What To Do If Your Succulent Gets Sunburned

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!

Will succulents with sunburns recover?

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.

How may sun-damaged succulents be repaired?

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 does a succulent look like when it is sunburned?

Succulents quickly begin to display signs of stress from excessive heat or intense sunlight.

Succulents frequently “blush” or change color when they are receiving enough sunlight. What a lovely transformation to witness!

However, if they begin to receive excessive sunlight, the leaves will actually burn. The succulent leaves may start to show white or pale areas. This harm cannot be undone.

As an alternative, make an effort to relocate your plant to a location with less intense sunlight and wait for new leaves to emerge. It is optional to remove damaged leaves if there are just one or two of them.

The leaves may truly turn dry and black in rare circumstances. The margins of the leaves will first turn black, and it will be dry and crispy (in contrast to blackening from rot which starts in the middle of the plant and is wet and mushy).

Once more, this injury won’t go away until the leaf totally withers and new leaves emerge.

A succulent in the shade may start to turn a golden or yellow tint if it is still quite hot outside. Instead of turning entirely white, as would happen with sunburn, the succulent instead appears warmer or more yellow than usual.

If the succulent is transferred to a colder setting, this usually disappears or the succulent returns to its normal hue.

I can keep succulents alive very well sometimes, but not always.

I recently relocated to Arizona from Utah. Growing succulents can be challenging for a variety of reasons, including relocation. You must pay close attention to how much heat and sunlight each area of your garden receives.

Although it’s a little humiliating, I’m going to show you what my garden looked like when it received excessive sunlight and heat in the video below.

Hopefully, this example will show you what to watch out for so that your garden doesn’t turn out like mine did.

What occurs when succulents receive 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!

Should I remove leaves with sunburns?

During the recent heat wave, we were asked a lot of questions on how to revive stressed plants, and we are more than delighted to assist! To be ready for upcoming temperature extremes, consider the following frequently asked questions and their responses.

How do I help my lawn? I am watering it every day, but it’s still getting fried!

Turf grass has a very shallow root system, and at the temperatures we’ve lately had, water from the soil evaporates quickly. Despite routine watering, your lawn undoubtedly was burnt by the sun. Despite the fact that our Northwest grass blends were not developed to withstand these circumstances, if you continue to water and fertilize it regularly throughout the season, your grass should recover.

My hydrangeas are taking the worst of the heat. Any tips for recovery?

The hydrangeas really had trouble. It was excruciating to see! The majority of the plant damage may have only affected the blooms that withered or turned brown in the heat as long as the plants were kept well-watered. By cutting slightly above the leaf that is beneath the flower bud, remove spent flowers and fertilize. If the foliage on your hydrangeas is also harmed, it can have sunburn (crispy or brown around edges). Your plant will eventually recover from severe sunburn, but it might not from acute drought, depending on the total degree of damage.

My red currant has curling leaves even though it was watered deeply every day during the heat wave.

Red currant bushes prefer some shade or as least shelter from the strong sun, and they will undoubtedly display sunburn as a result of the recent weather. Remove any foliage that is more than 50% damaged and lightly fertilize it to aid in the plant’s recovery. As long as the plant did not become overly dry, the burned leaves will gradually fall off as the plant grows new ones. Spider mites are the next potential problem to keep an eye out for; the heat may have inflated the insect population, and stressed plants may be “sitting ducks for an infestation.” Due to the vulnerability of red currants to mites, keep an eye out for more yellowing or browning leaves as well as webbing on leaves and/or branches. Bring any suspicious leaves in a baggie to the garden center for diagnosis and possible treatments.

My blueberries got toasted even with daily watering. How do I care for them now?

Particularly when bearing fruit, blueberries’ thin, fibrous root structure is extremely susceptible to drying out. Your plants might not recover if they were only recently planted (less than two years in the ground). Reduce the plants’ energy needs by pruning back the plants to remove some of the top growth and by removing this year’s berry yield. Apply a thin layer of kelp meal as a top dressing, and then mulch the roots with bark, compost, etc. to stop soil from evaporating. Give the plant some time to recover while continuing to water normally. In the event that they don’t appear to be healing, assess this fall and think about planting more blueberries.

