Succulents are captivating and hardy plants, renowned for their low-maintenance nature and unique aesthetic appeal. However, even these resilient plants can experience changes that may leave their owners puzzled. One such change is the plant’s color shifting towards a red hue. The phrase why is my succulent turning red has become a common query among succulent enthusiasts seeking to understand the cause of this transformation.

In this article, we will explore the various reasons behind the reddening of succulents, providing insights into environmental factors, stressors, and growth patterns that can contribute to this seemingly mysterious phenomenon. With a better understanding of the causes, you can ensure your succulent’s health and longevity, while also appreciating the beauty of its ever-evolving appearance.

Why Is My Succulent Turning Red?

Why Is My Succulent Turning Red

There are many different reasons why succulents might turn red. Some causes are environmental, such as overwatering, while pests or diseases cause others. In most cases, though, the root cause of the redness can be identified and corrected. Here are some common causes of red succulent symptoms and how to fix them:

Pests and Diseases

A common cause of succulent redness is a disease. Succulent plants are particularly susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections, which can cause leaves to turn red, brown, or black. To prevent this from happening, clean your succulents regularly using a mild soap and water solution. If the problem persists, consider treating the plants with a fungicide or antimicrobial agent.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Another common cause of red succulent symptoms is nutrient deficiencies. Suppose your succulent isn’t getting enough nitrogen, phosphorous, and other essential nutrients. In that case, it will start to turn red and develop lesions. To correct this problem, add a balanced fertilizer to the soil around the succulent every month or so.

Watering Problems

Watering problems can cause succulent plants to turn red and die. The most common causes of watering problems are overwatering and not allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can cause root rot, a fungus that attacks the plant’s roots. Not allowing the soil to dry out between waterings can lead to fungal overgrowth and other watering problems.

To prevent succulent plants from turning red and dying due to watering problems, follow these tips:

  • Water only when the soil is completely dry.
  • Use a rain gauge or hose-less faucet timer to check for water runoff from the plants.
  • Do not overwater succulents by letting them get too wet.
  • Take care when watering container plants so that they do not fall over.
  • Mulch around succulent plants to help reduce water loss.
  • Check the plant’s soil moisture level every day and adjust watering as needed.

Bacterial Infection

There are a few reasons succulents may turn red or yellow, often due to fungal or bacterial infection. Suppose the succulent is not receiving enough light. In that case, the fungal overgrowth can cause the leaves to turn red and the succulent itself to become covered in a white film. In addition, if water is not properly circulated the plant, bacteria can build up and cause the leaves to turn red or yellow. If you notice your succulents turning red or yellow and suspect an infection, contact a professional for diagnosis.

Drought Stress

When succulents are subjected to drought stress, their water reserves deplete, and they must draw upon stored energy reserves, which can cause the leaves to turn red. There are several things you can do to help succulents withstand drought stress and avoid red leaves: water them thoroughly every day, feed them a balanced diet that includes plenty of moisture retention properties (such as horticultural root pruning or mulch), and allow them to recover after water deprivation slowly. If red leaves persist despite these measures, it may be necessary to water less frequently or supplement the succulent’s water supply with other sources such as rain or snow.

Direct sunlight Causes

Succulents, those cactus-like plants that require a lot of water, can be sensitive to direct sunlight. Succulents can turn red when exposed to too much sunlight and produce distorted growth. This problem can be corrected by moving the succulent to a location with less direct sunlight, using a Shadecloth or other covering, or feeding the succulent a balanced diet with plenty of moisture retention properties.

Poor Soil Quality

Succulent plants need good soil to grow and flourish. Soil can be made of various materials, but all soil has essential elements. The main element that succulents need is nitrogen, which is in the form of nitrates. Succulent plants get their nitrogen from the air, so if the soil doesn’t have enough nitrates, the plants won’t be able to uptake them, and they’ll turn red. You can add compost or manure to the soil and water it well to fix this problem.

Cold Temperatures

Cold temperatures can cause succulent plants to turn red or yellow. The leaves may become red, and the plant may lose its appetite. A lack of light and water causes this, slowing down the growth process. You should provide more light and water to your succulent plant to fix the issue.

High Salt Levels

When succulents are grown in soil high in salt, the plant’s cells become overloaded with salt. This can cause the leaves to turn red and the succulents to become stunted or even die. There are a few things that you can do to fix this problem:

  • Remove any sources of high salt levels from your succulent environment. This includes any pots or soil that may be contaminated with salt.
  • Increase the amount of fresh water and organic matter in your succulent soil. This will help reduce the amount of salt that the plant absorbs.
  • Try growing succulents in a potting mix low in salt content. This will allow your plant to absorb less of the salty soil.

Heat Stress Causes

Succulent plants are susceptible to various problems turning red and becoming wilted. The most common cause of succulent plants turning red is heat stress. When succulent plants are subjected to high temperatures, they can’t generate enough energy through photosynthesis to survive. This results in the leaves wilting, the plant’s stems weakening, and eventually dying. There are a few things you can do to help prevent succulent plants from suffering from heat stress, and if you do experience it, you can take steps to help your plant recover.

  • Make sure your succulent plants have plenty of airflow and are placed in a location that doesn’t get too hot.
  • Water your plants regularly, and make sure the water is cool and fresh.
  • Provide supplemental light to help your succulent plants reach their full potential during the day.
  • Remove any unwanted vegetation near your succulent plants, as this can create wind drafts that can lead to overheating.
  • Keep your succulent plants well-watered and in a location where they won’t experience high temperatures for extended periods.

How Do You Fix Red Succulents?

If you notice that your succulent is turning red and looking unhealthy, there may be a few things wrong. The most common issue is waterlogging, when the succulent isn’t getting enough air or drainage.

