Succulents have become very popular among plant enthusiasts because they are so low-maintenance while still being beautiful additions to any outdoor garden.
Succulents can survive periods of drought because their leaves can store lots of water, which the plant will ration until the next time it can get water.
There are thousands of succulent species and varieties from different parts of the world, and they come in a plethora of sizes, shapes, and colors.
If you are thinking about laying out an outdoor garden but have minimal shade, these succulents will be good choices to include because they can grow – and even thrive – under full, direct sunlight. If you want to learn more about these sun-loving plants, then keep reading.
15 full sun succulents
All sempervivums thrive under direct sunlight, and all that sunlight actually helps keep the plants’ colors vibrant.
These succulents have a pinkish-red center that gradually turns to green as you reach the outer leaves.
Although it loves the sunlight, you can still grow this plant indoors as long as you place it near a window that lets in plenty of light.
This plant is also called ‘hens and chicks’, for the reason that it grows offsets very fast and, before you know it, the ground will be covered with mini versions of the mother plant.
This plant can also tolerate the winter climate, which is why you do not need to bring it indoors when the seasons start to change.
Even though the plant enjoys warmer weather, do not forget to water it because it still needs water to survive.
2. Kalanchoe thyrsiflora
This plant is also known as the paddle plant because of its wide, flat leaves. It has a unique appearance that will add an interesting aesthetic to your outdoor garden. The leaves on this plant come out green and will remain green if they do not get lots of direct sunlight. But when the plant is allowed to grow under the full sun, its green leaves will turn red and it will produce yellow flowers, adding further to its beauty.
This plant can live up to four years if you provide it with ideal conditions. When it is fully mature, you will notice new offsets appearing at the base of the plant, and you can grow new plants from these. This is important, because the rosettes will die after flowering, so if you wish to continue growing Kalanchoe thyrsiflora succulents, then you should know how to propagate them.
Water the plant only when its soil has dried out, and significantly reduce the watering during the colder months.
3. Albuca spiralis
This plant is also called the frizzle sizzle plant. It has a really fun look, with the tips of its leaves coiling like a corkscrew at the ends. The plant grows from a bulb that you only need to half-cover when planting it, which adds to its unique look.
Place the plant near a window that gets lots of bright sunlight to keep it happy.
Avoid watering it in the summer after it has bloomed so that you can maintain the lovely coils at the ends of the leaves.
Resume watering the plant in the fall when you see the new leaves emerging. The plant will start to bloom right around springtime, and you can expect your house to smell of vanilla. So if you love vanilla scents, this succulent is a great choice for you.
4. Epithelantha micromeris
This plant is native to the island of Madagascar and is also called the ping-pong cactus because of its round shape. It is a tiny cactus that has webbed spines covering it entirely. The spines almost fully obscure the green flesh of the cactus underneath.
This plant loves the full sun and can be placed in your outdoor garden for all of the warm months. Be sure you plant it in a pot, though, because you will need to move it indoors when the weather starts becoming colder. This plant cannot tolerate the cold, so be vigilant about when to take it indoors.
Water the plant only when the soil is completely dry and significantly reduce the frequency and amount of water given during the fall and winter.
You may see offsets growing at the base of the plant, which you can then use to propagate it.
5. Fenestraria rhopalophylla
This plant is also known as the baby toes succulent because its leaves look like little fingers as they sprout vertically from the ground. They grow in clusters and each finger-like leaf has a translucent top.
This succulent produces yellow flowers, encouraged by a full-sun position.
It is a slow grower but it can still become quite leggy if you keep it in a room where it does not get enough light.
Water the plant only when the soil is dry to the touch, around once every two to three weeks; any more and you risk overwatering it.
The agave is a large succulent with fleshy leaves that can store a lot of water. The leaves have spines at the edges and are arranged in a rosette formation.
The plant produces white or yellow bell-shaped flowers that grow from a long flower stalk protruding from the center of the rosette.
There are many different kinds of agave, each with its own unique characteristics, but they all share their love for the full sun, so do not hesitate to include these in your outdoor garden.
There are hundreds of different aloe varieties, from small species to those that can grow over 25 feet tall. They have thick leaves that can be all green or have a bluish, reddish or yellowish hue. These leaves store the water that the plant will need in times of drought, in order to increase its chances of surviving harsh desert conditions.
The smaller aloe varieties are great to keep indoors, but make sure you place them near a window or other light source to keep them happy inside the house. The larger aloe varieties can be a great addition to your outdoor garden because of their size and resilience.
Water your aloe only when the soil around the base of the plant is dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to root rot, a condition that develops when the plant’s roots are constantly standing in waterlogged soil. The roots will drown in the soggy soil, and will then become susceptible to opportunistic pathogens which cause the rot to spread to the entire plant, eventually killing it.
