How can you grow colorful succulents? In order to grow colorful succulents, you need to stress them out. When we hear the word stress, we often associated with unpleasant experience like tension, anxiety, problems and to think of exposing our plants to stress sounds abusive. This is how it applies to succulents. Stress is our body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threats that the stress response is the body’s way of protecting ourselves and when it is working properly, it helps us to stay focus energetic and alert. In emergency situations, it can even save our lives.
Stress is not bad for succulents
This means stress is not always bad in small. It can actually help us perform under pressure and motivate us to do our best. That is somehow the same with succulents a little stressed and they show their bests. The change of color is their way of protecting themselves. That’s what makes succulents unique. Stressors that can harm or kill other plants can actually make succulents more beautiful. Do you feel better now about stressing your succulents?
Here are some tips for you. First of all, there are some succulents that are originally green. No matter how much you expose them to stress, they will still remain green so it is best to find out what variety you have now. They need to be exposed to extreme conditions, just like in a desert in fertile soil, drought, prolonged exposure to Sun and even cold temperatures at night.
Type of soil is important
First is the soil. The type of soil that you use is not only essential to make them grow colorful but actually it is very important to ensure their survival. They do not want to sit on a wet soggy soil because they can absorb too much water and rot and eventually die. Therefore plant them in a well draining soil. Succulents come from an environment that does not have a lot of nutrients in water. We need to recreate that environment when we make our potting mix. The formula is a combination of 1/2 potting soil, 1/4 perlite and 1/4 coarse sand. Perlite will improve the drainage and help prevent the soil from becoming compact. Make sure that the soil will not hold too much water. The coarse sand will also improve the drainage of the soil and prevent it from becoming compact. Maybe the kind of sandy and rocky soil where the succulents naturally grow and the potting soil will provide essential nutrients that they need in order to grow well.
With this kind of mixture, we somehow mimic the environment that they used to grow but at the same time, we provide them the nutrients that they need in order to be healthy.
How to water your succulents
Next is your watering technique. Let them experience drought by making sure that the soil is completely dry before you water again. When you water, you water thoroughly. In the desert, succulents must be able to absorb large quantities of water in short periods because desert rains are often light and brief and the water rapidly evaporates under intense Sun. So in order to cope in these conditions, nearly all succulents have extensive shallow root system therefore they can absorb water quickly and store them in their roots, stems or leaves. Perfectly watered succulents can turn green so if you live in an area with higher humidity, you need to pay attention to your watering schedule because they can also absorb water from the morning too.
Succulents and sunlight
Next is their sunlight exposure. They need bright sunlight all day in order to maintain their bright colors. When they are grown in shaded areas or indoors, not only will they elongate but also they will slowly fade back to green. Have you heard of anthocyanins? They are plant pigments which give our fruits and vegetables their deep red, purple or blue colors. They are also present in succulents when succulents are exposed to Sun or extreme temperature. Their anthocyanin levels are at higher concentration and it acts as an antioxidant that protects the plants against over exposure to ultraviolet lights and extreme temperatures. Their change of color is part of their self-protection mechanism. Lastly, it is also known that anthocyanins are more stable in lower temperature. That’s why their colors are more vivid when it is cold. That’s how unique succulents are. They have the capacity to adopt and become even more beautiful in conditions where other plants cannot even thrive.