Succulent Sunburn: How to Treat and Prevent it

With the arrival of summer, the threat of succulent sunburn looms over the health of your beloved plants. Succulents, known for their low water and sun requirements, can indeed get sunburnt just like humans. Just as our skin takes time to develop a tan and protect itself from harmful UV rays, succulents can also suffer from sun damage. Sunburned succulents display whitish or brown discoloration, indicating the severity of the burn.

Treating your Succulent Sunburn

It’s important to take immediate action when you notice signs of sunburn on your succulents. White marks signify a light sunburn, while brown marks indicate a more severe case. If you catch the sunburn at the whitish stage, there is still an opportunity to reverse the damage. Move the succulent to a shady spot for 3-7 days and ensure the soil is moistened if it’s dry. With proper care, the white marks should become less visible or disappear completely before exposing them to direct sunlight again.

In the case of brown marks, the damage is severe and cannot be reversed. However, don’t give up on your plant just yet! The succulent will need time to grow out of the damaged areas.

Tips for Preventing Succulent Sunburn

To avoid succulent sunburn in the first place, it’s crucial to acclimate your new succulent gradually to the sun. Start with indirect sunlight for the first 1-2 weeks. Then, during weeks 2-3, expose the succulent to direct sunlight for short periods, such as 30 minutes to an hour each day. Gradually increase the time spent in the sun on a weekly basis until you understand what your succulents prefer.

Sunburnt Succulent with dark spot

We recommend:

  • Begin with indirect sun for the first 1-2 weeks.
  • Increase exposure to direct sun to 30 minutes or an hour per day during weeks 2-3.
  • Gradually extend the time in the sun each week to determine your succulents’ optimal conditions.

Remember, Not All Succulents are the Same

It’s essential to keep in mind that not all succulents thrive in full sun all day long. While most succulents enjoy direct early morning sunlight, they prefer shady indirect light for the remainder of the day. Be mindful of where you place your succulents in your home or garden to ensure they receive the appropriate balance of light.

By following these tips and guidelines, you can enjoy happy and healthy succulents throughout the summer season. For additional information on watering your succulents during the hot months of spring and summer, check out our comprehensive article on how and when to water succulents.

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