Few plants can survive prolonged periods without water, but succulent plants store it in their thickened and tightly packed leaves, stems and roots, being specifically adapted to conserve every drop they receive in dry areas that approximate desert conditions.
Colorful succulents and all succulents in general thrive in an environment that has very bright indirect light and even some full sun, a fast-draining potting mix like cactus soil and water application when the soil is almost dry all the way to the bottom of the pot.
It is more than clear that succulent plants allow for various ways of expression. They make an eye-catching assortment when grouped as a collection, in a container or a dish garden, a terrarium or a succulent wreath that is highly decorative yet requires minimal care.
Artfully arranged colorful succulent plants create a welcoming environment and inject creativity and imagination into interior decor. Choose species with different color combinations and leaf shapes for a dynamic and attractive display.
The world of succulents is fascinating, mysterious and colorful. Let’s open the door to it, shall we?
Comprehensive List of Colorful Succulents
This is a hybrid of Graptopelatum and Echeveria with lime rosette and reddish tips. It develops the most vibrant blushing in cool temperatures and bright sun.
Display idea: Design a container arrangement by combining this plant with Sedum rubrotinctum and Crassula marginalis rubra.
Care tip: This plant needs bright light, good drainage and infrequent watering. Choose a specific succulent or cacti soil with the addition of coarse sand or perlite.
Sedum rubrotinctum “Aurora”
This Sedum species resembles jelly beans that turn pink in the intense sun.
Display idea: It is an ideal ground cover plant or a filler plant that would brighten and enliven any floral arrangement.
Care tip: Partial sun or light shade, good airflow and the addition of perlite and pumice to the regular cactus potting soil. Propagate from offsets.
Crassula marginalis rubra
This is a rare and splendid succulent to have in your collection. The leaves are variegated, heart-shaped in different shades of pink and green, making an exceptional mix of colors.
Display idea: Since it is a trailing plant, it is best to display it in a container.
Care tip: Partial sun. Water moderately. Propagate from stem cuttings.
Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’
This is a stunning species that usually has coral tints on the leaves but can take on full red attire – so evocative of sunset.
Care tip: Position it in the bright light to develop this distinctive coloration and make it look most charming.
Aeonium arboreum “Atropurpureum”
This is an evergreen succulent plant with deep purple, glossy leaves that turn almost black when exposed to sun. It is a dramatic, bold and mysterious plant. Star-shaped flowers appear in the summer. It can achieve a height of up to 140 cm.
Care tip: Well-draining soil, full to partial sun and regular moisture are the basic requirements for this plant that’s otherwise drought tolerant.
Graptosedum ‘Darley Sunshine’
The mint green rosettes of this trailing succulent hybrid (Graptoveria and Sedum) turn pink in full sun and purple in cool temperatures.
Care tip: Provide bright sun to light shade, use the “soak and dry” method and propagate from cuttings or leaves.
Crassula ovata Hummels “Sunset”
This is a golden yellow and lime green species whose leaves take on tints of red on the tips in full sun.
Display idea: It is ideal for dish gardens and bonsai.
Care tip: Full sun to light shade and the same watering regime as with other succulents.
Aloe x nobilis
This is a green aloe species with yellow spines along the edges of thick and fleshy leaves. The plant takes on tints of red on the leaf tips.
Care tip: This variety favors some full sun and infrequent watering.
Sedum spurium ‘Red Carpet’
This is a very colorful succulent with showy flowers. It is perfect for beginners because it is easy to grow and care for. It produces red blooms from May to July.
Care tip: Provide full sun, regular moisture and regular room temperature. It is tolerant of light shade and poor soil, but it still needs proper drainage to thrive.
This colorful succulent has lime green leaves that turn red in intense heat or cold. It is a perfect summer display to add freshness and color to your arrangement.
Care tip: Bring it indoors when the winter temperatures drop.
This is an ornamental and vintage-looking perennial succulent shrub that has bronze outer leaves and purple to reddish central leaves.
Care tip: Rich, well-draining soil, the “soak and dry” watering method and full sun to partial shade. Propagate it from leaves or stems. It is toxic for pets.
