Rule of thumb for succulents: the further the leaf color is from green, the more sun it wants.
Most succulents are pretty sun-hungry, but anything brightly or palely colored will probably need particularly intense sunlight. If you bring plants like these indoors, they are likely to turn green (as they produce more chlorophyll in an attempt to feed themselves). Many of them will will then continue life happily in this slightly-more-boring state; however, they may also get “leggy,” and if they can’t adjust to the change in light conditions, they may rot.
Likewise, a previously-green plant may develop bright red edges or other nice coloring when moved to a sunnier spot, or as winter moves into spring. This is perfectly healthy. Watch out, however, when new leaves develop brown patches: this could be a sign of “sunburn.”
If you’re short on light and you want to keep a succulent indoors, consider a nice haworthia. Many of them need only a few hours of direct sun a day. To be certain of its needs, check with the seller of any plant.
Edited to add: Not sure if this includes cacti.
catsandscales asked: I noticed your lamp in your recent post of your windowsill garden... I have a few of those lying around from my herpetology hobby days, what kinds of bulbs do you recommend? Have you tried to use only grow lights (away from natural sunlight)? Have you had any success with that if you have?
Hello! I wrote a thorough post about my light setup back in November. Since then, I’ve added a second clamp light with this bulb (be careful; the bulb is large. It fits in one of my clamp lights, but is just a tad too big for the other.)
I’ve never tried growing completely away from sunlight. If I did, I’d probably be pickier with my light bulbs and go with a fluorescent bulb marked “full spectrum” or “grow light.” Most of those seem to be tubes, though, not bulb-shaped. You might want to check out this post by Gayla Trail. Good luck!
dixieminnesoda asked: Hi. Thanks for the advice. I did read some stuff about them getting leggy from too little sun. I moved it indoors because it was getting cold at night. I don't have an area where my succulents can get sun all day :( It looks as though your blog is pretty new but it's already very interesting!
I’m glad you like my blog :) I needed an outlet for my plant-related excitement :D My natural light situation is pretty cruddy too (my E. ‘lola’ is in much the same condition as yours), so I threw together my own plant light set up—a clamp light, a compact fluorescent ‘daylight’ bulb (~27 watts and ~5500k), and an appliance timer, total ~$25 (I already had command hooks and an extension cord). I’ll put together together a post detailing my setup at some point in the near future, and the picture in my second post may also give you an idea.