Plants possessing thick fleshy stems adapted for water storage are called succulents. As we know, they are native to desert or semi-arid areas. To survive in such an environment, succulents are adapted to store in their plant parts like stems, leaves or both and possess deep root systems. There are more than 60 plant families to which the succulent plant belongs. The dominant plant families are Aizoaceae, Cactaceae, and Crassulaceae. A number of succulents are grown as ornamental like Echeveria, Kalanchoe and Aloe. As the trend of keeping succulents as indoor plants is increasing day by day, People are looking for such succulents containing mixed colours in them which look appealing to the eyes. Such succulents are called variegated. People choose variegated succulents over normal one because:-
- These plants have a distinctive appearance.
- They serve as focal points in your landscape design.
- Variegated plants are less attacked by herbivores.
Variegated succulents are those having colorful foliage. The leaves of the plant consist of a green pigment called chlorophyll. If chlorophyll is unevenly distributed, shades of different colours may appear and hence leaves look variegated. Different hues may appear at places where chlorophyll is less concentrated. As variegated plants are less hardy and have a slower growth rate as compared to their green-colored relatives, they need extra care. On top of that, they have short-lived flowers. However, they are preferred by many gardeners for their colorful foliage.
Among many variegated succulents, here we have picked the best 25 of them that you can consider to grow:-
Types of Variegated Succulents
There are different types of variegated succulents. In this article, we have divided those into five major types that will cover almost all of them.
A. Variegated Succulents With Pink Flowers
1. Sempervivum ‘Red Rubin’
This plant is commonly known by the name of Hens and chicks. It has bright foliage. The colour of the leaves becomes more intense during wintertime. If cool conditions prevail, plants develop a shade of dark red. This plant usually blooms during summer producing pink bloom. It grows up to 10-12 cm tall and 22-30 cm wide.
2. Echeveria agavoides ebony
This beautiful variegated succulent is also known by the name of ebony wax agave. It has intensely coloured pointed fleshy leaves which form a tight rosette. Their pale green-grey leaves with almost black outer leaf margins are astonishing. It usually blooms during late winter and spring producing pink flowers with yellow tips. They prefer full sun to partly shade conditions and should be placed in a bright window. It is frost sensitive. It can grow to a diameter of 30 cm if allowed to grow under optimum conditions. If overwatered, it can die eventually. This plant can be propagated by leaves, cuttings or seeds.
3. Aptenia cordifolia ‘variegata’
It is a perennial trailing variegated succulent producing fleshy, heart-shaped, glossy green leaves with creamy-white edges. This plant is best suited for rock gardens or containers. It is native to South Africa. Pink blooms are produced generally during spring and summer. It is a heat, drought, salt-tolerant and can grow to a height of 15 cm. It thrives well under full sun and well-drained soils. This plant is usually propagated by seeds or cuttings.
4. Phedimus spurius ‘Tricolor’
This striking succulent forms a mat of colourful foliage. It has creeping stems that root at the nodes and grows 10 cm in height and spreads up to 50 cm. Its leaves are thick, and fleshy with a toothed-like structure on the tip. The leaves have a green centre having white and pink edges. The flowers are small and bright pink in colour. It prefers full sun conditions but tolerates partial shade conditions and thrives better under warm conditions. It requires well-drained soil.
5. Tacitus Bellus
Tacitus Bellus is a small succulent with hot pink flowers. Blooming usually occurs during summer or spring. It performs better under the cover as it does not like too much rain. This is native to Mexico and grows well in steep terrains and cliffs. Leaves are glabrous and triangular in shape .
Also Read: 20+Astonishing Red Succulents That Stays Red
B. Variegated Succulents With Red Flowers
1. Echeveria Romeo ‘Rubin’
Echeveria Romeo ‘Rubin’ is a dwarf succulent popular for its amazing beauty and is a small-sized plant. Leaves are variegated with bright red or purple-red in colour. It forms the rosette of deep purple-red leaves with the terminal spine. The rosette grows up to 12.5 cm tall and 20 cm in diameter. This plant is native to Mexico and grows on rocky mountain slopes. This plant prefers full sun. Blooming usually occurs from spring to summer.
2. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana sp
This plant is also known by the name of Flaming Katy, Christmas kalanchoe, florist kalanchoe and Madagascar widow’s thrill. This herbaceous succulent is cold-sensitive and bears fleshy, ovate leaves. Flowering usually occurs from late autumn to early winter. Flowers are produced in large umbels held over the foliage. This plant prefers full sun to moderate shade. As it is a short-day plant, it requires at least 10 hours of daily sunshine.
3. Echeveria ‘Taurus’
This is an evergreen succulent forming an eye-catching compact rosette of red-green pointed leaves. It bears triangular deep red-green leaves. Generally, it bears colourful leaves variegated with green, purple, red, pink and orange. These plants produce red blooms during summer and prefer indirect sunlight for proper colour development. So, never put this plant in the south-facing windows.
4. Torch Aloe
Torch Aloe is an astonishing succulent with red flowers. It is related to Aloe vera plants. The orange-red blooms produced during the winter season are mesmerising. It requires fertile well drained soil. You can grow this plant in a good cacti potting mix. It is an evergreen succulent with widely spreading grey-green sword-shaped leaves having spines on their edges. It grows well in sandy, moist or well-drained soils and prefers full sun to moderate sun and is drought or salt tolerant.
