Discover the science behind keeping the succulents dark with these tips on How to Keep Black Succulents Blacker!
Do you have dark succulents and wondering how to ensure they stay that way or maybe even get a shade darker? Follow these tips on How to Keep Black Succulents Blacker!
How to Keep Black Succulents Blacker
1. Understanding Leaf Shedding
Black succulents, like ‘Black Prince‘ or ‘Black Knight,’ often shed their lower leaves. Don’t be alarmed by this—it’s a natural process that helps the plant conserve resources.
In fact, regular leaf shedding can result in darker and more pronounced pigmentation in the remaining leaves. However, excessive shedding can be a sign of stress, so monitor your plants closely for other signs of distress.
2. Using Dark-Colored Planters
Surprisingly, the color of your planter can influence the color of your succulents. Dark-colored planters absorb more heat than lighter ones, creating a warmer root environment that can help intensify the black pigmentation in succulents.
3. Adapting to Seasonal Changes
The color of black succulents can vary with the seasons. During cooler months, the dark pigmentation often becomes more pronounced as the plant enters a dormant state and conserves its resources.
In warmer months, black succulents might become slightly lighter. Don’t worry; this is a normal process. As the temperature cools down, your succulents should regain their darker color. You can keep your black succulents in a cool place to benefit from this phenomenon.
4. Applying Stress for Color Enhancement
Interestingly, mild stress can actually enhance the color of your black succulents. This can be achieved by slightly increasing the amount of sunlight exposure or reducing watering frequency.
However, remember that this technique requires a delicate balance. Over-stressing the plant can lead to damage or even plant death.
5. Pruning for Pigmentation
Pruning your black succulents can stimulate new growth, often leading to darker pigmentation. To prune, make a clean cut on the stem of the succulent. Aim to cut at a 45-degree angle to prevent water from collecting at the cut site, which could lead to rot.
The plant will respond by producing new growth that tends to be darker in color.
Note: Always make sure your pruning tools are clean and sharp to prevent any infections. You can clean them with rubbing alcohol or a household disinfectant.
6. Experiment with Light Types
While natural sunlight is best for most plants, the color of succulents can sometimes be influenced by the type of light they’re exposed to.
For instance, artificial light sources like LED grow lights that have a full spectrum can enhance darker pigmentation in black succulents. Consider supplementing natural light with these light sources during darker months.
7. Implement a Cooling Period
Some black succulents, like the ‘Black Rose’ or Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop,’ respond to colder temperatures with increased pigmentation.
Consider giving your plant a ‘cooling period’ in the late fall or early winter by placing it in an unheated room or a cool windowsill where temperatures drop to around 50°F to 55°F at night.
Want to know lawn secrets to save money? Check out these Ways
8. Choose a Black-Specific Fertilizer
Some specialized succulent fertilizers are designed to enhance certain pigments in the leaves. Look for fertilizers high in anthocyanin enhancers. Anthocyanins are the pigments responsible for the dark color of black succulents.
9. Try Charcoal Additives
Adding horticultural charcoal to your potting mix can enhance the soil’s ability to retain and gradually release darker pigments, helping your black succulents appear darker. This technique is rarely used but can be effective.
It can also help reduce odors and improve soil health.
10. Adjust Water Quality
The type of water you use can also affect the color of your black succulents. Hard water or water with a high mineral content can leave deposits on the leaves that may interfere with color intensity. Using filtered or distilled water can help avoid this issue.
Remember, while these tips can help enhance the black color of your succulents, it’s important to monitor the overall health of your plant. Changes in color should never come at the expense of the plant’s well-being. All succulents will naturally vary in color due to genetic differences and changing seasons, so don’t worry if your plant doesn’t look as dark as the one in the picture!