Succulents are beautiful, unique-looking plants that are easy to maintain, even if you’re a gardening beginner. Although they generally like lots of sunshine daily, some varieties thrive in low-light conditions. What are some examples?
Low-light succulents include the aloe, snake plant, and bear plant. These succulents can handle dappled light and don’t need many hours of natural light per day, and they’re also easy to maintain.
In this article, I’ll explore these and other succulents that love low-light conditions. I’ll also feature tips on how much light you should give your succulents and how to care for them so that you meet their requirements.
How Much Light Do Low Light Succulents Actually Need?
Low-light succulents, such as ZZ plants, tolerate low-light conditions. However, most succulents will thrive when placed in bright, indirect light. This means that the light they receive should be filtered, such as by a sheer curtain.
So, what does “low light” mean when it comes to the amount of light that your plants need? This term refers to no direct sunlight. This means that your plants should be placed a few feet (approx. 1m) away from a light source, such as a window that receives a lot of sun.
Indirect sunlight means that the light reaching your plants is obstructed by something, such as a piece of furniture or larger plants This ensures that the plant will receive filtered light that isn’t too harsh.
Although succulents that tolerate low-light conditions don’t need a lot of sunshine, this doesn’t mean that they don’t need any light at all! They will struggle to survive if you keep them in a dark room. If you want succulents that don’t need any light or care at all, consider purchasing artificial succulents instead.
Even if succulents can survive in low-light levels, they won’t bloom as much or be as colorful if they’re not given enough light. It’s worth noting that even succulents that can grow in shady areas of the garden or home, such as aloe and zebra plants, need some dappled light in order to survive.
However, what’s great about low-light succulents is that they don’t require a lot of maintenance.
Best 11 Low Light Succulents for Your House
If you want to add more succulents to your home, but it doesn’t receive a lot of sun every day, you should invest in low-light succulents. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular ones.
Aloe plants have fleshy leaves that come in a variety of colors, such as blue-green and grey. Although aloes can handle sunny conditions, they can also survive in the shade, so you don’t have to worry about not giving them enough light.
It does require a few hours of sunlight every day, otherwise, it could become leggy as it tries to stretch toward the closest source of light. If you notice that your aloe houseplant’s leaves are becoming creasy in the middle, this indicates you need to give it a bit more light.
Aloe doesn’t want to be in an area that receives direct sunlight, as this can be too harsh for it, so never keep it in direct sunlight.
- Sunlight requirements: six hours per day.
- Watering requirements: let the soil dry to about two inches (5.08cm) deep and water it every three weeks.
2. Bear Paws (Cotyledon Tomentosa)
This type of succulent has fuzzy leaves that are green with red around the edges. This gives them the impression of bear claws, hence the plant’s name. This plant needs about six hours of light every day, but it can be placed in a shady area of the garden or home as long as the area receives some brightness.
Although Bear Paws can tolerate low-light conditions, you should be warned that keeping it away from the light can cause its leaves to fade and their growth to be a bit stunted.
- Sunlight requirements: six hours of sunlight per day.
- Water requirements: let the soil dry out completely between waterings. Give it a well-draining potting mix so it won’t become soggy or waterlogged. Read our guide on the best potting soil mixes for succulents if you want to know more about what soil to get.
3. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
A snake plant is beautiful and adds texture to your home. It’s got sword-shaped leaves that have patterns on them resembling snakeskin, hence its name. Snake plants are great for beginner gardeners because they can grow in areas that get bright light or low light levels.
Ensure you give your snake plant indirect light to ensure that it continues looking great and its colors won’t fade. When kept in an area that receives a lot of light, your snake plant will grow at a faster rate than if the plant is kept in the shade.
However, you should never keep your snake plant in direct sunlight, as this will scorch its leaves.
- Sunlight requirements: keep your plant about 10 feet (3m) away from a south- or west-facing window. This will ensure it gets enough sun without experiencing leaf burn.
- Water requirements: Water the soil when it feels dry.
4. String of Hearts (Ceropegia Woodii)
String of Hearts is a succulent that gets its name because its leaves trail and look like miniature hearts. Although it can tolerate low-light conditions, it needs moderate light to thrive. Avoid keeping it in an area that gets direct, bright light, as this will be too harsh for it.
If you can see that your String of Hearts has big spaces between its leaves, this indicates that it needs to receive more light. Aim to keep it in an area of the home where it gets bright but indirect light, such as behind a sheer curtain.
- Sunlight requirements: bright, filtered light
- Water requirements: you should water your String of Hearts once a week in the warm months and every two weeks during fall and winter.
