With summer officially here, the succulent sunburn is a real threat to the health of your plant. Succulents, often known for their love of little water and sun, can sunburn just like humans. A suntan takes time, with our skin’s natural defenses kicking in to protect itself from the damaging UV sun rays. When our skin gets overwhelmed it reacts, causing your skin to turn red. It’s pretty much the same thing with succulents. You’ll know your succulents have been sunburnt when they have whitish or brown discoloration.
Treating your Succulent Sunburn
White means it has a light sunburn; brown means the sunburn is severe. If you get to your succulent during the whitish stage of the burn, there is still time to undo the damage. Get it to a shady spot for a 3-7 days, and moisten the soil immediately if it’s dry. The white marks should be less visible or gone completely before putting them out in direct sun. If the succulent has brown marks, the damage is severe. Don’t throw the plant away! The damage will have to be grown out.
Tips to Avoid Sunburn
When you receive a new succulent, it is important to first gently acclimate your succulent to the sun. Baby step your succulent into its new life with sun.
- Start out with indirect sun for the first 1-2 weeks.
- Place your succulent in direct sun for 30 minutes or an hour every day during weeks 2-3.
- Gradually increase time in the sun weekly till you learn what your succulents like.
It’s important to remember that some succulents don’t like being in full sun all the time. Most succulents enjoy direct early morning sun, and then shady indirect sunlight for the rest of the day. Where you decide to place succulents in your home or garden is important for this reason. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll have happy, healthy succulents all summer!