How Much Sunlight Do Succulents Need?

Succulents are a type of plant that is known for their ability to store water in its leaves, stems, or roots.

This makes them perfect for people who are looking for a low-maintenance plant to add to their home or garden.

But how much sun do succulents need? And what happens if they don’t get enough sun? In this article, we will answer these questions and more.

How Much Light Do Succulents Need?

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In general, succulents need at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. However, it can get more complicatedmore specifically, it all depends on:

  • What type of succulent you are growing
  • Where you grow them – indoors or outdoors
  • If grown outdoors, the climate you live in

If succulents are getting the right amount of light, their leaf colors will be vibrant and they will grow happily.

If they aren’t getting enough light, they will become leggy and “stretch” out to where there is more light.

Leggy succulents might look like the plant is growing out, but it is not. In contrast, if succulents get too much sun, their colors will start to look more washed out or faded, rather than vibrant and bright.

What Is the Best Light for Succulents?

Bright, indirect light is the best type of lighting for succulents.

If the succulent is exposed to the intense sun for an extended period of time, the leaves may turn yellow or brown, get sunburnt, and the succulent may potentially die.

Indirect sunlight is light that doesn’t directly shine on a plant or is light that has been reflected off another object before reaching the plant.

It is possible to get indirect sunlight by having light reflect off of surfaces such as walls or ceilings.

Indirect sunlight is often found in places that aren’t very bright, like near windows that have been covered with draperies or other coverings.

It is weaker than direct sunlight, but it is beneficial for plants like succulents that require less light to thrive.

So, a spot near a window or a grow light will be the best source of light for succulents.

How Much Sunlight Do Outdoor Succulents Need? 

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Succulents planted outdoors should have as much light as possible, but a minimum of four to six hours of bright indirect sunlight or light with shading overhead each day in order to thrive.

If they receive sufficient light every day, they may begin to grow more colorful and produce more blooms.

But keep in mind that it is critical that the light they receive is indirect.

While succulents can withstand a wide range of temperatures, you should avoid growing succulents outside in temperatures that are higher than 95 degrees Fahrenheit or lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Obviously, there will be some species of succulents that can handle temperatures outside of these limits. If outdoor succulents do not receive enough or more light, they will become “leggy” and weak.

The plant will attempt to grow as long as possible to reach any bright light source close by.

Other symptoms of not receiving enough light include when your outdoor succulents, which are not usually green, lose their normal healthy color and turn green. 

Can Succulents Get Too Much Sun?

Yes, succulents can get too much sun.

You need to consider the type of succulents you have and where you are planting them. In general, succulents that get six or more hours of direct sunlight per day will burn.

However, there are certain succulent species, such as aloe and sempervivum, which thrive in sunny locations.

Succulents SunburnPin

These types of outdoor succulents require at least three hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive.

If your succulents are getting the right amount of sunlight, their colors should be vibrant, whereas if your succulents are burned, look for scars and washed-out color.

You’ll either need to provide sun protection by moving your succulent into a shady area or provide it with some light shade.

Finally, don’t forget succulents do not tolerate cold weather well. Because they evolved in desert climates, they are not adapted to freezing temperatures.

So before planting succulent plants outdoors, make sure you have succulent species that can withstand cold temperatures, such as sedum and sempervivum.

On the other hand, they can withstand freezing temperatures.

Can Succulents Survive In Direct Sun?

Yes, succulents can tolerate direct sunlight, but they thrive in bright indirect sunlight.

Depending on the type of succulent and where it comes from, there are certain succulent species that are better at handling full sun than others.

For example, sedums and sempervivums need full sun, which helps them get their distinctive coloring and energy to grow as groundcovers.

However, if you want to plant your succulents in direct sunlight, you should keep a few things in mind.

To begin with, gradually transition the plant into full-sun conditions.

If you suddenly move a plant that has been grown in indirect sunlight into direct sunlight, it is more likely the sun’s rays will burn the plant’s leaves.

Start by placing your plant in some indirect light for a couple of hours a day and gradually increasing the time until it is ready to acclimate.

In addition, in the summer, sunlight can be intense and harsh.

To avoid burning your plants during these months, consider filtering the bright light.

Types of Succulents that Can Grow Outdoors

Some succulents, such as aloe vera, can even withstand direct sunlight in the right conditions. However, most succulents prefer filtered or indirect sunlight.

In addition, outdoor succulents tend to be hardier than indoor types and can thrive in a variety of climates and soil types.

