Why Are My Succulents Turning Red

Are there several types of stress in succulents—good stress and negative stress? Yes. In general, a healthy plant under stress will retain its original form and characteristics while changing its color. A troubled, stressed-out plant will appear warped, malformed, or merely sickly.

Knowing the type of plant you have will assist you identify any problems it may be having. When subjected to intense heat or direct sunlight, some succulent plants develop scarlet tips on their leaves. The plant produces a crimson pigment (carotenoids) on its leaf to withstand the intense heat and shield itself from sunburn. We can refer to this as “positive stress” because it enhances the beauty and color of the plant rather than harming it.

However, reddish tinges on the leaves and stems of succulent plants may indicate an insect infestation, such as spider mites, which leave red stains on the plant. Additionally, the leaves would be crooked, which would indicate that something was amiss with the plant. We can refer to this as “bad stress” because the plant is genuinely suffering, and you must act quickly to preserve it.

If your plant starts to take on a reddish tint, check to see if this is a natural occurrence or if the plant is being bothered by something else.

Some plants respond well to intense light, scorching heat, and extreme aridity by turning a lovely shade of yellow-orange. This is how the plant defends itself from the harsh environmental circumstances. Because the plant is not in distress and you don’t need to act right away, this is “positive stress.”

On the other hand, excessive watering or soil that is always damp might cause a plant to turn yellow. You’ll see that the leaves have begun to discolor and have also become squishy and mushy. It’s important to address this “bad stress” before it gets worse.

Unlike “bad stress,” “good stress” is not accompanied by symptoms or indicators that the plant is in distress, such as squishy leaves.

Under “positive stress,” several plants, including the Echeveria “black prince” and the Aeonium arboreum “Zwartkop” (Black Rose), change to a lovely hue of dark purple to black. These same plants will lose their lovely coloring and turn green if you pamper them, put them in the shade, and water them frequently.

However, if you notice that some of your succulents are going black from the bottom up and losing their leaves, this is unquestionably a sign of “bad stress.” When a plant rots from the root up, this is when it. The stems decay and the leaves turn black. If you don’t respond quickly, you risk losing the plant.

Knowing your plants well enough to determine if they are experiencing good or bad stress doesn’t take much time. You would eventually be able to distinguish between them.

The one with green foliage is newly potted in new potting soil and kept in the shade.

The third tree, which has crimson leaves, receives little water and has less fertile soil.

As more water and shade are provided, the leaves become lighter and greener, as seen in the second shot.

The most recent was taken following a particularly wet winter. The plant’s darker purplish coloration has been removed, and it has become more green.

My succulent is turning red—is this a bad thing?

Your succulent plant may be a little anxious if its leaves are becoming red, orange, blue, or purple! Succulents respond to environmental stressors like high sunlight and heat by producing pigments termed anthocyanin and carotenoid.

How can redness in succulents be avoided?

To alter the color of the succulents, we must reproduce their natural surroundings. With succulents from the desert, this usually works. We must put them through difficult circumstances like:

  • arid terrain
  • Drought
  • more illumination
  • both extremes of temperature
  • Fertilization

Poor soil

The only requirement for soil for succulents is that it drains well. Some plants don’t mind if the soil is fertile or not. Because it retains a lot of water, regular potting soil is not ideal for succulents. It is preferable to create your own cacti and succulent-specific soil mix or purchase one.


Defeat the impulse to water the succulents excessively. These plants may survive for weeks in absolutely dry soil.

Rainfall is rare and only occasionally lasts for a long time in the desert. Water is swiftly absorbed by succulents before it evaporates from the heat. Water your succulents less regularly if you want them to change color. But make sure to thoroughly hydrate them.

Until the water empties from the drainage hole, water the plants. Water them repeatedly to make sure the roots are absorbing the water if the substrate drains too quickly.

Increased Lighting

The succulents’ color can be altered by increasing the amount of light they get. However, this does not imply that you should put them in direct sunlight right away.

Although succulent plants grow in the desert’s full sun, they typically sprout next to rocks or beneath taller cactus. to provide them some shade to enjoy during the day.

progressively expose your plants to more sunlight. It will make the succulents produce more carotenoids, which will shield the plant from solar harm.

Make an investment in a good grow lamp that is bright enough to replace the sun if you want to boost the illumination for succulents grown indoors. Here are our suggestions for LED grow light strips.

High and Low Temperatures

Succulents have defense mechanisms against extreme heat and cold. The succulent plants’ leaves close throughout the summer to lessen evaporation. However, some people also do this in the winter to shield themselves from the cold.

Why is my succulent’s stem becoming red?

Succulents can experience stress much like people do. When temperatures or water conditions are not suitable for the plant, stress results. Succulents can exhibit stress in a variety of ways, such as the tips of their leaves turning red (as in the picture above) or the entire leaf changing color. When done properly, purposely stressing succulents can have stunning results. Some gardeners do this to make their plants look more attractive.

