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If you are new in the world of succulents, we guess many things are unknown to you. For instance, why is your succulent changing the color of the leaves? Is it sick? Or is it a normal process? Worry not, because we are here for you. Follow our guidelines, and we will teach you everything about colorful succulents.  Furthermore, we will teach you how to change the color of your plants using only natural factors.

What Are Colorful Succulents

Not every succulent can change color, don’t forget that. The most common color-changing succulents are:

  • Aloe
  • Aeonium
  • Echeveria
  • Euphorbia
  • Crassulas
  • Sedums
  • Kalanchoe

If your succulents are not color-changing, stressing them will only cause harm. If your succulent is changing the color to brown or black, it usually means something is wrong. Never forget that the health of the plant comes first, and aesthetics is not that important.

How Do Colorful Succulents Work

Succulents live in harsh conditions everywhere in the world. From high altitudes to desolate deserts and arid areas, they have learned to survive. Giving your colorful succulent a little stress is actually like mimicking its natural habitat. A moderate amount of stress will not harm the plant.

Pros and Cons of Colorful Succulents

Pros

Cons

  • An untrained gardener can harm the succulent with overstressing.
  • Some people paint succulents with spray-paint and call them colorful succulents. It’s wrong, immoral, and harmful to plants.

Why Do Succulents Change Color

Why Do Succulents Change Color

Three main reasons why succulents change color exist. Those are:

  • Temperature 
  • Water
  • Sun

Temperature

When the lower temperatures arrive, some plants change their shape and color to adapt to new conditions. For instance, deciduous trees change the color of their leaves. Succulents have much slower growth in cold temperatures and need to adapt. That’s the sole reason why some of these succulents will change shape, and their color will become darker. Dark colors do a much better job in catching the sun’s rays than lighter ones. 

Water

A succulent that is perfectly watered will usually have a rich, healthy dark green color. If you want your succulent to change color, you should water it just above the recommended amount. This way, the color of your plant will change, but without any bad side-effects to it. The frequency of watering depends on the size of your succulents

Sun

Just as people, succulents have a way to protect themselves from overexposing to the sun. If you leave your succulent in direct sunlight, it will start producing two anthocyanin and carotenoid pigments. These chemicals help your plant not to burn in the sun. Anthocyanin will give your succulent blue, red, or purple nuances. Carotenoid will paint your plant in orange or yellow color.

Purple Succulents 

Purple Beauty (Sempervivum tectorum)

These purple beauties are commonly found outdoor in large flower boxes. They are cold-resistant and in the cooler months, the rosette’s shading will get a lovely purple color. Purple beauty is one of the popular hens-and-chicks succulents.  

Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida)

This plant is also known as the Wandering Jew or purple heart. Brittle purple stems are best located somewhere they can’t be harmed. Hanging baskets are a great choice, as well as a groundcover.

Perle von Nürnberg (Echeveria gibbiflora x Echeveria elegans)

The most common choice for bridal bouquets is one of the rose-shaped succulents. It is a perfect choice to plant in containers as it’s stunningly beautiful and disease-free. As far as we are concerned, this is one of the world’s best rose succulents.

Santa Rita Prickly Pear (Opuntia santa rita)

This colorful cactus has fleshy round pads. In spring, it will reward your effort with yellow flowers that will perfectly contrast the purple pads. You can plant it in Mediterranean gardens, as well as the cactus, rock, and xeriscape gardens.

Paddle plant (Kalanchoe luciae)

This colorful succulent looks like a clamshell and will turn colors from green to red. The plant tolerates heat, salt, and drought exceptionally well. The only weak spots are slugs and snails. The paddle plant is sometimes monocarpic, so bear that in mind.

Blue Succulents

Blue Chalksticks (Senecio serpens)

These blue Chalksticks are winter growers, so don’t let that confuse you. When exposed to direct sunlight, the leaves will get a subtle purple note. In the summer, small white flowers might appear.

Blue Glow (Agave attenuata x Agave ocahui)

This slow-growing agave has blue and green leaves, with gold and red margins on the edges. Blue Glow is decorative, easily grown, and will take up to ten years to bloom. After that, your plant will die, so be sure to plant some offsprings.

Blue Spruce (Sedum reflexum)

With blue-green leaves in the form of the needle, this succulent resembles the spruce trees. It is a perfect choice for ground cover or even a lawn substitute if you live in a hotter climate. Blue spruce will quickly take up all the space in your garden.

Red Succulents

Red Succulents

Campfire Plant (Crassula capitella)

In the full sun, this beauty changes the leaves’ color from green to yellow, orange, and red. In the summer, a whole bunch of white flowers will complete the looks of this eye-catching succulent.

Desert Cabbage (Kalanchoe luciae)

The grey-green and yellow-green leaves of this plant are formed in a rosette. A bright red margin completes the look. And in the winter, the whole plant might turn bright red. Desert cabbage is also monocarpic, and flowers vary from pinkish to yellowish and whitish notes.

Lipstick (Echeveria agavoides)

This red succulent resembles agave, but it’s much smaller in size, making it more suitable for smaller spaces. The lime-green colored leaves have bright red edges, giving this plant its well-known nickname.

Sticks on Fire (Euphorbia tirucalli)

This succulent has many names, such as Red Pencil Tree, Finger Tree, Fire Sticks, and a few more. Thin, pencil-like stems make this plant look like a red coral. Yellow shades of the stem in the summer change to bright red in the winter. Extremely toxic, with milky sap that can burn your skin.

