Green Succulent Turning Purple (Reasons, Tips, and Solutions)

Have you noticed that your once vibrant green succulent is now turning purple? This color change can be alarming, but don’t worry – it’s not always a sign of a severe problem. But it will leave you wondering why is my green succulent turning purple?

A green succulent turning purple can result from stress factors like cold temperatures or underwatering, activating pigments called anthocyanins. Some species naturally have purple hues due to genetics or environmental factors.

Monitor care conditions for color maintenance.

However, it is essential to understand the reasons behind the color change so that you can take appropriate measures to restore your succulent’s original hue.

There are various reasons why your green succulent may be turning purple, including environmental factors, care practices, and natural characteristics of different succulent species. In this section, we will explore these factors in more detail and provide tips and solutions to help you address the issue and promote the optimal health and appearance of your succulent plants.

Key Takeaways

  • Green succulents may turn purple due to environmental factors, care practices, or natural characteristics of different species.
  • Overwatering, nutrient deficiencies, poor soil quality, and excessive sunlight exposure are common reasons for succulent color changes.
  • Pests, diseases, seasonal changes, and acclimation to new conditions can also affect succulent coloration.
  • Proper care and maintenance, including watering frequency, sunlight requirements, well-draining soil, and good drainage, can promote optimal succulent health.
  • Signs of overwatering, moisture meters, room temperatures, and air conditioners can help identify and address issues with purple succulents.

Environmental Factors That Cause Color Changes

Succulent plants are known for their vibrant green color, but sudden changes can occur for various reasons. One of the common reasons is environmental factors. Let’s take a closer look at some of these factors and how they can affect the color of your succulent plant.

Temperature Stress During the Winter Months

Temperature stress is one of the most common reasons for color changes in succulent plants during the winter months. Succulents can tolerate colder temperatures, but sudden drops in temperature can cause them to turn purple. When the temperature drops, the plant’s cells may be damaged, leading to a color change.

To prevent this from happening, make sure your succulent is not exposed to extreme temperatures. Keep your plant away from doors or windows that are not well-insulated and turn down the thermostat at night to keep your home at a consistent temperature.

Lack of Water

A lack of water can also cause the leaves of a succulent plant to turn purple. Succulents store water in their leaves, and if they are not getting enough, they will start to show signs of stress, including color changes.

Make sure to give your succulent plant enough water, but do not overwater it, as this can lead to other issues like root rot.

Lack of Light

Succulent plants need plenty of sunlight to maintain their vibrant green color. If your plant is not getting enough light, it may start to turn purple.

Make sure to place your succulent in an area with plenty of indirect sunlight. If you are keeping them indoors, place them near a window that receives plenty of light.

Sudden Temperature Changes

Succulent plants do not respond well to sudden temperature changes. If your plant is exposed to extreme heat or cold temperatures, it may cause the leaves to turn purple.

To prevent this from happening, avoid placing your succulent too close to air conditioning vents or heating ducts. Make sure to keep your plant in a consistent temperature environment.

Overwatering and Root Rot: How They Cause Succulent Leaves to Turn Purple

Overwatering is an easy mistake to make when it comes to succulent care. While these plants are known for their ability to survive in dry conditions, they still require water like any other plant to thrive. However, too much water can lead to excess moisture in the soil and cause the roots to rot, leading to a host of problems for the plant, including purple leaves.

When a succulent is overwatered, the soil becomes waterlogged, making it difficult for the roots to absorb the oxygen they need to grow. The roots will begin to decay, leading to a condition called root rot. Root rot is characterized by dark, mushy roots that have a foul odor. A plant with root rot can no longer absorb water and nutrients properly, leading to wilting, discoloration, and eventually death.

How to Recognize Excess Water And Root Rot

You can identify excess water in your succulent plant by checking the soil’s moisture level. Gently stick your finger into the soil, and if it feels wet or damp, it’s likely that the plant has been overwatered. You can also use a moisture meter to check the soil’s moisture level. If the meter reading is over 3, it’s a sign of too much water.

Root rot can be identified by the following signs:

  • Yellowing of leaves
  • Leaf drop
  • Poor growth
  • Mushy roots that appear dark or black
  • A foul smell coming from the roots

How to Prevent Root Rot

The best way to prevent root rot is by ensuring proper drainage in your pots. Make sure that your pots have drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. Avoid using pots without holes or pots with insufficient drainage holes.

Additionally, it’s crucial to use well-draining soil when potting your succulents. Succulent soil should be made up of coarse sand, perlite, and regular potting soil to create a light, porous mixture that allows for adequate drainage.

How to Treat Root Rot

If you suspect your succulent has root rot, the first step is to stop watering the plant and remove it from the soil. Be careful when removing the plant to avoid further damage to the roots. After removing the plant from the soil, cut off any rotten roots and allow the remaining healthy roots to dry for a few days.