If your succulent exhibits indications of stress, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will pass away soon; instead, it merely could require some more attention or relocation. Most frequently, it indicates that the plant is being overlit or underwatered. While some succulents can be briefly stressed for aesthetic purposes, this should not be done over the long term since the plant may rot or die if kept this way. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you purchase a gorgeous succulent that is delicately colored at the store, it may be showing signs of stress when you get it home and may change colors.

What does a succulent look like when it is overwatered?

How can you tell if your succulent is getting too much water? You can usually determine if a succulent is being overwatered or underwatered by looking for telltale indications. A plant that has received too much water will have soft, mushy leaves.

The leaves would either turn translucent in color or appear lighter than they would on a healthy plant. A succulent that had received too much water would frequently lose leaves readily, even when only lightly handled. Usually, the lowest leaves are the ones to suffer first.

The plant will look to be unhealthy overall. When this occurs, the plant is either being overwatered, sitting in the incorrect soil that does not dry out quickly enough, or both.

Your plants are being overwatered if you have been giving them regular waterings or if you have been following a watering schedule regardless of how the plant appears.

On the other hand, a succulent that has been submerged will have withered, wrinkled, and deflated-looking leaves. The leaves will appear thin and flat. The entire plant will appear withered and dry.

The leaves of a good succulent plant should be thick and solid, not mushy or desiccated.

To learn more about this subject, visit my post titled “How To Tell If Your Succulent is Over or Under Watered,” in which I go into great length about how you may determine whether your succulent plant is being over or under watered.

This String of Pearls ‘Senecio Rowleyanus’ plant leaf is one that has been overwatered. If a succulent’s water storage capacity has been exceeded, it may physically burst from overwatering.

What causes my plants to become red?

Red pigments are brought on by changes in the soil and air around plants that disturb nutrients. Red and purple leaf colors are frequently produced by the spring’s chilly soil and air. Nutrient imbalances are brought on by the summer’s extremes of intense heat followed by lower temps.

Are succulents sun-loving creatures?

Succulents enjoy direct sunlight, but if yours is always in the same position, only one side is probably receiving enough of it. Langton and Ray advise often rotating the plant. Rotating succulents will help them stand up straight because they like to slant toward the sun. (Leaning might also indicate that they need to move to a more sunny area.)

Why are the colors on my succulent changing?

Stress often causes succulent plants to change their color. If you want that hue to pop, stress is entirely normal and encouraged. Water, sunlight, and temperature are the three factors that drive succulents to change their color.

When succulents turn pink, what does that mean?

Many leaves will turn pink or red when exposed to lots of sunlight. Just be careful not to expose them to strong light abruptly if they are typically in dim light (that could happen with taking them in & out when weather is good). They might end up with sunburn if you do.

Do those gray pots have drainage holes? The little that is visible appears to be rather peaty; what kind of soil are they potted in? Succulents require good drainage.

How should a sunburned succulent be cared for?

Succulents that get sunburned can’t use their leaves to absorb enough water and nutrients.

Replanting sunburned succulents in a shaded area and misting the plant with cool water to keep it hydrated are effective treatments for sunburn.

To assist your succulent maintain moisture, apply some mulch around the base if you see any wilting or drooping leaves.

You can put your succulent back outside in the sun as long as it is in a shady area and the sunburn has not resulted in any drooping or withering leaves.

Make sure your succulent receives enough water and is protected from direct sunlight by keeping an eye on it. You can put your plant back in a sunny location once all sunburn symptoms have vanished.

Additionally, check that your pot drains properly because a succulent’s sunburn may get worse if there is too much water left in the pot.

To make sure your succulent is getting all the nutrients it requires, you may also sprinkle an organic fertilizer once a month.

These plants must receive all the vitamins and minerals they require in order to start producing healthy new cells once more.

Basically, you want to do everything that can relieve this plant’s sunburn!

What amount of sunlight do succulents need?

It might be challenging for succulents to receive adequate sunlight inside. They typically require 6 hours each day of bright, indirect sunshine outside.

However, indoors, you should put your succulents close to a window that receives light throughout the day. Place your succulents close to the brightest window or area of your house or office if this is not an option.

Watch this video to learn more:

How do you tell if a succulent is on its last legs?

A succulent should be simple to care for. But there are a few things to know in order to maintain it healthy. How can you tell whether your succulent is prospering or dying, first?

Generally speaking, the following are typical signs that a succulent is perishing:

  • The roots are rotting if the leaves are brown and mushy.
  • Pale, yellow leaves are a sign of illness or rot that has spread.
  • Dehydrated, wrinkled leaves indicate that the roots are drying up.
  • Rot or infection was indicated by brown roots.

These are a few warning indications that your succulent may not be prospering. If you have one or more succulents and are worried that your plant is dying, continue reading to learn how to identify when your plant needs care.

Can succulents endure direct sunlight?

Due to their drought tolerance and water-storing properties, which enable them to tolerate high heat and very harsh sun exposure, succulents have become well-known. This is true for the majority of succulent plants, however some cannot survive direct sunlight without protection, and if exposed to excessive heat, they may suffer sun damage. &nbsp

The best 10 succulents and cacti that will thrive in full sun are listed below. Some of these plants can withstand full sun exposure better than others.