If you are just starting to grow succulents as a beginner, you might have a lot of questions regarding growing succulents. One big common question is “do succulents need sun” or “how much sun does my succulent need”.
Succulents do love sunlight, but there’s one main issue a lot of succulent lovers have in common. That common problem is that not everyone has access to sunlight in some locations, especially in the majority of some homes.
I live in beautiful sunny California, and safe to say my house doesn’t get much sunlight inside just to begin with. This is why I mainly grow my succulents outdoors, because of California’s climate, and also my house doesn’t get much sun.
So do your succulents need sun? Or can they grow under any light? By the end of this article you will have the answer to those questions, and learn other things about succulents, and the light they need.
Before we Begin...
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DO YOUR SUCCULENTS NEED SUN?
Yes, succulents need sun, and they will need at least 6 hours of sunlight every single day. Succulents need sun because it helps them grow healthy, produce their beautiful colors, and to avoid etiolation.
It’s very important that your succulents get plenty of sunlight so they can grow healthy and happy. Without sunlight succulents will turn pale, look unhealthy, and start the process of etiolation. This is why your succulents need at least 6 hours of sunlight every single day.
However, when growing indoors some succulents can’t get enough sunlight that they need due to the housing structure. When this happens you will just need to make sure that your succulents are getting a source of light. If they don’t get a source of light then they will start the process of etiolation and stretch to find a source of light.
So yes, your succulents need sun, but if you can’t get them sunlight then just give them any source of light! They just need any source of light to grow healthy and survive so make sure you get them a source of light!
HOW MANY HOURS OF SUNLIGHT DO SUCCULENTS NEED?
Succulents need about 6 hours of sunlight per day however, it all depends on the type of succulent you have. Also if your succulent has been growing in the shade for some time now, and you put it in direct sunlight, that might harm it!
Your succulent isn’t supposed to go into sunlight right away if it hasn’t been in sunlight for a while now. Slowly move it to sunlight, let it get used to by putting it in direct sunlight 2 hours a day instead of 6 hours.
If you don’t give your succulents enough sunlight then the process of etiolation will occur. When etiolation occurs your succulent will then begin to stretch or grow tall. This is happening because the succulent is looking for a source of light so it’s trying to stretch and find that source of light.
This is why it’s very important that your succulents get at least 6 hours of sunlight every single day, to avoid etiolation, to grow healthy, and to produce its beautiful bright colors.
DO SUCCULENTS NEED DIRECT SUNLIGHT OR FULL SUNLIGHT?
It really depends on the species of the succulent. For example, aeoniums can handle direct sunlight while echeveria succulents can’t. Some succulents just can’t handle direct sunlight that just burns their leaves. So if your succulents can’t handle direct sunlight, then they will just need some partial shade so they can take a break and avoid sun damage.
Full sunlight is great and is most common. However, if you are growing in full sun then you will need to give the succulents some partial shade as well.
It really depends on how your succulent is doing and growing. If it’s growing unhealthy then you will definitely need to make some adjustments on how much sun they are getting. You will start to see some mild burns on their leaves. If this happens then it’s best to give the succulents 6 hours of sunlight in full sun and give it some partial shade.
CAN SUCCULENTS GET TOO MUCH SUNLIGHT?
Yes, definitely succulents can get too much sunlight. If your succulent is just sitting in the blistering sun and heat all day then it will definitely get harmed. Too much sun will easily dehydrate a succulent and make it start to change colors, burn leaves, lose leaves, and make it just grow unhealthy. If your succulent is getting way too much sun then you will definitely need to move it to partial shade.
BENEFITS OF SUNLIGHT
When succulents grow in natural sunlight their beautiful colors seem to form, and stand out better than most succulents grown indoors with regular light. The sunlight helps their beautiful colors form because sunlight is much stronger than regular light, this would be called “sun stressed”.
I grow succulents outdoors, and the ones that are in full direct sun all day get their colors way more than ones that sit in shade. The succulents in a shaded area just stay light green, and don’t really get the colors that they are supposed to.
Another benefit of sunlight would definitely be sunlight helping your soil dry faster. As most of you are aware, succulents need to stay dry, when you water them they want a quick drink, and then go back to sitting in dry soil. Sunlight helps with drying soil really fast, that’s why all of my succulents grown outdoors don’t even experience root rot.
So if you are worried about root rot, and your house does get a great amount of sunlight indoors, then yes, keep them in sunlight. Sunlight will dry that soil super quickly, helping prevent root rot.
GROWING SUCCULENTS WITH SUNLIGHT
Growing succulents while using sunlight is truly the best way to grow succulents, or any type of plant. It is just simply the natural way to grow plants, that’s what they’ve been use to for decades!
However, you should be careful using this powerful source of light. Earlier I stated that some succulents don’t like too much sunlight, and some succulents love a lot. It is very much possible to give your succulents too much sun, and it’s also very much possible to give them a sunburnt.
It really depends on the type of succulent you are growing, for example aeoniums love sunlight, this is why I mainly grow aeoniums outdoors because they can take the heat! Some succulents just want shade, they love the sun but they are very fragile and just don’t want much of it.
WHAT IF YOUR HOUSE/LOCATION DOESN'T GET THAT MUCH SUNLIGHT?
Some locations and houses that succulent growers live in just don’t get much sunlight. I understand, I live in California and it's safe to say my house doesn’t get enough sunlight to grow succulents indoors. However, outdoors yes, very much.
So what are some sunlight alternatives to use instead?
WHAT ARE GROW LIGHTS?
Grow lights are lights specifically for growing indoor plants. Can any light be a grow light? Yes, any light can be a grow light however, grow lights have more powerful, special lights than the average light in your house. That’s why they are used for growing because they are a bit more powerful.
They are called grow lights for a reason, they are meant for growing plants!
The 2 most common grow lights for succulents are fluorescent, and LED.
Fluorescent grow lights come in different sizes and shapes, they also have been around for decades.
LED Grow Lights (Light Emitting Diode) are great grow lights for succulents. LED grow lights will provide specific wavelengths of lights for your succulents. Succulents and many other plants only care about red and blue light, and that is exactly what LED lights do for your succulents.
Grow lights are absolutely awesome if you are planning on growing succulents without sunlight. If your location, or house just doesn’t get much sunlight then I’d definitely invest into some grow lights because they are amazing and worth it!
For more information on grow lights for succulents, we have a great article for you!
There you have it!
Now you know all about succulents needing sunlight, the benefits of sunlight, growing succulents with sunlight, and an alternative if you don’t grow with sunlight!
Like I’ve mentioned it is truly great to grow succulents or any type of plant using natural sunlight. Your succulents would love it a lot! However, not everyone can do this! So definitely invest into some grow lights so you can grow your beautiful succulents indoors! Succulents can literally grow anywhere as long as they have a source of light, so don’t be discouraged if your home or location doesn’t get enough sunlight!
Thank you for visiting our website and reading our article. We hope we brought value, and great information to you today. Our goal is to help fellow succulent lovers like you! Any questions or if you’d like more tips email us or comment below!
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