Why Do My Succulents Change Color?

A succulent’s the color or tone that is out of the norm draws our interest. The hue of succulents is, certainly, among the more attractive aspects.

In many cases it is a decisive factor for us to select between various species.

The color of your succulents could have changed in time You may have noticed that the hues of your succulents have changed from vibrant reds and pinks to dull greens since buying the plants.

We’ve all seen pictures of succulents on the internet with vivid hues and thought about why our own succulents of the same species do not exhibit the same effects.

Succulent Colors Are Determined By A Variety of Factors

In the case of succulents, their hue is affected by a variety of environmental variables. Temperature and climate, day length and even changes to the substrate may cause plants to change their color.

Additionally the plant’s color can change to indicate issues it’s experiencing.

The hue of succulents, and in particular, the way that the way they change color and how they happen is among the most interesting things I’ve seen throughout the many years.

We’d love to provide you with all the knowledge I’ve gathered from my personal experience as well as the hours of research I’ve poured into this subject.

If you stay to me for a while, I’ll go over the ways that succulents acquire their colors, the reason they have a variety of colors and what colors are a sign of danger, and how you can find vibrant as well as healthy succulents.

Do All Succulents Change Color?

Yes as well as No. It is possible for certain succulents to display various shades of green based on the conditions, however none of them will have hues of red or violet due to the genetic influences on the plant.

Certain succulents don’t produce anthocyanins since it’s an insignificant part of their make-up. It doesn’t matter what conditions outside are They remain green throughout the year.

But, succulents with vibrant colors are genetically based, which creates their color and they require sunlight to sustain their colors.

Other people use anthocyanins with epicuticular or farina wax to shield themselves from the sun.

However certain varieties of succulents depend solely upon the farina and that is the reason the reason it is crucial to ensure it is kept. It is worth noting that farina is a unique ingredient in succulents. farina can have a distinct impact on succulents and can give them a light blue-gray or silvery color.

In the same way, changes in color indicate the condition that our plants are in. Certain varieties are great, and others aren’t so great. We’ve already said that we need to learn to read the signals that plants send us.

The color of succulents

It is important to understand the three colors found in succulents responsible for their color: chlorophylls carotenoids and anthocyanins. Have a look at the following:


Photosynthesis, the process through which light is transformed to energy is accomplished by chloroplasts. It is this process that provides green hues to plants.


They create the red, orange, yellow and brown hues. However, even though they’re equipped to photosynthesis, they do not produce nearly the amount of photosynthetic molecules that chlorophylls do.

Many different species of living things including plants, and even animals, contain the pigments found in tissues of their species.

differnt color shades of succulents

Additionally, fruit like bananas, oranges, and lemons are colored with the same colors that we are familiar with due to their pigments.

Carotenoids are commonly found in plants, however chlorophyll is able to conceal them from view. That is, they exist however we are unable to be able to see them because of the green hue dominating the landscape.

Chlorophyll is absent from the leaf and the stem of succulents with variegated colors which makes them appear yellow.

The decrease in the production of chlorophyll that happens as plants age is totally normal.

Additionally when plants age or mature, the production of chlorophyll decreases. This is why we observe trees that have brown or yellow leaves in autumn.

In this time the production of chlorophyll decreases in the leaves, and carotenoids start to begin to act within the plant.

The same is true for our succulents, too. The older leaves of the plant start to fade they lose their green hue and turn yellow. They dry up, and then fall off.

In the same way, fruits are an excellent example for this concept in the course of. Carotenoids, as previously mentioned, are the primary cause of the color of lemons, bananas, and oranges.

But, these hues were not always there, did they? When the fruit is ripe, they are green due to high levels of chlorophyll.


These pigments may create pink, red violet, blue, and red shades. They are found in fruits such as blueberries, eggplants, and plums.

They are the primary participants for changing succulents’ hue. They only activate when it is necessary to protect plants from harsh conditions like extreme temperatures, lighting as well as pests and drought.

What Is Stress In Succulents?

It’s widely believed that stress is a negative way to treat succulents. Physical stress requires a physical response in order to cope with an adversity situation, environment or situation.

In the fight against stress succulents always come out the best. They’ve developed to endure the most extreme climates, which means they’re able to thrive anywhere.

There is a possibility to discover species that do not just survive but thrive in extreme conditions like long droughts, temperature fluctuations, as well as intense sun.

The plants that are stressed produce more pigment to guard themselves from exposure to more harsh environmental conditions. In other words, stress is a mechanism to adapt for succulents, and is not always an undesirable thing.

Is stressing succulents bad?

Succulents are able to use mechanisms to allow them to endure droughts, extreme temperature fluctuations, and lots of exposure to sun despite the fact that they may appear to be resistant.

The color change of succulents through overstressing them is not good or bad. It is entirely dependent on the method used to carry it out. Because of climate change, they are in a state of pressure in their habitats.

If you reside in the hemispheres, then you can choose to avoid over-stressing your succulents and allow them to change colors according to the season. In the tropical regions in which temperatures remain steady throughout the year, this could be a problem.

Succulents do not fit our awkwardness. If you choose to put stress on your succulents, be sure to be careful.

Be careful not to make any abrupt changes. You should constantly check the health of your plants to make sure that everything is in order and that they aren’t in any way suffering.

Each person has the ability the decision to make about whether they want to put themselves under too much stress. It’s your responsibility to determine what is best to your plant.

Not All Color Changes Are Beneficial

Although stressed succulents may remain healthy, not every color change is good for their health. They can be stressed when they’re struggling. You might be trying to determine whether your plants are vibrant to the right or wrong motives.

