Most people are only familiar with the green succulent varieties. However, if you feel that these varieties are dull and need to spice them up a bit, why not go for purple succulents? They’re still your old-time succulents, but only in a deeper, more intense, and rich purple color.
Experts and succulent enthusiasts even label them as the best colorful succulents. However, you have to take note that these succulents prefer to grow outdoors and in large containers. They are tolerant to cold and grew even more purple during colder climates.
Then again, these features and characteristics are not to be said about all varieties of purple succulents. There are even some varieties that start small and only grow taller as it gets more sun. Some are not very tolerant of a cold climate. The only thing they share in common, after all, is the fact that they’re purple.
What we’re talking about here are not the varieties that only turn purple because they’re stressed out, because they’ve been neglected for too long, or because they didn’t get enough sunlight. The succulents that made it to this list are all naturally purple as they bloom and thrive. If this got you interested, read on.
What Are Purple Succulents
Black-colored succulents are not really black, but purple ones are actually purple in color. There are two kinds of purple succulents – those that are naturally purple and those that are exposed to a stressful environment. As for the former, there are a plethora of purple succulent varieties that possess different features and characters.
While there are naturally purple succulents that grow better in the cold, some are sensitive to excessive moisture. And while there are varieties that thrive outdoors, some also grow better under the shade. Some types grow taller than regular succulents, while some remain small and rounded. These characteristics depend on and vary according to species.
As far as the second kind of purple succulents is concerned, these are the plants subjected to extreme neglect. As a result of being in a stressful environment for a prolonged period, they either grow tall, have thinner stems and leaves, become more translucent, and of course, change their color to purple. You see, succulents produce such pigments as carotenoid and anthocyanin as their response to stressful conditions like being exposed to intense heat and sunlight.
Benefits of Purple Succulents
Add Character to Your Arrangement
Since purple succulents are like just any other succulent varieties out there, one of their unique benefits is their rich color that adds aesthetic value to the plant. When you have a garden and intend to set it up as a landscape, any purple succulent will add character to your arrangement. It will surely be a pleasant break from all the dull green or yellow colored plants you have.
You can even stage a succulent arrangement with the purple succulent as the highlight for more appeal. If you want to showcase your plant collection, these purple succulents will also lead the pack as they’re fantastic head-turners simply because of their color.
How Do Purple Succulents Work
These succulents are different from other succulents simply because of their color. And since they have rich and exquisite shade, it’s easy for them to make your garden or any succulent arrangement pop.
Aside from this, purple succulents are said to be generally more tolerant compared to other succulent varieties. They will still thrive even in less-than-ideal conditions. This means that your succulent will have a better and longer life span and better chances at survival if you can’t take as much care for it.
On top of that, they’re also different in the sense that they can grow and remain headstrong even during colder seasons. Most succulent varieties crave sunshine and grow well in hot, dry, and arid environments that expose them to cold. With minimal sunlight, they etiolate.
Pros and Cons of Purple Succulents
When it comes to advantages, purple succulents have so much to offer. One of these is the fact that this plant doesn’t demand much from its owner. This fact is true to all succulents but is even highlighted more in the case of purple succulents because they’re more resilient and less demanding compared to their contemporaries.
They thrive in the cold, and they also do well under the shade. They’re good as indoor plants, yet they also function well outdoors. Plus, you don’t need to break your bank account if you want a rare or thriving variety. You can propagate your own by planting the seeds.
Aside from these, you can still grow the plant even if you don’t have a green thumb. Some plants and succulents demand extensive knowledge and expertise to grow, so novice and new plant hobbyists might have difficulty coping. This is not the case with purple succulents. Since they’re relatively low-key and low-maintenance, even those who are new to succulents can make them thrive.
As far as the disadvantages are concerned, it’s worthy to note that some purple succulent species are hard to grow. Some are also so rare that you can’t see their names under any succulent species, hence making it hard for you to know what environment they thrive in and in which conditions they wilt and die. Besides this, some varieties also prefer frigid environments, and exposure to sunlight can stress them. If you live in areas where sunshine is in abundance, it might be hard to grow.
Types of Purple Succulents
Santa Rita Prickly Pear (Opuntia Santarita)
Avid succulent growers find this cactus interesting because of its signature purple and green pads. This is a native of the southwestern part of the United States. Though the wider variety tends to spread expansively up to six feet, the smaller types tend to be the more colorful.