This succulent forms one rosette in pale green that changes color depending on the growing conditions. It is tolerant of winter conditions, in which case watering is not necessary, only some kind of protection such as foil for the leaves. When the plant loses some of the leaves, new ones will appear.
Care tip: It looks particularly beautiful when showered by the sun, but away from heaters and air conditioners.
Sempervivum tectorum var.pyrenaicum
This is a soft variety that has pale pink outer leaves and pale green or yellow inner leaves forming a rosette and turning deep purple on the tips. One can’t really tell what color dominates and it is a perfect symbiosis of pastel colors with the pop of purple.
Care tip: Bright light, standard cacti soil and watering once the soil is almost dry.
Adenium obesum – Desert Rose
This is an evergreen succulent shrub that forms a bulbous, swollen base from which bare and woody stem emerges, with clusters of green leaves at the top.
The true beauty of the plant is when it flowers, producing tubular flowers in bright pink, red and white-such a vibrant contrast to the bright green leaves.
Care tip: Ample light and warmth, regular watering from spring to autumn and watering once every few weeks during the winter resting period – these are the perfect conditions to encourage the production of flowers during the warm months.
Aeonium ‘Sunburst’- Copper Pinwheel
Originating from the Canary Islands, this is a branching succulent that forms large variegated rosettes of green and yellow leaves sometimes showing a pink hue on the edges in the case of increased sun exposure or cold conditions.
Care tip: This beauty requires light shade, bright light and a little bit of full light. Since it is dormant in the summer months, it does not require much watering. If the leaves are shriveling, water sparingly. From winter to spring they will thrive in a moist, shady spot. Water weekly, but allow the compost to dry completely. Aeoniums are prone to root rot.
Aeonium volkerii – Tree Houseleek
This is a rather compact plant that has light green, fleshy leaves that have distinctive, bright red margins, but can turn entirely red depending on the conditions. The leaves form fleshy rosettes of around five layers.
Care tip: Tree Houseleek favors a shady and moist spot. If the air is hot and dry, the leaves might start shriveling, a clear sign that the plant is thirsty. Some exposure to sunlight will enhance the color of the plant, increasing the red tones and contributing to the bold look. Water only when the compost is fully dry during the summer. Repot every two years in late winter or early spring.
Anacampseros telephiastrum – Love Plant “Sunrise”
Native to South Africa, this is a low-growing succulent baby with pink flowers forming rosettes that clump together to form mats.
Display idea: It has a creeping habit so it looks best in a free-draining pot or a hanging basket that will allow the stems to hang free.
Care tip: This succulent favors bright filtered light, low humidity, ample airflow, frost-free conditions, repotting once a year and weekly watering in the summer, less so in the winter.
Crassula “Baby Necklace”
Evocative of a necklace, this colored succulent is made up of round fleshy parts sitting atop one another forming upright stems. The color turns from green at the very bottom to soft pink and bronze at the top.
Care tip: Bright to filtered light, well-draining soil and regular temperature and humidity.
Echeveria derenbergii – Painted Lady
Native to Mexico, this is an attractive plant that forms rosettes of oval, fleshy, blue-grey leaves. What makes this plant special is that waxy, pinkish bloom and orange-yellow flowers appear in the summer months, adding a flush of color to the muted palette of leaves.
Care tip: Morning or late afternoon sun and a brief period of shade will make this plant thrive well. Water minimally throughout the year and never splash the leaves. Propagate by taking leaf cuttings and allowing it to callus over and pot it up when it starts to root. Don’t plant this one close to other plants or in a small pot since it needs space to grow.
Echeveria nodulosa – Painted Echeveria
This is a highly decorative species of echeveria distinguished by its fleshy, pointed green leaves forming rosettes with red margins and center. Emerging from the center of the rosette is a long stem that carries pink flowers in the summer.
Care tip: Provide bright sun and light shade. Water once a week in the summer, less so in the winter because the plant needs water only to prevent the leaves from withering.
Coryphantha elephantidens – Elephant’s Tooth
One of the largest cacti, this species originates from Mexico and forms clumps with relatively large heads. It also has sharp spines and woolly white hair. If you are lucky, you will see large, pink, showy flowers.
