Succulents That Don’t Need Sunlight

Succulents are plants that can live in the absence of direct sunlight. They’ve grown accustomed to living in shaded areas and low-light conditions and it’s now where they fully thrive.

We should mention, however, that even though these succulents have adapted to developing and surviving in minimal exposure to sunlight, none of them can ever survive in pure darkness.

So, do you have succulents at home? Or are you thinking of adding some to a dimly-lit hallway or corner of your home? Then, scroll down to learn about a few species of hardy succulents that don’t need sunlight.

Let’s get started.

12 Top Succulents That Don’t Need Sunlight

Check out these most common succulents that do just fine in the absence of natural light.

1.   String of Hearts

String of Hearts

Also called Ceropegia woodii, String of Hearts succulents are known for their small, variegated, heart-shaped leaves. Their long, string-like stems flow down in beautiful trails that grow tiny bulbs, giving them the appearance of beads strung together.

Water these succulents sparingly, making sure to let the soil dry between applications. They can survive in both direct and indirect light, but they only bloom in full sunlight.

2.   Mistletoe Cactus

The mistletoe cactus, also known as Rhipsalis, doesn’t enjoy full sun or dry conditions. These low-maintenance succulents prefer the dim lighting conditions of dawn and dusk.

In contrast to the other low-light succulents on our list, they need routine watering. However, caution should be used because overwatering can lead to life-threatening diseases, like root rot.

3.   Zebra Plant

Also called Haworthia fasciata, the zebra plant is a hardy succulent that can thrive without much light. Given the right climatic circumstances, this striped plant, known for its rough, white tubercles, may grow rosettes in just a few weeks.

These succulents thrive in loose, well-draining soil-based potting mix. Yet, try to avoid overwatering them since they’re prone to root rot and mold growth.

4.   Wax Plant

Hoya carnosa (Wax Plant)

Wax, or Hoya, plants don’t always blossom. Yet, when they do, they’re hard to forget. These semi-succulent plants produce long vines with medium-green leaves that can grow vertically because of how their roots cling to tree branches rather than growing in the soil. They also make excellent trailing plants, thanks to their vines that crawl along tree branches.

Hoyas are low-light succulents that need little maintenance. Yet, it’s critical that you don’t overwater them, or this delicate plant may perish.

5.   Dwarf Ox-Tongue

Gasteria liliputana, or Dwarf ox-tongue, can easily grow and thrive in dim or filtered light. You don’t even need direct sunlight to promote the growth of its blooms.

It prefers semi-dry soil, so you only need to water it around two to four times each month, letting it dry out between waterings. This plant is ideal for workplaces or bedrooms and thrives in well-drained soil with sand or pebbles.

6.   Holiday Cacti

Also called Schlumbergera, holiday cactus plants are excellent low-light choices that don’t need much sunlight. Typically flowering in the summer, their stems include pink and scarlet areolas that resemble leafy pads.

These plants thrive in well-draining, aerated soil, and their most significant appearance is during their peak bloom.

Related: Why Are My Succulents Dying?

7.   Panda Plant

The leaves of the Panda Plant, or Kalanchoe Tomentosa, are lovely succulents resembling velvet and are typically bluish-green with dark reddish-brown patterns on the tips. These plants make excellent indoor plants since, surprisingly, they grow stronger in low-light conditions.

Bear in mind that the panda plant may get burnt if it receives excessive exposure to sunlight. Sadly, the scorched leaf can never be restored to its natural hue.

8.   ZZ Plant

The round leaves of the ZZ succulent, also known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia, are flat and waxy. This hardy plant thrives in rich, porous, well-draining soil that’s slightly on the dry side. They also do better when watered every couple of weeks to avoid root rot.

Although it can live in natural light from the sun, this succulent can grow well in filtered or dim light. However, it should never be directly exposed to sunlight.

9.   Snake Plant

Mother-in-law’s tongue is another name for Sansevieria trifasciata, otherwise known as snake plants. These low-maintenance, hardy plants grow well in dim-lit environments

Fertilizer pellets or a slow-release liquid fertilizer should be used on a regular basis for growing snake plants. When well-fed, they thrive under ambient lighting and will make a beautiful, vibrant addition to any room.

10. Green Ice Hybrid

Aloe and Gasteria were cross-pollinated to create the hybrid Green Ice, or Gasteraloe, which is another succulent type that can survive without much light. It doesn’t need a lot of water either, but when you do water it, make sure you soak it thoroughly.

Given that it grows at a slower rate during winter, you can get away with watering it less often. When its thick, prickly leaves start to resemble fans or lamps, or when their usual green color turns yellow or brown, this is a sign it’s been overwatered.

11. Donkey’s Tail

Donkey’s Tail succulent

The thick, water-absorbing leaves of the donkey tail, also known as Sedum morganianum,succulent face downward, giving it a drooping look. This is one of the most fabulous hanging succulent plants for dim surroundings.

The majority of these succulents prefer moderate humidity to dry air, and this specific kind may thrive in the majority of cacti and succulent soil potting mixtures.

12. Jade Plant

Crassula Ovata, aka theJade plant, is a succulent that thrives in low-light environments and is generally very hardy. These tiny, tree-like indoor plants have solid, woody stalks with oval-shaped leaves.

Jade plants love warm, dry weather and need ample time to dry out between watering sessions. They also require well-draining soil to avoid fungus problems since they’re prone to root rot.

Can Succulents Live and Grow Without Sunlight?

Along with water, sunlight is one of the essential elements most plants need to survive. However, since succulents are thought to be vastly adaptable plants and are often planted indoors, many of us are still determining how much direct sunlight they need.

Can succulents survive in the absence of sunlight? No, they can’t for one simple reason: photosynthesis.

All plants rely on light to make food in a process called photosynthesis. If they’re deprived of all light sources, especially the all-natural light of the sun, they’ll stop growing because they’re not making any food.

Then, once they enter this dormant state, they’ll become so feeble that they’ll start to wilt and wither away. So always make sure you provide your succulents with the right amount of light they need to stay healthy and happy.

Yet, how do you know how long each species can go without direct sunlight? That varies greatly across species because different succulents have different needs and habits, so it’s only natural they’d have diverse light preferences.

Some succulent species, for instance, prefer growing in the shadow of taller plants when grown in their native habitats of low, moist, sandy soil. This ensures they get the nutrients they need while being shaded from harsh sunlight by the bigger plants.

On the other hand, other succulent species prefer growing in shady crevices and atop hills where large rocks or boulders provide shelter. These types usually have chunkier stems and thicker leaves that can withstand the elements and still enjoy the low-light growing conditions of their environment.

Also Check: Mealybugs On Succulents: How to Identify the Problem and Fix It


Although succulents are hardy and make great houseplants, they still need some sort of light source in order to flourish.

However, if they’re exposed to too much, the leaves will become sunburned. In fact, only a small percentage of succulent species and variants can grow and survive without exposure to full sunlight.