What Temperature Is Too Hot For Succulents

Succulents typically prefer climates with temperatures between 60 and 80 °F. Some people can withstand temperatures as high as 90°F or as low as 40°F. These severe temperatures are occasionally used by gardeners to “stress” their succulents into changing color. Many succulents, especially soft succulents, can often benefit from high temperatures between 80°F and 90°F to keep their beautiful hues. You’ll notice that many hues will start to get more intense when the temps fall (but remain over 40F). The chilly (but not freezing) temperatures over a prolonged period of time intensify these colors. Be mindful that your succulents can suffer from temperatures that are too high or too low. Never recommend a temperature of 40°F or greater than 90°F.

Your succulents may suffer from sunburn in the summer due to the combination of high temperatures and direct sunlight, which can harm both the leaves and the root systems. You should move your succulents to a shaded place during the warmest part of the day or cover them with shade cloth. People who reside in regions with extremely hot climates might think about planting their succulents directly into the ground as opposed to in containers since soil temperatures remain largely stable regardless of fluctuations in the weather. If you want to grow succulents in containers, pick materials like concrete, terracotta, ceramic, or wood that are excellent at protecting plants from rapid temperature changes. Avoid using metal and glass containers.

Keep the temperature above freezing to prevent frost damage to your succulents over the winter. You can do this by covering them with a cloth or bringing them inside. While some tropical species like Euphorbia and Lithops demand temperatures of at least 50-60F, some cold-hardy species, like Sempervivum, can endure frost and love cool temps from 30 to 40F. Check out the Hardiness information on each of our plant product pages, where we provide thorough information on the USDA Hardiness Zone for each plant, to discover precisely whether a certain succulent variety is suitable for the climate in your location.

Can succulents withstand intense heat?

Don’t allow the hot, harsh sun hurt your succulents! Unlike frost (temperatures of 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower), heat normally poses no threat to succulents. The majority of plants can tolerate temperatures higher than you’re comfortable with, as shown by greenhouse temperatures that rise into the triple digits on hot days, despite the fact that some don’t seem to thrive in temperatures above 80 or 90 degrees F. Succulents, though, can succumb to heat and sunlight. All smooth-leaved succulents, excluding desert cacti and agaves, require sun protection in the summer, especially when the temperature rises beyond 80 degrees.

If you live in an arid climate ~

  • Identify the sun’s position relative to your property. In North America, plants growing on the north side of your house will receive the least solar exposure while those growing on the south will receive the most. My garden, which faces east, receives early sunlight and midday shade. West-facing gardens receive early shade and afternoon sun.
  • When temperatures are at their highest in the middle of the day, “bright shade” (no direct sun but not deep shade) is great for non-desert succulents. For low-light succulents like haworthias, bright shade is needed. Visit our website’s Shade Succulents page to learn more. View my video about Shade Succulents.

Above: Although robust, the echeverias on the left in the brilliant shade have lost their color. The borders of those exposed to more sun are red, but they are smaller due to some stress.

  • Keep track of where each new plant you purchase was situated in the nursery. Was it in the open or covered by a tarp? It will need to be “hardened off” (shaded, especially in the afternoon) until it acclimates, even if it is a “full sun” succulent like an agave. This kind of exposure is like tanning: Start with 30 minutes of sun, then gradually increase it by about an hour per day.
  • Aloes and crassulas need at least a half-worth day’s of sun to turn red and orange, but not so much that the tips of the leaves shrivel or burn. (Read “How to Stress Succulents and Why You Should. “).

Above: Dryness and heat stress this jade (Crassula ovata). To maintain its life, the plant is gently draining its leaves. However, leaves will be plump and greener after irrigation or rain (which could take months).

