Are Rainbow Succulents Real?
21 Ideas & DIY Instructions!

Succulents come in a variety of colors. They even come in the colors of the rainbow!

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Jimena Bolívar

June 06, 2021


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What are Rainbow Succulents?

If you’ve seen those dazzling colorful succulents on the Internet and wondered if they are even real, you’re at the right place!

Rainbow succulents are real, colorful species of succulent plants. Many succulent species will change their colors in certain conditions, such as excessive sunlight and stress. Typical ‘rainbow’ species include echeverias, sedums, aeoniums, sempervivums, euphorbias, and aloes.

However, rainbow succulents are not limited to being a collective term for multi-colored succulent plants. Rainbow succulent may differ from person to person, depending on what you want to do and what you’re looking for. Here are some ways you can go about having rainbow succulents:

  • Do you want real multicolored succulent plants in your garden?
  • Are you looking for a rainbow look with succulents of different colors grouped?
  • Some of your favorite succulent plants exist in ‘variegated’ forms. These are collectively known as ‘Rainbow Succulents’ due to having more than one color for their stem and leaves together.

PRO-TIP

Lots of sunlight is a multi-colored succulent’s best friend!

The colors of a succulent become more vibrant when exposed to a lot of sunlight. Bright areas allow colorful succulents to look more saturated.

1. The Echeveria Rainbow Succulent

The Echeveria rainbow succulent is the one succulent plant officially known as the rainbow succulent!

Assorted echeveria succulent plants

The Echeveria rainbow succulent is originally pink in color, but it changes its tones according to the seasons.

Found in Central and South America, the Echeveria rainbow succulent is the actual rainbow succulent found in nature. During one season, you will find its leaves green, whereas, in the next season, you will find it transforming into other hues!

The leaves of an echeveria rainbow succulent look tie-dyed in a dash of pink and green! However, there are echeverias that change into colors more than just pink. You can find purple and even red!

Succulents by the Colors of the Rainbow

There are many succulents referred to as ‘rainbow’ because of their saturated colors!

These succulents are often referred to as rainbows because they are just so colorful! We have a variety of succulents that have the color of the rainbow. These are the plants that you can group together to form the ‘rainbow’ look.

There are many ways to compose such arrangements, but let’s have a look at the colorful succulents first- BY COLOR!

Blue

2. Blue Chalksticks (Senecio Serpens)

A field of blue chalkstick succulents

The Senecio Serpens or blue chalksticks have the boldest shade of blue. When these lovely blue succulents are exposed to sunlight, you will notice a purplish tint in them too. Full direct sunlight is not just good for their color, but it also makes these plants bloom beautiful white flowers.

3. Blue Glow (Agave)

A photo of blue glow agave

The main color of these succulents is blue-green. A special thing about this plant is that it has a mix of yellow and red at the tips of the leaves. But since the color is bluish for most, this one makes it in our blue list!

4. Blue Spruce (Sedum reflexum)

A blue spruce succulent plant

The sedum reflexum or the blue spruce is distinguished by its needle shape. When given enough sunlight during the summer, the blue spruce produces yellow flowers that make an excellent contrast with the blue. The blue spruce grows quite fast!

Purple

5. Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida)

Many purple heart plants

With one of the most lush purple colors out there, the Purple Heart has hard edges. So if you want to consider them for your rainbow arrangement, it’s best for this plant to be at a place where it cannot be easily reached. However, its long needle shapes can look gorgeous even from far away!

6. Echeveria Elegans

A deep purple echeveria

Another echeveria succulent that turns purple when exposed to a lot of light and stress. It is also a very popular choice for wedding decoration.

7. Santa Rita Prickly Pear (Opuntia santa rita)

Closeup shot of prickly pear cactus with thorns

This purple thorny succulent can even produce contrasting flowers in yellow, given good light. If you love cacti, this is the one for you. Although you will have to be very careful while handling it! Remember that stress is important to maintain color, so never overwater. Always allow the base of the soil to dry before watering.

Red

8. Desert Cabbage (K. Luciae)

A closeup of the red leaves of a desert cabbage succulent plant

The desert cabbage plant has rounded leaves with very saturated red. Although the plant is green toward the inner portion of the leaves, its brilliant red at the tips and edges of its leaves make it stand out. You can even expect yellow flowers to appear in Spring and even during winter.

9. Lipstick (Echeveria agavoides)

An echeveria with brilliant red outer leaves

This is the echeveria that turns burning red! If you are familiar with agave plants (like the blue glow agave), this Lipstick Echeveria looks quite similar! Except that this echeveria is smaller compared to the agave succulent plants.

10. Campfire Plant (Crassula Capitella)

Many red-orange crassula capitella plants

Although the campfire plants may appear orange at first, they become red with age. So the more mature your campfire plant is, the greater its chances to have a brilliant red color.

Orange

11. Sticks on fire (Euphorbia Tirucalli)

A butterfly sitting on Euphorbia Tirucalli

This plant is quite tall in height and its sharp orange is just like that of fire. Sometimes, the orange is slightly pale which makes it look just like the texture of coral reef. You can expect the yellow-orange to change into red-orange during the winter season!