Care tip: This species appreciates full sun at times, such as next to a sunny windowsill. It needs minimal watering, once a week in the summer. Don’t water at all in the winter. Remove sticky sap because it will make an unsightly display otherwise.
This is a slow-growing succulent with white bumps on its fleshy, deep green leaves.
Care tip: Moderate watering, filtered sunlight, some fertilizing and regular room temperatures are ideal conditions for this bold species.
Aloe ‘Crosby’s Prolific’
This prolific and fast-growing variety turns light pink in the sun. It can reach the size of 15 cm and it pairs well with Graptoveria “Fred Ives”.
Care tip: Provide bright light and partial shade, water moderately and don’t let room temperature fall below 25 degrees F in the winter.
Echeveria agavoides – Lipstick Echeveria
This succulent variety performs quite well indoors and maintains its deep color without difficulties. Provide full sun to keep it. It is relatively hardy and can take the temperature below 6 degrees C.
Care tip: It is sensitive to overwatering, so be careful. Provide a mix of full sun, light shade and partial shade.
Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’
One of the most popular and widely sought-after succulents, it has a unique subtle color that looks dazzling in virtually any arrangement.
Care tip: Bright sun, average watering and room temperature are all this beauty needs.
Echeveria ‘Doris Taylor’ – Wooly Rose
Now, this is a fuzzy succulent that has tiny hairs all over the leaves and stems. It offsets easily, so you will have an enormous collection in the blink of an eye. Purplish buds breed beautiful yellow flowers.
Care tip: It makes an ideal indoor plant since it likes light to partial shade, average watering and normal temperature will make this plant thrive.
E. harmsii is a true autumnal succulent in appearance. It tends to grow like a bush rather than forming rosettes. It bears bright green leaves with tinges of purple on the tips which have a fuzzy texture.
Display idea: It looks best if displayed in a long and narrow, rectangular pot filled with stones in neutral colors.
Care tip: Full sun and average watering will make this one happy.
Euphorbia tirucalli – Sticks of Fire
This one creates a stunning backdrop for container arrangements. If given bright to full sun, it turns bright orange.
However, it produces white sap that can irritate the skin and it is poisonous if ingested.
Care tip: Full to bright sun, average watering and room temperature.
Faucaria tigrina- Tiger Jaws
This succulent got its name because of the spines that resemble the tiger’s claws. They look intimidating, but in fact, they are very soft. The leaves turn purple if given full sun.
Care tip: Full sun to partial shade, average watering and the minimum winter temperature of 20 degrees F.
Gasteraloe ‘Little Warty’
This is a sturdy plant with an interesting texture that invites you to touch it. The leaf pattern is also quite interesting and the leaves turn orange in full sun. It does well indoors.
Display idea: Arrange it in a small pot in soft violet and add black stones.
Care tip: Average watering and full sun to partial shade.
Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’
This graptosedum makes an amazing display in container arrangements. Its reddish and purplish hue contrasts beautifully with some common green varieties. Depending on the sun exposure it receives, the plant will develop more or less purple leaves.
Display idea: Choose a yellow container to contrast with purple and green.
Care tip: Full sun to partial shade and average watering.
Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’
Beautiful succulent plants embellish every corner in your room. You have every reason to pick this one for your container arrangement. It is extremely easy to grow and performs well indoors. It can turn blue, red, green or pink depending on the sunlight and temperature.
Care tip: Propagate from leaves and cuttings. Water moderately and provide full sun to partial shade.
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii – Moon Cactus
Ornamental and quite popular succulent houseplants, moon cacti are very easy to grow and care for. Plus, they come in a variety of colors, making perfect colorful displays.
Care tip: Light shade and average watering and these babies will grow up to 30 cm tall. One cannot get enough of them, ever.
Haworhia coarctata is a succulent that forms very tight clusters whose leaves can easily turn red or purple in the cold or with enough sunlight. It has yellow markings on the leaves, making it very colorful and intriguing.
Care tip: Average watering, full sun to partial shade and the minimum temperature of 25 degrees F.
