Low maintenance and easy to grow, succulents are a favorite among many indoor gardeners. Succulents can be found in over 60 different plant families in the form of thousands of different varieties. They all have their own unique shapes, sizes, and colors, with a shared characteristic of fleshy, water retaining leaves and stems. The diverse attributes of these plants can make for some truly gorgeous succulent gardens when a few species are grown together, but they can also be quite stunning on their own, especially when you’ve chosen a species with beautiful coloring. These are a few of the brightest and most uniquely colored succulents, perfect for adding vibrancy and contrast to living collages and indoor gardens.
The moon cactus, or Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, is a mutant breed that is made by grafting a piece of the scion (the gymnocalycium) to a rootstock cactus, such as a hylocereus cactus. The scion is the brightly colored portion of the plant and it features these vibrant colors, such as red, yellow, or orange, because it lacks any chlorophyll, which thereby exposes these natural colors. This is also why it needs to be grafted to a rootstock, so the root species can help the scion produce food through providing chlorophyll that the scion otherwise lacks.
Echeveria ‘Lola’ succulents aren’t necessarily the loudest and most vibrantly colored succulents, but their pastel shades are just so delicately beautiful that they need to be mentioned. They display various combinations of the palest pinks, blues, purples, and greens and appear to have a soft and powdery finish to them. When they flower in the spring they will produce bright orange blooms. These succulents look amazing both on their own or when grouped together in contrast with other brightly colored species.
Sempervivum Red Rubin
The color of the Sempervivum Red Rubin varies depending on the season, but it’s fleshy leaves can go from green to burgundy red as the temperatures drop. In the summer, this species will form a thick flowering stalk that produces small pink blooms. After blooming, the individual plant will die, but this hens and chicks type of succulent produces plenty of offsets that will take the mother’s place after it dies. The chicks will root and fall off the hen on their own, at which point they can be planted elsewhere, or can be planted back in the same spot of the mother once the dead plant is removed.
Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg
Another gorgeously pastel colored succulent is the Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg. Its fleshy leaves exhibit a purplish grey hue, sometimes with hints of pale pinks and greens. This species has the same powdery white finish as the Echeveria ‘Lola’ but it’s coloring is a fair bit deeper and darker than the Lola’s delicate pastels. When the Perle von Nurnberg is in bloom it sends out multiple stalks which will each produce a handful of pale pink flowers.
Jelly Bean Plant
The jelly bean plant, or Sedum rubrotinctum, is a wacky little succulent that produces fat, round green leaves with bright red tips. To keep the leaves as bright and colorful as possible, keep this plant in a sunny spot. If it doesn’t receive enough sunlight, the leaves will remain a bright green shade with very little red coloring. With enough sun, the leaves can become almost completely red and they really will have a plump, bright, jelly bean appearance.
The campfire crassula, or Crassula capitella, is a branching succulent with narrow leaves that will grow from light green into a bright red when provided with plenty of direct sunlight. The leaves may simply become tipped with red, or the whole plant may be set completely ablaze with enough sun. These reds can become quite deep and vibrant, hence the fiery nickname this plant was given. In the summer it also produces clusters of tiny white flowers.
The coppertone stonecrop, or Sedum nussbaumerianum, gets its name from its golden yellow and burnt orange tones. If not provided with ample sunlight, the leaves will remain a greenish yellow rather than showing off their warm copper hues. In the spring, dense clusters of white flowers will bloom, which have an appearance somewhat reminiscent of a fluffy white dandelion seed head.
Black Tree Aeonium
The world of succulents is not without their gothy, black-clad individuals. The black tree aeonium, or Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’, is one of the most intriguing and mysterious looking succulents. The rosettes are quite large and the glossy leaves are long and very dark, giving this plant a strong resemblance to a black rose. In partial shade the leaves are reddish purple but in full sun they will turn almost black.
While these other succulents are quite colorful, the wooly senecio, or Senecio haworthii, is devoid of all color, making it equally noteworthy. This snowy white succulent can also be known as the cocoon plant thanks to its fine hairs that give the long, tubular leaves their fuzzy texture. The only color this succulent will produce is when it blooms its bright yellow flowers.
Blue chalksticks, or Senecio mandraliscae, possess a very unique shape and color. Their leaves are long, silvery blue fingers that form in tight clusters and curve directly upwards. In the summer, they’ll produce small white flowers. The leaves can grow up to 18 inches high and if allowed to spread freely, blue chalksticks can make an excellent ground cover.
These colorful succulents are beautiful on their own, especially when displayed in a unique planter. When added to a garden filled with other succulents, the varieties mentioned above are excellent at providing contrasting colors and breaking up a grouping of too much green. These are only a handful of the brightly and uniquely colored succulents that exist and there are many other succulents that can make a wonderful addition to your indoor garden. Use a few different types placed together in a large pot or an empty planter frame to create the most stunning visual displays.