For the past week, and maybe more, we have endured 100+ degree weather, as I believe much of the whole United States has. I dodged the heat by staying inside much of the time. I should have paid more attention. And now that the damage is done, I have moved plants that suffered sunburn from the unrelenting heat.
Considering that I preach sunshine for succulents, now I have to contradict myself somewhat and warn you that sometimes the sun can be too strong and do them harm. I am going to share some pictures of the damage so you will know what to look for and you can move yours if they are in showing similar signs of burn.These were all plants that had been in sunshine and I foolishly thought they were safe, that their outer layers had thickened and were acclimated, but not for 105 degrees in West Texas.
The yellow on the leaves of these agaves is sun damage. All of them had been in sun last year, but not the same sun they dealt with this week.
These hens and chicks had too much sun-
compared to these that were in almost full shade.
The black tips on these succulent rosettes are burns from too much sun.
This ice plant, delosperma, had been in some shade, but I thought they were ready for the full sun and had moved them last week. I was wrong. Most of the plant made it, but notice that the dried leaves are touching the metal side of the cart, which was burning hot in that sun. The tips on the succulent next to it also burned.
This sedum didn’t fare too well, either, as you can see the faded. yellowed leaves here and there. It should all be a deeper gray-green.
What reasonable sunshine should do to most succulents is add color to the leaves, usually red or purple, like this cotyledon. But also notice below the purple leaves too many leaves that are shriveled from the heat. So I moved it to shade.
And move them is about all you can do, which you should do as soon as you discover they are burning. You can at least salvage the plant, and with time and some TLC, most will grow new leaves and be okay. One other option might be covering the plant with pieces of shade cloth, but moving to shade is probably the best thing to do.
Succulents do need the sunshine, and they will always do better outside, but constant days of 105 degrees with a cloudless sky is just too much. The super hot weather is not over, so check your plants and make sure they are where they need to be.