Succulents: Designing With Moody Pales

Succulents: Designing With Moody Pales

Fiesta-bright succulents are always a wonderful addition to the full sun garden, but this season, we’re entranced by those that we’re calling “moody pales.” Sheer colors—warm, fleshy pinks, cool silvery blues, pinkish-burgundy, and silvery foliage—that add romance, while still being as fuss-free as any other type of succulent. Here are a few ideas and a few plants to get you going.

(Note: Swing by your local garden center—find yours here —for even more wonderful choices.)


(Above) A moss-lined planter is stuffed to overflow with a mix of succulents, but the idea here is to keep to one colorway. Pinks, purples, variegated…and plenty of each. (Below) A shallow dish with rocks and cactus mix is the ideal vessel for this sampler of nearly glowing, pale succulents.


(Above) Blue-silver chalksticks add the cool note to this planter of fleshy-pink and pinkish-burgundy sedums. This combination thrives in full sun outdoors, and indoors with full sun and careful watering. (Below) How amazing is this window box’s combination of agave, sedum, and donkey’s tail succulents?




Perle von Nurnberg Echeveria
Zone: 9 – 11

Perfect filler for a container, rosettes with deep pink highlights are dusted in powdery white; pretty coral-hued flowers  in summer. Partial to full sun.


Variegated Stonecrop
Zone: 4 – 9

Ideal hot sun spiller for a container. Green leaves edged in white take on a pink blush in cooler weather and sweet, cool-pink summer flowers. Full sun.


Safari Rose Aloe
Zone: 9 – 11

Compact, repeat bloomer keeps the color coming with big, showy spikes of light salmon-pink flowers over green leaves with grey-red tips. Partial to full sun.


Mexican Snowball
Zone: 9 – 11

Whorled fleshy blue-gray rosettes freely produce offsets, forming a densely mounded mat. Bright- pink blooms on long slender stems in summer. Partial to full sun.


Cape Blanco Stonecrop
Zone: 5 – 9

Brilliant silvery leaves take on a purplish tinge in cool weather. Clusters of tiny yellow flowers contrast nicely with the foliage. Foliage is edible! Partial to full sun.


Blue Chalksticks
Zone: 10 -11

Add height and scale to containers with powdery blue-green fleshy leaves that take on purple tints in extreme heat and sun exposure. Full sun.


Artichoke Agave
Zone: 6 – 9

Symmetrical rosettes with wide, blue-gray foliage that forms large clumps. Flowers initially appear pink or red then turn a golden yellow color. Full sun.


Old Man’s Bones Stonecrop
Zone: 3 – 9

Its flowers are beloved by butterflies and bees and its succulent leaves can flush pink, red, purple or bronze-sometimes all at once. Flourish even in poor soils. Full sun.


Autumn Joy Stonecrop
Zone: 4 – 11

A classic (and pollinator magnet). Large, plate-like flower clusters that start pink, then gracefully age to rosy russet-red in fall. Partial to full sun.

Bring them home!