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Jade Plant Turning Purple (Here’s the Fixes!)

Jade plant is so interesting and widespread that nowadays you can’t imagine a house where it wouldn’t grow. Like all other plants, it has some problems in cultivation and you better be aware of them.

Temperature stress, overwatering, dehydration, or too much sunlight greatly increases the anthocyanin content, and this is the main reason why the Jade plant turning purple. To fix the purple color, make sure the Jade plant grows in a warm and protected location out of the blazing sun. Water the plant when the soil is 90% dry, but don’t let it stay dry for long.

In addition, factors such as lack of light and improper nutrition will also change the color of the Jade plant leaves to purple. In turn, diseases and pests sometimes force the Jade plant to change its color to brownish-purple.

Why is my Jade plant turning purple? Symptoms How to fix it
Too much sunlight The leaves turn purple almost completely. The tips (edge) have a more intense purple. Move the plant to a place with less direct sunlight.
Inadequate temperature The leaf turns completely or partially purple. The plant slows down its growth slightly. The best growing temperature for a Jade plant is 65°-80°F (18°-26°C).
Not enough light Some of the leaves turn greenish-purple. The leaves and stems are elongated and brittle. Move the plant to a place with 3-4 hours of direct sunlight per day.
Overwatering The leaves partially turn purple. Then they wilt and turn yellow. The stems turn brown at the base. The plant stops growing. Water the Jade plant only when the soil in the pot is almost completely dry. Use well-drained potting soil and pots with holes.
Not enough water The leaves are completely or partially purple and wilted. The leaf surface is wrinkled instead of smooth. Don’t let the potting soil stay dry for too long. Wet the soil thoroughly during watering.
Lack of fertilizer Leaves turn greenish-purple. Photosynthesis slows down. Feed the Jade plant 2-3 times with a multi-purpose fertilizer throughout the growing season.
Health problems Leaves turn purple and brown spots also appear. Leaves wilt and turn yellow. Treat the plant with fungicide for diseases and horticultural oil for pests.

Too much sunlight increases anthocyanin content

Jade plant turning purple

Jade plant turning purple because of too much sun.

Most often, the Jade plant turns purple when exposed to very intense sunlight. This often happens in early spring or early summer when the sun is shining more intensely than before.

In general Jade plant needs a lot of light to grow well. But echeverias, for example, need much more light than the Jade plant. Both are succulents, though.

If the intensity of the sun increases, the Jade plant will adapt by releasing a pigment called anthocyanin. It can vary in color but in this case, it is purple. This pigment helps the plant to reflect some of the sun’s UV light and thus avoid burning the leaves.

In most cases, you can do nothing about the situation. The plant will gradually adapt to the new conditions and the purple color will disappear. But if after a week or two nothing has changed and the color is still present, you need to move the Jade plant to a less bright place. This can be an east or west window. You can also grow it on the side of a south-facing window so that it won’t get any direct sunlight.

Inadequate temperature as the cause of the Jade plant turning purple

Temperature stress

Jade plant turning purple because of temperature stress.

Abrupt temperature fluctuations will also change the color of the Jade plant to purple. As a result, photosynthesis will slow down and the plant will also stop its growth a bit.

This often happens with a sudden cold snap or sudden warming. You may have turned on the heating or taken the Jade plant outside. The Jade plant may have been placed too close to a window and the spring sun has heated it too much. All of these factors can lead to temperature stress and, as a result, color changes.

The ideal ambient temperature for a Jade plant to thrive is 65°-80°F (18°-26°C). By adhering to these conditions you can expect to have no problems with your plant. Slightly warmer or colder temperatures will not seriously damage the Jade plant. But if the temperature changes are significant and rapid, the plant will definitely respond.

Also, you should not place the Jade plant near appliances that emit a lot of heat or cold (heaters, air conditioners, etc.). Also always grow the Jade plant only in a warm room, do not leave it in the garage for example for the winter.

Not enough light

Jade plant turning purple because of lack of light

Jade plant turning purple because of lack of light.

Lack of light will also cause the plant to change color. In the severe shade, the leaves will not only turn purple but will also become more elongated and brittle. The same is true of the Jade plant stems, they will be longer and more easily damaged.

