5 Brilliant Black Succulents
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If you’re interested in adding a new hue to your garden, but the vibrant colors of most succulents don’t appeal to you, consider black succulents. These somber succulents are a great way to add contrast and pizazz to any garden.
Whether you’re expanding your collection or decorating according to a certain color theme, try adding a few black succulents to your next project for a splash of color and class.
Echeveria ‘Black Prince’
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(The above image is from Instagram, but you can look at some of these Echeveria for purchase at Mountain Crest Gardens here.)
This petite black succulent boasts the symmetrical rosette pattern that Echeveria are known for. This succulent stays quite small, only reaching about three inches in diameter at maturity. The leaves are wide and triangular in shape. New growth starts out as a bright, lime green and darkens to a deep brown-black with age.
Black Prince is a clumping succulent that grows in dense clusters. The offsets, or chicks, can either be removed to be planted elsewhere or left to grow as ground cover. The petite size of Black Prince makes it a perfect addition to living walls or fairy gardens.
In late fall to early winter, Black Prince produces a short green stalk from the center of its rosette. Dark red flowers appear on the stalk, creating an interesting contrast to the green and black colors of the leaves.
Black Prince was originally created by pollinating an Echeveria shaviana with the pollen of an Echeveria affnis. A variegated cultivar of Black Prince, known as Bess Bates, also exists.
As with most Echeveria, Black Prince is low-maintenance and perfect for any gardener and any project. It requires partial sun, infrequent watering, and well-draining soil. It is a slow growing succulent and will not need to be repotted often.
Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’
Aeonium arboreum is a striking succulent with large rosettes of deep purplish-black leaves. The rosettes can reach up to eight inches in diameter and the entire plant can grow up to three feet in height. The size and gorgeous color of Zwartkop make it an ideal plant for outdoor succulent gardens, provided that the climate is appropriate.
Aeonium arboreum are native to North Africa and typically grow during the winter and are dormant during the summer. They require porous soil and proper watering techniques in order to thrive. They do well in full or partial sun, but the color of the leaves will deepen as the plant receives more light.
Zwartkop are not frost hardy and must be brought inside or covered during frigid weather. They do well in container gardens, especially when they can be left outside during warm weather and brought inside when temperatures drop.
Zwartkop are best propagated from stem cuttings. As the plant grows, the bottom leaves of the rosette will fall off, leaving a bare stem. To keep the plant looking tidy, you can remove the rosette to replant elsewhere and the bare stem will produce another rosette.
Sinocrassula yunnanensis ‘Chinese Jade’
Sinocrassula yunnanensis is a small succulent, with stems reaching up to four inches in length. The leaves are arranged on the short stems in a rosette pattern, which can grow up to about 1.5 inches in diameter. The leaves are flat on one side and rounded on the other and are covered in short, fine hairs.
This strange-looking succulent is a monocarpic plant, meaning it flowers once and then dies. An individual rosette will produce a long stem with tiny white flowers. Once it blooms, that rosette will die. Since the plant typically grows in dense clumps, the dead rosette is quickly replaced by new rosettes.
This adorable little succulent is easily propagated through leaf cuttings or offsets. If allowed to grow naturally, they will grow in dense clumps that are perfect for ground cover or container gardens.
Echinopsis ancistrophora ‘Arachnacantha’
This darkly colored cactus is native to Bolivia and is sometimes referred to as Lobivia arachnacantha. The name, arachnacantha, comes from a Greek word meaning “spider web shaped thorns”. You can probably guess why this spooky-looking cactus was given this name.
In the spring, the cactus will produce large yellow or orange flowers that open only during the daytime. Arachnacantha is a rather petite cactus that typically stays under six inches in height. It tends to grow in tight clumps. Like many vibrantly colored succulents and cacti, the more sun this plant receives, the deeper the color will be.
This is a low-maintenance plant that’s great for gardeners of all skill levels. Arachnacantha does best with full sun and infrequent watering. In the winter, the cactus goes dormant and will survive with little to no water until spring.
It is not a particularly frost tolerant plant and will need to be protected or brought inside during freezing temperatures. However, it will bloom better in the spring if it is kept in cooler temperatures through the winter.
Echeveria ‘Black Knight’
This gloomy-hued Echeveria is an interesting and easy-to-care-for addition to any succulent collection or garden project. The thick, fleshy leaves are arranged in a rosette pattern. In the very center of the plant, you’ll be able to see the vibrant green color of the stem and young leaves. As the leaves grow, they become a deep purplish-black color.
In late summer to fall, Black Knight produces thin lime green stems from the center of the rosette. Atop the stem grows bright red flowers that create a stark contrast against the deep colors of the leaves.
As with most Echeveria, Black Knight requires very little care in order to thrive. Partial sun or bright indoor light is best and water the plant only when the soil is dry. This plant cannot be left in overly moist soil or it is at risk of developing root rot. It’s not a frost tolerant plant and must be protected from frigid weather.
Black Knight can be easily propagated from leaf or stem cuttings, but it can also be grown from seed. Following classic propagation techniques will help ensure success in sharing your beloved Black Knight with friends and family.
Whether you’re interested in a coal-colored cactus or a dark and dreamy Echeveria, these five black succulents are sure to stand out in any setting. Try adding a few to your collection for a touch of drama and mystique.