5. Euphorbia milii variegated
This plant also known by the name of ‘Crown of Thorns’ is a popular indoor plant. This plant is native to Madagascar. All shoots of these plants are covered with spiky thorns which are brownish in colour. These plants have green foliage with shades of white i.e. it has white or green variegated leaves. It has bright red coloured flowers and blooming usually occurs during spring and summer and thrives well under sunny conditions.
C. Variegated Succulents as Houseplants
Variegated plants may serve as excellent sources for indoor decoration. As they are rare and unique in their look, variegated succulents have high demand in the market. Some of the variegated succulents that can be used as houseplants are stated below:
1. Agave Desert Diamond
It is an attractive succulent that forms a symmetrical rosette of green leaves with light cream margins. It grows to 37.5 cm tall and 45 cm in diameter. Its terminal spines are initially yellow, turn to light brown and finally change to cinnamon-brown. It prefers full sun. So, place it near the brighter windows.
2. Aluminum plant
It is a perennial variegated semi-succulent that grows to the height of 1-2 feet. It has a silver pattern on its leaves which resembles Aluminum and hence the name Aluminum plant. It also prefers bright but indirect light. Watering should be done once or twice per week.
3. Haworthia cymbiformis
It is basically a small succulent that forms a rosette of thick fleshy pale green leaves. The leaves also have longitudinal stripes and transparent tips. It attains the height of 8 cm and reaches the diameter of 10 cm. Its boat-shaped leaves are 5 cm long and 2 cm wide. Blooms are pink in colour.
4. Crassula Justus corderoy Variegata
This striking succulent has deep green leaves with shades of cream to yellow. Leaves have a silvery velvety texture. Under optimum condition the plant attains the height of 30 cm. Blooming occurs in summer and the flowers are pink in colour. This plant is easy to grow, so it is an excellent planting material for the beginners. Overwatering may kill this palnt, so be careful while watering.
5. Aeonium ‘Kiwi fragile’
It is an evergreen succulent. Its spoon shaped succulent leaves yellow and red markings in green background. This plant can be grown both indoors or outdoors as it adapts automatically to the conditions where it is grown. It can be grown under full sun to partial shade conditions. Blooming usually occurs during summer and blooms are yellow in color.
Also Read: 28 Stunning Pink Succulents To Grow
D. Variegated Succulents For Ground Cover
1. Broadleaf Stonecrop
It is an evergreen perennial succulent with astonishing leaves. It has spoon shaped leaves which are reddish purple or silvery in colour. Leaves also have waxy coating. It is best grown under full sun to partial shade condition. It grows 10-15 cm tall and 20-30 cm wide. Blooms are bright yellow in colour.
2. Sedum ‘Little Missy’
Sedum ‘Little Missy’ has green succulent leaves variegated with cream and pink edges. These little leaves are apple green in colour. The colour of the leaves changes throughout the year. During hotter periods of the year, the edges of the leaves can turn to pinkish red and during winter it changes to another colour. These wonderful succulents have leaves that form a dense mat of leaves in a little rosette pattern. It grows well in well-drained soil. It is a drought-tolerant crop. It is believed to have originated from the African continent.
3. Lipstick Echeveria
This plant has thick triangle shaped leaves which are lime green leaves with red edges. It is also called ‘Lipstick’ due to the red edges on the leaves. It also prefers full sun to partial shade. Thi plant grows to a height of 61 cm and diameter of 61 cm. It can be grown in loamy soil with abundant organic matter.
4. Hens and Chicks ‘Pacific Blue Ice”
This plant displays icy blue green leaves with rosy shades especially during winter. The rose coloured watermarking is really astonishing. These are monocarpic plants and expire once they bloom. It also prefers full sun to partial shade conditions.
5. Sedum mini variegated
This plant also serves as an excellent variegated succulent ground cover. Its heart-shaped cream and light green leaves with pink edges are astonishing. This plant prefers well-drained porous soil. It tolerates extreme hot and drought conditions and prefers full sun to partial shade conditions. It produces white blooms during summer.
E. Rare Variegated Succulents
1. Crassula Moonglow
This plant belongs to the jade family. Its dark green leaves are covered with white fuzz and produce a cluster of reddish flowers. It also prefers direct sun to partial shade conditions. As this plant originated from an arid region, it performs better under high temperatures and low humidity.
2. Variegated Corn Cob Cactus
Variegated Corn Cob Cactus grows vertically and new growth will emerge from the top of the plant. It is a fast-growing shrublet that bears thick stems that are chalky green in colour. This plant prefers bright sunny windows and is sensitive to low light conditions.
3. Echeveria seconds variegated
This is a rare variegated succulent plant that is rarely seen in cultivation. The growth pattern of this plant is open and upright. Its variegated leaves have blue/green foliage with its outer leaf margin turning pink in colour. A good gritty compost mix serves as an excellent growing medium for this plant.
4. Echeveria gibbiflora ‘Barbillion’
It is an annual slow growing succulent. This plant changes its colour and shape throughout the seasons. It has carunculated leaves which are bronze or blue-green in colour.
5. Adromischus maculatus ‘Calico Hearts’
It is a dwarf succulent that is native to South Africa. It has paddle shaped leaves which are grey green in colour and are covered with maroon spots. It bears small white flowers. It prefers low humidity. It can be grown in well drained humus rich soil.
Plants having colorful foliage are called variegated foliage. Variegation in foliage is due to a lack of chlorophyll in some plant cells which leads to the formation of colored zones on foliage and stems. Different hues of color may appear due to varying concentrations of chlorophyll. Variegated succulents are astonishing with their colorful foliage. If you