Will Succulents Grow In Shade?

by Succulent MarketJan 13, 2021

will succulents grow in shade


Succulents are the most popular plants for indoor gardeners, mainly because they’re very low maintenance and can thrive in low-light environments. While most succulents love the sun, there are some species that don’t mind the shade. In fact, they can thrive just sitting on the table or in the shady corner of the garden - assuming you give them everything else they need, of course.

Read on to learn more about how to grow succulents in shade.

How Much Light Do Succulents Need?

While succulents don’t need much attention, ensuring they get the right amount of light so they survive can be challenging, especially in apartments and homes without a garden.

As mentioned above, succulents love light. They won’t grow to their full potential if they don't have enough and may stretch out to get as much as they can get their leaves on. Other signs include discoloring and disfigured leaves.

But too much sun is not always healthy for a succulent either. They may enjoy the light, but they may not be able to tolerate high temperatures, particularly young plants. Start growing them in the shade before increasing exposure.

How much light a succulent depends on the species, which brings us to the next point...

Know Your Succulent

Consider where your plant comes from and what it would be used to in its natural environment before choosing its spot. 

Most succulents originate from dry and extreme environments like the deserts and up in the mountains. As a result, they are very hardy plants, so they're used to even the most extreme conditions. Some succulents grow in rainforests too, meaning that the high canopies prevent much of the sun’s light from reaching the ground where the plants grow.

Tip: the color and texture of your succulent can help you determine how much light it needs. Typically speaking, solid green succulents are better suited for growing in the shade. Brighter variants, on the other hand, generally prefer brighter locations.

Shade-Loving Indoor Succulents

If you're thinking about growing succulents in the shade at home, start by picking your plants carefully. Succulents like Aloe vera, Snake Plant, Spider Agave and Panda Plant are excellent choices for low-light conditions.

The succulents listed above are slow-growing, require little to no maintenance and will thrive in the shade, or even filtered light depending on where you place them. 

Tip: most of these plants grow best sitting a few inches away from a window.

How To Care For Succulents In The Shade

Generally speaking, succulents are very easy to look after, including those that grow in the shade. But even so, there are certain things you must keep in mind in order to keep them healthy and thriving. 

Here are a few tips to grow a successful indoor succulent garden.


Too much water is a common killer of succulents. These plants store water in their leaves and stems, so only need watering once a week at most. 

Succulents in the shade will need less watering compared to outdoor plants, since water takes longer to evaporate, meaning the soil stays wetter for longer.

The best way to water a succulent is by using the soak and dry method. This involves soaking the soil and not watering the plant again until it has completely dried again. 


Fast-draining soil is the best option for growing succulents in pots indoors. Most potting soils aren’t great for succulents as they are designed to hold the moisture, which can lead to rotting. Make sure to plant them in a pot with lots of holes to assist with drainage too.

If you decide to use conventional potting soil for your succulent, add some perlite or expanded clay soil to help it drain quicker.

Fertilizing In Spring

Succulent potting soil is rich in nutrients for young plants, but they will be used up within a few months. In fact, potted succulents use up nutrients quicker than outdoor plants, so you’ll need to fertilize them rather soon after planting.

The best time to fertilize is at the beginning of spring with a low-nitrogen fertilizer. Use a diluted dose of fertilizer, only combining around half the suggested concentration with water before feeding.