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Why Is My Succulent Turning Red – 8 Causes & Fixes

Although some succulents are supposed to be red, it is not normal for a succulent that was once green or another color besides red to suddenly start turning red. But why do succulents turn red?

Succulents turn red when they are stressed. Stress can be caused by transplants, too much sunlight, and poor soil quality. Lack of nutrients can cause succulents to also turn red.

In this article, we will explain the possible causes for succulents turning red and how you can fix them. Let’s get into it! 

8 Causes For Succulents Turning Red And How To Fix It

There are eight common reasons why succulents sometimes suddenly turn red. All of these causes will put stress on the succulents, which in some cases will cause them to start to turn red. Usually, this red color will start on the tips of the succulent leaves and worsen over time if the issue isn’t resolved. Here are the eight causes for succulents turning red and how you can fix them. 

You Have Recently Transplanted Your Succulent 

It is fairly standard for succulents to turn a bit red after you have transplanted them, especially if you have transplanted them outside. However, this can also happen when transplanting a succulent to a different indoor pot. This is because the act of transplanting any plant will put stress on them naturally. So, if you have just transplanted your succulents and they have just started turning red, then this is likely the cause. 

How Can You Fix This Problem? 

Although transplanting your succulents will usually stress them, it is unlikely that it will damage your plant as long as you do so carefully without damaging the plant’s roots. The best thing to do in this situation is to keep an eye on your succulents and continue caring for them as recommended for the type of succulents you have planted. 

Your Succulent Is Getting Too Much Sunlight 

Another common reason succulents turn red is that they are getting too much direct sunlight. This is a common mistake. After all, succulents come from the desert, right? Too much direct sunlight will, unfortunately, create stress in most succulents. 

How Can You Fix This Problem? 

The best way to fix this problem is to move your succulent to a shadier spot. Succulents tend to thrive in partial sunlight. This means an area that does get sun but is also partially shaded. 

You Are Using Poor Soil 

An unbalanced soil can also cause stress in succulents, which will also cause them to turn red. Usually, this is caused by poor quality potting soil or a homemade mixture that contains too much sand. 

How Can You Fix This Problem? 

The best way to fix this problem is to change the soil you use to pot your succulents. Usually, a decent quality potting soil will work great for succulents, and enriched sand or a good potting soil sand mixture works great for succulents. 


Underwatering can also cause a succulent to turn red from stress. Although succulents need to be watered much less than other plants, you will still need to water them from time to time. Luckily, underwatering is not likely to kill your succulent nearly as quickly as it would for other types of plants. 

How Can You Fix This Problem? 

If you suspect that this is the problem that is causing your succulents to turn red, then watering your succulents more often will help. It is recommended that you water your succulent at the base until the soil is damp, then wait for the soil to become completely dry before watering it again. This usually takes between one to two weeks, but it can be more or less frequent than this, depending on your situation. 

The Temperature Is Too Cold Or Too Hot For Your Succulent 

Temperature stress will cause succulents to turn red as well. Usually, this is caused by temperatures that are too cold. However, sweltering temperatures could also potentially cause succulents to turn red. 

How Can You Fix This Problem? 

The best way that you can fix this problem is by protecting your succulents from extreme temperatures. You can protect succulents from cold temperatures by sheltering them indoors or in a greenhouse. You can also place blankets or tarps over your succulents before frosty temperatures blow in. When it comes to very hot temperatures placing your succulents indoors or in a shaded area can help to reduce stress. 

You Are Not Giving Your Succulent Enough Nutrients

An imbalance of nutrients can cause stress in succulents and cause them to turn red. This is usually caused by never giving your plant any fertilizer when not using nutrient-rich potting soil. 

How Can You Fix This Problem? 

You can fix this issue by using good-quality potting soil and sprinkling a small amount of fertilizer around your succulents every few months. 

You Are Giving Your Succulent Too Much Fertilizer

On the other hand, giving your succulent too much fertilizer can cause them to become stressed and turn red as well. Although this can be a bit confusing to new succulent growers, it can be helpful to remember that a little goes a long way when fertilizing your succulents. 

