How To Fix Sunburned Succulents

Succulents that get sunburned can’t use their leaves to absorb enough water and nutrients.

Replanting sunburned succulents in a shaded area and misting the plant with cool water to keep it hydrated are effective treatments for sunburn.

To assist your succulent maintain moisture, apply some mulch around the base if you see any wilting or drooping leaves.

You can put your succulent back outside in the sun as long as it is in a shady area and the sunburn has not resulted in any drooping or withering leaves.

Make sure your succulent receives enough water and is protected from direct sunlight by keeping an eye on it. You can put your plant back in a sunny location once all sunburn symptoms have vanished.

Additionally, check that your pot drains properly because a succulent’s sunburn may get worse if there is too much water left in the pot.

To make sure your succulent is getting all the nutrients it requires, you may also sprinkle an organic fertilizer once a month.

These plants must receive all the vitamins and minerals they require in order to start producing healthy new cells once more.

Basically, you want to do everything that can relieve this plant’s sunburn!

Can succulents recover from sun damage?

You are unable to undo the harm the light has done to your succulents, which is unfortunate. Any discolored patches you notice on your plant are permanent since plants cannot heal from sunburn the way humans can.

There are a few solutions for handling sunburned leaves, but there is no cure for sunburn. The initial step is to remove the plant’s damaged areas. You might be able to grow new succulents from the damaged leaves since many succulents can be propagated from leaf cuttings.

Allowing the plant to grow is another choice. The old burned leaves on your succulent will ultimately shrivel up and fall off as it grows and develops new leaves. If you don’t have to get rid of the unattractive leaves right away, you can just let nature take its course. The plant will eventually produce enough new growth for the sunburned areas to eventually fall off and be completely covered.

Can burned succulents be saved?

There is still time to repair the damage if you find your succulent before it turns yellowish. Put it in a shaded area for 3 to 7 days, and if the soil is dry, water it right away. Before exposing them to direct sunlight, the white spots should be less noticeable or completely gone.

Brown marks on the succulent indicate extensive damage. Don’t discard the plant! The harm will need to heal on its own.

What occurs when a succulent receives too much sunlight?

Although photosynthesis requires sunshine, certain plants might receive too much of it. While some succulents can be grown in full sun (defined as 6+ hours of direct sunshine each day), not all of them can, and some may even suffer from too much sunlight. Sunburned leaves will appear brown or black and could start to shrink or callus. Moving your plant to a location with less exposure or intense light is the best technique to treat sunburn on that plant. While untouched areas of the plant will continue to be in good health, sunburned leaves will never fully recover.

By observing other leaf symptoms, you can tell sunburn from rot. A plant that has recently been exposed to the light will still have big, thick leaves that have started to turn black or brown but may still be glossy. Older sunburns will be dry, shriveled, or even fully desiccated, and they will be black or brown in color. The appearance of rotted and overly wet leaves will be mushy and wrinkled.

If a plant at the store or one you own has sunburn, it probably wasn’t properly cared for and was exposed to too much light at some point rather than being sick and dying rapidly. Remember that burnt segments frequently shrink up, so even though the plant may not seem attractive, it may still be healthy and continue to grow for many years. The easiest approach to avoid purchasing plants with sunburns is to only purchase them from local, independent nurseries and vendors rather than big-box retailers, where this kind of damage is more likely to be visible.

These advice should aid you in identifying and treating any problems that may exist with your succulents. For you to always bring home a plant that can be your companion for years to come, we’ll be showing you things to avoid when shopping for plants and succulents in our upcoming post!

Can you save a plant that has sunburn?

Plant sunscald damage is simple to avoid, but there is no treatment available. Once a leaf is broken, there is nothing you can do but nurture the plant until new, stronger leaves can be produced. In order to encourage the growth of sun-resistant leaves and guard against plant sunburn damage, slower acclimatization to harsh sun, also known as hardening off, is essential.

Use a sunshade to limit the UV exposure for plants that are already ill. As they get more resilient, gradually increase the amount of time they spend each day without the sunshade. Your plant should be prepared for the sun after roughly two weeks of this approach. As plants struggle to recuperate, be sure to properly water and feed them with sunscald; they’ll need all the help they can get.

How do succulents look burned by the sun?

If the plants are exposed to too much direct sunlight, succulents can seem sunburned.

When a succulent is exposed to light, the burns often appear as brown, yellow, or red blotches on the leaves and stems.

On either side of this leaf’s upper edge, where it was exposed to sunlight for an extended period of time, you can discern brown scorched regions.

The stem end of succulent, fleshy leaves that have spent the entire day outside without shade or moisture protection may also develop this coloring.

This causes a burn mark to form unevenly, and because it occurs on both sides of the upper edge of the leaf, towards the end of the stem, and around the margins, it frequently appears larger than it actually is.

Succulents that are not in direct sunlight will get yellow sunburns.

On plants, these burns appear as mottling and discoloration. It can happen to plants that are close to fences or other plants and is brought on by the leaves spending a prolonged amount of time in the sun.

Where it was exposed to the sun for a long time, the stem end of a succulent leaf may also have a red sunburn.

Common Signs of Sunburned Succulents

Indicators of a burnt succulent include:

  • Brown marks
  • leaf drop or wilting in the affected area
  • wilted leaves
  • leaves with a hint of yellow
  • yellow sunburns
  • Near the leaf’s stem end, there are red sunburns.
  • Roots in potting soil that are dry and brittle
  • soil that has been damaged or dried out near a sun-exposed region.

It’s important to recognize this soon so you can take care of your succulent plant before it worsens and dies.

How are plants with sunburn treated?

