Summer shade for succulents refers to providing protection from direct sunlight and excessive heat during the summer months. It involves creating a shaded environment or using shade-providing materials to shield the succulents from intense sunlight and high temperatures.

Types of Shade/Sunlight


Full Sun


Full Sun refers to succulent plants or areas that receive direct sunlight for most of the day, typically around six or more hours of direct sunlight. Plants labeled as "full sun" require the maximum amount of sunlight to thrive.




Partial sun


Partial sun describes succulents or areas that receive a combination of direct sunlight and shade throughout the day. These plants generally prefer a few hours (about 3-6) of direct sunlight in the morning or afternoon, followed by shade during the hottest part of the day.




Direct Sun


This phrase simply means that an area or plant is exposed to direct sunlight without any obstruction. It refers to sunlight that reaches the plant or area without being filtered or shaded by any objects or structures.

Indirect Sun


Indirect Sun refers to sunlight that is diffused through an object or structure before reaching the plant. It is not direct sunlight and is usually less intense. Indirect sun can be ideal for succulent plants that require less intense light or those that prefer bright but indirect light conditions.


Bright shade/Filtered Sun


Filtered Sun indicates an area or condition where sunlight is partially blocked or filtered by objects such as trees, sheer curtains, or shade cloth. It provides a moderate level of light that is not as intense as direct sunlight but still offers bright conditions for plants.


Full Shade


This phrase refers to areas or conditions that receive little to no direct sunlight. Full-shade areas are often shaded by buildings, dense tree canopies, or other structures, resulting in minimal to no direct sunlight exposure.

Do succulents like sun or shade?


Succulents enjoy sunlight, but too much of it can be detrimental. In the summer, intense sunlight and high temperatures can cause severe damage to succulent plants. Although excessive shading is not recommended for succulents, appropriate shading in the summer can indeed create a better growth environment for them. Here are the specific reasons why succulents need shade in summer:

The Disadvantages of Intense Sun for Succulents


Irreversible Damage: In severe cases, sunburn can cause irreversible damage to succulents. If the plant is continuously exposed to intense sunlight without protection, it may lead to permanent scarring, discoloration, or even death of the affected parts or the entire plant. Click here to learn more about how much sunlight succulents need.


Dehydration and Water Loss: Succulents have adapted to arid environments and can withstand drought conditions. However, excessive heat and direct sunlight can accelerate water evaporation from their leaves, leading to dehydration. Click here to learn if your succulent is underwatered.

Vulnerability to Infections: Sunburned areas on succulents can become more susceptible to bacterial or fungal infections. The compromised tissues provide an entry point for pathogens, leading to potential diseases that can further harm the plant's overall health.

Benefits of Shading for Succulents


Improved Growth and Health: By providing the right amount of shade, succulents can allocate energy more efficiently towards growth and development. They can focus on producing healthy leaves, roots, and even flowers rather than allocating resources to combat excessive heat stress.

Prevention of Foliage Damage: Some succulents have delicate foliage that can be easily damaged by direct sunlight. Shading protects the leaves from excessive heat, sunburn, or bleaching, preserving their color, texture, and overall health.

Preservation of Aesthetic Appeal: Shading can help preserve the vibrant colors and unique textures of succulents. Intense sunlight can fade or alter the natural pigmentation of succulent, while shading maintains its beauty and visual appeal. Click here to shop for more colorful succulents.


Remember, even succulents that can tolerate full sun still benefit from acclimation to intense sunlight. It's best to gradually expose them to increasing amounts of sunlight to prevent sunburn or stress. Additionally, it's important to consider your specific climate and local conditions, as some succulents may have varying sun tolerance depending on the region. Click here to learn 10 succulents easy to survive in summer.

How to Shade Your Succulents - Shade Ideas


Nature-Based Methods


Plant Companion Plants: Surround your succulents with taller companion plants that provide natural shading. Choose plants with larger leaves or a bushy growth habit to cast shadows on the succulents below.

Tree Canopy: Position your succulents under the dappled shade of existing trees. Trees with light, airy canopies or those that provide partial shade can help protect succulents from intense sunlight.

Natural Landforms: Take advantage of natural landforms like rock formations, hills, or slopes that create shadows or provide partial shade. Position your succulents strategically in these areas to benefit from natural shading.


Remember to monitor the shading provided by any method you choose and adjust as necessary based on the specific light requirements and environmental conditions of your succulents.

DIY Methods


Shade Cloth: Install shade cloth or shade netting above your succulents to provide filtered sunlight. You can create a shade structure using poles, stakes, or a frame to support the cloth. How to choose shade cloth? I will tell you in the next part!