Next, repot the succulent in fresh, well-draining soil and avoid watering the plant for at least a week to allow the roots to recover.

Fungal Infections in Succulents

Fungal infections can also cause purple leaves in succulent plants. Fungi thrive in moist conditions and can infect a succulent if the plant is overwatered or the soil is not well-draining. Fungal infections can be identified by the presence of fuzzy or powdery growth on the leaves, stems, or soil.

How to Treat Fungal Infections

If you suspect fungal infection in a succulent plant, remove the infected parts immediately and dispose of them to prevent the spread of the fungus. Next, apply an antifungal treatment to the remaining parts of the plant to kill any remaining spores.

Succulent Care for Healthy Plants

Regular succulent care can go a long way in preventing problems like overwatering and fungal infections. Here are some tips to keep your succulent plants healthy:

  • Water your succulent plants only when the soil is completely dry
  • Use well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging
  • Ensure adequate light exposure while avoiding direct sunlight
  • Keep your succulent plants in a temperature-controlled environment
  • Fertilize your succulent plants with a balanced fertilizer
  • Regularly inspect your succulent plants for pests and diseases

By following these tips, you can help prevent issues like overwatering, root rot, and fungal infections in your succulent plants and keep their leaves vibrant and green!

Nutrient Deficiencies and Poor Soil Quality

Nutrient deficiencies and poor soil quality can negatively impact the health and coloration of your succulent plants. Succulents require specific nutrients and well-draining soil to thrive.

If your succulent is turning purple, it may be due to a lack of essential nutrients in the soil. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are crucial for the growth and development of plants, and a deficiency in any of these nutrients can cause the leaves to turn purple.

In addition to nutrient deficiencies, poor soil quality can also contribute to color changes in succulent leaves. Succulents require well-draining soil that allows water to flow through quickly, preventing the roots from sitting in stagnant water. If the soil is too dense or retains too much moisture, it can lead to root rot and other issues that can cause the leaves to turn purple.

To address nutrient deficiencies and poor soil quality, consider using a high-quality potting soil specifically designed for succulents. These soils often contain the necessary nutrients for optimal growth and drainage capabilities. If your succulent is experiencing severe nutrient deficiencies, you may also need to consider using a fertilizer that is specifically formulated for succulents.

Comparing Different Soil Types

Soil Type Drainage Nutrients
Standard Potting Soil Retains Moisture May Contain Nutrients
Cactus Soil More Well-Draining Contains Nutrients
Perlite Mix Extremely Well-Draining May Need Additional Nutrients

It’s important to choose a soil type that works best for your succulent’s needs. If you’re not sure which soil to use, consider experimenting with different types to see which one yields the best results.

By addressing nutrient deficiencies and poor soil quality, you can help your succulent maintain its vibrant green color and overall health.

Light and Sunlight Exposure

Light and sunlight exposure are critical factors that impact the coloration and overall health of succulent plants. Let’s explore how different light conditions affect your green succulents:

Bright Light

Succulents thrive in bright, indirect light. Placing them near a south-facing window, for instance, is ideal as it provides ample light without exposing them to direct sunlight. If you notice your green succulent turning purple and it is placed indoors, it may be due to a lack of bright light.

Full Sun

While some succulent varieties can withstand full sun exposure, many cannot tolerate excessive heat and light. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves and cause color changes, such as the green succulent turning purple. If you live in a climate with high temperatures and intense sunlight, protect your plants by providing shade or moving them indoors during the hottest part of the day.

Indirect Sunlight

Indirect sunlight is the best type of light for succulent plants. It provides adequate light without exposing them to direct sunlight, which can cause heat stress and color changes. If you have an indoor green succulent, consider placing it near a bright window with indirect sunlight to maintain its vibrant green color.

Lack of Light

A lack of light can cause succulent plants to stretch out and appear leggy. It can also lead to a loss of vibrancy in their color, resulting in a green succulent turning purple. If you’re keeping your succulent indoors, make sure to place it near a window with enough light or use artificial lighting if natural light is not sufficient.

Excessive Sunlight

Overexposure to sunlight can lead to heat stress and cause the coloration of succulent plants to change. If you notice your green succulent turning purple and it is placed in direct sunlight for extended periods, it may be due to excessive sunlight. Reduce the amount of sunlight exposure by providing shade or moving the plant to a location with indirect or filtered light.

