Purple succulents can add an instant pop of color, breaking the monotony of a sea of green. Whether you are looking for a trailing succulent to hang in baskets or something to put on your office table, here are 21 regal-looking purple succulents to consider:
1. Santa Rita Prickly Pear
The Santa Rita Prickly Pear (Opuntia santarita) is a succulent owner’s dream come true.
Like most succulents, this succulent shrub is not fussy. It prefers partial shade to full sun and well-draining soil.
Except for scale and mealybugs, very few animals infest this prickly pear species. You do not even have to worry about deer eating this plant. Plus, it is frost hardy.
For the rest of the year, this spine-covered plant is colored blue-grey. But with the onset of winter, it takes on an intense purplish hue.
2. Purple Beauty
The Purple Beauty (Sempervivum tectorum ‘Purple Beauty’) is a type of hens and chicks plant that is known for its pink rosettes that have purple shading. During winter, the rosettes sport a brilliant magenta color.
To coax out the majestic purple hue out of this plant, collectors place this plant under the outdoor sun.
The succulent looks stunning when grown outdoors where it can stay all year round, even during winter. It is a frost-hardy plant that can survive cold temperatures with a little help from their owners.
3. Black Rose
At first glance, the Black Rose (Aeonium Arboreum ‘Zwartkop’) looks like a gigantic black flower. But those brightly-colored petals are actually leaves.
Although the succulent thrives under partial shade, it can tolerate full sun. If you want the leaves to become darker, you need to place it under direct sun for about six hours.
However, too much sun can leave the plant sunburned. If you want to achieve a darker shade of purple for this plant, you have to watch out against sunburn.
The Black Rose can be grown outdoors directly on the ground. It can tolerate mild frost but can succumb to extreme cold when exposed for a substantial period.
4. Purple Heart
Collectors and gardeners use the Purple Heart (Setcreasea purpurea) in a variety of ways. The succulent is often used as a groundcover or as an accent plant.Its purple stems and leaves serve as the perfect backdrop for flowering plants as well as other succulents.
The Purple Heart is a low-growing plant, able to reach a foot in height and two to three feet in width.
Unlike other succulents that do not require too much water, this plant prefers its soil to be constantly moist.
It does well in both partial shade and full sun. However, when placed in a sunny location, you must keep its soil constantly moist.
5. Purple Pearl
The Purple Pearl (Echeveria ‘Purple Pearl’) is a stunning succulent that is used in wedding bouquets, floral arrangements and containers.
It can reach a height of six inches and a width of about a foot.
The rosettes grow up to 12 inches, sporting an olive green color tinged with lavender. The rosettes are also outlined by pink edges.
Like most Echeverias, the Purple Pearl is easy to care for. However, special attention should be given to the rosettes.
Avoid watering this succulent from the top because moisture can pool on the rosettes, causing fungal diseases or rot.
The dead leaves should also be constantly pruned to prevent insect infestation.
6. Dark Knight Prickly Pear
The Dark Knight Prickly Pear (Opuntia ‘Dark Knight’) goes by a few nicknames, including Hedgehog, Heacock’s Prickly Pear, and Juniper Prickly Pear.
The plant has pads that are green and purple. It is covered almost entirely in glochids which are barbed bristles.
These barbed bristles can pierce your hand, even if you are wearing gloves. Seasoned growers prefer handling the plant with tongs. Unless necessary, do not handle this succulent.
The succulent can grow up to two feet in height, requiring both full sunlight and well-draining soil.
It is a sturdy species, capable of handling temperature extremes.
7. Echeveria Taurus
The Echeveria Taurus (Echeveria agavoides ‘Taurus’) is a compact houseplant that grows up to over three inches high and close to six inches in diameter.
Its red-green leaves are fleshy and triangular. During summer, it sends out long stems that droop, bearing red and yellow flowers.
Propagating this succulent is difficult because it does not usually respond to traditional methods.
It can be kept both indoors and outdoors, especially during the warmer months. However, it is not cold-tolerant. And as such, it should be brought in before winter.
8. Violet Prickly Pear
The Violet Prickly Pear (Opuntia gosseliniana) is a cactus that grows in parts of Arizona, California, and Mexico.
This prickly pear bears the characteristic flat pads of its family. However, the whole plant has a violet to red color. The color varies depending on environmental conditions.
