Skip to Content

Why Is My Succulent Turning Purple – 6 Main Reasons!

Plants’ care, especially for a beginner, is based on trial and error. They can be as one like a person with his own needs. Water, a suitable vase, and sunlight are the basics, though you can do it underwater or overwater.

Excess or the little sun is more common than you might think. Sometimes it is clear that the plant is suffering. Its leaves fall off or start to turn purple.

Succulents are among the plants that require the least maintenance. If you fulfill their essential requirement, they will grow well. However, succulents are sensitive to under-caring and over-caring.

They can start to show signs of different stresses through various leaves’ color changes. When a succulent plant turns purple, there can be several reasons. This article will give the reasons why the succulent is turning purple.

Why Is My Succulent Turning Purple
Why Is My Succulent Turning Purple via Reddit

Why Is My Succulent Turning Purple?

1. Too much light or heat

Although succulents love good sunlight, also they can burn like any other plant. One of the significant signs of succulent burns is discoloration, corking, yellowing, or whitening.

If a succulent plant is in a place with excess direct light, the cells will be damaged and no longer function. You can safely say that the succulent is scorching if it is facing the sun.

Nevertheless, a sign of excessive light can make the succulent change color. May start to develop purple color. The stress caused by heat and light is severe and can result from planting death.

Therefore, be careful when transplanting your plants. Different succulents have different lighting needs, but most prefer bright indirect light. Also, some need partial shade.

Six hours of light per day is required during the growing season if this is a general need. If you do not get a lot of light, significantly if you’re growing succulents in the house, you can use fluorescent or LED lights (60 watts for about 10 and 14 hours in a day).

2. Sudden changes in lighting and temperature

Never change the succulents’ environment abruptly, as this can kill or harm them. Succulents do not like abrupt changes in light and temperature.

When your succulents experience abrupt changes in lighting or temperature, they may start to change color. Typically, succulents can turn purple due to a sudden change in circumstances and if they are not used to them.

Always remember to expose your succulents to the sun after winter gradually. It would be best if you aim to cover succulents with a shade towel right after winter.

Steadily begin to remove the shade within a few weeks after the succulents are restored. However, this can as well happen in winter. Many succulent plants cannot endure freezing temperatures of around 40 °F.

If the temperatures you live in a drop below this temperature, consider keeping the succulents in a cold place indoors. Colored streaks on succulents signify cold damage.

Avoid placing them near heaters in winter and decrease watering. In summer, shun placing succulents near high air conditioners. Not all sudden changes are favorable.

3. Underwatering

Succulents may turn purple when they are underwater. Due to the lack of water, the succulents can quickly become discolored. You may start to notice the formation of a purple.

Likewise, other symptoms may include leaves curling, dry soil, or wilting. The leaves can start to lose their plumpness.

Although you shouldn’t water the plants often in the winter, some of it is still needed. Many people keep succulents indoors during winter when the temperature is warm.

This means you should water the succulents monthly during the winter if they are kept indoors. Otherwise, the soil can dry out and damage the roots and the entire plant.

From early spring and late fall, watering the succulents should be done regularly. The regularity of watering depends on different factors like plant lighting, temperatures, pot, and others. Make sure the soil dries out between watering.

Why Is My Succulent Turning Purple 2
jade’s leaves seem to be turning purple via Reddit

4. Poor soil

Repotting succulents is significant because the soil in which they grow will eventually be depleted of nutrients. Also, the plants can grow and be able to grow in the existing pots. If you notice compact, round roots, it is time to repot the succulents.

Succulents cannot do well in poor soil. This is true even if you apply fertilizer to the soil during the growing season. Because of the poor soil, succulents can change color and even turn purple.

Repot the young succulents and increase the size of the pot each year. For well-established and mature succulents, you can repot them on average every 3 to 4 years.

5. Lack of nutrition

Succulent plants require nutrients like other plants, although they resist harsh weather conditions. When the soil lack nutrients in the soil, succulents can change color and turn purple.

Fertilize these plants only during the growing season (usually mid-March to mid-October) with a succulent or similar fertilizer.

In no way should you fertilize the succulents during winter when they’re dormant. A lower nitrogen intake with balanced concentrations of potassium and phosphorus like 2-8-8 can be good.

6. Root rot

If a succulent turns dark purple, it means it is suffering from root rot. As soon as you notice smooth black roots and black leaves, it would be best if you immediately prune them off with disinfected shear or scissors. After pruning, plant the succulents in a clean pot that has fresh soil.

Root rot is often caused by too much water, making the roots stay in water for very long. Ensure the succulent pots have drainage holes and continuously pour the remaining water into the saucer.

If the entire plant is damaged, remove the green leaves. Then you can separate them and grow them when you see roots. Typically, this is the best great way to grow fresh succulents from cuttings.


Succulents are among the plants that require less care. If they are stressed, they can turn purple. Stress is not always bad, but increased sunlight exposure can make the succulents turn purple.

Low temperatures and lack of water are other causes. Also, if the succulent turns purple, it is getting stressed with excess water, low temperatures, or poor soil. As soon as the conditions return to normal, the green color will light up.