If you plan on growing succulents outdoors, here are a few succulent varieties that can handle direct sun or are cold-hardy plants.

They are all great additions to add a splash of color or texture to their outdoor garden and landscaping. 

  • Sedum
  • Houseleeks
  • Kalanchoe
  • Echevaria
  • Aeoniums

How Much Light Do Indoor Succulents Need?

During the day, growing succulents indoors require several hours of indirect sunlight or artificial light.

Basically, succulents require as much indirect light as possible, so looking for a good location is essential.

Succulents in BowlPin

Place your succulent near a window, in particular a south or east-facing window, that is partly or entirely covered by a curtain, or at least three feet away from the window.

Placing your indoor plants directly in front of an unfiltered window may cause the leaves to burn in the sun or come into direct contact with hot window glass.

If, however, you don’t have access to a bright window, we recommend that you use artificial or grow lights.

This is especially true if you are trying to encourage plants to stay healthy during the winter months.

Types of Succulents to Grow Indoors

There are many succulents that can be grown indoors, but some are better suited to the environment than others.

Here is a shortlist of succulent varieties for growing indoors.

  • Jade plants
  • Aloe Vera 
  • Echeveria 
  • Graptopetalum (Ghost Plant)
  • Sempervivum 
  • Lithops

Can You Grow Succulents Under an Artificial Light?

Succulents on Grow LightPin

Yes, succulents will grow with artificial light.

As with all plants, including succulents, use just the light for the photosynthesis process, where the plants turn light into energy they need to live. 

So, as long as you provide your plants with the right amount of light (whether sun or artificial) they will be able to survive. 

However, succulents are not that easy to grow under artificial light they are used to dry, sunny, hot climates.

So, the first thing you need to think about is buying a grow light that is specific for plant growth. 

Regular indoor lights do not produce the light wavelengths necessary to promote plant growth.

If the artificial light emits wavelengths in the range of photosynthetic active radiation (PAR), it is possible to grow succulents under artificial light.

Because almost every type of artificial light emits some level of PAR, it is important to determine how much PAR the succulent requires for its specific type of succulent in order to ensure that it receives enough light.

It is necessary to use a light that emits at least 150-180 PAR for the majority of succulents. 

How Long Should You Leave Grow Lights On Indoor Succulents?

Are you unsure of how long you should leave the light on for your plants?

Due to the fact that the amount of light decreases with distance from the target, it is important to position the light near your plants.

Succulents, in particular, require lighting that emits at least 2000 lumens per square foot of surface area for them to flourish.

To put this in context, the sun emits 10,000 lumens at noon.

As a result, if you leave a light on for 14 hours or longer, you will be exposed to approximately the same amount of light as you would be exposed to during a typical summer day.

Succulents That Can Grow Under Artificial Lighting

Worst Succulents to Grow Under Artificial Lighting

  • Cacti
  • Aeonium
  • Echeveria
  • Split Rock
  • Lithops


How much sunlight do indoor succulents need?

Succulents are light-loving plants that require approximately four to six hours of sunlight per day, depending on the species. Because succulents can get burned in direct sunlight, it may be necessary to gradually expose them to the full sun or cover them with a sheer curtain to protect them.

Can succulents grow with little sunlight?

Succulents, among other plants, do not require natural sunlight to thrive and develop. They only require light in order to develop. It makes no difference where the light is coming from. Using artificial and grow lights is great for giving the light needed for plants to undertake photosynthesis. 

Do succulents like direct or indirect sunlight?

A bright but indirect source of sunlight is ideal for succulent growth in most cases. It has been my experience that different species can handle different amounts of light, but that most of my succulents die when they are exposed to long periods of direct sunlight.

Realted Articles on Succulents Care


Morning light is typically less harsh than afternoon sunlight, so it might be a good idea to put succulents in a south or east-facing area.

Remember that you might have to move your succulents if they are not happy. If you see any signs of burning or stretching, just try out a different spot. 

Consider how much light and what kind of light you are going to be able to give your succulents and shop based on that, not based on how cool the plants look. But, don’t be afraid to experiment!


Show More
  • Trinklein, D. (2016). Lighting Indoor Houseplants. University of Missouri Extension, Division of Plant Sciences. URL:
  • UF/IFAS Extension: Solutions for Your Life. (2020). Light for Houseplants. University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gardening Solutions. URL:
  • Briccetti, R. (2019). Succulents Shine in Winter. University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. URL:
  • About/mentions: succulents, houseplant care

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