My begonias have suffered! Tips to help them recover?

Begonias are challenging in these weather! They can’t survive harsh sunlight either because they are so sensitive to rotting when they absorb too much water. To help the plant recover with less stress if they have been burnt, it is preferable to remove the blossoms and prune back the scorched leaves that appear to be more than 50% damaged. Make sure they are properly hydrated before feeding them, then give them a diluted organic liquid fertilizer. If you can, give them more cover from the sun while it’s at its hottest. Unfortunately, there is not much hope for recovery if you unintentionally overwatered them, and it might be best to replace them.

I watered the heck out of my perennial every day, but it’s still drooping. Will it get better?

The majority of the mature landscaping plants, including the most resilient lavender, were literally melting when we walked outside yesterday during the hottest portion of the day. Even if they are sufficiently hydrated, plants partially welt as a strategy to preserve water and prevent moisture loss from their leaves when exposed to harsh sun. The plants typically require no extra water after the sun has set or once they are in shade to fully recover. The lavender looked completely natural again this morning!

Two thirds of my cucumber plant is now wilted. Can I revive it?

There is still plenty of time in this growing season to replant even if two thirds of the plant is wilted or injured. Cucumbers could still be grown this year if you start your seeds in the ground!

My hibiscus was burnt to a crisp. The stems are okay, though! Is it salvageable?

Your hibiscus appears to be able to heal, but it will likely lose the majority of its damaged leaves, abort any forming flowers, and appear dejected for a while. Trim the worst-looking foliage at this time and give it some fertilizer. Continue routine watering or, if there is less foliage to maintain, perhaps water a little less frequently.

My weigela is in rough shape. It’s in a large pot and gets afternoon sun. A large tree that used to offer some shade was cut down due to ice storm damage, so the sun is relentless. Will it help if I trim off the brown stems and transplant it into the ground?

Your weigela appears to have been severely scorched and dried up. It could be better if planted in the ground, but I bet it can recover in due course. Cut it back by approximately a third now (if it hasn’t opened yet, you won’t get blooms this year), then plant it using these hot season planting methods during a cool time of the day. For the first two weeks following transplanting, provide temporary shade. Water deeply every two days for the first two weeks. Then, start to ease off by 1-2 days between waterings every week.

All new growth on my tomatoes is fried. How should I proceed?

Although we wish for a warm summer so that our tomatoes will mature, continuous temperatures exceeding 95 degrees Fahrenheit have a tendency to prevent fruit set and can even scorch growing tomatoes. On a couple of my tomato plants, especially those that have been in the ground for less than a month, I noted damage and wilting of new growth. Although I had shade fabric covering every tomato cage, the wind had blown it off of one delicate plant, which is now nearly one-third scorched. The warmest period of yesterday’s day left all of my tomato plants very wilted, but just one appears to have received lasting damage to the topmost new growth. I removed the wilted tips from my plants this morning and gave them a mild liquid kelp meal feeding, which raises potassium levels and aids in stress recovery. Your plants will recover after a few weeks if you follow suit!

My Daphne burkwoodii got sunburned leaves. Do I clip them off or let them fall off on their own?

Sunburned leaves will ultimately fall off on their own, but you can enhance the appearance of the plant by removing any leaves that have more than 50% damage. Additionally, you can assist the plant by fertilizing it to encourage a burst of new growth.

Some of my newer lupines are wilting away and flowers are getting fried. What can I do?

Your lupine plants appear to have been newly planted this year. Extreme heat and sun may be very stressful on new plantings, and when plants are in flower, the stress can be increased. Make sure not to overwater your ground plants; a thorough soak every few days is preferable to daily misting. A layer of mulch that is at least 2-3 inches thick will aid in retaining soil moisture and minimizing evaporation. It might be necessary to trim back the flower stock and a few of the crispy leaves, fertilize sparingly, and give it some time to grow again.