To fix this, you’ll need to increase air circulation by moving the succulent to a spot with more light and open space and adding a drainage system (a bog garden works well).

If the problem is caused by over-watering, then you’ll need to reduce the water intake until the succulent recovers.

Lastly, suppose your succulent has been exposed to cold temperatures or frost damage. In that case, it may also be in trouble and require special care. In all cases, if you’re not sure what’s wrong with your succulent, it’s best to bring it in for a consultation with one of our experts.

Faq On Why Is My Succulent Turning Red

Do All Succulents Change Colors?

No, not all succulents change colors. The color change in succulents is usually due to environmental changes, such as temperature or light exposure. For example, the leaves of some succulents will turn red or purple in response to cooler temperatures. In contrast, others may turn yellow or orange when exposed to more sunlight.

What Causes Succulents To Change Color?

A few things can cause succulents to change color, but the most common culprit is a lack of water. If your succulent isn’t getting enough water, it will start to turn red and then eventually die. You’ll need to ensure your succulent is getting enough water every day to fix this problem. If it still doesn’t seem to be doing well, you might want to consider replacing it.

If your succulent has been exposed to cold temperatures or frost damage, it may also be in trouble and require special care. In all cases, if you’re not sure what’s wrong with your succulent, it’s best to bring it in for a consultation with one of our experts.

What Does It Mean When Your Succulents Turn Red?

When succulents turn red, it could mean a few things. It could be that the succulent is experiencing a heat or drought problem, which will cause the leaves to turn red and the succulent to look wilted. Also, over-watering can lead to succulent plants turning red and looking like they’re not doing well. If you notice your succulent is turning red and doesn’t seem to be doing well, it’s best to take it out of the equation for now and see if that solves the problem. If not, you’ll want to consult with a professional about what could be wrong with your plant and how to correct it.

Do Succulents Change Color In The Sun?

Many succulents change color in the sun, but there are many reasons why this might happen. One reason is that some of the plants’ pigments can change when exposed to sunlight. This can cause the plant’s leaves to turn red, yellow, or orange.

Some succulents respond well to full sun exposure and will continue to change color throughout the day. Others may only turn a reddish-brown or green in direct sunlight and then revert to their original color after the sun goes down. Notice your succulent is changing color excessively. It may be best to move it into a location with more natural light or water it less frequently in direct sunlight.

What Does Overwatered Succulent Look Like?

A succulent that is over-watered will typically have a much softer appearance than one that is watered correctly. The leaves will be drooping, and the stem will be floppy. If the plant is severely overwatered, it may start to rot.

How Do I Make My Succulents Pink?

The succulents can be made pink by using a dye or paint. The succulent leaves will absorb the color and change to the desired hue. Be sure to test the paint or dye on a small area of the succulent first to make sure that the coloring agent will not harm the plant.

What Color Light Is Best For Succulents?

There are a few different lights that are good for succulents. Some lights produce a yellow or orange light best for succulents, such as natural light. Other lights, like fluorescent lamps, produce a harsh white light which is not good for succulents. Choosing the right light for your succulent to stay healthy and look its best is important.

Can Succulents Change Color?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes! Succulents can change color, although the reasons for this change may not be entirely clear. It is hypothesized that succulents may change color to reflect their environments, such as turning darker green in shadier areas or lighter green in sunnier areas. Additionally, succulents may change color in response to changes in temperature or moisture levels.

Can Succulents Be Kept In Direct Sunlight?

Succulents, like other plants, need light to grow. Suppose a succulent is kept in direct sunlight. It will likely turn red or pink because the plant’s cells cannot photosynthesize as effectively. To keep a succulent healthy and happy in direct sunlight, regularly keep it out of the sun’s hottest areas and water.

How Much Sunshine Do Succulents Need?

Succulents need a moderate amount of sunshine to grow and thrive. They can tolerate a fair amount of shade, but too much will cause them to become leggy and produce fewer flowers. Succulents prefer bright, indirect light, so it is ideal for placing them near a south- or west-facing window.

How Do I Know If My Succulent Is Healthy?

Monitoring the health of succulents is relatively easy. One can look for general signs of health, such as a plant growing new leaves or stems, having a strong root system, and not having any pests or diseases. Additionally, one can check the condition of the soil to make sure it is moist but not wet and that the plant is not sitting in water.

What Does An Unhealthy Succulent Look Like?

An unhealthy succulent will generally have drooping leaves, be lighter in color, and have a “sickly” appearance. The leaves may also be wrinkled if the plant loses much water (due to overwatering or poor drainage). Succulents can also get pests like mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites, which will make them look unhealthy.

Do Succulents Need Direct Or Indirect Sunlight?

Succulents need direct sunlight to produce the energy they need to thrive. They can survive in indirect light but will grow more slowly and may not be as healthy. Succulents that do not get enough sunlight may start to stretch, looking thin and elongated.

How Can You Tell If A Succulent Needs Water?

One way to tell if a succulent needs water is to look at the color of its leaves. If the leaves are wilted or have turned brown, the succulent is likely dehydrated and needs water. Another way to tell if a succulent needs water is to feel its soil. If the soil is dry, the succulent needs water.


The question why is my succulent turning red can be attributed to a range of factors, from natural pigmentation changes and environmental influences to stressors affecting the plant’s health. By understanding these causes, succulent owners can make informed decisions about their plant’s care and conditions, ensuring that their beloved plants continue to thrive.

As the reddening of a succulent can be both a natural expression of its beauty and an indication of stress, it is crucial to monitor your plant closely and respond accordingly to its needs. With the right care, attention, and knowledge, you can enjoy the captivating, ever-changing hues of your succulent while also maintaining its overall health and well-being.