Succulents turning purple is a situation that has multiple culprits. Purpling cacti don’t usually mean that your plant is dying, but it’s usually a matter of care, placement, and climate your succulent goes through.
Read on and find out what’s the meaning behind purple succulents and what to do in this situation.
- Why Are Your Succulents Turning Purple?
- How To Fix Your Succulent Turning Purple?
Why Are Your Succulents Turning Purple?
Your succulents are turning purple because they are placed under too much light or there is a sudden temperature change taking place. In addition, it can also be due to sudden temperature changes, poor watering, bad soil conditions, low nutrients, root issues, and lastly, sun stress.
– Too Much Light
While succulents adore sunlight, they can easily fall victim to sunburn. If your succulent is exposed to excessive direct sunlight, it can become damaged and unable to function properly. An obvious indication of sunburn is the development of discoloration on the sun-facing side, but they will begin to turn purple from the stress of being exposed to too much light.
Succulents possess a remarkable ability to captivate our attention with their color-changing antics. Whether it’s a natural occurrence or a stress response, the sight of your succulent turning purple or red is genuinely fascinating, but this is the first stage before they get to become more purple earlier than facing a sunburn.
The magic behind this phenomenon lies in the pigments present within succulents. Anthocyanin and carotenoids are responsible for the enchanting reds and purples that grace their leaves.
These pigments serve as a protective shield, safeguarding succulents from the dangers of overexposure to sunlight and the resulting burns from excessive photosynthesis, and with excessive heat and sun, you will see that it will be in stress.
Your succulent may also exhibit shades of purple, red, or even a bluish tinge. However, heat and light stress can have more serious consequences, potentially leading to a plant’s demise. That’s why you need to choose the place for your succulent wisely, ensuring it receives an appropriate amount of sunlight without experiencing any detrimental effects.
– Sudden Temperature Changes
It’s essential to approach changes in your succulents’ environment with caution, avoiding sudden shifts that could potentially harm or kill them. An abrupt change to cold temperatures can have them go purple in an instant.
When exposed to sudden variations in their surroundings, succulents may respond by changing color. These resilient plants can display shades of red, purple, or bluish tones as a result of the unfamiliar conditions they find themselves in, and you will see that the sudden change, such as frost or excessive heat will change the features of the leaves.
– Poor Watering
When these hardy plants experience a lack of water, their coloration may undergo a slight change. You might notice a delicate infusion of purple, red, or even hints of bluish tones starting to emerge. The plant is now seeking water because it is dehydrated, and this can also take place if the water you use is contaminated with chemicals or toxic matter.
Keep an eye out for other signs that your succulent needs a drink. Curling leaves, shriveling, and dry soil are common indications that hydration is required. The once plump and turgid leaves will gradually lose their vigor, reminding you of their thirst, and this way, it lose the sap’s nutrients and become more purple than green like it must be when it looks healthy.
While it’s essential to allow succulents a period of dormancy during winter, it’s crucial not to neglect their water needs ultimately. Even when kept indoors where temperatures remain warm, a modest amount of watering is still necessary. Strike the right balance between moderation and care, ensuring your succulents stay healthy and content throughout the winter season.
– Poor Soil
Over time, the soil your succulents inhabit becomes nutrient-depleted, and they may even outgrow their current pots. If you notice circling and tightly packed roots, it’s a clear indication that repotting is in order. When the soil is weak in nutrients, or when it becomes compact, the roots will not function as they have to, and this is why the plant gets to face such a stress.
When succulents are stuck in bad soil, they struggle to thrive and may not survive for long, even if you fertilize during the growing season. In such conditions, you might observe leaves turning red as a result of unfavorable soil quality, and this will be the cause of the leaves and the plant, as a whole to suffer and weaken.
To provide the best care for your succulents, it’s time to give them a fresh start. By repotting them into nutrient-rich soil, you can enhance their chances of a healthy and vibrant life. This is because if you leave it as such, you can lose the plant in the long run.
– Low Nutrition
It turns out that sudden changes in temperature, excessive heat or light, as well as insufficient feeding and watering can all play a role in succulents throwing on new colors and hues. Just like other plants, succulents also require proper nutrition, this can also be when it starts to lose nitrogen because it is the element that gives the green color to the plant.
When the soil lacks essential nutrients, these hardy plants can undergo some subtle color changes, including a shift towards purple hues. In severe cases of nutrient deficiency, succulents may even turn purple, or yellow or appear curled and wrinkled.
It’s vital to ensure that your succulents receive the necessary nourishment, or else the plant stresses and this can be shown in its features. Providing a balanced fertilizer or enriching the soil with organic matter can help meet their nutritional needs.
– Root Issues
If you notice your succulent taking on a dark purple or black color, it’s a sign that it’s dealing with root rot, a common issue. When soft black leaves and roots appear, it’s important to take immediate action before it’s too late.
Root rot often occurs due to overwatering or leaving the roots sitting in standing water for too long. If the entire root ball is damaged, you can salvage any remaining green leaves. Keep them separate and wait for new roots to develop. The plant will also look more swollen, when it comes to the sap, because it will have too much of the sap if you have watered it execssively.
– Sun Stress
Many succulent growers believe in the practice of sun stressing their plants to enhance their beauty. This technique is thought to help succulents reach their full potential by promoting stunning coloration.
It’s important to note that any form of stress, not just from the sun, can cause succulents to display shades of red, purple, or even yellow. Factors like underwatering or exposure to extreme temperatures can also contribute to this color change.
Deliberately stressing succulents is not recommended for beginners. While succulents are naturally adapted to harsh environments, they should be saved from excessive stress when early signs of suffering are observed.
