Can Succulents Grow Without Sunlight: How Long Can Succulents Survive In Little Or No Light

It is essential for most succulents to maintain shape and color in an area with at least a few hours of sunlight. Succulents can survive short-term without any light. In general, some shade-tolerant succulents will last longer if they are in an area with little or no light. But, as houseplants, how much sunlight do they really need? Do succulents live for a while without sunlight? How long will it live?

Why Succulents Cannot Grow Without Sunlight

All types of succulents need sunlight for food production and energy, which will help them perform different activities that allow them to survive.

Unlike humans, plants can produce their own food through photosynthesis. However, they need enough sunlight to do this. This means that plants will have to do their best to adapt to lower light conditions if the source of sunlight is blocked.

Most succulents grow in full bright sunlight in their natural conditions. This means that even though they have become accustomed to the lack of water and are well adapted to conserving water to the last drop, succulents haven’t really evolved to the point where they can tolerate no sunlight.

Some plants, such as the Eurobancher genus, typically grow in extremely low light conditions, making them well-adapted to such conditions because they do not rely on photosynthesis for food production, instead of turning to parasitism.

Simply put, succulents cannot survive without sunlight at all. Most succulents will die of starvation in low light conditions. While others may still be alive, they certainly won’t thrive under these conditions.

How Long Can Succulents Grow Without Sunlight?

How Long Can Succulents Grow Without Sunlight?

Most succulents can survive (10 to 14) days in the absence of sunlight without any major signs of stress, however, after that, their unknown areas are marked and it is entirely dependent on the type of succulent.

Succulents are used to growing in extreme conditions, so they are harder than other plants. They may survive without sunlight for weeks before giving up again. It all depends on the type of meat.

If you try to grow sun-friendly succulents that like 6 hours of bright sunlight (most cacti) in a completely dark room, you’ll see signs of severe malnutrition within a week, and after a few days will die.

However, if you keep low-light-friendly succulents there, they may last longer. However, the longer period means it can take anywhere from 8 to 16 days before they start to experience acute discomfort symptoms.

What Happens to Succulents In Low Light?

In very low light conditions, succulents will begin to grow legs and their overall growth or development will cease. its leaves will start to fade.

Generally speaking, succulents are highly adaptable plants. First, they do their best to adapt to low light conditions. However, if the light availability is really low, after a few days the succulent will start to show signs of yellowing, i.e. it will start to extend towards the light source.

It’s like they’re desperately trying to get more light by growing taller. Stretching is the most obvious symptom of an unhealthy plant, and you should change its position immediately.

You will notice signs of stunted growth and leaf discoloration.

Due to the lack of sunlight, the leaves will appear pale and usually yellow when the chlorophyll pigment begins to fade. Soon they will start to fall off.

The plant will lose its vitality and look unsightly. Food production will be low due to sunlight being affected, so the succulent will start shedding leaves and branches because it doesn’t have the energy it needs to maintain each of its parts.

How Much Sunlight Succulents Need?

How Much Sunlight Succulents Need?

Succulents are sun-loving plants, but they also thrive in shade. Don’t confuse shade with some dark place, as a certain amount of light is necessary for the health of the plant. Therefore, choose the correct location and place the container in a location that will receive bright indirect sunlight throughout the day. For example, a shady spot indoors could be a distant window, while a shady spot outdoors could be in the shade or in the canopy of any tree.

Not all succulents have the same sun needs, but it’s safe to say that most do well when they receive about 4 to 6 hours of indirect sunlight per day.

Some people prefer more than 6 hours of light, while others can survive under 2 hours of sunlight.

The amount of sunlight a succulent needs depends entirely on the cultivar type. Some people prefer full sun, while others prefer indirect sun. Therefore, you should bring home succulents accordingly.

If you’re growing indoors, you can opt for south or east-facing windows, as these are the places where the sun is best and the succulents can take care of themselves.

Look After Succulents Growing Without Sunlight

If you keep succulents in mason jars, terrariums, or special arrangements, you’ll need to keep them indoors. Many people usually prefer to keep these plants in offices without sunlight. When you plan to keep your succulents out of the sun, you need to take care of them properly to ensure they can grow and thrive. Here are a few things to properly maintain succulents:

  • Avoid overwatering your succulents.
  • Fertilize the plants.
  • Keep your succulents in good air circulation.
  • Use good quality potting soil.
  • Let your succulents grow under alternative light sources.

Which Succulents Don’t Need High Sunlight?

Generally, colored succulents require more sunlight than green succulents. However, most green succulents cannot survive without the right amount of sunlight. But there are also some low-light-friendly succulents that can survive even in shady locations.

These include:

  • Snake plant
  • Aloe vera
  • Jade plant
  • Carancho


Succulents can survive short-term without any light. How long will depend on the specific species, but in general, most succulents will not spoil in 10-14 days if they are in an area with little or no light. Some shade-tolerant succulents will last longer.