why succulents turn red or change color

You just bought some beautiful succulents from your local nursery or even better online with free shipping. The succulents you bought are super beautiful and everything is going well while growing them.

Until one day you notice that your succulents are turning red or even changing to other colors. Don’t worry, it’s not a bad thing at all, especially if you like the color change. It does happen a lot and it’s very common when growing succulents.

Now why are your succulents turning red or changing color? Your succulents are turning red or changing color could be because of too much sun, weather conditions, lack of sun, lack of water, or it’s growing in dead soil with no nutrients. 

By the end of this article you will know all of the reasons why your succulent is turning red or changing colors. You will also know how to fix this issue if you are not liking the color change. Some growers love the color change, and some do not, it could also just be because the type of succulent wants to turn a certain color.


Before we Begin...

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We offer free shipping for orders over $40.00 and each order takes about 1-3 days to get delivered.

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Let’s begin!

Too Much Sunlight 

The most common reason why your succulents are turning red or changing color is because of too much sun. When you give your succulents too much sun they tend to turn red, this is most likely because the type of succulent you are growing is meant to turn red or another color.

For example, the jade plant succulent turns red when given too much sun. This happens because jade plants do want to turn red, they love sunlight and they want more sunlight. They want to produce their beautiful red tips on their leaves simply because they are meant to do that.

So your succulents aren’t getting sunburn or getting harmed by the sunlight, they just turn red or other colors to basically fill in their leaves. They are meant to do this and they want to do this to receive their beautiful colors.

However, if you don’t want your succulents to turn red or change colors, then all you would need to do is give your succulent some partial shade. You would have to only give your succulents about 4 hours of sunlight each day and the rest of the day just partial shade. If you simply give it too much sun then your succulents will turn red or change color. To simply stop this just give it some partial shade and it won’t turn red or change colors.

Lack Of Sun

Lack of sunlight will also make a succulent change its color. It won't make it turn red but it will make the succulent lack color and maybe turn pale. This is why it's very important to give your succulent sunlight each and every day.

When you just bought a succulent and it has its beautiful colors, it does need sunlight in order to keep its colors. If you don’t give it enough sunlight then it might change to a certain color or just turn pale and lose its color.

For example, the aeonium black rose succulent. If you grow this succulent in full sun it will keep its beautiful dark black/purple colors. However, if you only grow this succulent in the shade and only give it partial sunlight then it will start to lose its black/purple colors and start to turn green.

This will simply happen because the succulent isn’t getting any sunlight and just shade. Succulents need sun to keep and produce its beautiful colors, and if you don’t do this it will slowly lose its beautiful colors and turn pale.

So if your succulent is starting to lose its color and turn pale then that could be a sign of lack of sunlight. Just make sure the succulent is getting at least 6 hours of sunlight every single day to fix this issue.

Growing In Dead Soil With No Nutrients

Succulents will also change their color or turn red because of the soil being dead with no more nutrients in it. This happens because when there are no more nutrients in the soil the succulent can’t feed on anything and grow healthy and happy.

The succulent will start to turn red or change its color all because it’s not growing healthy or happy. When soil dies it loses its nutrients, so the succulent will change its color because it’s not feeding on anything, it’s not really growing healthy.

You must use fast/well draining succulent soil with nutrients so your succulent can grow healthy and happy and avoid changing colors. The succulent will also turn pale when it does not get enough nutrients all because of the soil being dead. 

Succulents must have nutrients to grow healthy and happy and to keep their beautiful colors. Simply growing succulents in dead soil with no nutritents isn’t good at all and will be a slow and steady death to maybe kill your succulent.

Use Ramsey Succulent Soil

This succulent grows best in well-drained succulent soil. It's very important that you use well-drained succulent soil so the soil doesn't stay soaked with water for several days. If you overwater the succulent and the soil stays wet and not dry for several days, then mold and bacteria will grow and appear. The mold and bacteria will then attack the roots of the succulent giving it root rot. Root rot is known as the #1 most common reason why a succulent will die.