With proper attention and timely intervention, you can ensure the well-being of your succulents without pushing them to unnecessary limits. Sometimes, the purple hue is a cacti’s way of protecting themselves from the harsh UV light that could potentially harm or even kill them in challenging conditions.
This purple transformation also hints at a subtle form of stress. It suggests that your succulent may not completely acclimate to its current environment. As the seasons shift and sunlight naturally becomes less intense, you may notice the purple color gradually fading away.
It’s a natural process, signaling that your succulent is finding its balance and adjusting to a more comfortable level of sun exposure. So, observe this quiet dance between your succulent and the sunlight, making adjustments as needed.
How To Fix Your Succulent Turning Purple?
To fix your succulent turning purple, you must make sure to provide the right type of drainage to the plant, and make sure you place it in the right location as well. In addition, you can also employ proper watering, provide the needed nutrients, and inspect and address the roots.
– Provide Proper Drainage
Poor drainage and excess water are the enemies of succulents, as they can lead to the dreaded root rot — a silent killer lurking beneath the surface. To ensure your succulent’s survival, it’s vital to provide channels through which that excess water can escape.
Always try to use a pot with one or two drainage holes at the bottom, acting as secret passageways for water to flee, preventing it from pooling and causing harm. You must also make sure that you water it with clean water.
But that’s not all — these resilient plants crave a gritty, sandy mix that promotes good airflow and doesn’t hold onto moisture for too long. If you’re looking for a ready-made solution, try combining equal parts of perlite, peat moss, pumice, or horticultural sand to create a well-balanced cactus or succulent soil mix, so that it would have thrive again.
Now, we won’t sugarcoat it — providing the ideal drainage and soil mix requires a bit of extra effort. By following these steps, you’ll witness your succulent’s health blossom before your eyes.
At the same time, you can also make sure to be repotting the plant. Grab a pair of sanitized scissors or shears and carefully prune away the affected parts. Afterward, repot the succulent plant into a clean pot with fresh soil to give it a fresh start, and it will look healthy as it develops.
– The Proper Placement Is a Must
It’s important to exercise caution when it comes to direct sunlight exposure. Aim for a location that offers bright indirect or filtered light throughout the day. During the pleasant summer weather, consider moving your succulent outside, making sure it doesn’t receive direct light.
When subjected to too much intense sunlight, you may notice discoloration on the leaves—brown spots and a purple tint are typical indications of the lack or overexposure to sunlight. You must make sure to give it a sufficient amount of light and not excessive that it burns.
Interestingly, some succulent enthusiasts intentionally expose their plants to more sunlight, allowing them to unleash their full potential for coloration. However, once you employ proper techniques and tweak your approach, you can get them back to green with no worries. To ensure the happiness and prosperity of your succulent, make it a habit to regularly inspect for signs of distress, such as yellowing or wilting leaves!
– Employing Proper Watering
When watering, aim to moisten the soil without soaking it. Try not to let the pot sit in standing water. Now we know why our succulents turn purple, and there are several methods you can use to revert this purpling phase your plant is going through, as some of the most effective measures are concerned with proper succulent care.
Observe how quickly the soil dries out to gauge your succulent’s watering needs. If it consistently dries out within a few days after watering, consider adjusting the amount of water you give next time. On the other hand, yellow and wilted leaves indicate that your succulent is thirsty, so you must give them sufficient water.
Increase the frequency of your watering, ensuring it receives adequate sunlight. With these guidelines, we can provide our succulents with the right amount of water, light, and care they need to thrive.
– Provide Ample Nutrients
It’s important to avoid fertilizing your succulents in winter when they enter their dormant state, as they don’t require additional nutrients during this period of rest. The growth season, which typically spans from mid-March to mid-October, is the best fertilization window.
Choosing the right fertilizer is equally essential, hence, you must look for a succulent-specific fertilizer with a balanced ratio of potassium and phosphorus and a lower nitrogen content. A ratio like 2-8-8 is considered ideal for succulents and the right amount of nutrients for them.
This blend provides the necessary nutrients for their growth, ensuring healthy roots, vibrant foliage, and overall robust development. In short, by adhering to these simple guidelines, you can give your succulents the appropriate nourishment they need during their active growth phase.
– Inspect and Adress Roots Often
As a responsible succulent keeper, it’s important to develop a routine of checking your succulents’ roots every few weeks. In short, during these root inspections, keep an eye out for any signs of trouble.
Look for white clumps, which could indicate the presence of root mealybugs, or small flies known as fungus gnats. Additionally, be wary of black roots, as they can be a sign of root problems that need your attention.
Avoid frequent movement and repotting, especially for mature succulents, as it can cause root stress. Ensuring that your succulents are securely planted in the soil is vital for their access to water and nutrients.
The case of succulents changing their color is a worrying; that’s why understanding the reasons behind this will allow us to address the issue and take appropriate action, so here’s a recap:
- Succulents change colors for various reasons — temperature changes, excessive exposure to light, poor watering practices, inadequate soil, low nutrition, and even stress can contribute to their color transformation.
- To prevent succulents from turning purple, proper care is essential. Ensure your succulents have proper drainage by using pots with drainage holes and a well-draining soil mix.
- Place them in locations with bright indirect or filtered light, avoiding excessive sunlight. Water them cautiously, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions and avoiding overwatering or underwatering.
- Providing adequate nutrition during the growth season using a succulent-specific fertilizer with balanced ratios is crucial.
By following these preventive measures and giving your succulents the care they need, you can maintain their vibrant green color and promote their overall health and well-being.
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