The obvious conclusion here is that you have to give it more sunlight to improve the situation. Generally, the Jade plant prefers 3-4 hours of direct sunlight per day, and the rest of the time the light must be bright but not direct. The further north you live, the more light the plant needs. And vice versa, the more south the less direct light you need to provide it.

You need to find out how much light your plant needs. Move the Jade plant around your house to find the best spot for it.

If the Jade plant was grown in the shade, don’t put it in direct sunlight right away. Accustom the plant gradually to avoid sunburn.

It often happens that there is not enough sunlight in the house at all. In this case, you need to install artificial light.



Jade plant turning purple because of overwatering

Frequent watering of aloe leads to root flooding. Water blocks the access of oxygen to the root system and the Jade plant becomes oxygen-deprived.

The second negative aspect of overwatering is that constantly wet soil is an ideal environment for the development of pathogens that cause root rot.

All this leads to improper functioning of the plant. The first is that the leaves may turn first purple-green and then yellow. They will wither and fall off. Even the stems may turn brown at the base and the top may turn slightly purple.

To solve the problem of overwatering you have to take the Jade plant out of the pot and remove all the soil. Next, you need to cut off the rotten part of the roots (if any) and disinfect the wounds.

Next, plant the Jade plant in new soil. Use a quality soil mixture for succulents. It should contain perlite and other loosening agents. The soil must be well-drained. Pots should have large drainage holes.

After planting, place the Jade plant in a shady place for a few weeks. After that, gradually accustom the plant to the right amount of sun.

Check the soil moisture regularly with your fingers. Only water the plant when the soil is almost completely dry.

Not enough water

Jade plant turning purple because of underwatering

Jade plant turning purple because of underwatering

Thirst is another possible reason for the purple leaves of the Jade plant. As I mentioned, the Jade plant is a little different from most succulents that can go a long time without water. The Jade plant needs to be watered a little more often.

If there is not enough water the pressure in the leaves will decrease and they will wilt. You will immediately notice that the leaf surface is not smooth but wrinkled. In addition, the UV defense mechanism (anthocyanin) will activate and the color will change to purple. This often happens in the summer in hot weather when the Jade plant is growing intensively.

To avoid this you must not over-dry the plant. Once or twice a week check the moisture of the soil, you can use a soil moisture meter or just a finger. If the soil in the pot is more than 90% dry, you can water it.

The best way to water is to completely moisten the soil in the pot. Small, frequent waterings are contraindicated for the Jade plant. It is best if you moisten the potting soil completely, but only when it is completely dry. This can be once every 1-2 weeks in the summer or spring.

In the autumn and winter, you need to water less often. At this time of year, water the Jade plant once every 2-3 weeks. But again, always check the soil moisture before watering and only water if it is almost completely dry.

Lack of fertilizer

Lack of nutrients

Jade plant turning purple because of lack of nutrients.

Micronutrients are a very important part of plant development. Without some of them, photosynthesis is not possible, so the plant will not grow.

Usually in the wild, plants get everything they need from the soil. But at home in pots, there might not be enough nutrients for a Jade plant. As a result, it can change the color of its leaves to purple.

If all of the above reasons for the color change don’t work for you, then maybe your Jade plant needs more nutrition. It rarely happens, but if you haven’t fertilized a plant for a long time, the lack of nutrients may be the reason why the leaves turn greenish-purple.

To fix this you need to feed your Jade plant. The best fertilizer is a multi-purpose fertilizer with equal parts Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus. Two to three applications a year should be enough for your Jade plant to thrive.

Avoid fertilizing in the fall or winter because the plant needs to rest for a while to start growing in the spring.

Health problems

Jade plant turning purple because of scale infestation.

Jade plant turning purple because of scale infestation.

The first problem is the disease. Many diseases can cause various symptoms, among which may be purple leaves.

If in addition to the color change the leaves have brown spots, wilting, it may be a consequence of the disease.

To cure the Jade plant you need to spray it several times with fungicide. Also, make sure that there is good air circulation around the plant.

The second problem is pests. Most often purple leaves can be the result of sucking pests such as aphids, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. This often causes the leaves to turn purple.

Against aphids, scale and mealybugs, it is best to use horticultural oil. One or two treatments should be enough.

Spider mites look like tiny red-brown insects. They also create cobwebs around the leaves and stems. To get rid of them, you need to spray the Jade plant with acaricide (miticide).