How To Dye Succulent Plants? ( An Easy Way )

In this article I thought of describing something unusual. Do you know how to dye succulent plants? It’s kind of an unusual question. 

Succulents are renowned for their unique looks and many people tend to grow them due to the versatility of the plants.

How To Dye Succulent Plants

Further their ability to thrive in hardy conditions make them more special. They would adore any space irrespective of the area you grow them. 

If you grow them outdoors, they will bring so much grace and bring a sense of freshness to your garden. However, you may not need to settle with a regular green colored succulent when it is possible to change their colors. 

If you wish to add a funky color for your plants and wish to color them synthetically, you will find this article quite informative. In this article, we are going to cover how to color the succulents synthetically in detail.

How to dye succulent plants?

You could dye your succulent plants synthetically. If you had ever come across plants which are brightly colored in shops and in nurseries as well, they might have applied dyes to your succulents and colored them synthetically most of the time. 

So those colors are not natural. Further chances are that they would have painted the succulent leaves as well. 

There are paints which could be toxic and even kill your plants. Once you apply the dye to the plants, it may sometimes obstruct the pores. 

Further it would disrupt the photosynthesis process of the plants. Photosynthesis is what keeps the plants alive. 

However there is a way of coloring your plants synthetically and which would allow you to have the desired color of the plants whilst ensuring there are no damages for the plants done too.

You may simply use food coloring to do this task and alter the color as you wish. It would allow you to make your plants stay in bright colors for some time. However, ensure that you do it right when you do this. 

What do you need

  • Succulent
  • Water
  • Measuring Cup
  • Mixing Cup
  • Food Coloring
  • Knife
  • Pot
  • Soil
How To Dye Succulent Plants

How to dye them

Dehydrate the plant

Succulents are filled with water. So, ensure that you dehydrate the plants for a certain period so that they have used water which is already conserved in the roots, stems and in the leaves as well. 

Once you do this step, you can rely on the fact that they will take up the colored water than what they usually do.

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Prepare the dye

Next comes the prepping the dye. To do that you need to first measure a cup of water and add it onto a mixing glass. 

Next you can add some drops of your preferred color to the water and then mix them well. You could use food coloring for this purpose. Once you add more color for this, it would intensify the color of the plants as well.

Prepare the plant

Thirdly, you need to prepare the succulent plants in a way that would absorb the colored water without filtering them like they usually do. 

So, you need to ideally take the plants out from the soil and take out the roots as well. Ultimately it would leave the stem and the leaves of the plants only. I suggest you use a knife to snip off the roots and ensure that you don’t damage the stem when you do this step.

Dye the succulent

Fourthly, you need to dye the succulents. Since you have got rid of the succulent roots, it would not be possible for the plants to filter the coloring out of water now. 

So, you can simply place the stem into the colored water and stir it well. Make it stand there for some time so that it would allow the plants to absorb the colored water. Ideally you need to keep the stems that way for about half a day and it would allow the plants to absorb the essential-colored water levels.

Repot the succulent

If you think the plants have taken up the colored water, you could consider translating them now. You can take readily made succulent or cactus soil mix and fill the pot with some of it. 

After that you can place the succulents stem in the pot. Once you place the cuttings, ensure the cuttings are well established. 

You may consider adding more soil to make them stable in the pots. Having said that, do not provide too much soil into it so that it would not give you the desired results then. Keep in mind that succulents want to have a fast-draining facility and only then they can survive well. 

Do not water them for few days

I suggest you skip watering them for a few says once you finish transplanting them.That will help the plants to absorb more colored water. 

Ultimately, all the dye will be taken up by the plants and it would change the regular color of the plants and change the plant color the way you wanted.

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When you water them again, you will see how the plants change their color to their regular color as by then it would start to fade away. 

Once you apply water, it will dilute the color in the leaves. Further you could see how they develop new leaves as the root’s set into the soil and resume conducting the photosynthesis process.

I recommend you use rich colors such as red, blue and purple as they will give you the best results of this activity. 

Further this is a fairly effective and a faster way of coloring your plants synthetically. Besides, it would not result in any fatal outcome of the plants as well. 

If you take care of the plants well and provide them with their desired growing conditions, they will remain in those colors for some time.

How To Dye Succulent Plants

Why are stores painting succulents ?

Many people tend to paint the succulents to make them look more attractive and fascinating.

So, the funky and fancy colors of the plants make them look extra special. Coloring the succulent synthetically is not a new trend in the world.

In addition to that, many stores tend to paint the succulents so that the colors would remain on the plants for some time and make them more attractive for the buyers. If you dye the plants in the right way,it will not disrupt the photosynthesis process of the plants.

Many people opt to use a dye which is food safe and nontoxic. They may either spray them on the plants or even dip them in the paint too.

How do I make my succulent purple?

If you wish to make your succulent purple synthetically you could follow the aforesaid tips. However, if you wish to do it naturally that would also be possible by making them go through stress.


It is important that your succulents get ample sunlight so that it would help to maintain their usual colors. 

For example, there are three main pigments in plants to maintain the colors of the plants. They are such as chlorophyll, carotenoid, and anthocyanins. 

Succulents would change their colors depending on the quantity of these three pigments and the sunlight exposure is what controls them. 

For example, if the plants are getting less exposure to sunlight, it would make chlorophyll more prominent in the plants and make the plants look green.

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On the other hand, if the plants get more exposure to sunlight, it would enhance the anthocyanins activity and make the plants look purple. Anthocyanins is an antioxidant which would protect plants from excessive sunlight.

In addition to sunlight exposure, the amount of water is also very crucial in changing the color of the succulents naturally. 

Usually if you provide water moderately it would make the plants look green. On the other hand, if you make them deprived of water, it will change the plant’s regular green color to purple. 

Apart from these factors, temperature would also play a major role in deciding the color of the succulent plants.

If you expose them for higher temperatures and for low temperatures it would activate different pigments and cause different color formations of the plants.

Once you expose the plants to very hot temperatures, it would activate the anthocyanins and make the plants look more purple in color.

Once there are hot temperatures around, anthocyanins would try to safeguard the plants from excess heat and from UV rays which consequently make them look purple.

How To Dye Succulent Plants

Can you change the color of succulents with food coloring?

Yes, it is possible. You could synthetically change the colors of the succulents whilst making use of the food colorings. 

Food colorings are not harmful as they don’t disrupt the photosynthesis process of the plants. Instead, it would help them to maintain their bright colors for some time if you do it right.

However, I suggest you go ahead with rich colors such as red, blue and purple so that you will have very good results.


Succulents are such magical plants which would thrive well despite the numerous challenges they get when they grow.

This literally means you could apply a few tactics and make them look in the colors you desire to have them. You may either naturally let them change colors or synthetically change the colors.

If you want to naturally change the colors you could either increase or decrease the sunlight exposure and temperature levels.

On the other hand, if you wish to change colors synthetically, you could make use of food color and get the task done.

I hope you now know a lot about “How to dye succulent plants”. Try this with your plant and make it different. Happy gardening! 

Credit to : Succulent Plant Care
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.