Succulents like burro’s tail or string of pearls hanging in planters beneath a covered patio or porch are unusual to observe. Even though these types typically only receive filtered light, they will nevertheless thrive. Succulents that can tolerate shade do occur, albeit they are uncommon. There are a few species that are larger, but the majority of them are smaller.
Building a bridge between two worlds is necessary to create a succulent shade garden. Most of our common succulents require all day sun to avoid becoming leggy and not blooming. Ideally, plants in shade should receive at least six hours a day of dappled light. The benefit of low light is that plants that cannot withstand intense sunshine can rest during the warmest portion of the day. In addition to protecting the plant’s color, this will assist avoid scald.
Succulents that grow in the shadow outside will use less water, making them ideal xeriscape plants.
Can succulents be grown indoors in the shade?
The most light is reflected from south-facing windows throughout the day in the northern hemisphere. The sun shines through windows facing east in the morning and west in the afternoon and evening. The least quantity of sunlight enters windows that face north.
A south-facing window is the best choice for the majority of sun-loving succulent plants in the northern hemisphere. However, all of the low-light succulents covered in this article happily flourish in windows that face west or east. Even in a dark, north-facing window, some of them will make it, but I don’t advise it because even there, they won’t thrive.
However, no succulent can live in a completely dark environment. Therefore, even if your succulent plants are varieties that thrive in low light, think about buying a tiny desktop grow light if you live in a basement flat, have only a north-facing window, or if your space has no windows at all. When a modest grow lamp is placed over low light succulents for 6 to 8 hours a day, you’ll be astounded at how well they grow. You won’t need to remember to turn the lights on and off every day if you have a reliable timer.
Now that you are aware of how much sunlight low light succulents require, allow me to introduce you to some of the greatest low light succulents.
Is sunlight or shade preferable for succulents?
Ensure That Your Succulents Receive Enough Lighting Depending on the type, succulents need six hours of sunlight each day because they are light-loving plants. You might need to gradually expose newly planted succulents to full sun exposure or give shade with a translucent screen because they can burn in direct sunshine.
Succulents can they survive without direct sunlight?
Although not ideal, it is possible. Succulents and other plants can flourish without direct sunshine. They simply require light to grow. Where the light originates from is irrelevant.
Although succulents may not require all of the color spectrums of light to grow, it can be challenging to ascertain which ones they do. Sunlight comprises the entire spectrum of light. In situations like this, grow lights are useful. In order to avoid having to guess which types of light our plants require, grow lights replicate the whole spectrum of light that sunlight offers.
Without sunlight, how can you grow succulents indoors?
I don’t have much experience growing succulents in cold temperatures and dark winters because I live in sunny Southern California. I’m fortunate enough to be able to leave my plants outside all year long without significant frost or low light harm. I am aware that many of you reside all over the world and are unsure of what to do with your plants now that you have brought them indoors for the winter. Perhaps despite the fact that you have your plants on window sills, they are still growing languidly, or perhaps the winters in your area are completely dark. Look nowhere else! I’m very happy to have indoor plant growing specialist Ben Thorton here with us today to share his knowledge about using grow lights to support the growth of your lovely garden regardless of the lighting situation!
Succulents have recently risen to the top of the list of preferred indoor plants because of how attractive they are, how they enhance the atmosphere of your home, and how little maintenance and water they need compared to other indoor plants. Many people are reluctant to grow succulents in regions with short summers because they are warm-weather and sun-loving plants. You might be shocked to learn that even if you live in a climate with distinct seasons and chilly, gloomy winter months, you can still grow succulents all year round. Once the weather becomes cooler, just move the succulents inside and provide the artificial lighting they require. Here is a simple tutorial on growing succulents indoors and under artificial lights if you are unsure about using grow lights or worried that you might harm your plants by using them.