It looks like its relative, the Santa Rita Prickly Pear. However, the violet prickly pear can either have shorter spines or no spines at all. Additionally, the pads of the Violet Prickly Pear are larger and grow in clusters.
With proper care, the cactus can reach a maximum height of five feet.
9. Royal Flush
The Royal Flush succulent (Pleiospilos nelii ‘Royal Flush’) is an interesting, if not odd-looking plant.
Just one look at the plant and you are left wondering if it is indeed a succulent or a rock split in two.
The plant’s leaves are its most interesting feature. Between each purple-colored leaf is a large fissure. The Royal Flush produces a new pair of leaves annually.
The Royal Flush is a small succulent, growing up to three inches tall and about four inches wide.
The plant prefers filtered light. If you are planning to keep it indoors, it is best placed in a south-facing window.
Unlike other succulents that have adapted to extreme drought, this succulent has adapted to conditions where rainfall is predictable. As such, seasoned growers recommend watering the plant once every spring and summer.
10. Perle von Nürnberg
The Perle von Nürnberg (Echeveria gibbiflora ‘Metallica’ × E. elegans) (Graessner) is one of the more popular succulent hybrids.
And there are plenty of things to love about this plant.
For starters, it is a real beauty. Its leaves have a pink and purple color coated with farina.
Second, the plant is easy to care for. With ample sunlight and the right potting mix, it can grow up to six inches wide.
Among Echeverias, the Perle von Nürnberg is one of the most prolific, in terms of producing flowers. A single specimen is capable of producing five to six pink flowers annually.
Finally, the plant is easy to propagate. You can propagate it with its leaves or cuttings.
11. Desert Surprise
The Desert Surprise (Kalanchoe humilis) is an ideal plant for beginners looking for something beautiful but easy to care for.
This succulent shrub grows up to three feet. Originating from Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique, the Desert Surprise can be found growing in crevices and rock formations near bodies of water.
Its egg-shaped leaves are pale green in color with purple or maroon stripes or spots. The shrub produces purple to green flowers during the middle of summer.
Like other kalanchoes, the Desert Surprise prefers sunny locations, especially during its growing season in the summer. Additionally, the plant likes areas with ample heat and it should not be placed in an area where the temperature drops below 12.7° C.
Also known as the Red Cap Cactus, Ruby Ball, and Hibotan, the Rubra (Gymnocalycium mihanovichii f. rubra) is a much-sought-after mutant cactus.
Its characteristic reddish-purple body is the result of the absence of chlorophyll which gives plants their familiar green color.
Chlorophyll is vital for the production of sugar in plants. Simply put, without sugar, a plant will die.
The Rubra overcomes this problem by relying on another plant for the production of chlorophyll. The Rubra is grafted to another succulent, usually the Hylocereus.
Despite its seemingly delicate nature, the Rubra is easy to care for. However, the cactus is difficult to cultivate and can only be kept under direct sunlight.
13. Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop
The Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop (Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’) is a perennial favorite among landscape artists for a few key reasons.
For starters, the beauty of this succulent cannot be denied. Its fleshy and round leaves are green in color and are outlined by a burgundy margin. At the onset of summer, this margin takes on a bronze-red hue.
The plant is versatile. Landscape artists use it as a groundcover, edging, and rock gardens.
It is also a resilient plant that rarely, if ever, succumbs to pests and diseases. It is also perfect for areas where there is a substantial population of deer and rabbits. These critters avoid the plant.
Finally, the Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop has minimal requirements, surviving with little fuss.
14. Trailing Jade
The Trailing Jade (Senecio jacobsenii) is often mistaken as the Jade or money plant.
Like the jade plant, the Trailing Jade has spoon-shaped leaves. But the leaves of the Trailing Jade are larger. Furthermore, the leaves overlap.During winter, the leaves of the Trailing Jade take on a purplish hue.
The succulent prefers sandy, well-draining soil. It is drought-resistant but needs more water during summer. In winter, the plant goes into dormancy and does not need as much water.
As a native of tropical Africa, the trailing Jade likes full sun to partial shade. It can be kept indoors. However, you have to make sure that you place it in an area that receives direct sun.
15. Purple Moon Cactus
Like the Rubra, the Purple Moon Cactus (Gymnocalycium mihanovichii and Hylocereus) is a mutant cactus that does not produce its chlorophyll.
