How to grow more colourful succulents – Give them a little stress.
We are often asked how to get colour into the leaves of succulents, and the answer is simple, subject them to the same stresses that would naturally get in nature.
The major stress factors that give succulents colour are
All of these work in different ways. The first thing to realise is that not all succulents will have colourful foliage, some will always be green, others shades of red. So no amount of stress will make major changes in coiler with these types.
How to Stress Succulents
- Heat and Cold are major factors, many succulents will change colour during winter, however only if they get exposed to the cold. So those kept indoors, may never develop colourful foliage.
- This is a similar process with heat and light.
- Fertiliser is also important, lots of fertiliser will keep the plant growing, and when in active growth, the foliage does not change colour much. So lean and hungry succulents are more likely to develop strong colour.
- Watering is much the same, lots of water and the succulent does not change colour as much.
To put it simply, if you keep your succulents indoors, warm and comfortable, you will not get those wonderful colours. Give them some time out in the cold, with not much fertiliser and not much water and watch the colours appear.
The best ways to get good foliage colour
This does not mean leaving them out in the rain all through winter, you could, however the foliage would be damaged. So try this.
- Under cover.
- Open to the cold of winter.
- Good light.
- No fertiliser.
- Not a lot of water.