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.
What should one do if a succulent turns red?
It’s not essential necessary to put your succulent through a fair amount of stress. Some growers of succulents choose to keep their plants indoors, away from potential stressors.
However, stress becomes an essential component of the equation if you want to observe your plant’s genuine appearance in a different environment.
Here are several methods you can use to put your plant under stress and induce a crimson tint.
Increase time spent under the sun
Over time, many varieties of succulents become greener the longer they stay indoors. This is especially true if your home doesn’t have enough natural light.
As a result, the most crucial thing you should do is expose your plant to more sunshine if your goal is to get your succulent to turn from green to red.
As much as six hours of direct light exposure will cause many succulents to turn crimson.
Expose to temperature extremes
Succulents generally prefer temperatures between 60 and 80 °F to grow. Species will differ in their individual preferences, with some able to endure temperatures as low as 40F or as high as 90F.
Succulents that are soft or fragile and are native to dry environments develop deeper hues when exposed to heat. On the other hand, hardy succulents are native to alpine temperatures. And exposure to temperatures between zero and forty degrees can cause a significant shift in hue.
Be aware, nevertheless, that your succulents may suffer from temperature extremes. Your succulents may become too hot or too chilly.
Choose the right soil mix
Utilizing the appropriate potting mix will help you facilitate a shift in your succulent’s color.
Your succulent’s soil should ideally contain at least 50% inorganic material. The potting mix won’t drain properly if the soil contains an excessive amount of organic matter.
Pumice and perlite are two ingredients that many succulent gardeners swear by for their potting mixtures. Both inorganic materials have many advantages. These include enhanced root health, increased root drainage, and defense against root rot.
Many succulent collectors develop the habit of regularly watering their plants.
That may not always be a bad thing, especially if you want to give your succulent adequate water for it to thrive and have a busy schedule.
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.
Is it normal for my succulent to become red?
Succulents have a color-changing characteristic that is brought on by environmental changes. When under stress from excessive sunlight, high or low temperatures, dryness, and other factors, succulent leaves turn crimson. These succulents’ change in hue isn’t just for show; it’s also an adaptive reaction, which means they’re adjusting to prevent long-term damage from the constant stress placed on them.
Through photosynthesis, succulents take in water and carbon dioxide. They then transform it into glucose and oxygen. The pigments utilised in this method are known as:
How come succulents change color?
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.
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.
How much sunlight do cacti require?
1. Ensure that your succulents receive adequate light. Depending on the type, succulents need six hours of sunlight each day because they are light-loving plants. You might need to gradually expose newly planted succulents to full sun exposure or give shade with a translucent screen because they can burn in direct sunshine.
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.
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.
How frequently should a succulent be watered?
During the months that are not winter, when the temperature is above 40 degrees, you should water your succulents every other week. You should only water your succulent once a month in the winter (when the temperature falls below 40 degrees), as it goes dormant at this period.
A few situations constitute an exception to this rule. Because their tiny leaves can’t hold as much water as other varieties with larger leaves, some varieties of succulents need to be watered more frequently. In the non-winter months, feel free to give these small leaf succulents a water if they appear to be thirsty. When they are thirsty, succulents generally exhibit a wrinkled appearance. But always keep in mind that being underwater is preferable to being overwater.
How frequently should succulents be watered indoors?
Indoor succulent plants should likely be watered approximately once a week. They require ample time for the soil to dry out in between waterings so that the water may be stored in the leaves. Use the following methods and advice while watering succulent plants inside.
- Use an irrigation system with a little pour spout.
- Fill the succulent plant’s center with water until it is completely submerged.
- Allow water to completely drain out of the pot through the perforations. Make careful to empty any water that seeps through the soil if there is a saucer underneath the plant.
- Since there won’t be enough heat and fresh airflow for the leaves to dry when planted indoors, avoid soaking the leaves to prevent rot from the top down.
- Dry the soil completely in between waterings.
Do succulents prefer intense sunlight?
On the east side of my home, where my succulent collection is located, it receives direct sunlight from dawn till around 1:00 in the afternoon. There is a lot of sunlight here!
I’ve discovered that in order to keep the roots cold and the foliage lush, I need to water my plants every other day when the temperature is above 90.
The succulent leaves still get heated despite this constant watering, and I’ve had some, but rather severely. It can be unpleasant when the bright light and hot temperatures combine.
Most succulents will tolerate full sun for the majority of the day if you progressively expose them to it (raising an hour or so every few days).
To shield them from the direct sun, I recently put some shade fabric. Even though it’s still well above 90 degrees outside, the space around the succulents is significantly cooler thanks to the shade cloth.
Additionally, without direct sunlight, the plants’ leaves don’t get as hot and are less prone to burn or exhibit signs of excessive heat.
Haworthias, for example, prefer bright indirect sunlight all day long. On the other hand, the majority of cacti can withstand full sun during the day without any shade. This is why it’s crucial to be aware of the varieties of succulents you own.
The phenomenon known as “blushing,” which occurs when some succulents are exposed to bright sunshine, causes the leaves to occasionally turn a deep red, as with this Aloe ‘Crosby’s Prolific’.
Simply placing your succulents in a location that receives bright shade for the majority of the day is an excellent alternative. They should ideally be in a spot that receives a few hours of early sun but is otherwise shaded for the majority of the day.
Direct sunlight during this time can be an issue because afternoon temperatures are typically higher. On the other hand, morning sun is cooler and less prone to result in sunburn.
For many succulents, extreme heat can be exceedingly difficult. Succulents are often thought of as desert plants, however not all of them thrive in a very hot desert environment.