Artificial lighting can be categorized as either lighting used in addition to natural lighting or lighting utilized to perfectly mimic sunlight in situations where none actually exists. Since vitamin D, one of the most important vitamins in the human body, is obtained from sunlight, artificial light cannot replace it for humans. In contrast to other living things, plants just require the light itself from the sun. Photosynthesis is a process that takes place when plants are exposed to light and provides them with the energy they require to grow. Succulents can be grown indoors under artificial light just as well as outdoors in natural sunshine, provided that the right amount of light is provided. To successfully grow your succulents in your house, you will need to select the best lights and understand a few basic lighting techniques.
There are a few considerations to keep in mind when selecting artificial lighting for an indoor garden. And they are as follows:
How strong and bright is the light produced by the grow lights?
The brightness of the light produced by grow lights is the most important factor to consider because it will affect how much light the plants receive and how well they can grow. You need lights for succulents that produce at least 2,000 lumens per square foot of illumination. 10,000 lumens per square foot are produced by noontime direct sunlight, but if you run 2,000 or more lumen lamps for 14 or more hours a day, the plants will receive almost the same amount of light as they would in the height of summer.
What is the light’s wattage?
Another item to consider is the wattage of the grow lights you buy, as this will have an impact on your electricity bill. You pay more for electricity the more watts a light uses, therefore you don’t want to choose a light that is brilliant but uses a lot of watts because that will be very expensive. To get the best of both worlds—bright light for your plants and minimal electricity consumption for you—look for lights that are marked as energy efficient. These lights will likely have a high lumen count and low wattage, giving you the best of both worlds.
What color temperature range does the light produced by grow lights fall into?
Because succulents love the sun and prefer bright light to shadow, they also need a particular light with regard to the color temperature of the light. The visible color that the grow lights emit is essentially their color temperature. Kelvins are used to measure this. To provide the light that plants require to thrive, light must fall within a certain range of color temperatures. Starting at roughly 5,000 Kelvins, the ideal color temperature for succulents will provide your succulents cool, full-spectrum light that closely resembles sunlight.
How much heat is emitted by the light?
Finally, it is crucial to understand how much heat the grow lights emit. If they produce a lot of heat, you can experience a problem with the temperature in the space where you grow your succulents, which would require you to invest extra money in a reliable ventilation or cooling system. Additionally, if lights produce a lot of heat, you will need to situate your plants farther away from the lights in order to prevent them from burning them. Your plants may not receive enough light as a result. Some typical grow lights are known to emit a lot of heat, while others remain cool to the touch even after being on for 24 hours. Make sure a grow light doesn’t produce too much heat before you buy one.
I would advise you to purchase T5 grow lights since they have all the qualities of a good grow light and I have experience working with many various types of grow lights. Their diameter is 5 eights of an inch. T5 grow lights are available in a variety of configurations, including two different lengths (2 ft and 4 ft bulbs), numerous different bulb counts (from 1 to 12 bulbs in one fixture), various efficiency types (Normal Output (NO), High Output (HO), and Very High Output (VHO), and various color temperature varieties (from only 2,900 Kelvins up to 10,000 Kelvins). I typically use high output (HO) bulbs because a 2 foot HO T5 bulb uses just 24 watts and produces 2,000 lumens, compared to a 4 foot long high output (HO) T5 bulb that uses 54 watts and produces 5,000 lumens. You obtain incredibly effective light that is ideal for succulents if you mix one or the other length bulbs in a group of two or more bulbs and choose bulbs that are in the color temperature of 6,500 Kelvins.
Although choosing the correct artificial light is an important aspect of effectively growing your plants in an indoor garden, there are a few other factors you should be aware of in order to do even better.
Be aware of the height at which you should hang your plant canopy’ grow lights.
Knowing how high to hang your grow lights is essential since it affects how much light the plants receive. You must hang grow lights so that they may provide the maximum amount of light to the plants without overheating them by radiating heat, regardless of whether you select T5 fixtures or select other grow lights. In order to reduce the risk of your grow lights burning and harming your plants, I would first advise placing any grow light at least 6 to 8 inches away from the tops of your succulents. You can later move your lighting fixtures closer to the succulents if you discover that they don’t emit heat and are cold to the touch (like T5 grow lights).
