Why Is My Succulent 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 succulents have turned red, is this bad?

Succulents can alter their color when they require your assistance to survive, whether it’s due to a lack of water, intense sunlight, or simply the growing environment.

There are certain actions you can take to improve their living conditions, so they avoid dying off, whether you have a green succulent plant whose leaves are turning pinkish-red or succulents that have turned brown and purple because the soil is too dry.

Red succulent leaves indicate a problem, and succulents are quick to communicate their need for assistance.

The following are the main causes of redness in succulents:

Drought Stress

When exposed to drought stress, which stops succulent cells from retaining water inside their cells, succulent leaves and stems will turn red.

If succulents don’t have enough moisture, they wilt, become weak, and eventually die off if not taken care of.

Succulents are trying to tell you by turning red that they need to be watered as soon as possible to avoid dying by doing so.

Direct Sunlight

Succulents will become red if they are exposed to excessive sunlight because the leaves cannot withstand the UV rays that the sun produces, which cause the cells to disintegrate and lose their suppleness.

Poor Soil Quality

When planted in soil that lacks the minerals necessary for succulents to survive, succulents will turn red.

Succulents will become red if the soil is too acidic, and its leaves will wilt, droop, and eventually die from exposure to dry circumstances if there aren’t enough nutrients.

Cold Temperatures

When exposed to chilly temperatures, succulent leaves and stems will become crimson.

Succulents may start to turn red if the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit because the cells are stressed.

High Salt Levels

Succulents will turn red when succulent leaves are exposed to high levels of salt that prevent them from absorbing the amount of water they need.

Avoid using fertilizers or salts on succulent plants because doing so can make the plants exceedingly thirsty and eventually cause them to go extinct.

Root Bound

If succulent roots are exposed to being bound down, they will start to become red.

Succulents need space to thrive because cramming too many of them into a pot prevents them from getting adequate water and nutrients from the soil.

It might be time to repot your succulents in a larger container with superior succulent soil if they keep dying off or changing color.

Heat Stress

When exposed to extreme temperatures, succulent leaves and stems will turn red. This can happen because the flexibility of the succulent cells can break down.

Succulents cannot retain water in their cells when it is too hot outside, therefore they will wither and die.


Succulents that receive an excessive amount of fertilizer may experience cell breakdown, which results in thirsty plants that are unable to retain water in their cells.

Succulent plants should only be treated during their growing seasons because they only require a very tiny amount of fertilizer to live.

How are red succulents fixed?

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.

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.

The pinking of a succulent: what does it mean?

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. In any case, this causes overwatering, which causes 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.

The wrong potting mix might also contribute to overwatering. 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.

You must immediately stop watering your succulent if you notice that it may be turning pink from overwatering.

Take the plant out of the pot, then wash the roots to remove as much of the old soil as you can. So as not to harm the delicate roots, go slowly. 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 fresh container with drainage holes at the bottom, and fill it two-thirds with new succulent-specific potting soil.

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.

Check the top two inches of soil with your finger before watering your plant to prevent overwatering. If the soil is humid, wait one or two days before examining it again. If the soil is dry, water it.


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.

Nutrient deficiency

When plants are deficient in certain elements, such as phosphorus, nitrogen, or magnesium, succulents can also turn pink.

For instance, phosphorus is required by succulents in order to synthesize the sugars and nucleic acids that serve as their source of energy.

Along with turning pink, other symptoms of nutritional shortage include wilting and yellowing.

Because the succulent’s soil will eventually get devoid of nutrients and minerals if you wait too long to repot it, this might also result in nutrient deficit.