Sunburned Succulent – What To Do

Succulents are well known as one of the lowest maintenance types of plants out there, although they still need some care and attention. Succulents can soak up the sun like cacti, yet there are times even for them, it gets too much. So here, you may ask, can succulents get sunburned as you watch them wilt and suffer?

You can end up with sunburned succulents on such occasions, yet all is not lost, and they are far from dead if you act quickly. You might heal your sunburned succulents by giving them the right amount of water, limiting the amount of sunlight, and doing some careful pruning to remove sunburned leaves.

In our guide, you can learn more about what to do with signs of sunburn on your succulents, and by the end, you’ll have much more information on how to treat sunburned succulents and nurse them back to full health. (Read White Mold On Succulents)

Heal your sunburned succulents

How To Spot Succulent Sunburn?

Succulents, like all plants, require sunlight to perform photosynthesis and produce food. Should a plant get a light sunburn, such areas can’t carry out this operation, and only healthy surrounding tissue can photosynthesize.

The goal is to give your succulent plant precisely the correct amount of sunlight. Succulents thrive in the sun and temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

However, too much intense sun can be too much, even for the hardiest succulent plants. Ultraviolet rays, along with the power of the sunlight, can cause the plant’s flesh to burn. With this, heat is generated, leading to a loss of water, thus making the plant susceptible to sunburn.

Succulents are stressed when exposed to too much sunlight, and if this occurs quickly, then plants generate brilliant pigments to adapt to too much direct sunlight and heat. While some gardeners use this to get better colors, too much can harm your plants.

When you spot a sunburned succulent plant, there are a few things to remember. Patches of yellowing on a succulent are signs of sunburn, as are brown discoloration, crimson, or black patches towards the tips of your leaves. Besides this, you can feel a rough texture compared to the usually smooth surface.

A light case of sunburn on your succulent plant will be shown with whitish or brown (pale beige color) discoloration and more severe from too much heat by darker marks in sunburned plants.

An indoor or shaded succulent collection is more prone to sunburn, and in most cases, sunburned succulents have a slim chance of survival. They can die if left in the sun for too long, yet the plant can survive if the central leaves remain healthy. (Learn About Tall Succulents Types)

Preventing sunburn on your succulent plants

How to Avoid Succulent Sunburn

Prevention is the best approach for preventing sunburn on your succulent plants, and vital you care for your succulent as soon as possible.

You don’t want to expose succulent leaves to too much sunlight right away, even though they require sun. It takes time to adjust, so here are some guidelines:

Only expose your new plant to bright indirect sunlight for the first one or two weeks.

Expose your plants to direct early morning sun for 30 to 60 minutes each day during the second and third weeks.

Succulent lovers can increase the amount of sun on newly planted succulents their succulent receives each week.

Remember, not all succulent plants are made equal, and some tolerate direct sun while others fare better in shady indirect light. Most do, however, benefit from direct sunlight first thing in the morning, then shady indirect sunlight for the rest of the day.

The sort of succulent you have is essential, and you should do your homework. For instance, Aeoniums prefer lower temperatures, while Cacti, Agaves, and Aloe Vera, and other desert plants tolerate high temperatures better.

How to Prevent Sunburned Plants

If you notice a succulent with white areas, it is in the initial stages of sunburn, and if you respond promptly, you can prevent further damage.

Outdoor Succulents

If you’re caring for an outdoor succulent, the best thing you can do right now is move it to a location with plenty of shade. Also, water it at that stage to prevent it from becoming too dry.

It’s best to water these plants in the mornings or nights when the weather is still chilly. If you water it when it’s too hot outdoors, the sun-heated water will fry the roots, exacerbating the problem.

Watering succulents while in hot weather increases the likelihood the water will evaporate before the plant can benefit from it.

A shade cloth or net is a unique sort of fabric that may protect the plant from hot temperatures and filter out a lot of ultraviolet rays and an excessive quantity of sunlight.

Indoor Succulents

Move an indoor plant near a window away from too much sun; succulent protection can come from covering your window.

Indoor succulents in containers may require more frequent watering than outdoor succulents because containers tend to heat faster than outdoor soil, which is affected by the naturally colder temperatures underground.

Moisture in a container evaporates faster. Therefore, it’s a good idea to water a succulent, yet be careful not to over-water your sunburned plant, as this also leads to root rot and plant death.

Sunburn and brown marks from harsh rays on a succulent cannot be healed. However, this doesn’t mean your succulent can’t survive. On the contrary, once you remove the succulent’s leaves that are damaged, and with regular care, the rest of your Jade plant and the rest of the healthy leaf tissue, for example, can flourish again.

Can a Sunburned Plant Be Saved?

Succulent sunburn is not just unsightly but dangerous for your plant’s health, so here are the best ways you can save and heal sunburned succulents.

A sunburned succulent cannot photosynthesize through the sunburned tissue. Too much sun can be fatal for your succulents.