The color of the cactus’ body can range from green to dark purple, depending on the amount of sun that it gets.
The body is barrel-shaped and has ridges that are lined up by spines.
It produces pink flowers that are roughly the size of the body of the plant.
The Purple Moon Cactus prefers direct sunlight.
During winter, it is best kept indoors as it cannot tolerate frost.
16. Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus
A young Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus rigidissimus rubrispinus) takes on a pink to a magenta color. When the cactus matures, it changes its color to light pink to yellow.
The cactus produces flushes of flowers that are white in the middle and pink in the outer edges.
Much-sought after for its rarity, the Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus needs well-draining soil, adequate airflow, and bright light.
Although the cactus is cold-tolerant, it still requires protection from frost. The cactus is also fire-resistant, able to survive smaller grass fires.
17. Sunrise Succulent
A native of South Africa, the Sunrise Succulent (Anacampseros telephiastrum ‘Variegata’) is a luxurious succulent.
The leaves have a combined color of green and pink to purple.
Although the plant can be a frustratingly slow grower, it is easy to care for.
The succulent prefers bright but indirect sunlight and ample airflow. And like most succulents, it does not like to sit on water as it is prone to rot.
It is a tough plant, rarely succumbing to pests and diseases.
Furthermore, because of its small size and minimal requirements, it can be put indoors to add beauty to a space.
18. Black Prince
The Black Prince (Echeveria ‘Black Prince’) is another hens and chicks variant that has made it to this list of purple succulents.
This succulent is named as such due to its leaves which have a combination of deep green to dark purple. So deep is the purple color that it looks black from afar.
Initially, the leaves are green in color. But as the plant matures, their color darkens more. However, the plant loses its dark hue if it does not get enough light.
Like most hens and chicks plants, the Black Prince requires well-draining soil, preferably sandy soil. Plus, it thrives in full sun to partial shade.
19. Pachyveria Powder Puff
The Pachyveria Powder Puff is a hybrid of Echeveria cante and Pachyphytum oviferum.
The succulent boasts of stunning leaves which have a silver-blue color. When subjected to full sun, the tips take on a pinkish or purplish hue.
Many succulent owners use this plant in their rock gardens and hanging baskets, allowing the stems of the plant to stretch. Each stem produces a rosette at the tip.
The plant is best kept in an area that can provide it with about six hours of sun. You can keep it indoors but you need to put in an area that gets ample sunlight.
20. Corsican Stonecrop
The Corsican Stonecrop (Sedum dasyphyllum) is commonly used as a groundcover due to its hardy nature, amazing color, and adaptability to different environments.
The succulent’s leaves have a turquoise or silver color. When exposed to full sun, the leaves take on a purple tinge.
Landscape artists like to use the plant in retaining walls and vertical plantings.
Although the plant may look fragile, it is frost hardy. And while it thrives under the full-sun, the Corsican Stonecrop is not heat-tolerant.
The plant is easy to propagate. Its fallen leaves and stems can easily re-root themselves.
21. Pink Frills
The Pink Frills Echeveria (Echeveria shaviana ‘Pink Frills) is another variant of the hens and chicks plant that has made it to the list.
The succulent got its name from the appearance of its leaves. The leaves are fleshy and spoon-shaped with pointed tips and edges that are pink in color. The leaves can vary in color, from purple to blue to green. As the plant matures, the edges become frilly.
The Pink Frills succulent, like other hens and chicks plant, is easy to care for. It thrives under the full sun but can also be kept indoors provided that it is placed in an area with bright light.
Why are some succulents purple?
Many plants, including succulents, have a green color. There are, however, some succulents that take on other colors apart from green.
Some varieties of succulents come in red, blue, and other colors. Some have accent colors, like black, white, and yellow.
If the green succulent that you brought home recently changed into purple (or any other color), you might be surprised by this change.
Some types of succulents change their colors, depending on three key factors: water, temperature, and sunlight.
To put it succinctly, your plant is reacting to these factors due to stress. When some succulents are deprived of water, placed under direct sunlight, or exposed to temperature extremes, they become stressed. And often, this stress manifests in the form of color change.
Stress is not necessarily bad. You have to remember that succulents are resilient plants and have adaptations that help them deal with environmental changes.
Many succulent growers deliberately stress their plants to coax out colors from their plants.