In just a few hours, plants can get sunburned, and there is little you can do to help them once they are burned. However, it’s simple to avoid sunburn if you know how to take care of your plants and keep them out of direct sunlight if they can’t handle it. Some plants, such as some cacti and succulents, love direct sunshine and will flourish under a sunny window or outside during the summer months. However, if you relocate other plants to a new location with a lot of sun, they are more likely to get burned, especially if they are accustomed to low light levels.

In nicer weather, you can still take your indoor plants outside; you simply need to do it gradually. Consider introducing a plant to bright sunshine gradually rather than dragging it out of your bathroom or a dim location. Start by relocating it to a shaded area, like on your patio or porch, where it will receive slightly more light than normal but no direct sunlight. Try placing it in morning sunshine for a short period of time after a few days. Gradually increase the quantity of sunlight your plant receives over the course of a few weeks. It will still be advisable to keep your plant as shadowed as you can outside if you’re acclimating a plant that typically loves low light to full sun.

If anything, it’s best to err on the side of less sunshine because there isn’t much you can do after your houseplant gets a sunburn. Your best course of action is to remove the damaged leaves and relocate the plant to a location with less light and no direct sunlight because the damaged leaves won’t heal and return to their natural color. Your houseplant will still receive brilliant light if you relocate it in front of a sunny window, but it won’t be directly exposed to the sun thanks to the addition of a sheer curtain.

You should be able to prevent your houseplants from getting too much sun if you’re careful with them (just like you are with your own skin). If you wish to transfer your plants to a new, sunny area, be aware of how much light they prefer and move cautiously. Don’t let your indoor plants sunbathe for too long because any burns they receive won’t turn into a tan.

What can you do to revive a succulent?

Yes, I am aware that it seems illogical to remove extra water from the soil, but bear with me. This is the justification. Too much water has already put the succulent under stress, and exposure to sunlight makes matters worse. Direct sunlight is a big no because most succulents require brilliant indirect light.

Place the succulent that has been overwatered somewhere dry and bright, but out of direct sunshine.

2. Permit the roots to breathe.

Cut off any brown or black roots as they are already rotting. Dig the succulent out of the ground and remove any excess soil that has become stuck to the roots. Place the plant on a mesh or other strainer until the roots have had two to three days to air dry. Replant the roots in the pot once they have dried completely.

Remove the entire root system and any puckered, spotty, black, or brown stems if the roots are entirely rotted. The succulent stem can be buried in the ground for propagation.

Keep the overwatered succulent on a mesh screen or other strainer until the roots have had two to three days to air dry.

3. Modify the ground

You might not need to entirely alter your succulent if it is already rooted in homemade or commercial succulent soil. Algae (green living matter) typically grows on soil that is too wet. If so, it is your responsibility to remove all of the top soil from the area around your plants and replace it with new succulent soil.

Do succulents prefer intense sunlight?

On the east side of my home, where my succulent collection is located, it receives direct sunlight from dawn till around 1:00 in the afternoon. There is a lot of sunlight here!

I’ve discovered that in order to keep the roots cold and the foliage lush, I need to water my plants every other day when the temperature is above 90.

The succulent leaves still get heated despite this constant watering, and I’ve had some, but rather severely. It can be unpleasant when the bright light and hot temperatures combine.

Most succulents will tolerate full sun for the majority of the day if you progressively expose them to it (raising an hour or so every few days).

To shield them from the direct sun, I recently put some shade fabric. Even though it’s still well above 90 degrees outside, the space around the succulents is significantly cooler thanks to the shade cloth.

Additionally, without direct sunlight, the plants’ leaves don’t get as hot and are less prone to burn or exhibit signs of excessive heat.

Haworthias, for example, prefer bright indirect sunlight all day long. On the other hand, the majority of cacti can withstand full sun during the day without any shade. This is why it’s crucial to be aware of the varieties of succulents you own.

The phenomenon known as “blushing,” which occurs when some succulents are exposed to bright sunshine, causes the leaves to occasionally turn a deep red, as with this Aloe ‘Crosby’s Prolific’.

Simply placing your succulents in a location that receives bright shade for the majority of the day is an excellent alternative. They should ideally be in a spot that receives a few hours of early sun but is otherwise shaded for the majority of the day.

Direct sunlight during this time can be an issue because afternoon temperatures are typically higher. On the other hand, morning sun is cooler and less prone to result in sunburn.

For many succulents, extreme heat can be exceedingly difficult. Succulents are often thought of as desert plants, however not all of them thrive in a very hot desert environment.

For more advice on how to keep succulents looking fantastic during a heat wave, see the video below:

Can succulents be outdoors in the direct sun?

Succulents are drought-tolerant plants because they can retain water in their large, irregularly shaped leaves. Succulents have a broad variety of eye-catching shapes and textures, which provide any landscape aesthetic interest. Can succulents live outside? is an often asked question. The quick response is “yes”! Growing succulents outdoors is an excellent alternative because they do well there and can withstand some neglect. They also do well in sunny areas with warm, dry weather.

Succulents can be grown in the ground, in pots, or hidden in unexpected planting locations. Take the uncertainty out of caring for these wonderful conversation pieces with stunning foliage by reading our suggestions for growing succulents outside.

How may too much sun damage a plant?


  • Plants can be moved into areas with less light or covered with shade fabric.
  • Water plants more frequently and during the coldest hours of the day.
  • Burned leaves will ultimately fall off and be replaced by new growth, but dark burns won’t go away right away.

Are succulent leaves regenerative?

Are you unsure if the leaves your succulent lost will ever grow back? The quick answer is that leaves won’t regrow on the stem from which they fell. But it’s not always a bad thing. New leaves will sprout from the top of your succulent.