Common Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases can cause significant stress to your succulent plants, leading to color changes such as turning purple. Understanding the types of pests and diseases that can affect your green succulents is crucial to keeping them healthy and vibrant. Here are some common issues to be aware of:

Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny creatures that can cause severe damage to your succulent’s leaves. Their infestation results in tiny webs and yellow or white spots on the foliage’s upper surface. If not addressed immediately, spider mites can cause the leaves to turn brown and drop off. To prevent spider mites, you can wash your succulent leaves with a mixture of water and mild soap to remove any infestations. Alternatively, you can use insecticidal soap or neem oil, which are both effective against spider mites.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections can cause your succulent leaves to turn black or brown and can lead to the development of black spots. These infections are often the result of too much moisture on the leaves, humidity, or overcrowding of plants. To prevent fungal infections, avoid overcrowding your plants and ensure they have proper ventilation. Additionally, avoid getting water on the leaves when watering and ensure your succulent’s soil has good drainage.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are tiny, flying insects that are attracted to moist soil. If you have noticed small, black flies hovering around your succulent plant, they could be fungus gnats. These pests can cause damage to the roots and make the plant more susceptible to other infections. To prevent fungus gnats, avoid over-watering your plant and ensure your soil has good drainage. You can also use yellow sticky traps to trap fungus gnats and reduce their numbers.

Black Spots

Black spots on succulent leaves can indicate various issues, including pests, diseases, or environmental factors such as sunlight exposure. Therefore, it is essential to identify the cause of black spots on your succulent leaves and take appropriate action. If it is due to a fungal infection, you can prune the affected leaves and use a fungicide to prevent the spread of the infection. Alternatively, if it is due to pests, you can use insecticides or natural remedies such as neem oil to get rid of them.

Seasonal Changes and Environmental Conditions

The color of your green succulent turning purple could be related to the seasonal changes and environmental conditions. Summer months, winter months, late autumn, and early spring could all impact the growth and coloration of your plants. Extreme heat or sudden temperature changes can be detrimental to your succulent’s health and color.

Summer Months

During the summer months, succulents can experience temperature stress due to excessive heat. It is important to keep your plants in a well-ventilated area or in the shade to prevent them from becoming too hot. If your succulent is exposed to direct sunlight, make sure to monitor it closely to prevent sunburn and dehydration.

Summer Tips for Succulents
Keep succulents in a well-ventilated area E.g. open windows or use fans to circulate air
Keep succulents in the shade E.g. under an awning or in a covered porch area
Monitor succulents exposed to direct sunlight E.g. move them to partial shade or use shade cloth to protect them

Winter Months

Winter months can also impact the color of your green succulent. During this time, the lack of light and cooler temperatures can cause your succulent to turn purple. Be sure to provide ample light and monitor the temperature to maintain your plant’s health.

Winter Tips for Succulents
Provide ample light for your succulent E.g. place them near a window or use grow lights
Monitor the temperature of your plants E.g. keep them away from drafty windows or doors
Consider moving your succulent to a warmer location E.g. move it to a south-facing window or to a room with more sunlight

Late Autumn and Early Spring

Late autumn and early spring can be tricky times for succulent plants. During these seasons, there may be sudden temperature changes that can cause stress to your plants. Keep an eye on the temperature and adjust the location of your plant accordingly.

Autumn and Spring Tips for Succulents
Monitor the temperature and sudden changes E.g. move your plant away from drafty windows or doors
Provide ample light for your succulent E.g. place them near a window or use grow lights
Consider moving your succulent to a warmer location E.g. move it to a south-facing window or to a room with more sunlight

By understanding the impact of seasonal changes and environmental conditions, you can take proactive steps to prevent your green succulent from turning purple. Be sure to monitor the temperature, provide ample light, and adjust the location of your plant as needed to ensure its overall health and vibrancy.

Succulent Species and Color Variations

Succulent plants are known for their unique and intricate appearance, including their vibrant colors that bring life to any space. Different succulent species have their own natural colors and color-changing abilities, making them even more interesting and beautiful. If you notice your green succulent turning purple, it’s worth considering the natural characteristics of your specific species.

Colorful succulents come in a wide range of shades, from bright greens to deep purples and nearly every color in between. Some species even have unique patterns or markings that make them stand out even more. When it comes to different shades, many succulents can have different colors on the same plant. For instance, certain succulents have green leaves with red tips or edges, creating a striking contrast that catches the eye.

Red Tips in Succulent Plants

Red tips are a common trait in many succulent plants and are often considered a natural characteristic of these plants. However, it’s essential to differentiate between red tips and a sudden change in color that could indicate an underlying issue. Succulent plants with red tips usually come in vibrant green hues, with the tips of their leaves turning red or pinkish-red.

If your succulent plant has red tips, it may add to the beauty of the plant. However, if the red tips are accompanied by a sudden color change or any other signs of stress, it’s crucial to investigate the underlying cause.

Creating a Colorful Succulent Garden

If you’re looking to create a colorful succulent garden, it’s essential to consider the natural colors and color-changing abilities of different species. Some succulents are known for their bold and bright hues, while others have more muted or subtle colors.