Haworthia retusa – Star Cactus
This is a light green fleshy succulent that has tiny hairs along the edges of the leaves. It got the name owing to the shape it forms. It absorbs light through the translucent skin, so it looks as if it was made up of crystals.
Care tip: It does well indoors in low-light environments. Water infrequently, since the fleshy parts retain water.
Kalanchoe luciae – Paddle plant
This plant resembles a paddle, hence the very name. It turns red or purple with enough light or in colder weather. It makes an amazing backdrop for other succulents in a container to contrast with.
Care tip: Light to partial shade with a bit of full sun, moderate watering and the minimum winter temperature of 20 degrees F.
This succulent attracts attention with its red and green variegation, especially if displayed with other succulents. It tolerates some neglect well, so it is also a great beginner variety for indoor cultivation.
Care tip: Find a spot with light shade, water moderately and it will reward you with blooms in midsummer.
This variety has green, fleshy leaves that turn reddish. Once you root it, it is easier to care for.
Display idea: Use this one as a filler in container arrangements with other succulents.
Care tip: Provide light to partial shade and keep winter minimum at 30 degrees F.
Schlumbergera truncate – Christmas Cactus
A quick fun fact, this one is frequently purchased around Thanksgiving or Christmas, when it usually blooms. The flowers of Christmas Cactus come in pink, red, white, yellow, and orange.
Display idea: This one is perfect for a pot or a hanging basket. Pair it with Sansevieria trifasciata.
Care tip: Light shade, a minimum of 35 degrees F, and average watering will bring this succulent to thrive.
Sedum adolphii – Golden Sedum
This is a bright green variety that develops a pink to purplish hue at the tips. It is great for succulent projects and colorful arrangements. It is easy to grow from cuttings and you won’t experience issues taking care of it.
Care tip: Succulents have more or less the same care pattern, bright light, average watering and a minimum of 20 degrees F.
Sempervivum arachnoideum – Cobweb Houseleek
This is a variety that performs great in any environment, be it cold or warmer climates. It sends offsets quite easily, so it will need a larger pot or a container. The rosettes are green with purplish sides, while the flower is hot pink. Such an amazing sight!
Care tip: Same care pattern as with other succulents.
Sempervivum ‘Pacific Devil’s Food’
This one is dark purple in color, making it a stunning addition to any container arrangement. Its darkest purple will develop with plenty of light.
Care tip: This one is very hardy so it will take even -30 degrees F. However, provide bright light and some full sun. Water moderately.
Senecio haworthii – Cocoon Plant
Hard to find yet easy to distinguish, this succulent has unique and fuzzy textured leaves, white coloring – simple but effective shape. As such, it stands out in any collection and any arrangement.
Display idea: Display it in a black rectangular pot with black stones if you want a neutral arrangement, or choose some purplish or pinkish varieties to add a pop of color.
Care tip: Full sun to partial shade and average watering as with other succulents.
Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ – Black Aeonium
Differently called Black Rose, this is one of the most sought-after aeoniums. It is quite statuesque and has rosettes in dark purple, almost black leaves on tall stems. Flowers are starry and yellow.
Care tip: Grow it as a houseplant on a patio outside in the summer or in an indoor environment that has low humidity, filtered sun and temperatures between 10 and 24 degrees C.
Echeveria agavoides ‘Taurus’
This one is famous for its dark, burgundy-red leaf rosettes in summer. Red and yellow flowers appear as well.
Care tip: It requires the same care requirements as other echeverias –bright light and moderate watering.
This is an African evergreen sword- or triangular-shaped leaves in bright red. It bears orange or red bell-shaped flowers. Aloe sessiliflora closely resembles this variety.
Care tip: Aloes usually prefer a warm dry climate and well-drained soil. Larger species like this one can be grown in full sun, smaller ones in partial shade. Be watchful of mealybugs.
If you place this species in a hot and dry spot, it tends to become orange-yellow. On the other hand, it remains green if you protect it from the strong sun.
Striking succulent plants like this one are usually more rare and costly than green ones, but they make a more powerful statement.
Care tip: A sunny location with enough water would do this plant a world of good.