This is the name given to a group of succulent plants that are shaped like rosettes. Although echeveria is low maintenance, they should never be planted in an area that receives too much bright light, such as during the afternoon, as this will burn them.
If you’re keeping echeveria succulents indoors, ensure that they get bright, indirect light. If you can see that your plant is struggling to grow, such as that it isn’t producing flowers, you should move it into an area where it will get a bit more sun.
To ensure success with growing succulents indoors, if your home doesn’t receive a lot of sunshine, you should purchase an echeveria variety that thrives in shady conditions, such as echeveria lindsayana.
- Sunlight requirements: four hours of bright, indirect light per day.
- Water requirements: once a week or every ten days.
6. Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
Burro’s Tail is a succulent that has a clustered appearance that resembles an animal’s tail. Its long trailing stems can reach a length of up to 24 inches (60cm), so it’s great for use in hanging baskets or planters.
To ensure it maintains its beautiful fleshy leaves, you want to put it in an area of the home that gets sunny or partial-sun conditions.
This amount of light will help the plant to continue growing its beautiful appearance and maintain its green-blue color. But make sure the light reaching your succulent is gentle, such as morning sunlight, instead of harsh afternoon light.
This type of succulent is perfect for hanging baskets because it has trailing stems. Although it can tolerate low-light conditions, this isn’t ideal.
- Sunlight requirements: four hours of sunlight.
- Water requirements: water it every 10-14 days. If temperatures are consistently higher than 40°F (4.4°C), you should increase the frequency of watering to once every ten days.
7. African Milk Tree (Euphorbia trigona)
Although this succulent has sap that’s toxic to both humans and pets so, you have to be careful about where you keep it; it’s a beautiful plant with triangular stems that have teardrop-shaped leaves.
Although the African Milk Tree can handle shady areas and doesn’t like bright sun that can burn its leaves, it should be in an area that gets some indirect light.
- Sunlight requirements: six hours of indirect light.
- Water requirements: twice a month or when the surface inch (2.54cm) of its soil is dry. It is drought-tolerant.
8. Devil’s Backbone (Euphorbia tithymalaoides)
Devil’s Backbone is a perennial succulent with green variegated leaves that can become pink in warm weather. However, it doesn’t want to be in an area of too much sun as it grows healthiest in indirect, filtered sunlight. At a push, it can tolerate half-shade conditions.
You should keep it in areas of the home that receive medium light. If you leave it in an area that is shaded for a long period of time, it will become leggy so that it can reach the source of light.
- Sunlight requirements: four hours of indirect light every day.
- Watering requirements: Water your plant when the top inch (2.54cm) of its soil feels dry.
9. Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)
This pretty succulent has greenish-grey leaves with brown edges to give it a distinct, unique appearance.
Make sure you give your plant at least six hours of sunlight every day when kept outdoors. If you’re growing your Panda plant inside the home, keep it in the sunniest area of the home.
These are its ideal growing conditions, but it can tolerate some shade. Ensure it gets a few hours of shade daily, preferably when the sun streaming into the home is harsh, such as during the afternoons.
- Sunlight requirements: six hours of bright, filtered light.
- Water requirements: requires water when the top inch (2.54cm) of soil is dry.
10. Green Ice (Gasteraloe)
This succulent is a hybrid that produces beautiful red and green flowers. This might make you think it needs a lot of sunshine every day, but it actually thrives in bright, indirect light. If your home doesn’t get a lot of light every day, don’t worry – Green Ice can tolerate partial shade, too.
Ideally, though, to ensure your Green Ice succulent performs well and grows larger, you should give it some sun every day.
- Sunlight requirements: six hours of partial sun per day.
- Water requirements: water it only when the soil has dried out completely to avoid overwatering it.
11. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
The jade plant is loved for its low-maintenance vibe. It really doesn’t need a lot of care, so it thrives.
This plant doesn’t want to be placed in an area that gets bright light as it can cause leaf scorch. If your jade plant is mature and it’s getting red tips on its leaves, this indicates you need to give it more shade. However, as is the case with other succulents, if you don’t give your jade plant enough light, it will become leggy.
If you want to move your jade plant to an area of the garden that has more sun, you should do this gradually so that you don’t shock the plant.
- Sunlight requirements: 4-6 hours of light per day.
- Water requirements: water your jade plant when the top inch or two (2.54-5.08cm) has dried out. Generally, this means you should water it every two weeks.
Succulents are relatively easy to grow and maintain. But, even if you choose a succulent for the home that can tolerate low-light levels, you still need to ensure you give it the correct care to meet its requirements. This includes:
- Providing approximately six hours of light daily (which shouldn’t be direct light).
- Watering the plant every week or so.