Were learning over and over again that succulents are coming in all forms, shapes, and sizes. The same goes for a color range. From subtle, gentle shades to bright, hot colors that steal the show, succulents can change the way we perceive nature. By choosing a succulent of a specific color, you can change the whole mood of your garden or get a home plant that will brighten up the room.
Usually, when succulent is changing color, it doesn’t mean anything good. This is the way for succulent to show you it’s not healthy anymore and that you need to act quickly. Color changing appears for various reasons- lack of nutrients, too many nutrients, too much light, not enough light, overwatering, underwatering… You got the idea.
However, color changing can be intended and even desirable. Whether you want the succulent to have brighter shade or you don’t like the color it already came with, it’s possible to trigger changing of the color. You just need to do it carefully and in a controlled environment. There’s a very thin line between hot colored succulent and a dead one.
Before you make a step on the road of color changing. be aware- not every single species of succulent will change color. Sill, not many of them are immune to it. Also, not all succulents change color at the same pace. Some would take more thine than the other and some different environmental changes.
What Causes Succulent To Change Color?
In order to make succulent change color or even get some, to begin with, you’ll need to put it under some amount of physical stress. While it’s a common opinion that stress is a very bad thing for plants if you do it with the right timing and careful precision it won’t damage your succulent a bit. Physically stressing the succulent is only safe in controlled conditions.
Figuring out what stress can do to the plant can be challenging. To help you get the idea of the amount of stress you can safely expose your succulents to, let’s bring it on the human level. Let’s say you want to get in shape and improve the way you look. The extensive exercising and pushing your limits can be good for you and even fasten up the process. However, if you overdo it, you may get hurt. The same goes for tanning. Exposing to the sunlight will give you that beautiful bronze color, but too much of it and you’ll end up seriously burned.
The crucial thing in the process of getting the succulent to change color is setting the stress level that is just enough to work, but still safe for the plant. When this is done properly and succulent react with color, we say that it’s been “happily stressed”.
What Stress Does To the Succulent?
When you expose a succulent to the physical stress, it starts to increase the production of anthocyanin and carotenoid. These are pigments that help your succulent protect itself from damage that may occur when the optimal growing environment changes. So, when you trigger the succulent to produce anthocyanin and carotenoid, it doesn’t just make your succulent much stronger, but gives beautiful, bright and much more vibrant color.
Still, not every succulent is capable of changing color, no matter how much stress you apply. Some succulents are green in their optimal environment and will remain like that even under stress. Those succulents may actually turn brown in those circumstances, which you surely don’t want. Finally, too much stress can kill the plant. Succulents more capable to change color are ones that already have some color around the edges and tips of the leaves. You`ll be able to know the changing capability of your succulent by its name. If it has a color in it, you can give it a try. If the name implicates the plant is completely green, you may not be so successful.
Finally, How To Make a Succulent Change Color?
Contrary to what you may think, making a succulent change color is quite an easy job. Just like we explain how much small dosages of pushing can be beneficial to humans, small dosages of environmental changes can trigger succulent to change color. You can start with changing light conditions day by day. Expose your succulent to a full sun one day and place it in a full shade on the next. Just make sure that you’re not pushing too hard, which can give your plant sunburns. Cutting the water from time to time may also trigger the succulent to produce said pigments and make the colors shine brighter.
The process of changing color is very slow and gradual, so you need to be patient. Like with growing, if you rush the plant to go over its limits, it will end up dead. Try to keep a fixed schedule. You want to stress the succulent with small environmental changes from time to time. For example, after a few days of changing light conditions, leave it in a perfect growing spot to recover. Depending on the species, your succulent will take a week or two to start showing more vibrant colors. As you continue the process, the colors should stand out more and more.