Here are some tips to help you:

As a response or defense mechanism against pests which eat succulents, the plant produces anthocyanin pigments to tiny wounds.

In addition to the color, it is also important to take a look at its overall look. Have a look at the plant’s root system and ensure that it’s growing in a uniform manner across.

It is safe to say that the process of forcing succulents to change color will result in the desired effect. The plant must be healthy and free of burns or damage to the leaves. There is an issue in the plants if it appears poor overall.

The plants can also lose hue due to excessive watering or fungal growth. decay.

If you’re worried about the hue that your plant is displaying, bear in mind that excessive watering or fungus, and even rotting could alter the appearance of your plants.

Yellow leaves signify over-watering. brown leaves suggest over-exposure to the sun and burn leaves, while purple or black leaves suggest the beginning of decay.

How to Stress Succulents

When stressing succulents, bear your mind in the present that you must give them the highest quality lighting you can provide. Lighting is crucial for their health and for their vivid colors.

Although it is possible to over-stress your succulents in order to change their color, it is important to make sure you’re dealing with a plant that alters color in extreme conditions.

As we have discussed previously that pigments possess a genetic element that determines whether or they are able to change color. Certain succulents cannot change color, regardless of how hard you try, so, placing them under extreme stress is not a good idea.

Which Succulents Change Color?

You might be trying to figure out which kinds of plants can alter color when they take in vibrant tones and which varieties aren’t.

It can be stressful trying to sort through the various succulent species to determine which are able to perform the task you would like to achieve. But don’t fret, here are three suggestions to help determine the correct species.

1. Do an image search to locate instances of each species.

The Internet is an excellent source for finding the most unique and vibrant succulent plants (of any type). Instagram, Pinterest, and even Google search are all utilized to search. Create a list of the species with the color you want.

It is crucial to keep in mind that the Internet is awash in filters, and some colors could have been created or altered digitally.

[2] The Name Is Your Guide

The names that are succinct can aid in determining the colors they come in. For example, Black Aeonium, Black Prince, Sedum golden glow, Graptosedum bronze, Firesticks, etc.

[3] Take A Look At The Leaf Tips

Certain succulents that change hues when stressed show this capability in the edges of their leaves. On the tips of certain plants, there is some hints of color. It could be orange, yellow, red, or pink in hue, based on the color you prefer. When you stress the succulents, the colors will be amplified.

How to Change the Color of Your Succulents

To change colors of succulents, it’s not too difficult. All you need to learn is the correct methods.

Succulents from both hemispheres are the most vibrant in autumn, as they are more stressed.

The production of anthocyanin is usually not stimulated by growth in succulents during the growth season, but it is activated after growth has slowed. In the majority of species, this happens at the end of summer.

Autumn Is A Stressful Season For Plants

The temperature and other environmental conditions can cause stress to plants during the autumn. At this time of year, the weather can be a mixture of extremes. There are days where the weather is nice and nights that don’t get too cold.

At this time of the year the days remain long, meaning that succulents will get plenty of sunshine. Inducing them to think it’s fall to make them feel more stressed, since this is the season that we get the most vibrant colors.

Temperature, light substrate, light, as well as watering, are just a few elements that you can influence to put stress on your plants. Consider which of these you can alter and what you can do in your particular situation.

If your plants are housed it is possible that you will not be able to regulate the amount of water because of rain, however you might be able to select the right substrate. If your succulents are housed they can be provided by providing artificial light.

Now that you know how to alter every variable to create stress, you’ll be able to devise the best strategy for your plant and you.

1. Control of the light

The more light you can get more light, the more light there is. More light means more activation for your succulents to shield themselves from harmful UV radiation. It is essential to provide your succulents plenty of sunlight every day to help stress them out.

To prevent burning your succulents Do not abruptly make changes to the amount of sun they get. It is best to make gradual changes at first.

Begin with increasing how long you are outdoors by about half an hour every day, until you reach an hour every day.

2. Controlling The Temperature

Temperature variations, particularly when temperatures are low, but not frozen temperatures, can activate pigments. As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, you should be careful not to hurt your plants.

If they’re used to indoors when suddenly you take them outdoors in the cold it is possible that they will get frostbite. Let them adjust to the new environment by making small changes.

After the pigments are activated and absorbed, they are capable of enduring the conditions for a longer time.

3. Control of Fertilization

It is not recommended to use any fertiliser. Eliminate or reduce fertilization if your substrate is lacking in nutrients that can trigger the pigmentation. Succulents thrive in soils that are deficient in nutrients So don’t be concerned.

4. Control of Watering

Let plants dry in between irrigations. It is not enough to make sure your substrate remains completely dry and let it dry for a bit longer because this can stress the plants and can cause change in color.

In times of drought it is recommended to ensure that your plants are hydrated each time, to accumulate sufficient water resources to last the dry season.

It’s likely that cutting down on the amount of watering can make succulents smaller in their shape, and decreases the appearance of the mealy bugs.

It is also worth that the changes must be done slowly to allow succulents to adjust to the new environment and to avoid harm.

It’s not a good decision to be stressed out. Keep on your guard for indications that your succulent’s color is changing in a healthy manner.

If you find that something isn’t right Don’t try to force your succulents. To take in these gradual transformations, just take your time and relax.

It’s an excellent idea to capture photos of your succulents when they change color so that you can keep track of their growth. It’s easy to overlook changes when you see them on a regular basis So, take pictures and then compare the photos.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)