Umbrellas or Parasols: Use patio umbrellas or large outdoor parasols to provide shade for individual succulents or small groupings. Adjust the position of the umbrella throughout the day to ensure adequate shading.


Cover Fencing: By covering the fencing with shade cloth or other suitable materials, you can create a shaded area for your succulents, protecting them from direct sunlight and excessive heat. This method also allows for airflow to keep your succulents healthy and thriving during the summer months.


Window Screens: Repurpose window screens or mesh screens by placing them over the succulents to provide partial shade. This method allows air circulation while reducing direct sunlight.

Choose Shade Cloth


1. Two Common Types of Shade Cloths


Canvas Shade Cloth

Canvas shade cloth provides moderate shading, allowing for partial sun exposure. It helps to protect succulents from intense sunlight while still allowing some light to pass through, promoting healthy growth. But it may have limited options in terms of shading rates. It may not provide as precise shading control as some HDPE shade cloth varieties.


Plastic Shade Cloth

Plastic shade cloth is a popular option for providing shade to succulents. It is primarily made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which offers durability, lightweight properties, and excellent resistance to UV rays. The advantage of plastic shade cloth is its versatility in shading options, as it comes in various shading rates. This allows you to precisely control the amount of shade your succulents receive. Despite providing shade, plastic shade cloth still allows for sufficient air circulation, ensuring proper ventilation around the plants. This helps prevent heat buildup and maintain a healthy environment for the succulents.


2. Consider Shading Rate


When choosing shading cloth for succulents, it's important to consider the desired shading rate. The shading rate refers to the percentage of sunlight that the cloth will block or filter. Here are some guidelines to help you select the right shading cloth based on the shading rate:

Determine the shading requirements: Different succulent species have varying light requirements. Some may prefer more shade, while others can tolerate higher light levels. Research the specific light needs of your succulents to determine the appropriate shading rate. The shading requirements of some succulents are introduced below:

1. Sempervivum Calcareum ----full sun to light shade


2. Mangave 'Praying Hands' ----full sun to light shade

3. Sedum dasyphyllum 'Himalayan Skies' ----full sun

4. Sedum burrito ----bright but indirect light or partial shade


5. Parodia haselbergii ----full sun to light shade

6. Echeveria Dusty Rose ----full sun to light shade


7. Crassula platyphylla f. variegata ----bright but indirect light or partial shade

8. Kalanchoe marnieriana ----bright but indirect light or partial shade

9. ghost-plant ----full sun or partial sun

10. Fenestraria rhopalophylla ----bright but indirect light


Understand shading rates: Shading cloth is available in various shading rates, typically ranging from 30% to 90%+. The higher the percentage, the more shade the cloth provides. For succulents, a shading rate between 30% and 50% is commonly recommended, as it allows sufficient light to reach the plants while still offering some protection from intense sunlight.


Consider the climate and light conditions: Assess the climate and the amount of sunlight your succulents receive. If you live in an area with extremely hot and intense sunlight, you may need a higher shading rate to protect the plants. Conversely, if you are in a cooler or shadier location, a lower shading rate may be sufficient.

Gradual acclimation: If you're transitioning your succulents from full sun to shaded conditions, it's advisable to start with a lower shading rate and gradually increase it over time. This allows the plants to adapt to the reduced light gradually. Monitor the plants' response to the shading and make adjustments if necessary.

By considering the shading requirements, shading rates, climate, and quality of the shading cloth, you can choose the right option to provide the ideal amount of shade for your succulents, promoting their health and growth while protecting them from excessive sunlight.



In summary, succulent shade plays a vital role in protecting these unique plants from the harsh effects of the sun. It helps to prevent sunburn, reduce water loss, alleviate heat stress, and preserve the vibrant characteristics of succulents. By providing the right amount of shade, succulent enthusiasts can create a nurturing environment that promotes healthy growth and long-term vitality for their beloved plants.

1 thought on “All You Need to Know about The Shade for Succulents

Doe Daughtrey

I deeply appreciate your efforts to support succulent newbies like me. I live in the Phoenix area of Arizona, and as you probably have heard, this summer has been brutal for us. Daily highs of over 110 have really been challenging. None of my succulents are outside, but I’m afraid that they need to be because I’ve run out of room for them in the house. I know I can’t just stick them out there, but this article about shade cloth helps me a lot. But I’m wondering if I need a higher number and more blockage than 55%…?

Thank you again,
Doe D

August 4, 2023 at 04:31am

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