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House Plants/sunburnt echeveria?



Hi! I just bought this plant a month ago. Until now I think I have taken a good care of it. I watered it only when I think it's dry and take it out to receive sunlight. However, these days I forgot about to take it out as usual and I noticed the leaves spread wider. so I took it out yesterday and watered it because it seemed to be dry. The next day, which is today, the leaves darken n wrinkle. Is it because of overexposure to sun or too much water?

Hi Melly,

I cannot say for sure whether the withered leaves were caused by too much sun or seriously damaged roots. I would need more information to properly make that determination.

Outside direct sunlight is more than 100 times more intense than indoor light. If your Echeveria was in dim indoor light and then suddenly exposed to direct outdoor sun, then that would damage the leaves. It would also depend on how long it was indoors before being exposed to the sun. Moving plants in and out is never a good idea because it forces plants to constantly adapt to changes in light intensity.

I don't know how you determine when you "think it is dry." If your plant was indoors before a long time, then  it would use very little water. However, when moved outside in direct sun and very warm temperatures, then it could dehydrate very quickly. Moving a plant in and out makes it very difficult to determine when to water. Improper watering a small plant can damage the roots very quickly and when that happens, the plant rarely recovers.

Finally, you made no mention of temperature exposure. Although Echeverias are quite tolerant of cool temps down to freezing, they do not do well in hot temperatures above 85 degrees F.

I don't know if your plant will survive. It depends on whether the roots were badly damaged. All you can do is move it permanently to an inside location on a sunny windowsill or outside in a lightly shaded area as long as it is not too hot. Allow the soil to dry out deep into the pot before watering thoroughly. Do not try to "fix" it by repotting, changing the soil or using fertilizer.

I have written detailed articles on moving plants outdoors and on succulent care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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