How Can You Fix This Problem? 

The best way to stop your succulent from getting stressed and turning red due to over-fertilizing is to reduce the amount of fertilizing that you do for your succulents. 

Your Succulent Doesn’t Have Enough Space To Grow 

Sometimes your succulents will become stressed and start to turn red simply because they do not have enough space to grow. This is called being root bound, and it is why choosing the right size container for your succulents is so essential. This can also be a problem for overcrowded succulents due to too many succulents being planted in one container.  

How Can You Fix This Problem? 

The best way to help a succulent that is root-bound is to place them in a larger pot or container. You may also need to separate some succulents if they are planted together in an arrangement. You can also prevent this problem by making sure that you plant your succulents in a container that is at least a half-inch larger than the edge of your succulents. 

Is it bad if my succulents turn red

Although you should not panic if your succulents turn red, this is a sign that something is not quite right. This is also potentially a warning sign before more severe problems start in your succulents, such as rot. 

How do you fix red succulents

The best way to fix red succulents is to discover the cause of the stress and then make an effort to fix the problem from there. This is because there are many potential causes of color change due to stress, and they all have different ways to fix them. For example, a succulent that has turned red from overwatering and one that has turned red from too much sunlight need different treatments. 

Of course, this only applies to succulents that have turned red when they used to be a different color. For succulents that are supposed to be red in color, you do not need to do anything to fix their red color. 

Why are my plants leaves turning red

Plant leaves all turn red as a result of stress. Most of the time, this results from a care problem such as a nutrient imbalance, improper watering, or an improper amount of sunlight. 

Why are my succulents changing color

Most of the time, succulents will change in color due to plant stress. In addition to red, succulents could get paler in color or turn brown or orange depending on the species and what is causing the color change. 

Why are my plants stems turning red

In some cases, a plant’s stem may also turn red as a result of plant stress. However, it is also natural for some plants to have a red hue on their stem, especially if they are still maturing. 

Do red leaves need more sunlight

The answer to this question depends entirely on the plant species and what is exactly causing their red leaves. However, most of the time, red leaves in succulents mean that they need a little less sunlight than more. 

Why is my jade turning red

Like other species of succulents, jade leaves will turn red due to plant stress. Most of the time, this is not the sign of an imminent emergency for your plant; rather, you need to make some small changes. 

How do you make succulents green

If you have once had a green succulent that has since turned red, the best way to get them to their original color is to reduce your plant’s stress. Unfortunately, there are many potential causes for stress and color changes in green succulents. As a result, you will need to identify the cause of your plant’s stress before making care changes to reduce it. 

Why is my cactus turning red

Cacti will turn red due to stress, just like succulents do. In a cactus, a red hue to the plant is also a sign of plant stress that can be reduced through changes in care. 

How do I know if my succulent is dying

Luckily, the stress that causes a succulent to change its color rarely kills the plant. However, there are some signs that a succulent will show when they are at risk of dying. These things include: 

  • Leaves turning brown or black 
  • Rotting 
  • Signs of stretching 
  • Signs of drooping or wilting 

Things To Consider 

You may need to consider some other things about succulents turning red. These things include whether or not it is normal for some succulents to have red leaves and what some other signs of stress in succulents are. Here are some other things for you to consider about succulents turning red. 

Is It Normal For Some Succulents To Have Red Leaves 

Although it is not normal for a green succulent to turn red, some succulents are just red normally, In these cases, the red coloration is not a sign of stress, and it is instead just the color of the plant when it is healthy. 

Some Other Signs Of Stress In Succulents 

Some other signs of stress in succulents can appear in addition to turning red. Here are some other signs that your succulent is stressed and is having a problem. 

  • Turning brown and crispy (sunburning) 
  • Signs of rot in the roots or leaves 
  • Changes in shape 
  • Shriveling or wilting 
  • Losing leaves 

If you notice any of the above signs of stress in your succulents, then this is a sign that you need to make some changes. 

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