To avoid mold/bacteria and root rot, you must use well-drained succulent soil. Well-drained succulent soil will keep the soil dry at a very fast rate preventing mold/bacteria and root rot from appearing. Any succulent grower expert will tell you that you need well-drained succulent soil, it's definitely a requirement for growing this succulent and every single other succulent out there.

We recommend using arguably the best succulent soil out there "Ramsey Succulent Soil"

Ramsey Succulent soil is arguably the best succulent soil on the market simply because it gets the job done and is loaded with nutrients.

Ramsey Succulent Soil has ingredients such as perlite, sand, and seaweed. Perlite and sand are known as the best ingredients out there if you want your soil well-drained. The perlite and sand will soak up all the excess water that your succulent does not need, preventing the soil from staying soaking wet for several days. So yes, Ramsey Succulent Soil will prevent mold/bacteria and root rot (the #1 most common reason why a succulent will die) simply because there will be no excess water.

That's not all tho.

What makes Ramsey Succulent Soil arguably the best are the nutrients that's in the soil. These nutrients will help your succulents grow bigger, faster, and healthier.

Ramsey Succulent Soil has seaweed fertilizer, which has 60 trace minerals and nutrients. Yes, your succulents will be absorbing 60 trace minerals and nutrients. This will make your succulents grow bigger, faster, and healthier without a doubt. Compared to other succulent soil, this succulent soil will make a huge huge difference for your plants. Don't believe us? Check out this picture below. You can definitely tell which succulent soil is better for your succulents.

Ramsey Succulent Soil: Click here to Purchase

Lack Of Water

If your succulent is lacking water then that could be another reason why it is changing its colors. Your succulent will need water around once a week or when the soil looks or feels really dry. When the succulent is lacking water it will start to turn pale and change its color.

It’s turning pale and changing its color simply because it needs water. When a succulent lacks water the leaves will start to get all wrinkled and dry, but most importantly it will start to change its color. It will change its color because it’s dehydrated, it will start to turn pale because it needs water immediately.

When a succulent has been watered you will see how bright, healthy, and beautiful the leaves look. It will just look very healthy simply because it’s hydrated and growing healthy and happy. Water is very important for succulents and it’s one of the main reasons why they produce such beautiful bright colors.

Make sure to keep watering your succulents at least once a week or when the soil looks or feels very dry. This will prevent your succulent from changing or losing its color, it will also prevent dry/wrinkled leaves that will also appear. 

Weather Conditions 

Weather conditions can definitely make your succulents change colors or turn red. This happens because the weather could either be way too hot or way too cold. Either way if it is way too hot or way too cold your succulent will most likely change colors.

When the weather is way too hot then the succulent will change to the color red because of the heat it’s absorbing. When a succulent is left in the hot sun all day it will turn red because of sunburn or because of just absorbing too much heat.

When the weather is extremely hot out it’s very important to give your succulents more water and more partial shade. If you don’t then your succulent will continue to get fried, dehydrated in the hot heat making it turn red.

When the weather is way too cold it will also change your succulents colors. When it’s freezing temperatures outside the succulent will be on the way to death and will lose all of its colors. It will start to lose its color and turn pale due to the very cold weather.   


You can’t grow a succulent in freezing temperatures, it will die. You must move the succulent indoors during the winter and freezing temperatures. Of course this only applies if the location you live in gets under 30 degrees at night. In Southern California you won’t have to move your succulent indoors for the winter.

That’s it!

Those are all the reasons why your succulent will change colors or turn red! As we have mentioned, some types of succulents just want to turn red. For example the jade plant and the firesticks succulent are meant to turn red, they just need sunlight to do it.

A lot of other succulents are just meant to turn red because of how their leaves are. However, if you don’t want your succulents to change its colors or turn red then you now know how to do that! Just make sure you follow this quick guide and you will certainly prevent this from happening!

Best of luck!

Thank You!

Thank you for visiting our website and reading our article. We hope we brought value, and great information to you today. Our goal is to help fellow succulent lovers like you! Any questions or if you’d like more tips email us or comment below! 

If you are interested in buying live succulents, soil, cuttings, etc. We have them available here on our website. Go to our homepage, or click the links in our articles for more information.

We thank you so much for your time.

Thank You!

Ramsey Succulents

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