Color-matching is fun, and so is doing that with succulents. In this article, I’ll cover my 7 favorites when it comes to purple succulents.
Fancy having a purple succulent? Well, here are seven of them:
- Sedeveria Sorrento
- Graptoveria Debbie
- Trailing jade
- Santa Rita prickly pear
- Lithops optica Rubra
- Desert surprise
Besides the awesome hues, these succulents offer great unique shapes, texture, and – most importantly – don’t demand a lot of your attention to thrive. There’s also more to talk about as far as each one of these succulents is concerned.
Let’s jump in.
Sedeverias as a whole is obtained from crossing Echeveria and Sedum succulents; certainly some of the most popular succulents thanks to their interesting shapes and colors. It’s no surprise, therefore, that Sedeveria Sorrento is such a cutie.
Most unique about this succulent is its veiny leaves, a very rare trait among succulents.
The leaves also grow in a rosette and spot a combination of two colors – purple and green. The green is concentrated around the center of the rosette while the purple tends more towards the leaf tips.
Both of these colors become more intense as the succulent is exposed to more sunlight. You’ll want that, right? So it’s only natural that you let your plant get as enough sunlight as possible. At least 6 hours of exposure per day will do.
A Sedeveria Sorrento’s size is one of the most desirable characteristics about it (besides the awesome colors). It grows to just about 8 inches tall which is pretty convenient if you have limited space like your desk.
As with all succulents, it’s important to consider both the container and type of soil you use when planting your Sedeveria Sorrento. The soil mix must be well-draining while the container should promote this.
That’s why a good container must be made of either terracotta or ceramic and should also have a drainage hole at the bottom.
Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida)
This is one of the most impressively colored succulents here. Its entire leaves and stems are a deep purple which is the main reason the plant is referred to as purple heart or, sometimes, purple heart wandering Jew, purple queen, and purple secretia.
Sometimes, though, the color doesn’t always turn out purple – at least not as deep. This is usually when the purple heart succulent is grown in the shade instead of the full sun as the plant prefers.
Besides the intriguing color, this succulent is also outstanding for its trailing branches and prominent and pointed leaves measuring as much as 7 inches. On top of that, it also produces bright pink flowers that pop up at different times of the year, mostly summer and fall.
The stems tend to be brittle so you’ll have to handle them with care lest you end with a broken plant.
Both the foliage and stems of the purple heart succulent die off if the plant is left out in the snow. Good thing, though, the plant grows back once the cold is over.
Graptoveria Debbie (x Graptoveria debbi)
A hybrid between two succulents – Graptopetalum amethystinum and Echeveria – Graptoveria Debbie forms a rosette of up to 8 inches in diameter and 8 inches in height. Individual leaves are bluish-purple under normal conditions but turn to a bright pink when the plant is stressed – mostly during the cooler months of the year.
The plant blooms in late spring or early summer, throwing up small pink flowers.
Caring for Graptoveria Debbie isn’t any different from other succulents. It’s all about less water – once every 1-2 weeks depending on how fast the soil mix dries. The succulent loves the sun so having it in a spot that receives the rays for at least 6 hours per day is definitely a plus.
But watch out for the cold. The Graptoveria Debbie succulent won’t tolerate temperatures below 20˚F. So might have to keep it in a container if the temperatures in your area go below this, especially if you grow it outdoors. That way, it’ll be easy to bring it inside when the temperature starts acting up.
Unlike most of the succulents out there, Graptoveria Debbie enters dormancy in summer so you’ll have to cut back on stuff like watering and fertilizing as the plant doesn’t need much.
Trailing Jade (Senecio jacobsenii)
It might sound like the plant is related to the popular jade plant, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the two aren’t even related. That being said, they’re quite similar in appearance as they put out long multiple branches.
But unlike the jade plant, the trailing jade has bigger leaves. The leaves are green for the most part but change to purple when exposed to the bright sun or cold temperatures. So you’ll always have something to brighten your winters with this plant hanging on your wall.
On average, individual trailing jade branches grow to as much as 4 feet as long as you’re giving them all they need.
The succulent is native to Kenya and Tanzania where the climate is significantly warm. That naturally means the trailing jade isn’t so comfortable with extremely low temperatures – basically anything below 30˚F.
Just like most succulents, propagating the trailing jade is fairly easy using both leaf and stem cuttings.
Santa Rita Prickly Pear (Opuntia santarita)
As with most cacti, the Santa Rita prickly pear comprises spiny pad-like stems. These serve different purposes but the most important one is water storage. To you as a grower, the stems double up as a beauty statement not just for the shape but the color too. And it’s not just purple.
The Santa Rita prickly pear changes color depending on the season and prevailing conditions.
The stems are usually a soft blue-gray in warmer temperatures but turn purple when the cold winter months set in. The change is even more pronounced when the plant gets enough exposure to direct sunlight.
That means you have some control over the look of your Santa Rita prickly pear – pretty easy because the succulent does love soaking in the sun’s rays. A minimum of 6 hours of direct sun every day will do the plant a lot of good.
In spring, the Santa Rita prickly pear whips out another colorful reward – bright yellow flowers that are quite stunning against the purple background.
Additionally, the succulent can comfortably survive the cold, so winters aren’t that much of a problem. You can grow it as an outdoor succulent if you wish.
The cactus is native to Sonora in Mexico and Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico in the US.
Lithops Optica Rubra
Succulents are known for their tiny sizes but lithops, in particular, take this to another level. Native to the southern parts of Africa, the succulent grows to just about 2 inches.
And it has one of the most interesting looks among succulents. It doesn’t have a stem featuring instead a pair of bulb-like leaves that are mostly buried in the soil. Lithops is also known for its stone-like appearance which, combined with the leaves’ position, helps the succulent evade being eaten by animals.
Lithops optica Rubra is among the most popular species of lithops because of its striking purple leaves. Just like the rest of them, L. optica Rubra starts growing new leaves in winter when it still has the old pair in place. The older leaves then dry up come spring to pave way for the new foliage.
Due to its small size and slow-growing nature, you don’t need to repot this succulent as often compared to others. But you’ll have to get a considerably deeper pot than it’s usually the case with other succulents.
That’s because, despite being super-tiny, Lithops optica Rubra possess long tap roots so they need a considerably deep pot; ideally, 3-5 inches deep.
Desert Surprise (Kalanchoe humilis)
Desert surprise is certainly one of the easiest succulents to pick out because of its distinctive coloration. Its green leaves are variegated with purple or maroon spots that come out stronger as the plant is exposed to more sunlight.
The plant itself grows in a shrub reaching a height of up to 3 feet and 4 inches wide. Native to Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique, the desert surprise succulent is summer dormant which is a bit different from most succulents that go into dormancy in winter.
Speaking of winter, you might want to keep your desert surprise plant away from that cold if temperatures in your area go below 10˚F. Definitely planting it in a container can be helpful as you’ll need to move it inside.
But if you’re keeping it indoors, be sure to reserve a sunny spot for the plant to keep those colors beaming.
These are some of the adorable purple succulents you can start raising. It should be pretty easy since they aren’t so different from other succulents in general.
It’s all about watching out for a few aspects like water, the type of soil you’re using, and whether or not your plant is getting enough sunlight.
Remember the cold too. While some might put up with the frost, others have a bit of a problem. Just make sure you know where your plant stands on this.