. That's because they are missing the light. Many of the succulents start to stretch or even struggle to live indoors. Take the Echeveria species that stop stretching even when placed at a south-facing windowsill.
Best Succulents for Full Sun
- Cotyledons ladismithiensis or Bears Paw - This is one of the ten outstanding succulents that are full sun succulents. Their reddish flowers and thick foliage that look like a bear's paws make them a masterpiece. The excellent part about succulents in direct sunlight is their attractive floral appeal—the plant blossoms well with six hours of daily daylight. But, take care not to expose the plant to too much direct sunlight as it can discolor the foliage.
- Kalanchoe tomentosa or Panda plant - These houseplants are also lovingly called donkey ears or chocolate soldiers. The flowers are round with hairy petals. The leaves are hairy, too, with contrasting tips. This is another succulent plant loving direct sunlight. It grows amazingly well in harsh sunlight. People living in colder regions find it challenging to cultivate this plant during the winters. It is best advised to take the plant indoors during the cold season for such succulent lovers.
- Sedum morganianum – It is one of the succulents that do well in full sun. It is also known as donkey ears or donkey tail. This drought plant is the best cactus for full sun. It requires minimal watering and maintenance. This full-of-sap and lush green succulent can tolerate the harshest sunlight yet look attractive and aesthetically inspiring.
- Mother of Pearl - Graptopetalum, or the ghost plant, has ghost-like characteristics. When it is in direct sunlight, the petals of the flowers turn yellow and then bright pink. The heat-resistant succulent is best left on its own to determine the petal color or shape of the petal.
- Vygies - It is mainly used as a ground cover because of their foliage. The vine-like succulent has varying colors at different stages of growth. These plants do not require much care and grow on their own without any thought about can the succulent take full sun or not.
- Agave parryi – It is another drought-resistant full sun succulent growing in rosettes. Be careful as the petals have sharp spines. This low-growing succulent is a beautiful choice if you are short on time because its visual aesthetics will stay for as long as five years with hardly any care.
What are Direct Sunlight Succulents?
These succulents are referred to as full sun plants that have no issues when exposed to midday sunlight. These plants thrive well without any shade.
Are succulents full sun plants?
No. Not all succulents are full sun plants. Here are six succulents that prefer direct sunlight.
Do succulents need sun? Do succulents do well in full sun?
Yes, succulents need sun or light; at least six hours of sunlight every day. However, it mostly depends on the succulent type. Succulents love light and need about six hours of sun per day, depending on the type of succulent. Newly planted succulents can scorch in direct sunlight, so you may need to gradually introduce them to total sun exposure or provide shade with a sheer curtain.
How do I know that my succulents need sun? Which succulents need full sun?
Understanding your succulents' natural behavior will help you know the light needs of your houseplant. If you find your rosette succulent gaining height suddenly, or new leaves have started to appear on the stems, it means that the plant is stretching to reach the light. Or, in other words, it is etiolating. It means that your houseplant is starving of light. Cotyledons, Sedum Coppertone, Agave parryi, and Echeveria agavoides are full sun succulents.
Can succulents grow in the shade?
Some succulents grow well in shaded areas; for example, they grow well under a tree. Some succulents with green or grey foliage are suited for shade or low-light areas. For instance, Forest cacti is an indoor succulent that likes shade.
Do succulents need direct sun?
Succulent owners often are in doubt about whether succulents should be in direct sunlight. A lot depends on the climate of the place where you reside. For example, if you live in an area with a cooler climate with cold winters like in Arizona, you need to follow a different routine than succulent lovers in California. Owners should know that full sun succulents in Arizona should be brought inside when the temperature starts to drop during winter when it becomes a low-growing succulent. The succulents need full sun, so they should be taken back outdoors during summer. Also, most houseplants grow actively during warm weather. Thus, being outdoors encourages happy growth.
While, in a place like California, where the weather is much warmer and the winters are not as cold, the houseplants can be left outdoors throughout the year. Full sun succulents in California are happy outdoors, and they should be left out only. There are enough succulents that do well in shade that can be planted indoors.
Are succulents drought-tolerant?
Yes, most succulents can require minimal water to survive, making them drought-tolerant.
What are some shade-loving plants?
Which succulents grow in full shade?
Can succulents grow in partial shade?
Yes, some succulents grow equally well in partial shade. Some houseplants that add glamour to your succulent shade garden are haworthia, kalanchoe, schlumbergera, Rhipsalis, gasteria, sansevieria, and Parodia haselbergii.
Do succulents need to be in direct sunlight?
Not all succulents love direct sunlight. Some like shade or partial shade. But universally, houseplants love light rather than darkness.