Succulents love sunshine, and many can grow in direct sun for part of the day. They thrive in temperatures of 80°F (27°C), yet direct sun on an 80+ degree day may cause problems for your succulents.

Not heat, but UV radiation and sunlight intensity burn the skin of your succulents. In addition, the higher core temperatures cause them to lose water and raise core temperatures in healthy succulents that then show discolored patches of brown and black spots. (Read Are Succulents Poisonous To Dogs)

Tips to Save a Sunburned Succulent

The most straightforward approach to avoid sunburning a succulent is to keep it out of too much sun, preferably in partial shade, and make sure it doesn’t get too hot.

Put your succulent somewhere that gets plenty of natural or artificial bright light and naturally cooler temperatures rather than in direct sunlight. For example, curtains on windowsills can provide filtered sunlight and protection from excessive heat.

Succulents want to be kept cold, so keep them near vents if they’ll be exposed to more summer sun for long periods.

Succulents must be examined regularly, and you can move them out of the full sun to a shadier place if they are too hot or indirect sun if they are not getting enough light.

If your succulent has been sunburned from the high temperatures of the afternoon sun, the best treatment is to move it to a shadier location.

If you don’t want to move your succulent, consider changing its orientation instead. For example, turn it away from the sun or turn it to illuminate more of the leaves rather than just one side.

Avoid sunburning a succulent

Protect Your Succulent from Full Summer Sun

The simplest method to protect your succulents from damage caused by extreme heat and blazing sun is shade fabric.

Shade cloth is a type of fabric that protects plants from direct sunlight while allowing some sunlight to pass through. In addition, the cloths prevent excess heat in the plant tissues that lead to whitish or brown discoloration from UV radiation.

Succulents should be gradually exposed to increased light, and if you have purchased your plant rather than taking it from leaf cuttings, you are safe to assume it has already been protected by shade cloth.

In your garden, give it plenty of covers and escalate the amount of light it receives. Every 2-3 days, add a half-hour of light and check for signs that the plant needs light, or less light.

Picking the Right Shade Cloth

Shade cloth is available in assorted colors and densities, ranging from 5% to 95% shade. Colors should not be confused with density. For example, some white shade fabric blocks 60% of full sun, whereas some black shade cloth only blocks 40%.

Because it is cooler for plants and the colors make more sense in the garden, you can choose white, pale beige, or tan. All shade fabric blocks UV rays and produces shade that is 10-15 degrees cooler than the temperature in direct sun.

First, choose a shade cloth based on its density, then choose a color that appeals. Then, choose a shade cloth that gives at least 35 percent to 70 percent shade, depending on your environment. In hotter climates, use a higher density.

Shade net fabric is also very resistant to UV rays, water, and wind damage, allowing it to last for years to offer bright shade for your succulents and other plants.

Water your succulents properly

How to Water Succulents

In the summer, it’s essential to keep most succulents well-watered to avoid dry plants and prevent succulent sunburn.

However, don’t water your succulents until the earth is completely dry. Your succulents will go through water in the summer heat than in the winter. Not only do they require moisture, but the water helps cool the roots.

Water your succulents early in the morning or late at night, and you prevent the risk of scalding or even cooking the roots by applying sun-heated water.

Plants planted in the ground do not experience as much heat at their roots as the warm temperatures plants cultivated in pots will. This is because roots are well insulated in the ground by the surrounding earth, the heat transfers from the pot to the small amount of soil inside. (Read Is Sedum Poisonous To Dogs)

Dealing with Deep Burned Succulent

Blisters or burned leaves extending halfway through the succulent leaves show severe injury.

The best technique to treat this sort of sunburn is to chop out any burned areas until you see healthy green tissues developing underneath.

Allow your succulents to mend for a few weeks in indirect sunlight before reintroducing them to the outdoors once all sunburned tissue has healed.

A sunburned succulent will most likely recover. However, the damaged tissues may take some time to recover, and infection is always possible.

Follow these simple techniques to make repairing your succulents easier:

  • Succulents should be kept in a shady area.
  • Give your plants plenty of water.
  • Keep the soil moist but not soaking wet or bone dry for an extended period
  • Please make sure you have plenty of time before returning them to the outside; they will need time to mend before being exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Avoid watering or fertilizing the burned area, which can aggravate the situation and make the rot.

Not all succulents will show the same symptoms based on their size, age, or even their type of succulent species. However, here’s a quick recap of signs you may see in your succulent plants.

The following are common indicators of a burnt succulent:

  • Spots of brown
  • In the afflicted area, there may be wilt or leaf loss.
  • Leaves that have died
  • Leaves with a tint of yellow
  • Yellow sunburn
  • The leaf’s stem end is sunburned red.
  • Roots in potting soil that are dry and brittle
  • Soil has been damaged or dried near a sun-exposed location

Sunburned Succulent - What To Do

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