My new trees and perennials are still in nursery pots. Should I wait until fall to plant?

It depends on how many plants you have, how big your project area is, how much sun exposure there is, and what you have planned for the summer. Even if you decide to pot up some of the smaller plants into larger pots to keep them in containers, bear in mind that they will still require daily watering until they are planted. You might decide to start planting right away if your project area is quite modest and you can give temporary shadow protection during intense heat. Follow these hot season planting instructions carefully.

My knockout roses are fried despite watering deeply each morning during the heatwave.

Even if you gave your knockout roses good watering, they probably had never encountered temps like the ones recently and became scorched. Cut back the plant after fertilizing it to get rid of any damaged areas. Even if you severely prune it, it should recover and blossom in approximately 6 weeks, growing back better than before. You’ll still have a few months to appreciate the blossoms this year!

Should I water frequently throughout the day or only once or twice during a heatwave?

Depending on the size of the container and the amount of sun exposure, plants in pots may require more frequent watering. The optimum time to water is first thing in the morning so that plants have all their water for the day. It is preferable to give in-ground plants a thorough soaking once every few days as opposed to frequent light watering. To stop moisture evaporation from containers and other crops, mulch them.

Can I rehabilitate severe sunburn on conifers and pines (evergreens)?

Conifers and other evergreens that have been severely burned may need to be removed or replanted because they are difficult to recover from and won’t produce leaves seasonally. Depending on where the scorched region is, some gentle pruning may help remove the unsightly foliage. However, you should take care to avoid cutting into bare branches because many conifers won’t come back from such old wood.

If potted plants look completely dried out and even feel crisp, is there anything to do? I’ve been watering!

Potted plants that are entirely dried out and crispy may have either been overwatered or just gotten fried by the sun’s strength. Plants that have been exposed to the sun can be pruned and fertilized, and they should eventually recover (planting in the ground would be much better!). However, root rot frequently results in death. Keeping plants adequately hydrated while allowing the roots to sufficiently dry out for appropriate function is a tricky balance. Root rot, which eventually causes the plant to wilt or exhibit other signs of stress when the roots collapse and can no longer support growth, can develop in plants that are kept continually moist. It’s preferable to transfer containers to a shaded area or even inside if we experience this kind of intense heat again. If you are unable to move the plants, shelter them with tomato cages covered in shade cloth or plant individual pots with repurposed umbrellas affixed to bamboo stakes for daytime shade.

My nandina got a little scorched. It’s not in terrible shape, just some of its upper leaves turned brown. I thought I would just cut the brown leaves off. Any suggestions?

Just now, the nandina got sunburned. The worst leaves will eventually fall off and it will heal, but if you’d rather not wait, you can trim them yourself. To aid with new growth, follow up with a mild all-purpose fertilizer.

My fiddle leaf fig got too hot during a power outage! It still has a small amount of leaves.

FLF are drama queens and sensitive to temperature fluctuations. If the plant seems heavy when you pick up the pot, don’t water it; if it feels light, give it a good, deep soak. The next time it needs watering, you can give it some Joyful Dirt fertilizer and lightly spritz the foliage. My blinds and curtains are closed, so my plants have been battling for light. To assist them, I’ve added a few LED grow lights to some of the darkest rooms.

My monstera was accidentally left outside and is burned. What should I do? Is it RIP?

Ouch! Your monstera’s delicate, substantial foliage must have suffered a serious beating! Hopefully, you saw it outside before it was exposed to temperatures of 100 degrees or more and suffered a severe sunburn. That’s about all you can do right now; you’ve probably already given it a nice drink and removed the worst-looking leaves, but there’s always hope with plants. Especially now that you have removed some of the foliage, take care not to overcompensate by watering too much or too frequently. When it’s time to water it again, fertilize it with something tasty like Joyful Dirt, which has nutrients and helpful microorganisms that should help it recover. After a few months, your plant should be able to push out new leaves to swiftly regain its previous splendour, provided the crown did not suffer significant solar damage.