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Cacti & Succulents

Goth Gardening: 5 Black Succulents to Try

4 min read

Green has such a monopoly over the plant world that we rarely see black in nature. That’s why these dark succulents are sure to catch attention. Whether you’re decorating for Halloween or adding style to your garden, you’ll love these black succulents.

Vibrant or unusual colors in succulents are usually a sign of stress in response to sunlight. Because of this, the more you stress out your plant by giving it light, the deeper its coloring will be. Don’t worry though, your succulent will be fine as long as its basic needs are still met.

To really make your dark succulents stand out, use them to create contrast in predominantly white spaces. You can also match them to a cute container, like this zebra pot. Whatever you do, these 5 moody succulents will cast a dramatic shadow on an otherwise dull space!

Echeveria ‘Black Prince’

Echeveria Black Prince
The ‘Black Prince’ echeveria is lovely and unique. Source: salchuiwt

Echeveria Black Prince is actually purple but is so deeply colored that we consider it a black succulent. Its abundant, dark leaves are wide and pointy, stacked into a handsome rosette. This succulent also goes by the common name ‘Black Knight’ and is commonly confused as two different varieties.

When it comes to plant care, Black Prince has the same needs as most succulents. It needs bright, indirect light and warm temperatures. When watering, use the “soak and dry” method with well-draining soil.

Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’

Aeonium arboreum Zwartkop
Aeonium arboretum ‘Zwartkop’ is an unusual, distinctive succulent. Source: jaythegardener

Accurately nicknamed Black Rose Aeonium, this shady succulent is a showstopper. Its large rosettes look more like flowers than a succulent. The dark leaves have a deep red tint which is beautifully complemented by yellow flowers in late winter.

Give your black rose succulent well-draining soil so the roots aren’t sitting in water. To keep the color dark, place it in a location that gets full sun. If you live in zones 9-11, your Aeonium will thrive outdoors year-round.

Sinocrassula yunnanensis ‘Chinese Jade’

Sinocrassula yunnanensis
While most sinocrassula yunnanensis is green, it can be black as well!

The name may be a mouthful, but this succulent is small and simple. Chinese jade has thick, pointy leaves that uniformly grow upwards. The entire plant spreads through offsets, creating clumps of spiky rosettes. It can be found in both black and green.

Chinese jade’s needs are easy: bright sun, “soak and dry”, and warm weather. Because it grows from offsets, it’s extremely easy to propagate this succulent by division. 

Echinopsis ancistrophora ‘Arachnacantha’

Echinopsis ancistrophora Arachnacantha
Echinopsis ancistrophora ‘Arachnacantha’ has a lovely spidery pattern. Source: Ritchie Porch

Another tongue twister! The name Arachnacantha clues to its spider-like appearance. This spooky succulent is a small, round cactus that crawling with spidery thorns. Arachnacantha’s dark color intensifies with bright sunlight.

Although it’s great for display on Halloween, arachnacantha doesn’t like the cold. If your area has freezing temperatures in the fall and winter, keep it inside. During the winter, this succulent goes dormant and requires very little care.

Sempervivum ‘Black’

Sempervivum Black
Sempervivum ‘Black’ may not be true black, but it’s certainly close! Source: Salvatore Lacaria

You got us, this one isn’t black. However, Sempervivum Black’s deep purple coloring is just as grim as the black plants. Each rosette is bright green in the center with dramatic burgundy leaves. You’ll often see it labeled as black chicks and hens.

Black chicks and hens are very hardy succulents. They can tolerate nutrient-poor soil and extreme drought. This moody plant also tolerates the cold well compared to other succulents. Sempervivum is monocarpic, meaning it dies after blooming. Since it grows through offsets so quickly though, the dying rosettes are hardly noticeable.

Even though they look like death, remember to give your black succulents the care they need. A healthy succulent is a happy, vibrant, and, in this case, a dark one.

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