For more advice on how to keep succulents looking fantastic during a heat wave, see the video below:
The reason why my succulent turned pink.
You might get really concerned if the succulent in your home turns pink because you think it might be dying.
In reaction to environmental conditions, succulents turn pink. It typically takes quite a bit of stress for some of the hardiest and most durable houseplants to change the color of their foliage.
You must keep in mind that succulents adapt to their settings, and when these environments or their care undergo unexpected changes, they will react since they do not handle sudden change well.
The most frequent stressors that lead to the pinking of succulents include excessive or insufficient sunlight, incorrect watering, root rot, temperature shifts, and nutrient deficiencies.
Too much sunlight
One of the most frequent causes of your succulent turning pink is because it is suddenly exposed to more light than it has ever experienced, which causes sunburn.
The foliage will turn pink as a result of this sunburn. Succulents that have been kept indoors for months and are suddenly moved to the outdoor garden frequently experience this. The succulent plant may experience some shock when exposed to the bright light on its leaves.
If your succulent is positioned too close to a glass window, the glass will magnify the sun’s rays before they reach the leaf of the plant, which is another way it can get sunburned. Plants placed in windows facing the south frequently do this.
Transfer your plant to a new location where it may only receive indirect light for six hours each day, such as a patio or one foot away from a west-facing window, to correct this discolouration brought on by too much sunlight.
If you intend to move an indoor plant to your outside garden, acclimate the plant gradually by progressively increasing the amount of time it spends in the light each day. Up until the plant has completely adapted to its new environment, keep up the acclimatization.
If you give your succulent a few days to adjust to increasing amounts of light, it won’t suffer from sun damage and you should be able to keep its green hue.
Not enough light
When a succulent receives less light than it requires daily, this might also cause it to turn pink.
When certain succulent plants are under stress from insufficient light, such as some cacti, anthocyanins are produced. The pinkish color of the plant’s leaves is caused by the combination of the purple pigment anthocyanin and the green pigment chlorophyll.
Keep in mind that succulents require sunshine to survive and operate normally. They cannot undertake photosynthesis without it, which prevents them from growing their own food.
The yellowing of a succulent that isn’t getting enough light can be easily remedied. Simply move it to a location where it will have access to the constant, brilliant indirect light that it requires.
Your succulent is receiving too much water, which is another cause of its pinking.
This might be the case if you water it more frequently than you should or if you give it more water than it requires each time. Either way, this leads to overwatering which will subsequently lead to root rot.
The condition known as root rot is brought on by a plant’s roots spending an extended period of time drowning in damp soil. The decaying dead roots will start to attract opportunistic infections like fungus and bacteria. As a result of these diseases, the rot will spread more quickly and eventually kill the entire plant.
The leaves on your plant may become yellow, pink, red, or brown and become soft and mushy to the touch as a sign that it is overwatered.
Overwatering might also be attributed to the improper potting mix. Succulents want potting soil that is porous and airy so that water and air may easily pass through it. Additionally, if the pot you use doesn’t have drainage holes at the bottom, this can also result in an accumulation of water that can cause root rot.
If you believe that your succulent is turning pink due to overwatering, you must immediately cease watering your plant.
Take the plant out of the pot, then wash the roots to remove as much of the old soil as you can. Do this cautiously so you do not injure the tiny roots. Examine all of the roots, and using sterile scissors, remove any areas that have gone brown or black.
After that, place the plant on a clean piece of paper towel and let it air dry for a few hours.
Prepare a new pot that has drainage holes at the bottom and fill it two-thirds with fresh potting mix that is specifically made for succulents.
After putting the plant in the middle of the dirt, add more potting soil to fill the container up. Gently tap the ground close to the plant’s roots.
The soil won’t need any additional moisture; it’s already damp. Before watering the newly potted plant, wait at least a week.
To avoid overwatering, examine the top two inches of soil with your finger before you water your plant. If the soil is dry, water it, but if the soil is still damp, wait one or two days before checking again.
Although it may not be as harmful as overwatering, underwatering can nonetheless result in your succulent turning pink.
A succulent’s foliage will first turn pink, then purple, and then turn brown if it does not receive enough water. The leaves will wrinkle and get crispy as they dry out.
Fortunately, a succulent that has been underwater is much simpler to cure than one that has been overwatered.
To restore the succulent to health, you will need to wet and dry it. Water the plant five times with water that is equal to the volume of the pot when the soil is completely dry.
After watering the soil, wait until the top two inches feel dry to the touch before watering it again.
A succulent only has to be watered on a regular basis when the soil is dry. By doing this, you can prevent your plant from being both overwatered and underwatered.
Changes in temperature
Your succulent may also be becoming pink since you are subjecting it to temperatures that are far higher than they are accustomed to.
This might be because the plant is in direct, unfiltered sunlight, it’s next to a radiator, or it’s located where a heater is blowing heated air directly at it.
The plant will release anthocyanin as a result of the heat stress, which is, as previously said, a purplish pigment that takes on a pink hue when combined with chlorophyll in the plant.
Your succulent may have tissue damage as a result of excessive heat, which may impair photosynthesis and produce more discoloration.
The plant will also experience temperature stress and develop pink discolouration if it is placed in an area where it will be hit by cold air, such as next to an air conditioner or a door or window that allows in cold drafts.
Simply move your plant to a location where it won’t be exposed to extremes of heat or cold to correct any discolouration brought on by temperature variations.
A room that is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for keeping an indoor succulent.