Succulents do not always fare well when exposed to the hot sun day in and day out. In nature, they often grow under or near a shrub or tree where they receive bright light but not constant direct sunlight. Do not automatically plant your succulent smack-dab in the middle of the garden, where it receives endless hours of direct sunlight, especially during the summer. Instead, carefully select its growing location where your plant will receive enough sunlight, but not too much.
1. Determine how much direct sunlight your succulent should receive each day. Consider whether it requires only 4 hours of direct sunlight a day, which is the case with most succulents—plan to provide succulents with afternoon shade in areas scorched by the hot summer sun.
2. Plant your succulent on the east side of a building, tree, or another structure that is exposed to the morning sun if your plant should be protected from the afternoon sun. Plant it under a tree, if desired, that receives filtered sunlight throughout the day during the summer, which also protects it from the afternoon sun. Alternatively, plant your succulent in a sunnier location, such as on the west or south side of your home, if your climate is mild during the summer and is not afflicted with hot, scorching summer days.
3. Examine your succulent 2 to 4 weeks after planting and several times during the summer. Notice whether it is indented or has a tan, yellow or red color on the side that faces the most sun, both of which indicate that your plant is receiving too much direct sunlight. Determine whether your succulent is not growing well, which could mean that it needs more sunlight, especially if you provide it with proper water and fertilizer.
4. Transplant your succulent to a sunnier spot, or prune nearby trees and shrubs to increase sunlight exposure, if necessary. Alternatively, transplant your succulent to a shadier site, or plant a shrub or other plants near it to provide more shade if your plant is getting too much sunlight.
Keep your succulent in a container for the first growing season so you can easily move it around until you find the best location.
Slowly acclimate your succulent to its new growing location before planting it, especially if it was previously an indoor plant. Place it in the sun for 2 hours a day for 1 or 2 days. Increase the amount of time it spends in direct sunlight by half-hour every day until it is exposed to the same amount of the sun as it will get in its new location.
Sketch your landscape and mark possible planting locations. Take a day to examine and record the amount of sunlight each area gets and what time of day.