This is a true summer variety when it comes to color, peach and lime make a real refreshment to any succulent arrangement. It is one of those bright-colored succulents.
Display idea: Choose a soft creamy pot that will make rose gold color of this sedum stand out.
Care tip: This species favors bright light, regular room temperature and infrequent watering.
Echeveria peacockii variegated – Morning Light
This is a very soft hybrid succulent that forms a rosette out of lavender leaves with pink edges. Flowers are orange-red- a warm addition to a cool display.
Care tip: Same care pattern as other echeverias.
This colorful trailing succulent plant originates from Mexico and Honduras and has round, blue-green, fleshy leaves accompanied by vivid pink flowers in the summer.
Display idea: Hanging baskets are ideal for this one.
Care tip: Keep away from droughty windows and doors, provide partial shade and propagate from leaves or cuttings.
Sedum spurium ‘Tricolor’
This sedum species displays three colors-green, cream and pink. As such, it makes a stunning plant for various succulent arrangements.
Display idea: It may be grown as a ground cover .
Care tip: Provide some full sun, keep the soil moist and make it somewhat acidic. Be watchful of scale insects.
The leaves are bright green, while the stems are red and flowers white. New growth is produced on the tips of flower spikes and as the stalk gets heavy, it will bend toward the soil.
Display idea: Use it as a ground cover succulent.
Care tip: Find a shady spot and make sure the soil is right for the plant. If not, improve it by adding some perlite or lime to increase acidity.
This is a perennial species from Mexico thought of as an endangered species because it is used to make mescal, a distilled alcoholic beverage. It forms a rosette of pale green leaves with lilac tips.
Care tip: It favors light shade in the summer, well-draining soil.Water it once it is dry.
This aloe is somewhat scary in appearance. It has upright stems that form rosettes of long and narrow leaves with spines along the edges. The leaves turn copper in the sun.
Care tip: Some full sun would contribute to the beauty and uniqueness of this colorful succulent.
This is a very decorative and exotic plant also known as Snake Plant. It is not demanding at all so it is great for beginners, plus it makes a lovely display for offices. It has a long lifespan and tolerates even less than ideal conditions. It helps to purify the air.
There are many cultivars such as “Laurenti” and “Hahnii”. The latter does not form flowers and it is somewhat shorter.
Care tip: Find a bright location with temperatures between 15 and 22 degrees C, water it with warm water once in 10 days in the summer.
Differently called Stings of Buttons, this is one of those colored succulents that grows rapidly and has a shrubby habit. Stems and leaves sit atop each other, which is why the plant is in upright position, but it becomes pendant as it matures.
The edges are pink and the stems bear starry, yellow flowers that appear in the growing season. It is one of the prettiest succulents.
Display idea: It is ideal for hanging baskets and decorative containers.
Care tip: C. perforate performs best in well-draining soil in light shade. You won’t have to worry about deer and diseases.
This is a low species that has fleshy leaves that turn purple in full sun. The most famous subspecies are C. pubescens ssp.radicans and rattrayi.
Care tip: Easy to grow in normal conditions, but susceptible to mealybugs.
This is a splendid evergreen and an award-winning succulent plant that has silver-gray leaves. The rosette looks as if covered with chalky powder. It bears light yellow flowers. It was granted an Award of Garden Merit by RHS.
Display idea: Ideal for dish gardens, Mediterranean gardens or containers.
Care tip: Grow it in a coarse medium in slightly dappled shade. Fertilize once a month during the growing period.
What makes this succulent colorful is a mixture of light pink shade that develops on the fleshy and otherwise pale green leaves. As such, it is a perfect candidate for any container.
Display idea: S. roboticum, S. Pachyphyllu and Echeveria simonoasita make ideal plants for terrariums, simple even for beginners. Use pumice and natural stones to decorate.
Care tip: It favors bright light and the “soak and dry“ method.
G. glomerata is a very slow-growing and attractive succulent with very short, fleshy and greyish leaves that look as if covered with dust. Bulbous, red flowers appear in spring.
Care tip: It has a similar care pattern as haworthia plants. Both are relatively tolerant of shade and low humidity.
