The biological principle of how succulents change color

Do you want your succulents to be as beautiful as possible? Do you find yourself envious of the vibrant succulents grown by those with a green thumb? Due to changes in temperature and sunshine, it is very typical for succulents to alter their coloration. So don't be alarmed if the color of your succulents seem to be changing. The succulents that you buy in the store are typically green in color. They may, however, develop other colors, such as pink, orange, or red, provided you use the utmost care.

What causes succulents to change color?

The following information explains the basic concept of color development in succulents. What you need to know is what sources of color are present in succulent leaves that display color. These sources include chlorophyll, lutein, carotene, and anthocyanin, to name a few. It is necessary to decrease chlorophyll content while increasing anthocyanin content to achieve more color and vibrancy.

For chlorophyll to be synthesized, it is necessary to have the chlorophyllase activity reduced by decreasing the temperature of the plant, followed by a reduction in the use of nitrogen and magnesium-containing fertilizers, as explained in more detail below. Because 4 degrees Celsius is the lowest temperature at which chlorophyll can be produced, intense light can degrade chlorophyll molecules.

Anthocyanins not only aid in the development of succulent color, but they also protect other tissues inside plant cells from UV and blue light damage. As a result, increased exposure to light causes an increase in anthocyanins. If you decide to grow succulents inside, you should think about using an LED growth light to help them thrive. Purchase both UV and blue light bulbs. Red light will  not work in this situation.

Since anthocyanins are influenced by plant acidity, pouring acid rain water on them can help.

The last and most essential thing to remember is to control the water flow. Note when a succulent's original color has begun to fade and becomes green after a rain. Drought, on the other hand, can hasten the formation of anthocyanins.


In summary, we may say:

1. The ideal time to develop succulent color is when the temperature difference is 15 degrees Celsius.

2. Do not place succulents in the shade. They need full sunlight.

3. Gradually reduce the amount of water used by succulent plants.

4. It is OK to use some acidic water.

5. Do not use fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, or magnesium. Use potassium fertilizer in your garden.

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Tags: Succulent


  • Posted by pawan kalindu on

    someone told me that succulents will change color if we put fertilizers with low nitrogen and high in magnesium , will it work?

  • Posted by Anonymous on

    Hi Pawan! In my experience, the fertilizer would only help to make succulents grow chubbier.

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