The evcheveria’s colors shine brightest when it can get full sun. This plant’s leaves have a dusty, powdery coating called farina, which is the plant’s way of protecting itself from sunburn while tolerating the strength of the full sun.
Use well-draining soil in this plant’s pot and only water it when the soil is dry to the touch. Make sure to pour the water directly at the base of the plant and not over the leaves, as this can lead to possible leaf rot which you want to avoid.
There are different ways to propagate your echeveria. You can use offsets that grow from the base of the plant or opt for cuttings and even leaves. When the plant is fully mature, it will produce coral blooms that will grow from stalks protruding from the middle of the rosette.
9. Sedum nussbaumerianum
This is another succulent that enjoys full sun. Some sedum plants remain green, but this variety develops more vibrant golden colors the more direct sunlight it is given.
Do not be afraid of growing the plant outdoors so you can see its full color potential.
The leaves of this particular sedum grow in a rosette shape, pointed upwards, and it will quickly create offsets which you can then propagate.
Unfortunately, this sedum does not do well in the cold, so do not plant it outdoors if you live in a place where winters reach 30 degrees Fahrenheit and below.
An attractive option is to place the plant in a pot and allow the stems to grow long enough to hang down the edges.
10. Euphorbia tirucalli
Also called the firestick succulent, the euphorbia tirucalli is one of the most fascinating-looking succulents. This succulent can be 20 feet tall when fully grown, and its cylindrical pencil-like branches can turn a pretty shade of red-orange, which is why it got its name.
Interestingly, this plant’s beautiful color not only intensifies when it is grown under the full sun, but during the cold winter as well.
It is a low-maintenance plant that only needs to be watered when the soil around the base dries out completely.
If you are looking for a fun succulent to include in your garden, definitely consider the firestick.
This is also called the prickly pear cactus and it thrives in the full sun. Its pads, or nopales, have sharp spikes and produce the prickly pear fruit, which also has spikes. The fruit can be eaten, so not only do you have a cool-looking plant in your garden; you now also have a source of food. These fruits are high in antioxidants and fiber, so having this in your garden is a definite win.
This succulent also grows in a rosette pattern. The stems can be short or long, and some even branch out.
This plant also enjoys the full sun so you can plant it in your outdoor garden, especially if you live in a place where the winters are not too harsh.
The offsets of this plant will grow from one flower head, and this flower head will die after producing several offsets.
There are many different sizes, shapes and colors of aeoniums, but they all die after blooming. Thus, if you want to continue growing aeoniums in your garden, always be on the lookout for offsets to use for propagation.
During the summer, aeoniums go dormant and curl in order to minimize the loss of water. The plant’s growth period is during the spring and winter.
13. Senecio mandraliscae
Senecio mandraliscae is an evergreen succulent with branches that spread from the base of the plant. Some people actually use this succulent as a groundcover for their gardens.
This succulent has finger-like leaves that are thin but fleshy. Their bluish-green color makes them beautiful trailing plants that will look great whether grown on the ground or in a container or pot.
They love bright sunlight, but can still be grown indoors as long as you place them in a spot where they can still get lots of light. When the weather outside is no longer too cold, you can move the pot outside to capitalize on the full sun.
The more sun the plant gets, the more yellow and white flowers it will produce.
14. Jade plant
The Jade plant is also called the friendship tree or the money tree. It is often given as a gift to friends or loved ones as a token of good luck and prosperity.
Jade plants are evergreens and have thick, shiny leaves that grow in pairs. The leaves’ colors can be dark green or even red, depending on how much light the plant gets. The red tinges are usually on the edges of the leaves.
The branches of the jade plant thicken as the plant gets older, which is why some people consider it a tree.
Despite this plant’s regal and expensive look, it is actually low-maintenance and can tolerate various light conditions. If you want to keep the plant outdoors under the sun, you can do so as long as you acclimatize it gradually to direct sunlight.
The echinocereus is also called the hedgehog cactus. It grows in a cylindrical fashion and is covered all over with spines. This cactus can grow well in an outdoor garden as well as in a pot. As with most cacti, the echinocereus thrives in bright sunlight and does best in a well-draining potting mix. The bigger the echinocereus species, the more tolerant it is of extreme heat.
Succulents have become some of the most popular and trendy plants to have, both inside and outside your home, not only for their beauty but also because of how low-maintenance they are. These plants require very little care and attention and only need to be watered when the soil around their base is dry to the touch.
There are thousands of different succulents to choose from, but if you are looking for those that can tolerate and thrive under full sun, then the suggestions listed above are the ones you are looking for.
Plant them in your outdoor garden and create a purely succulent garden, or you can mix these succulents with other sun-loving plants for a gorgeous landscape.