  • Cover exposed, horizontal stems of trailing succulents (aloes, senecios, othonna, and the like) with dry leaves or mulch to prevent burnt stems from impairing the ability of the plants to transfer moisture from roots to leaves.
  • Use floating row covers (preferably), shade cloth, old sheets, or temporary shade structures to protect newly installed plants and in-ground succulents prone to sunburn. I employ rusty window screens. In an emergency, place upright leafy tree trimmings next to a plant you wish to preserve, on the side that receives the most sunlight. Or, in keeping with the sun’s movement throughout the day, use outside furniture.

Above: Aloe brevifolia, a stunning but stressed plant, has closed its rosettes and changed color from blue to pink.

  • Learn how plants defend themselves. When the sun becomes unpleasant, succulents can’t flee to the shade, so some species create their own. Succulents with rosettes, such dudleyas, aeoniums, and some types of aloe, close their rosettes to save their critical cores. Lower leaves that become dry but don’t drop off serve a service by protecting flimsy stems from the sun in the summer and the cold in the winter.
  • Where shade will be needed during the long, hot summer afternoons, plant trees and plants. (The Companion Plants chapter in Designing with Succulents, 2nd ed., has information on low-water cultivars suitable for succulent gardens.)

What sunburn looks like

The floppy leaves of this agave stretch (and weaken) the cells in those areas that are most exposed to sunlight.

Succulents with white, beige, or black patches have been sunburned, which causes irreparable cell damage comparable to frost. The plant is alright, but scars will endure just as long as the leaf.

These aeoniums generally have sunburn on the underside of their lowest leaves, which they will shed in a few months anyhow. Very effective, wouldn’t you say?

Several months later, the same aeoniums. Only a few scorched leaves are still visible.

It is preferable if the damaged parts are on the outer leaves because fresh growth from the rosette’s center will eventually cover up burnt spots. In any event, lower leaves naturally wither and fall off, damage or not. Recovery from a sunburn could take several months to a year, depending on the succulent and the time of year.

Related Info:

Summertime Succulent Watering. Okay, everyone is aware that succulents require little water. They aren’t “no-water plants,” though. Even though they might make it through the summer without irrigation… [Read more…]

A heat wave shouldn’t ruin your succulents. Succulents that are exposed to the scorching sun may burn when a heat wave follows cool weather. The beige or brown patches that develop as a result of sunburn cannot be removed. [Read more…]

Succulent Stress Management (and Why You Should). Some succulents exhibit beautiful reds and yellows when exposed to lots of sunlight, but how much “stress” the plants need depends on… [Read more…]

What temperature kills succulents?

Because they are fickle plants, succulents shouldn’t be kept in temps so low. Succulents cannot survive in cold climates, so if you see the outside temperature lowering, take immediate action to save succulents from freezing.

It is unlikely that succulents will survive in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Succulents are susceptible to freezing and dying at temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees.

When it gets colder than forty degrees Fahrenheit, succulents should be brought inside. Learn how to take care of your succulent in cold weather, why 40 degrees is the point at which it can no longer survive, and what other temperatures are harmful to these plants by reading on.

How can I shield my succulent plants from intense heat?

Succulents in pots are particularly sensitive since pots can reach extremely high temperatures that are much above the predicted range. They may even be too hot to touch on particularly hot days! Put the pots of succulents in shade, or produce shade by erecting an umbrella above them or draping a shade cloth over them to prevent burns, complete drying out, or scorching to the point of collapsing.

Additionally, as dark pots heat up much more quickly than light-colored ones, it will be very helpful if they are not black or other dark colors. However, on an extremely hot day, even light-colored pots might become warm if placed directly in the sun.

The path of the sun should be taken into consideration while building a shade shelter for succulents. The sun can beam into the shelter as it moves during the day, especially later in the day. It will help to form sides. A plant can entirely burn in less than 30 minutes of exposure to the sun’s rays on a day over 40C/104F. The same is true for shifting potted succulents into shade.

If heatwaves are expected, putting succulents under a tree or in a shaded area for the remainder of the summer is an excellent idea. In order to prevent the succulents from losing their appeal and growing too leggy, it must be a bright shade outside.

