How to Make Succulents Colorful

Last Updated: 10.01.2024
Sakshi Kasat
Written by
Sakshi Kasat, an indoor gardener and content creator from Indore, India, transitioned from teaching to follow her gardening passion during the pandemic. She's an expert in indoor gardening, with over 150 articles published. Her favorite plant, the Peace Lily, reflects her mission to inspire others. In gardening and writing, she finds pure inspiration and contentment.

Want your succulent to reveal its vibrant shades? Here are some key points that will help you in-How to Make Succulents Colorful in a short period!

How to Make Succulents Colorful

Succulents are gaining great popularity among gardeners due to their colorful appearance and low-maintenance nature. They come in a diverse range of shapes, sizes, and colors. Depending upon the varieties, the foliage has splashes of multiple colors, making them a great focal point of any house. If you too have succulents in your home and if you wonder – How to Make Succulents Colorful, then have a look at some vital factors below.

Check out our article on growing succulents in India here.

What is Succulent Stress?

Stress is the condition where a succulent is deprived of a healthy environment and appropriate nurturing that it should have for optimal growth. It can be due to a lack of watering and extreme heat. Succulents undergo several changes to adapt themselves according to the surroundings that eventually results in a compact look and colorful foliage.

Since succulents belong to the desert-like regions, they thrive in less water, high temperature, and more sun. You need to offer them similar conditions to help them with their vibrant colors.

Reason Behind Colorful Succulents

To protect itself from the stress, a succulent undergoes numerous adaptations, and changing of color is one of them. Succulents have multiple pigments that are responsible for colors. These are chlorophyll, carotenoid, and anthocyanin. Chlorophyll is responsible for the green color of all plants and helps in the photosynthesis process. Carotenoid is in charge of yellow and orange hues of the succulents, whereas the purple, blue, and red colors are the result of the Anthocyanin pigments.

Anthocyanin pigments get active during scorching temperatures, to prevent leaves from burning and consequently changing their color. Many gardeners deliberately stress the succulents to enhance their color and appearance. This succulent stress can be the result of excess heat, sunlight, drought or less watering, and nutrients deficiency.

How to Stress Succulents to Change their Color?

If your succulents are not colorful, giving them stress will do the trick. Go through these key points to know how to make succulents change color.

  • Sunlight

The major factor responsible for their colors is the amount of sunlight they are exposed to. Most varieties of succulents should be nurtured with bright light all day or at least 8-10 hours of direct sun per day so that they can enhance their true color.

  • Temperature

The temperature has a vital role in flushing the colors of succulents. Also, keeping them in a brightly lit area within the temperature range of 27- 32 °C helps them pop out their deep colors. Moreover, succulents become colorful during low temperatures, around 4- 20° C. However, do ensure not to expose tender ones to the cold stress.

  • Water

Water stress or low watering is one of the important keys to enhance succulents colors. Overwatering makes them become greener and grow bigger like a normal plant. But water stress and drought-like condition make them go through various modifications to prevent water loss. This makes their structure compact and the color of the leaves changes as a sign of water conservation.

So as a general thumb rule, water succulents less frequently, but thoroughly. Let the soil dry out completely before the watering intervals.

Most Colorful Succulents

How to Make Succulents Colorful 2

  • California Sunset: Pink to orange
  • Campfire plant: Apple green to red
  • Echeveria ‘Wine red’: Bright red
  • Blue Chalksticks: Blue
  • Purple Beauty: Purple
  • Dragon’s blood: Red
  • Black Beauty Aeonium: Dark brown to Burgandy

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