Sunburned Succulent care (Save your dying plants)

Need some Sunburned Succulent or scorched plant care tips? Do not throw out your succulents or houseplants that may have some sun damage. Most of the time they can be saved. It really depends on the severity of the burn.

Watch our sunburned succulent care video below or keep reading

Succulents or houseplants that have been sunburned by harsh rays can be saved. The succulent planter in the above video was a centerpiece from a wedding. It was once healthy and beautiful. But unfortunately it was put immediately into direct full sun without slow introduction. 

Sunlight is essential for photosynthesis — which is necessary for succulents and all plants. But a sunburned succulent or plant cannot photosynthesize through the sunburned tissue on its leaves. Too much sun can be damaging, or even fatal for your beautiful plants.

Succulents and many plants certainly love sunshine. Many will thrive in direct sun for part of the day. I have found gradually introducing succulents to direct sun is best.

Sunburned Succulent Care in Summer 

During summer, sunburn is a real threat to the health of your plants. Sometimes even year round, depending on where you are located. I am in Southern California so we definitely can have sunburned plants year round.

Succulents are often known for their love of little water and sun. But, they can sunburn just like humans. A suntan takes time. When our skin gets overwhelmed it reacts, causing the skin to turn red. It is pretty much the same thing with plants. 

UV rays and the intensity of the sun is what will burn your skin or your plants. Not necessarily the heat. However, higher temperatures lead to water loss. And higher core temperatures for us both. This makes humans and plants more susceptible to physical damage, including sunburn.

What do sunburned succulents look like?

You’ll know your succulents or plants have been sunburned, They will have whitish or brown discoloration. White means it has a light sunburn. While brown means the sunburn is severe. If you get to your plant during the whitish stage of the burn, there is still hope to save your plant.

First, immediately move your sunburned plant into the shade. If the plant gets to the brown scaring stage, then the damage is permanent. The plant will have to grow out of the sunburn in time. Just like humans, prevention is the best defense against sunburn.

Sunburned Succulents
Sunburned Crassula Ovata Jade Succulent

When your plant shows signs of sunburn get it to a shady spot for a 3-7 days. Moisten the soil immediately if it is dry. White marks should be less visible or gone completely before putting them out in direct sun. If the succulent has brown marks, the damage is severe. However, don’t throw the plant away! The damage will have to be grown out. Or, you just can remove the leaves. 

Typically, I remove the leaves when the leaf is 70% to 80% sunburned. If left, it will just be taking nutrients from the plant. I may also remove them if I am going to behead the healthy top portion of a succulent.  When leaves are still mostly green, leave them. They can still make food for the plant during the day. Damaged succulent leaves typically will not heal once they develop brown and black spots. 

Sunburned Succulent Care
Sunburned Succulents

Watering Plants in High Temperatures

It is critical to water your plants properly in summer heat.  Do not be tempted to water succulents before their soil dries out. However, succulents will go through water more in summer than in cooler months. Not only do they need the moisture, the water will help to cool their roots.

I prefer to water my succulents in the evening or in the early morning. This avoids the risk of applying sun-heated water. Resulting in cooked roots. Plants that grown in the ground will not suffer the heat at their roots as much as plants in containers do. In the ground, they are well insulated by the earth around them. Pots can transmits heat to the soil with nowhere for the heat to escape. 

Acclimating New Plants to the Sun

When you get a new plant, it is important to slowly acclimate it to the sun. First, start out with indirect sun for the first 1-2 weeks. Next, place your plant in direct sun for 30 minutes or an hour every day during the first 2-3 weeks. Gradually increase time in the sun weekly until you learn what your plants like.

Keep in mind, not all succulents and plants are the same. It’s important to remember that some succulents don’t like being in full sun all the time. Most succulents enjoy direct early morning sun. Then, shady indirect sunlight for the rest of the day. Where you decide to place succulents in your home or garden is important for this very reason. 

Some succulents, like agave and aloe, can tolerate full summer sun. Just keep a close watch on all of your plant collection.

Sunburned Succulent care! Save your dying ECHEVERIAS
Sunburned Succulent Arrangement

In the sunburned arrangement there is an Echeveria Blue Bird, Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg, Echeveria Lola, Variegated Elephant Bush Jade or Rainbow Bush, Echeveria Morning Beauty, and Kalanchoe Variegated Lavender Scallops.

I hope you enjoyed these sunburned succulent care tips to help you save your sunburned succulent babies!!

Sunburned Succulent care! Save your dying ECHEVERIAS
Sunburned Echeveria 'Lola'

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