Succulents enjoy the heat and should be able to tolerate temperatures beyond 50C/122F in the shade. Burns and death are brought on by the sun’s UV radiation.

Although we struggle in the heat, if we were in the shade, we would probably survive the day. However, in the full sun, our skin would burn and the heat may kill us.

Can succulents withstand the hottest sun?

Due to their drought tolerance and water-storing properties, which enable them to tolerate high heat and very harsh sun exposure, succulents have become well-known. This is true for the majority of succulent plants, however some cannot survive direct sunlight without protection, and if exposed to excessive heat, they may suffer sun damage. &nbsp

The best 10 succulents and cacti that will thrive in full sun are listed below. Some of these plants can withstand full sun exposure better than others.


What occurs if succulents receive too much sunlight?

Do you ever wonder why a succulent doesn’t look as good as it did when you first bought it? If a succulent is otherwise healthy, light should be taken into account initially.

Insufficient lighting causes the leaves of succulent plants to become colorless. They may flatten or stretch as they transition from red, yellow, or orange to faded blue or green hues (etiolate). Conversely, when exposed to much sunlight, succulents may develop beige areas on their leaves or close their rosettes.

Don’t simply glance down at the nursery; look up as well. Give your goods accustomed sun intensity when you bring them home. They might astound you when they settle in and the seasons change. It’s realistic to anticipate that they will look much better after having time and space to spread their roots.

What degree of heat is too much for cacti?

As was previously said, cactus thrive in temperate settings with temperatures between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (7oC-29oC). However, sometimes gardeners subject their plants to excessive temperatures, which causes unneeded stress in the plants.

Although many cacti species might sometimes benefit from high temperatures between 85°F and 90°F in maintaining their vivid colors, you must use caution when conducting this experiment. If you correctly water your plants and give them the right kind and quantity of fertilizer, you can still obtain great colors even in typical temperatures.

Remember that damagingly high temperatures can injure your plants severely. In fact, unless you are positive such high temps are optimal for your cacti species, avoid exposing your cacti plants to anything beyond 90oF.

Extremely high summertime temperatures combined with direct sunlight exposure can produce sunburn in your cacti plants, destroying their spines, stems, and root systems. Consider moving your plants to a shaded place during the hottest parts of the day (when the temperature is too high) or covering them with a shade cloth.

Consider planting your cactus straight into the ground rather than in plant pots if you are in an area that gets quite hot during the summer because the temperature of the ground dirt tends to stay fairly constant regardless of fluctuations in the weather.

If you must grow cactus in pots, choose planter materials that are excellent at protecting your cacti plants from abrupt temperature changes. Concrete, wood, terracotta, and ceramic are some of these materials. Steer clear of glass and metal containers.

Do my succulents belong outside?

Succulents are drought-tolerant plants because they can store 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.

Succulents can stay outside for how long?

You will start to notice damage from the frost or cold if succulents are left outside in temperatures that are too low for them to endure. It’s a hideous sight!

You can use a frost cloth to cover your succulents during the coldest nights in some places (like zone 8 or 9), where temperatures only fall below freezing for a few nights.

For colder climates where the temperature is regularly below freezing, day and night, this is not a long-term option.

Even if your succulents seem to be surviving the harsh cold, don’t take the chance. Frost injury frequently takes two to three days to manifest.

I experienced this when residing in Utah. When the weather dropped below freezing, I kept my young succulents outside for three to four nights.

The dark mushy tissue was the most frequent feature I noticed on these plants. An appearance of rot may result from plant cells bursting in overly cold weather.

In general, aeoniums are extremely susceptible to freezing temperatures (above and below). The one below wasn’t as badly damaged because it was shielded by several other plants.

Knowing which succulents you own and what temperatures they can withstand is crucial for this reason.

For details on different succulent kinds, be sure to visit our page on Succulent Types.

For additional guidance on selecting the succulents you should be cultivating based on your location, preferred watering schedule, and more, you can also download our ebook, Choosing the Best Succulents.