Many people think succulents come in green, but you should also know they come in yellow, orange, red, crimson, purple, and varying shades of gray. The more sun some of these plants get the more the color comes out. In some instances, if these plants do not get enough light, they will revert back to green.
Succulents are a popular choice for many because they are low maintenance and very easy to grow. They require little water, sunlight, and soil. People grow succulents for many reasons. Some people enjoy the challenge of growing them and find succulents to be beautiful in their own unique way. Others enjoy the aesthetic appeal that they provide to their home or office desk.
The most important thing to know about growing succulents is that they need a lot of sunlight. While succulents can be grown indoors you might not be able to bring out the interesting colors without sunlight. A south-facing window is the best location for them, but if this isn't available, then place them close to a bright window.
Here are seven of our favorite succulents that can add color to your garden:
Aeonium Sunburst – This eye-catching succulent produces pretty large rosettes that have emerald-green and creamy yellow leaves. Given enough sunlight, the edges on the leaves will turn pink. They resemble a ray of sunshine, which explains its name. Another name for this plant is Copper Pinwheel. The plant can grow up to 24 inches tall and 16 inches wide. This aeonium will generate starlike flowers. The best environment is a location that receives six hours of sunlight each day. This plant is excellent for beginners. Hardiness zones 9-11.
Sedum rupestre Angelina – This perennial evergreen plant has striking needle-shaped foliage with a brilliant golden yellow color. The plant needs full sun and fast-draining soil. When planted in the garden it is often used as a ground cover, a perennial border, or a rock garden. It can also be grown in containers. This is a fast-growing plant that produces small yellow flowers in the summer though it will most likely not happen the first year. In the fall, the foliage can turn an orange or rust color. Hardiness zones 3-10.
Warm Red, Orange, Rust
Aloe dorotheae - This stunning succulent forms rosettes of yellow-green leaves that turn orange-red in full sun. It also goes by the name sunset aloe and grows 12 inches tall. The leaves on the plant are recurved with teeth along the margins, and they often have white spots. This succulent prefers a warm climate and strong light in order to change colors. Red-orange blooms will appear in spring. The plant is hardy for zones 9-11.
Crassula Capitella Campfire – This plant earned its name because its leaves almost look like flames. The leaves on the plant start off a pale green which turns red with continued sunlight. The colored red leaves look beautiful in a container or flower bed. In the summer, pretty white fragrant flowers appear. The plant grows 6 inches tall and 2-3 feet wide. This plant is not winter hardy, so if you live in a cooler climate, it might not work for you. Hardiness zones 9–12.
Euphoria tirucalli – This attractive succulent shrub also goes by the names Sticks on Fire or Red Pencil Tree. It generally grows 4 to 8 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide. The branches on the tree actually look like reddish-orange thin pencils or sticks. The color fades to yellow in the summer and becomes a red-orange in the winter. This shrub is best grown in full sun. Be careful handling this plant, when the stems break a milky sap comes out of the plant which can burn the skin or cause welts. For more information on growing this plant, read this article. The plant is hardy in zones 9 – 11 and while it requires cooler temperatures to change in color it can’t tolerate freezing weather. Read more about this plant.
Rose, Maroon, Lavender, And Purple
Aeonium Zwartkop – This succulent has black-purple leaves in the shape of a rosette with a lime green center. It is perfect for growing in your garden or in a container on a sunny patio. It grows around 3 feet tall. The rosettes measure 8 inches in diameter. For best results grow this plant in well-drained soil in a sunny, sheltered location. Provide protection from frost or bring the plant indoors in the autumn. The plant produces star-shaped yellow flowers. Hardiness zones 9-11.
Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi – This shrubby succulent has scalloped-edge leaves with a blue-green base, edged with a variegation of cream and rose or lavender. It is often referred to as Lavender Scallops. The plant will thrive outdoors as long as there is plenty of bright sunshine. It produces bell-shaped hanging flowers in purple or reddish-brown. The late spring or early summer blooming flowers appear in clusters on upright stems.
Growing succulents is a fun and easy hobby that anyone can enjoy.
Sedum rupestre Angelina photos courtesy of Proven Winners.