Determine the light cycle
Because there won’t be a sun to determine when plants receive light, you must determine the plants’ light cycle while growing plants indoors under grow lights. Knowing your light cycles will help you grow your succulents more quickly. Indoor gardens use light cycles to replicate day and night circumstances. Succulents will also develop more quickly if you give them more light, which is a common rule of thumb for growing any plants under lights. If you’re overwintering the plants, I’d recommend starting with a 20/4 light cycle for the succulents. This means leaving the lights on for 20 hours a day, turning them off for 4 hours, and then gradually extending the darkness time until the light cycle is 16/8 (light/dark). Succulents require knowledge of the winter solstice so they can begin their dormant period. If you use grow lights all year for your succulents, you may set the light cycle to 24/0 or 20/4 in the summer to help them develop swiftly and flourish.
Learn how frequently to water your succulents.
Finally, it should be noted that watering is equally crucial because both inadequate and excessive watering might harm your plants. Even if you’re using grow lights to simulate summer, you still need to water the succulents during the summer by watering them once the soil is dry. Even if succulents are cultivated indoors, things change over the winter. Succulents use substantially less water while they are dormant throughout the winter or an imitation of winter since they are either growing very slowly or not at all. So, how frequently should you water succulents in the winter? In general, I’d advise watering them every two weeks, but if the room is hot, you’ll need to water them more frequently because the heat will cause them to dry out more quickly. Looking at the soil in which succulents are growing will tell you how frequently they need watering during the winter. Allow the soil to dry up completely before giving succulents approximately a week to absorb the water before you water them again to prevent overwatering.
January 2017 addition:
Is it possible to grow a plant without sunlight?
Tropical plants called bromeliads can have striking flashes of color. They are a popular choice for houseplants because of their distinctive appearance and tropical atmosphere. Depending on the species, bromeliads look best on shelves, tabletops, or even the floor.
Instead of direct light, most bromeliad species prefer brilliant indirect sunshine. If the sun is not directly shining on the plant, it is receiving indirect light. An illustration of direct light would be if your plant were placed next to an open window with the sun shining directly on it, or if it were outside directly under the sun. A bromeliad’s leaves can become damaged by prolonged exposure to the sun. The ideal location is next to a window, but not exactly in front of one. If natural light is not available, bromeliads can also grow under fluorescent lights.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Chinese evergreen plants are among the many indoor plants that don’t require sunshine and are simple to nurture. If you’re new to caring for houseplants, many people advise starting with this plant. Older Chinese evergreens have blossoms with a calla lily-like appearance that look best on the floor close to furniture and in the home’s empty spaces. A younger Chinese evergreen is small enough to decorate a desk, tabletop, or shelf. Chinese evergreen plants are both simple to care for and beneficial houseplants, as they were included on NASA’s list of air-filtering houseplants.
Depending on the hues of its leaves, the Chinese evergreen has particular solar requirements. Generally speaking, if your particular plant has darker leaves, it prefers low light. Pink and orange varieties, which have leaves with lighter colors, demand medium light. Chinese evergreens should not be planted in direct sunshine, like many other plants on this list, to prevent burnt foliage.
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
Due to its hardiness, the cast iron plant is also referred to as the iron plant. It can withstand a broad range of circumstances, making it a top choice for busy plant owners and people with bad green fingers. Its deep green leaves are ideal for accentuating any interior corners in need of a touch of nature.
Low-light plants known as cast irons can thrive practically anyplace in your house. Although they grow slowly, they are also quite difficult to kill. The sole requirement is to keep them out of direct sunlight to prevent scorching or browning of their leaves. Wipe off your cast iron plant’s leaves once a week with a moist cloth to keep the dust off if you want to give it some more attention. It may more readily absorb the sun’s energy and all of its nutrients when the leaves are clean.