Blue Succulent Varieties: Growing Succulents That Are Blue

Blue Succulent Plant
blue succulent
(Image credit: raweenuttapong)

Succulent plants are among the most diverse and varied groups of flora. They come in a tremendous number of hues and colors, but one of the most impactful are blue succulent plants. Succulents that are blue create a perfect foil for other varieties and lend a cool aspect to a dish garden or outdoor space. If you want to bring in blue succulent varieties to your collection, keep reading.

Small Types of Blue Succulents

Chlorophyll brings out the green tones in plants and is an important part of their photosynthesis. All plants need to perform photosynthesis to create carbohydrates which fuel growth, cell production, and other drives. So what makes a blue plant? Blue varieties of succulent have a different type of chlorophyll which refracts sunlight with a blue-green tone. Adding to certain pigment differences in the skin, the overall effect is a blue plant.

It is quite common to hybridize and graft certain succulents. Sedum is an excellent example of a group of plants that now has hundreds of cultivars and species. One of these, Blue Spruce, has light blue skin and fleshy small leaves. There are many "blue" sedums. Many have a chalky coating over the blue which softens the tone.

Echeverias are another group with numerous blue succulent plants. Dudleya is a family with many blue varieties of succulent that remain small, perfect for dish gardens. Blue chalk sticks make an excellent groundcover or trailing plant.

Larger Blue Succulent Varieties

In southwestern gardens, you will often encounter big agave plants. These erect leaved succulents come in many sizes but also have several plants with blue hues. Aloes are often confused with agave but some of these may also have bluish tones.

Similar in form but with slightly twisted, more delicate leaves are the Dasylirion, better known as sotol or desert spoon. Most yucca plants have a bluish gray cast and can be simple shrubs or grown into massive tree-like forms.

Tips on Caring for Succulents That are Blue

The amount of light your succulent receives can actually change the skin color. Most succulents prefer plenty of sunlight, and blue plants are no exception. In lower light situations, you may see the plant turning a greener hue or simply fading.

Allow for plenty of sun to keep the blue color intense. Feed succulents once per year at the beginning of the growing season. Follow good plant care as stated on the labels, as every succulent has slightly different needs.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.