They look their best in spring when the purple plant also produces bright and lively yellow flowers. And just like its other Prickly Pear family members, the fruit inside the plant is edible.
This plant prefers to be under the full sun, but it can also thrive under the afternoon shade. They, too, do well even under extreme heat and occasional frost. However, to keep the plant from getting damaged, it’s better to keep them from cold temperatures. Aside from that, they can also quickly rot when overwatered.
Purple Pearl (Echeveria)
What sets this plant apart from its other contemporaries is its light purple leaves. The rounded, flat leaves are beautifully arranged into an excellent rosette shape that can reach up to eight inches. This plant can also grow as high as eight inches and produce small pink flowers in full bloom.
Like other Echeveria succulents, this plant enjoys partial sunlight and bright indoor lighting, infrequent watering, and well-draining soil. They are also easy to take care of. Aside from that, they can be propagated from their individual leaves or stem cuttings. If you have pets roaming around your garden, you would be happy to know that this plant is not toxic to them.
Royal Flush (Pleiospilos Nelii)
This is one of the petite purple succulent varieties that can only grow as tall as three inches and as big as four inches. Most of the time, this plant only has two or four leaves, with deep grooves in its centers. It has rich purple leaves that are covered by raised, tiny dots. When this plant blooms, it also showcases its white and bright pink daisy-like flowers.
Avid succulent growers should take note, however, that this plant is somewhat hard to are for. They might be hard to figure out since they prefer regular yet light watering, well-draining soil, and partial sun. And contrary to other succulents, they are also used to moisture through condensation and fog. This condition made it tricky to find the balance of humidity given your climate condition.
Purple Beauty (Sempervivum)
This plant belongs to the cute succulent varieties with purple centers and blue-green leaves. They have leaves that grown to form rosette patterns that can go as big as six inches in diameter. Naturally, this plant only grows until it reaches three inches. During spring, this plant produces chicks or offsets that can also mature and yield their own chicks.
Trailing Jade (Senecio Jacobsenii)
Despite being referred to as Trailing Jade, this plant is not related to the popular Crassula Jades. They are native to the southern parts of Africa, and they can grow tall stems that can go as high as 12 inches.
As such, they’re ideal as ground cover and hanging pots. They also rarely bloom, but when they do, they yield bright yet bad-smelling orange flowers. This plant also loves the sun and does well in pots with proper drainage and infrequent watering.
Purple Moon Cactus (Gymnocalycium)
You can find this species thriving in South America, where they stay small, usually below six inches. They are well-known for being low-maintenance and their bright and vividly-colored flowers. Those who have experienced growing this succulent is well aware that these are grafted into other cacti types because they lack greener cacti’s chlorophyll.
Purple Flush (Senecio Herreanus)
This species of purple succulents is more popularly known as String of Beads. They are trailing succulents fits for any hanging planter. As you know, succulents look fantastic when hanging from baskets. This plant is an example of that fantastic-looking succulent that fits being dangled in baskets. They usually have purple stems and oval-shaped green leaves. In full bloom, this succulent yields a brush-like white flower.
Rubra (Lithops Optica)
This variety is often referred to as Living Stones because of its thick, reddish-purple, pebble-like leaves that only grow up to one inch. Because its stem is relatively short, it’s hardly seen when viewed on the side. Growers love this plant because when in full bloom, they produce daisy-like flowers.
Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus pectinatus)
This earned its name because of its violet spines. This variety is native to the southwestern part of the United States and Mexico. They can grow as high as 14 inches and as big as five inches. Unfortunately, this plant has weak roots. This means you have to be careful so as not to overwater it.
How to Grow Purple Succulents
Step 1 – Study the needs of your variety
As mentioned above, each purple succulent variety is unique. While one thrives under the shade, the other prefers to bask in the full, bright sun. While one type grows well in areas abundant in sunlight, others grow better in colder environments. Before you decide to bring home and grow any purple succulent variety, you need to be aware of its growing conditions and needs. Otherwise, you’ll only be sabotaging its survival.
You might end up putting an indoor succulent in the hottest area of the house, causing it stress. Or, you might end up leaving your sunlight-craving succulent out in the cold. The main point of planting them is for them to grow, develop, mature, and bloom. You didn’t take them from where they’re from for them to die. So might as well give them the most conducive living conditions by understanding their needs.
