Cactus and succulents Light Needs of Plants

Give Your Succulents a Weekly Walk!

A week in the sun and a week in the shade will keep your succulent happy!

Succulents are all the rage these days. Millenials, especially, as said to be wild about them, treating them practically like the pet dogs they’re not allowed to have in their apartment dwellings.

They’ve been told they’re low-care plants, that they need practically no water, even that they don’t need sun and will grow anywhere. But if the first part is mostly true, the last bit is an out-and-out lie. They do need light and plenty of it. In fact, although there are a few exceptions, they prefer full sun.

Salespeople can get away with lying about how to care for succulents because the latter react so slowly. If something is wrong, the plant won’t show symptoms for many months, even over a year. But that’s not because they thrive under low light, but because they die slowly. That beautiful echeveria you’re so proud of, with its blue to grayish to purple rosette of thick leaves, may well be starving from lack of light and simply showing no symptoms. By the time you realize it’s losing leaves and desperately stretching for more light, it may be too late to save it.

Switch ’Em Up

Here’s an easy tip on keeping succulents alive in the average apartment nearly forever. 

Place them in the ideal décor, the spot where they just look so cool—and probably far from any window—for only one week at a time. The second week, move it right up near your sunniest window, or at least as close as you can to the window without it touching the glass. Let it charge its batteries with solar energy for a week, then move it back into your décor. And repeat weekly.

Two weeks of intense light per month will keep almost any succulent happy; the other two weeks can be in nearly total darkness and it won’t matter.

Logically, of course, you’d buy two succulents so that, at any given time, one is doing décor duty and the other basking in sunlight.

So, like a pet, you need to take your succulent for a walk, but only once a week. 

Sometimes making plants happy is so simple!

Ill.:,, &, montage:

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

2 comments on “Give Your Succulents a Weekly Walk!

  1. Pingback: A Thorough Guide on Succulent Care - Laidback Gardener

  2. Succulents are such an odd choice for houseplants anyway. They get so stretched and pale.

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