Hot, Hot, Heat! Caring for Succulents in Hot Climates

Hot, Hot, Heat! Caring for Succulents in Hot Climates
Hot, Hot, Heat! Caring for Succulents in Hot Climates

No seasons? No problem.

We dish out a lot of advice around caring for your succulents if it gets too dark, too cold, or too rainy. (It’s what most people call winter.) But what if you live somewhere that’s always pretty sunny and can get extremely hot, like Texas, Florida, or Southern California? Here are some things to look out for if your year-round temps are warm, and your summers are more like an oven than an excuse for a beach day.




Sun Exposure

Whether your succulents are indoors out outdoors, the right directional placement is the key to a happy succulent. Too little sun and your plant won’t thrive. Too much sun and your plant could develop a sunburn. Your best bet is to find a spot that gets bright, indirect sunlight for about 8 hours a day. Depending on where you live, that could be an eastern facing windowsill or a spot in the garden that gets shaded at high noon. For more on finding the right spot check out this blog post.

Signs of Sun Damage

Just like us, succulents can get a sunburn from too much sun exposure. Instead of turning bright red, a succulent sunburn appears as a dry grey or brown layer on the outside of the leaf, almost like a callus. The succulent uses this dry patch as a shield against the sun. Eventually, the sunburned leaves will fall off as they’re replaced by new, healthy leaves. While sunburn doesn’t harm the plant, it doesn’t look very nice and is best avoided by finding the right directional placement.



Extreme Heat

Just because many succulent species are desert natives doesn’t mean they thrive in extreme heat. If you live somewhere where temperatures in the high 90s and 100s are commonplace, you’ll want to pay attention and look for signs of heat damage.


Signs of Heat Damage

A heat damaged succulent will generally appear under-watered. The leaves will look wilted and shriveled, and they’ll feel rubbery to the touch. If this is the case, you’ll want to make your watering schedule more frequent. A safe bet for finding the right frequency is to check the soil with your finger. If it’s dry, water it. If it’s still wet, give it a few days. If upping water isn’t helping, it’s time to bring that babe inside until the heat wave passes. 



High Humidity vs. Low Humidity

In warm, high humidity climates like Florida, succulents usually need less frequent watering. This is because they grow aerial roots in order to get moisture from the air. These roots protrude from the stem above the soil, and are often clear, white, or bright pink. To make sure you’re adequately watering your succulent, continue to check the soil with your finger before watering. Remember, even a well-draining soil like cactus soil will not dry out as quickly in a humid climate!


aerial roots


Low humidity climates are conversely extremely dry. When you have high heat + low humidity, your succulent will need more frequent watering. Once a week is usually adequate, just keep an eye out for the typical signs of over- and under-watering and make adjustments from there.



Keep all this in mind, and your summer succulents will be thriving! If you’re unsure as to what kind of light or water conditions to start with check out our Succulent Care page, where you’ll find specific care instructions for every plant we’ve ever sent! Don’t have succulents from us yet? What are you waiting for? Hit the link below for $5 off your first box!