Light is essential for the growth of every plant as in the process of photosynthesis. However, plants can also get sunburn from exposure to too much sunlight. Even drought-resistant plants like succulents get sunburn if they get exposed to sunlight for more than the required number of hours. In this article we will work you through the meaning of succulent sunburn, how to identify and prevent it and much more.

Succulent Sunburn In-Depth Guide

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What Is Succulent Sunburn?

Succulents are sunlight-loving plants that require about 2 to 3 hours of sunlight to thrive. But, if they get exposed to long hours of direct sunlight, they will experience sunburn. The temperature range at which succulents typically grow is from 60 to 90 degrees F. When both indoor and outdoor plants get overly exposed to sunlight, their leaves can get a sunburn.

Overexposure of succulents to sunlight causes succulent sunburn and in the process, the plant’s leaves develop irreversible blackish, brown or dark red patches. But succulents that are exposed to the right amount of light will begin developing blushing, which is a beautiful coloration. Succulent sunburn happens when leaf tissues burn after being exposed to UV rays or high-intensity light. So, do not give your succulents a sunbath by letting them stay for too long in sunlight.

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How to Save Your Indoor Succulents From Sunburn

Indoor succulents do not get too much sunburn because we do not fully expose them to sunlight. However, that doesn’t imply that sunburn doesn’t affect indoor succulents. If you place succulents close to a window, the full blast of the sunlight that comes in there will result in much exposure and hence succulent sunburn. When these plants are grown in a pot, they can get succulent sunburn quickly due to the quick-drying up of the water in the potting soil as well as the absorption of heat like in the case of something inside an oven where heat comes from all directions. So, move any of your succulents placed near a window to a shaded area if the day is hot.

How to Save Your Outdoor Succulents From Sunburn

When succulents are outdoor, they are constantly exposed and would make you see how their unhappiness when faced with succulent sunburn. Besides, sunburn doesn’t easily affect ground-bound succulents since the ground is typically cooler, unlike a pot. Planting succulents in a semi-shaded area is ideal compared to a high sunlit area. Otherwise, heat-tolerant succulents can be a great option too.

How Much Sunlight is Too Much?

The amount of temperature and sunlight differs when it comes to certain types of succulents. The fact that some succulents are heat tolerant doesn’t allow you to place them directly in full sunlight. If you place them, the results will be succulent sunburn. You have to begin by exposing them to the sun slowly and starting with placing them in shade sunlight before progressing to full sunlight is sensible. With such exposure to sunlight, succulents can develop splendid colors.

Succulent Sunburn In-Depth Guide

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How To Identify Succulent Sunburn

So, how can a succulent that is experiencing sunburn be identified? Succulents are naturally designed to give signs that reveal their unhappiness. There are specific signs to help you identify any succulent sunburn. Discolored patches are one them and can be seen when succulents get a sunburn and develop leaf discolorations. Also, you will see patches of brown, blackish or reddish colors close to leaves’ tips.

Besides, if the plant is burned lightly, allowing white patches to begin appearing or a brown color in severe cases, it is succulent sunburn. The black color will begin at the edge outside, and eventually, the leaves will go dry. When it comes to shaded or indoor succulents, golden or yellow coloration indicates sunburn.

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How to Prevent Succulent Sunburn

Succulents with white patches imply that their burning process is just beginning. At this stage, there is hope to bring them back to the fresh green state. The best way to prevent succulent sunburn at its starting stages is to begin by shifting the succulent to a shaded area and making to prevent too much dryness by watering at that time. For outside succulents, water them during periods of relatively low temperature (mornings and evenings). That is how to prevent your succulents from stressing and rotting.

For indoor plants near the window, move them away from sunlight or have the window covered to allow only partial light to pass through it. Also, make sure you position your succulent below another succulent’s shade. For outdoor succulents, you can use a shade net to avoid succulent sunburn. These are preventive tips that can help your succulents to regain their plump and color after a couple of days.

Succulent Sunburn In-Depth Guide

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Tips to Help Indoor Succulents Recover from Sunburn

If the sunburn experienced by your succulents is severe, the above steps can be useful, but the coloration brought by the sunburn will remain. However, the succulent will grow new parts. Note that if the succulent sunburn case involves completely dried up succulents, then there is no remedy.

How to Acclimatize the Succulents

If you suddenly move your succulents from a shaded area to a sunny area, the succulents will experience shock due to an adaption problem caused by the extremely lit area and hence, succulent sunburn. This can have your succulent scarred with sunburn, forming brown or whitish patches. To acclimate the succulents or adapt them to sunlight gently, always observe your succulents whenever you get them from the nursery, to know how they were grown. Handling them base on your knowledge of whether they were grown on full or partial sunlight will help you avoid any succulent sunburn.

Make sure to your succulent and then place it in indirect sunlight for up to a week and then place it slowly in direct sunlight for a period of 20 to 30 minutes every day. Increase how long you expose the succulent to sunlight daily, week after week. For instance, move from 30 minutes in week 1 to 1 hour in week 2. Once blushing colors appear, know that your succulents are set for the sunlight.

How to Use Shade Nets to Prevent Succulent Sunburn

Acclimating your succulents might still not be enough because the summer heat is quite intense these days and therefore too harsh for your succulents to absorb. So, getting a shade net, in this case, is the ideal solution for preventing succulent sunburn. Shade nets are designed to filter out the light or UV rays that pass through them, preventing overheating as they allow only a certain amount of sunlight. Shade net designs have several sizes and colors. Setting them up is easy, and they can handle your succulents and other plants too. Shade nets are manufactured using knitted plastic, and that makes them resistant when it comes to tearing, decay or fungi.