Yellow

12. Yellow Houseleek (Sempervivum)

Many houseleek yellow plants

The yellow sempervivum plant has bright yellow leaves with red edges. This makes it an ideal choice to add it as a yellow color to any rainbow succulent arrangement.

Green

13. Green Houseleek (Sempervivum)

Many green sempervivum plants

Sempervivums come in a variety of green shades for you to choose from! Mostly though, the green houseleek is at its best when it flaunts a light green color.

14. Cactii

A lot of cacti plants

Needless to say, how about choosing cacti for green? To add to the fun, many cacti even produce flowers when exposed to full sunlight!

Bring all the above succulents together to create the most amazing rainbow succulent garden ever!

15. Rainbow Cactus

A rainbow cactus? Yes, it’s an illusion of greens and pinks!

A rainbow cactus with a bright pink flower

The Rainbow cactus is also known as a comb hedgehog. Cacti are those succulents that exist in a range of sizes and can produce flowers of many colors when they thrive outdoors. Similarly, the rainbow cactus has a prickly appearance but with a unique blend of pink and green that seems to glow in the light. When it grows outdoors, the dark pink flower just adds to the drama!

Create Your Own Rainbow Succulents!

If you want to create a literal rainbow, you can choose to craft a variety of succulents together. Each succulent will be of a different color, like the ones listed above!

16. Construct a Rainbow Succulent Planter

Red, yellow, blue, green… Bring succulents of all colors together!

Different colored succulent in pots of matching color

You can have planters with a variety of succulents inside. Here are a few succulents that you can add to represent every color of the rainbow for your planter:

Remember that these succulents will have a dash of green to them and not completely be of the color they are listed against.

DIY Rainbow Succulents

The best way to have faux rainbow succulents is to either manipulate real ones or craft them out of clay.

17. Use Polymer Clay

Love the look of rainbow succulents but don’t want to commit to plant care? How about replicating a rainbow succulent or planter instead?

Polymer clay can be baked hard, unlike plasticine that remains soft and prone to change.

Of all the types of clay available in the market, plasticine and polymer are the ones easily available. You don’t need to use moulds to craft the plants. Simply follow the picture of the plant you want to replicate and use your hands to craft its stem and leaves! You can choose whatever size you want.

18. Make Your Own Dyed Rainbow Succulents

You can actually dye your succulent plants with food coloring if you do it the right way!

Many colorful cacti

It is possible to use food dyes to color your succulents, if a step-by-step procedure is followed.

If you’re deciding to use food colors to create a bunch of colorful rainbow succulents, you need to follow these steps:

Prepare an Effective Coloring Mix You would need half a cup of water, and in contrast, just a few drops of dye.

Preparing the Succulent for Dying

  • Before using food coloring, you need to stop the succulent’s water intake for a while.
  • Cut the roots so that the coloring chemicals aren’t filtered when you soak the stem of the succulent in the dyed solution
  • You will need to keep the stem immersed for at least half a day
  • Keep stirring the mix with the stem now and then so that the particles don’t settle.

Repotting the Dyed Plant

  • Pick a new mix of well-draining soil.
  • You can use the same pot or a new one, as long as the soil is fresh and replaced.
  • To make your own fresh cactus mix, just get 3 parts potting soil and mix 2 parts sand and 1 part perlite into it.

After you’re done repotting your plant, the roots will eventually grow again in the new soil. You will notice the color of your plant changing after a few days.

Warning!

Do not water your succulents after repotting!

Do not immediately water your succulent in its new pot. Allow it to develop roots and make use of the dyed solution it was put into for almost 12 hours. Your succulent plant will be forced to use the stored water and eventually turn into the color that was used in the solution.

Warning!

Never paint your succulent plant!

Dyes and paints are meant to behave differently. While many shops may use paints, they are extremely harmful to plants. Food dyes are your only best bet if you want to give a shot at coloring succulents on your own.

19. Different Succulent Plants in One Saucer

If you want to give the rainbow effect in one shallow container, plant succulents of a variety of colors.

Different species of succulents can be placed in a saucer to reflect rainbow effects similar to a color wheel.

More Ideas and Arrangements for a Rainbow Succulent Effect

Grouping rainbow succulents is one thing, arranging them is another.

20. A Big Succulent Surrounded by Tiny Ones

Keep the middle one green, and let the rainbow succulents surround it.

If you’ve got one big favorite succulent, you can keep it in the center and surround it with smaller ones around it. This arrangement is very good for succulents of various sizes kept in smaller containers.

21. Rainbow Succulent Wreath

You can show a gradient of colors by arranging them in a hoop.

Wreaths made of roses and mistletoes are pretty common. But how about one made of only succulents? The trick with wreaths is to use cuttings most of the time. Since it’s not possible to tuck big succulents into small spaces.

How Will You Craft Your Rainbow Succulents?

So you can choose multicolored succulents or even color your own succulents using food dyes. If you want, you can also create faux rainbow succulents using polymer clay. It’s up to you how to go about your rainbow succulents.

Are you looking for more succulents? Check out these 22 types of succulents to grow indoors and outdoors!

22 Types of Succulents. Stunning Indoor and Outdoor Succulents to Grow!

Succulents are stunning plants that can flourish with relatively minimal care. Read ahead to learn about the different indoor and outdoor succulent types!

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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