Royanum Hens-and-Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum ‘Royanum’)

Much more fun-looking than usual hens-and-chicks, this succulent will quickly grow into a mat. Small green rosettes have red-tipped leaves. Royanum is monocarpic, but new rosettes will quickly grow back. If you are looking for beautiful ground-covering succulents in your garden, your search is over. 

Yellow Succulents

Fire and Ice (Echeveria subrigida ‘Fire and Ice’)

This plant will reward you with a large rosette up to 9 inches tall and up to 18 inches wide. The leaves are blue and green, with pink margins. The flowers will come in a coral-pink nuance, with orange tones inside.

Sunset Jade (Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s Sunset’)

This beautiful evergreen succulent will bloom white and pink flowers anytime from fall to spring. Saucy green leaves have red edges and yellow tips. When the temperatures fall, the leaves will become jade yellow.

California Sunset (Graptosedum)

This hybrid succulent grows in green rosettes. But, when exposed to slightly stronger sunlight, an explosion of colors appear. From gentle pink to bright yellow, this succulent is small, easy to upkeep, and will be the center of your garden. Everybody loves fabulous pink succulents.

How to Grow and Take Care of Colorful Succulents 

Step 1 – Limit the color-changing

Often changing colors can be quite harmful to your colorful succulents. The best practice is to limit the color-changing to just a few months every year.

Step 2 – Water when the soil gets dry

As for the soil and water part, flowering succulents have the same demands as the usual succulents. So, good drainage, a pinch of fertilizer, and watering when the soil is dry will usually do the trick. 

Step 3 – Don’t overstress your succulents

Beware not to overstress your succulent. If you notice burned leaves, black edges of stems, or leaves falling, stop stressing your plant. Changing colors a bit is just not worth it. 

 

How to Make Your Succulents More Colorful 

Step 1 – Move your succulent outside 

Move your indoor succulent outdoors in a bright shade. Of course, pick a sunny season to do this, like late spring or summer. Let your succulent sit there for the next five days.

Step 2 – Expose your succulent to a morning sun

After five days, locate your succulent in a partial sun location, so it has a couple of hours of the direct morning sun. For the rest of the day, a bright shade is enough.

Step 3 – Follow the progress

Observe the changes on your succulents, and move it to a location with more or less sun, given the circumstances. 

Step 4 – Stress your succulent a bit

You can combine sun exposure with other factors, like temperature and water extremes. But beware, because overstressing your plant could harm it.

 

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

One of the reasons why colorful succulents are popular lies in their affordability. You can get the usual colorful succulents anywhere between $2 and $10, depending on the plant type. However, the succulents sold by top-quality manufacturers will cost just slightly more, and rare succulents are hard to come by. But, their price is a guarantee you will be getting a healthy, juicy plant. 

Do’s and Don’ts With Colorful Succulents 

Do’s

  • Plant your colorful succulent only in soil with good drainage.
  • Gradually expose your succulents to the increased sunlight.
  • Stop if your plant shows any sign of disease or maltreating. 
  • Widen your succulent collection. Growing succulents from seeds is relatively straightforward, as well as propagating or swapping with your fellow gardeners.

Don’ts

FAQ About Colorful Succulents

Where can I buy colorful succulents?

As with any other succulent type, colorful succulents can be found relatively easily. If you have a garden center nearby, be sure to check their offer. The same goes for your fellow gardeners. The next best choice is the Ikea and Walmart stores. They have a surprisingly large offer of colorful succulents, as well as pots for them. The last but most common choice is the Internet. Amazon delivers everything these days, including colorful succulents, for just a few bucks. Besides Amazon, nowadays, there are a plethora of specialized online shops that sell succulents. Even premium black succulents are easy to find once you get connected with a reputable seller.

FAQ About Colorful Succulents

How do I make my succulents colorful?

Stressing your succulents a bit will do the trick. Expose your succulents to brighter sunlight or colder temperatures. Reducing their water will also do fine. But, before you do any of this, check if your succulent can change colors.

Can you add food coloring to succulents?

Some people claim that if you add some food coloring to the water, the succulents will change it. Although food coloring is non-toxic and won’t harm your plant, it certainly won’t do wonders for the color. Like every plant, succulents have a filtering system in the roots to input only necessities into their organism. You can experiment a bit with different succulents and see how it goes. But we are fans of the natural look, and food coloring is not necessary. 

Why are my succulent changing colors?

Light, water, and temperature are the sole reasons why your succulent is changing color. If the color change looks unhealthy, there is something wrong with your plant. Newly bought succulents are often bright-colored just for the amount of stress they go through in the stores. 

Why has my succulent gone purple?

Succulent tend to change color due to the stress involved. The usual reasons why succulents change their color to purple are overwatering, underwatering, cold temperature, or poor potting soil. Don’t forget that soil is a mixture of organic components and minerals, but the mixture must be perfect.

Conclusion

Colorful succulents will prove themselves as a fine addition to your garden or home. But, if they become overcomplicated, you have more than good choices left. For instance, hanging succulents don’t need a lot of care, time, or space. But take on word on this, colorful succulents are worth trying. With just a pinch of your time, your garden can shine like a rainbow of bright colors!

Photos from: firefox / depositphotos.com, emm888 / depositphotos.com and EnginKorkmaz / depositphotos.com.