It is great to know that if you want a garden full of succulents that there are plants for every area. Whether it be sun or shade, or a bit of both. Succulents are a great plant to grow under a tree because they can grow well in the shade. Succulents grown in the shade need even less water than those grown in the sun.

In general, succulents grow the best in the sun for at least part of the day; many will get leggy and weak (etiolated) and will not flower without at least six hours of sun; some are more colourful and flower with eight or more hours of direct sun.
However, some will scorch in the intense heat of full sun; these need to be shaded from mid-day from afternoon sun. Some will cope with growing in full shade.

Agave Attenuata
One of the few Agaves that can thrive in shade is the Agave Attenuata – also known as Foxtail.  They are amazing and versatile as they can thrive in full sun as well.  One point to note: if your Agave is growing happily in the shade if you move it to full sun it will look a unwell at first and would take a while (a few months) to adjust to being in full sun.

Agave Attenuata grown in shade

This agave has grown from a small pup in full shade.

Crassula Ovata
Crassula Ovata (Jade Plant) grows very well in the shade and is a lovely deep green colour due to the lack of sun. Crassula is one of those succulents that you can snap off a piece and stick it in the ground and it will start growing without any care or attention.  It also looks great when it flowers every year.

Crassula Ovata grown in shade

Crassula Ovata grown in the shade.

Crassula Ovata Jade Plant Succulent

Flowering Crassula Ovata

Crassula Ovata Jade Plant grown in sun

Crassula Ovata grown in the sun.

Aeonium Aboreum
Even though Aeoniums prefer some sun I have grown them successfully in the shade.  They are not keen on hot Summers so if they have shade in the Winter and a bit of dappled sun in the Summer this is perfect for them.

Aeonium Aboreum grown in shade

Grown in full shade this Aeonium Aboreum has survived a long hot Summer and dry Autumn.

Dying Aeonium Aboreum

Grown in 90% sun. A hot Summer and warm Autumn with minimal rain- not looking too good!

Haworthia
Haworthia grow in a rosette of spiky, chubby foliage, and form a clump of smaller rosettes. They prefer to be grown in the shade, however, it should be bright light shade rather than deep darker shade. They are great plants to grow inside on a bright windowsill or light room.  If they get too much sun they turn orange.

Haworthia Succulent in Glass Jar

This Haworhia has grown in my well lit bathroom for the past six months.

There are a lot of succulents that can be grown in the shade, the succulents above are only a few that I have had success growing in the shade. Succulents that prefer the sun ‘can’ be grown in the shade but they will not be as healthy as if grown in the sun. Succulents are very adaptable so if you want to try growing a succulent in the shade do so,  You will know if the succulent has too much shade as it will start to stretch (etiolate) and possibly change colour.  Cutting/pruning it back and putting it in the sun should bring the succulent back to its correct shape and colour.


 

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