Graptopetalum copper rose
Originating from Mexico and Arizona, this is a perennial succulent that forms a rosette. The leaves are rather short, fleshy, bronze or pale purple in color.
Display idea: Combine it with some green or white varieties for a nice contrast.
Care tip: Provide light and well-draining soil, full to partial sun and water moderately.
This is a species that has light green glossy leaves and long stems that bear magnificent, tiny, pink flowers.
Display idea: It looks best if grown outdoors.
Care idea: Make sure that it is protected from harsh, direct sun.
This is another bright succulent variety that forms rosettes of mint and pink leaves if exposed to the full sun.
Care tip: Morning to late afternoon sun, thorough and infrequent watering.
Tillandsia capitata red
This is a silver-leaved variety found in Central America and South America. It is the reddest of all capitata varieties and one of the most colorful succulents.
Care tip: Keep it out of direct sunlight to maintain the color.
Echeveria Agavoides var. Romeo Rubin
To my eye, this is one of the most beautiful succulents. It has bold, fleshy and glossy deep purple leaves with a burgundy center that melt into cream for a nice gradient effect. The tips are quite sharp.
Display idea: Sprinkle stones over the soil in some light color for a nice contrast.
Care tip: Some full sun for a nice coloration and a bright spot.
One can’t have enough of beautiful succulents in their collection, especially bright succulents, and the party can’t start without this one. It is a very gentle-looking species that has soft pink and green leaves with pointed bright red tips.
Care tip: Bright light and good airflow will do it good.
This is a spiky succulent with upright fleshy, green leaves with white markings that resemble zebra striping, so it is really hard not to notice and recognize it.
Care tip: Porous soil, filtered light and ample airflow. Water with caution depending on the current season.
Deep green of this amazing succulent contrasts beautifully with pale pink along the edges of the leaves. The leaves are glossy and fleshy.
Care tip: Follow the same regime like with other echeverias.
Sedeveria ‘Blue Elf’
Now, this one is a piece of art. Short, fleshy pale green leaves with sharp tips that turn red and a long stem emerging from the center that bears a cream flower. What a sight!
Display idea: Showcase this one against a plain backdrop to make it stand out even more.
Care tip: Bright light and moderate watering.
Lithops are succulents that have no stems and resemble stones or rocks. They come in different shades, such as soft brown, green, shades of red and peach.
Care tip: Be careful not to overwater lithops since their body is very fleshy and is able to sustain long periods without watering.
Sempervivum “Ruby Heart“
This is a succulent that forms rosettes made up of fleshy, sharply pointed leaves adorned with ruby-red. Cooler or warmer temperatures intensify the color. Showy and starry purplish flowers appear in the center.
Care tip: Full sun, well-draining soil and almost pest and disease free, very little maintenance is needed with this one.
Echeveria ‘Briar Rose’
Another amazing Echeveria, this species has tightly packed green leaves that turn red in full sun or cold. It adds to the liveliness of any display.
Care tip: Bring it indoors in the freezing weather even if you are growing in the ground.
The bluish and greenish colors of this succulent make it ideal for small decorative pots. The flowers are pink, contributing to the pastel effect of the plant.
Care tip: Full sun is advisable.
What makes this plant special is the shape of the leaves, long and narrow with white lines- quite architectural.
Display idea: Growing it outdoors would make the traffic stop.
Care tip: Improve the quality of the soil before you plant it in the ground.
Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’
This is a green succulent variety that has purple spots all over the narrow and long leaves. The spots are so dense that it looks as if the plant has almost purple leaves.
Display idea: This pastel variety is ideal for outdoor garden decoration.
Care tip: Bright light and moderate watering.
Frequently asked questions
Colorful succulent plants make the most artistic displays in the plant world and they offer immense possibilities to create a unique container, a decoration in a hanging basket or a terrarium arrangement.
They are very friendly and easy to pair with other pretty succulents because they require more or less the same care pattern.
Make an arrangement that consists of beautiful succulent plants in different shades, or choose bright green varieties and one plant to add a pop of color, it is up to you. The sure thing is that the arrangement you make will leave other plant groupings in the shade and steal the limelight.