Step 2 – Repot your succulents
From the store or plant nursery, most succulents are only planted in nursery bags. These bags and the soil inside them are not sufficient for the succulents to grow well. So, the moment you bring them home, repot them immediately. They were already stressed when they were moved from the store to your garden, so you might as well stress them out now than re-stress them later.
Step 3 – Choose the right potting mix and container
Succulents are sensitive to moisture and water; that’s why you need to use the soil and container that drain water well. As for the soil, use the cactus mix since they have better drainage capacity. For the pots, go for terra cotta pots that don’t retain extra moisture. Just make sure that the pot is big enough to give the succulent’s roots more legroom to expand.
How to Take Care of Purple Succulents
Step 1 – Quarantine new plants before mixing them
Plants from a different garden can infect your existing plants, so it’s best to quarantine the new plant additions by leaving them in your central garden for at least two weeks. If you see that they’re no longer suffering from any sickness after the two-week quarantine, you can now move them to your succulent garden.
Step 2 – Know when to water your succulents
As you already know, there is no universal watering schedule that works for every succulent. You also already know that succulents are sensitive to overwatering, so you also need to be keen on when you should water your plants. Overwater them and expect their roots to rot and make the plant grow molds.
Step 3 – Repot when necessary
Master the method for repotting succulents. You should also take note as to when you have to repot your succulents. You see, over time, they may only grow more prominent, and their roots may not have sufficient legwork in their existing pot. If the roots are left in its old pot, the plant might only experience stunted growth.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
When it comes to any succulent variety, the principle of spending more means better quality doesn’t apply since growing succulents, in itself, is not an expensive task at all. In fact, even the rarest and most costly varieties don’t require much money to grow. And though growing succulents from seeds can take years, it doesn’t change the fact that you can grow them.
You don’t have to buy them. Even the tools and things you need to grow your succulents are neither expensive nor hard to find. As long as you know your succulent variety needs to thrive, you can have a healthy and thriving succulent.
Do’s and Don’ts With Purple Succulents
- Do try planting different species of succulents in your garden.
- Do invest in gardening tools.
- Do always quarantine your new succulents before mixing them with the old and existing plants in your garden.
- Do always repot after you bring home the succulent from where you bought it.
- Do try making arrangements for purple succulents and a lovely shade of pink succulents.
- Do try to make balanced succulent soil at home.
- Do understand what your succulent needs.
- Do try planting cactus since cacti are fantastic plants for beginners.
- Don’t pass on the world’s best artificial succulents.
- Don’t say no to crawling succulents. Ground covering succulents are easy to grow.
- Don’t completely disregard the needs of your succulents.
- Don’t overwater your succulents.
- Don’t forget to check for diseases.
FAQ About Purple Succulents
Why has my succulent turned purple?
If your green succulent has suddenly turned purple, that only means that it has been subjected to immense stress. They could have been exposed to the excruciating heat of the sun or other sources of extreme heat. To recap, succulents produce such pigments as carotenoid and anthocyanin due to stressful conditions like being exposed to intense heat and sunlight.
Are there really purple succulents?
Yes, there are varieties of naturally purple succulents, even if they were not subjected to extremely stressful conditions. To recap, here are the naturally purple succulent types:
- Opuntia santarita
- Purple Flush
- Purple Beauty
- Purple Moon Cactus
- Purple Pearl
- Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus
- Royal Flush
- Trailing Jade
How do I make my succulent purple?
You can make your naturally green succulent purple by subjecting them to intense heat. But then again, this is merely torturing the plant, with its purple color is a direct repercussion of such torture. So, if you want a purple succulent, it’s more logical to buy any purple varieties.
Where can you buy purple succulents?
There are plenty of stores, offline and online that sell purple succulents. There are local garden and flower shops that sell this variety. If you go online, you can also search plenty of stores with dedicated websites selling these succulents. And if you go to Amazon, Etsy, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok, you can also connect with different purple succulent sellers.
Growing a purple succulent is like taking home a pet. Your purpose in taking them in is to grow them and make them reach their maxim potential. This only means that you need to obligate yourself to provide them with the necessary basics for their survival. And the first step in knowing the basics is studying everything there is to know about your chosen succulent variety. If you know what they need, it’s easy to keep them satisfied with what you have to offer.