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How Much Sunlight Do Indoor Succulents Really Need?

Succulents make great indoor plants but their sunlight requirements may vary. Find out which indoor succulents can thrive in different sunlight conditions.

Sunlight provides the needed energy and fuel for succulents to grow.

Succulents are a popular houseplant due to their reputation of being low maintenance.

These plants store water in their leaves and roots and can survive in hot conditions. Succulents love light, so it’s important that indoor succulents get enough sunshine. When these plants are grown indoors, natural light might not always be readily available. But just how much light do succulents need indoors?

As a rule of thumb, most indoor succulents should get about half a day’s worth of sunshine each day. This means around six hours of light. Ultimately, the level of sunlight that succulents need indoors varies by type. Different types of succulents have different requirements. During the winter, when the sun’s rays are less abundant, succulents typically require less light as they go dormant.

Recently planted succulents are sensitive to sun rays and can actually scorch in direct sunlight, so if you have a new plant, it’s essential to slowly acclimate it to sunshine. When moving plants from low light to direct light, it’s also important to slowly transition the plant by gradually placing it in brighter spots each day. Otherwise, the plant can scorch from overexposure.

Three different levels of light exposure include:

Bright light

Bright light means light that’s direct and sunny. This can be obtained near a window facing the west or the south, where the sun’s rays are shining continuously throughout the day. Plants that require bright light usually need six or more hours of it each day.

There are many succulents that need exposure to bright, direct sunlight. When grown indoors, these plants need to be by a window that gives access to abundant sunshine. Some succulent types that grow well in high sunshine include:


-Most cacti

-Ghost plants

-Blue Chalksticks



-Tiger jaws

Indirect light

Some varieties of succulents prefer light that is indirect. These might burn when exposed directly to the sun’s rays. Instead of sitting directly under the sun, these succulents prefer to rest by windows that get mild amounts of sunlight. They can also thrive near windows where direct sunlight is filtered with sheer curtains. These plants typically should get less than eight hours of indirect light each day. These include:

-Aloe veras

-Jade plants

-Panda plants

-String of pearls

-Fairy crassulas

Low light

Low light conditions can include shaded windows or the inside of rooms where windows face the north. Rooms in the winter are typically considered low light.

Low-light succulents can thrive in shady areas. Although they don’t need direct sunshine, they still require some light. They can be placed in rooms with east-facing windows. Some low-light succulents include:

Snake plants
Zebra plants

3 Signs your succulent isn’t getting enough sun

It’s usually easy to tell when succulents are getting too much sun. Their leaves will turn brown and dry up from being sunburned. However, recognizing when plants aren’t getting enough sun can be tricky. Here are some signs that your green friends need more sunlight:

1. Leaning towards the light

When you notice your plant leaning towards a window, this is a sign that its leaves want more sunlight and that parts of the plant are being left in the dark. To make sure all the leaves are getting enough of the sun’s rays, you can rotate the plant or move it closer to the light source so that more of the plant is exposed.

2. Tiny, pale leaves

The sun’s rays are fuel for plants’ growth. When a plant’s leaves are growing smaller or turning lighter in color, this can mean it lacks the energy to grow large, vibrant leaves.

3. Spaced out leaves

When your plants foliage is stretching out farther apart, this means the leaves are trying to get more light. When plants space out their leaves, they are trying to maximize the surface area for sun exposure. Some succulent types, like rosettes, will also open up their bound-up leaves as they try to get more sun.

If your plant is silently crying out that it needs more light, slowly move it to a brighter light source. With just the right amount of sunshine, these symptoms should go away, and your plant will start looking healthy, lush, and happy.