When choosing succulents, it’s crucial to select species that complement each other visually. Placing plants with contrasting colors or textures together can create a stunning visual display that adds life to any space.

Succulent Species Natural Colors Color-Changing Abilities
Echeveria Green, Blue, Pink, Purple, Red Changes colors based on light exposure, temperature stress, and water levels
Haworthia Green, Brown, Black, White, Transparent May turn purple or brown under stressful conditions
Crassula Green, Brown, Yellow, Red, Pink May turn reddish-brown under drought or stress
Sedum Green, Yellow, Red, Orange, Pink May turn deeper or more vibrant colors under bright light

As you can see in the table above, different succulent species have their own natural colors and color-changing abilities. Understanding these characteristics can help you select the right combination of succulents to create a beautiful and visually appealing garden.

Overall, succulent plants are fascinating and unique in their coloration and appearance. Taking the time to appreciate the natural characteristics of your succulent species can help you better care for and maintain your green succulent.

Proper Care and Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance are essential for maintaining the health and coloration of your succulent plants. In this section, we will provide fundamental tips for succulent care, including watering, sunlight, and soil requirements.


One of the most critical aspects of succulent care is getting the watering frequency right. Overwatering can cause root rot and lead to color changes in the leaves. Underwatering, on the other hand, can result in shriveled and discolored leaves. As a general rule, you should water your succulents thoroughly once a week during the growing season and reduce watering frequency in the winter months.

However, every succulent species has different watering needs, and you should adjust your watering schedule to suit your plant’s specific requirements. You can check whether your plant needs watering by sticking your finger around an inch into the soil. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your succulent. Alternatively, you can use a moisture meter to gauge the soil’s moisture content and determine when to water.


Succulents require bright but indirect sunlight to maintain their green coloration. Too much sunlight can scorch the leaves and cause them to turn yellow or brown. Insufficient sunlight can lead to weak and pale leaves. Therefore, ensure that you place your succulent in a bright location, but avoid direct sunlight, especially during the hottest parts of the day.

Soil Requirements

Succulents require well-draining soil to prevent water from accumulating at the roots, which can cause root rot. Use a specialized cactus or succulent potting mix or add perlite or coarse sand to regular potting soil to improve drainage. Additionally, ensure that your pot has good drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape.

By following these basic guidelines on succulent care and maintenance, you can help your plants remain healthy and retain their vibrant green coloration.

Troubleshooting Guide for Purple Succulents

If you notice your green succulent turning purple, it may indicate an underlying issue that needs to be addressed promptly. Here are some signs of overwatering and other factors to look out for:

  1. Signs of overwatering: Overwatering is a common issue that can cause succulent leaves to turn purple. Look for signs such as soft, mushy leaves, yellowing leaves, or black spots. If you suspect overwatering, use a moisture meter to determine when your plants need watering.
  2. Moisture meters: These simple devices are an effective tool for checking the moisture level of your soil. Insert the probe into the soil and read the moisture level on the display. This will help you avoid overwatering and maintain the ideal soil moisture for your succulents.
  3. Room temperatures: Temperature stress can also cause succulent leaves to turn purple. Keep your plants away from cold drafts or air conditioners that may cause sudden temperature changes. Maintain room temperatures between 70-80°F (21-27°C) for optimal plant growth.
  4. Air conditioners: Air conditioners can also impact the humidity level in your home, which may affect your succulent plants. Use a humidifier or place a tray of water near your plants to maintain the ideal humidity level of 30-50%.
  5. New conditions: If you recently moved your succulent to a new location or changed its care routine, it may be experiencing stress. Acclimate your plants to new conditions gradually, and monitor them closely for any signs of stress or color changes.

“By monitoring your succulent plants closely and addressing any issues promptly, you can help prevent color changes and maintain the health and vibrancy of your green succulents.”


Color changes in succulent plants can be a cause for concern, but they can be addressed with the proper care and attention. By understanding the factors that contribute to green succulents turning purple, you can take actions to restore their vibrant green color.

Environmental factors such as temperature stress, lack of water, lack of light, and sudden temperature changes can impact the health and color of your succulent plants. Overwatering, root rot, nutrient deficiencies, poor soil quality, and pests and diseases can also be culprits for a color change in succulents.

It is important to provide proper care and maintenance for your succulent plants, including watering frequency, sunlight requirements, well-draining soil, and good drainage. By acclimating succulents to new conditions and minimizing stress, you can ensure their overall health and appearance.

If you notice signs of overwatering, consider using moisture meters to gauge watering needs. Also, be mindful of room temperatures and air conditioners that could impact the health of your succulent plants.

Get expert advice

If you’re still unsure of the cause or solution for your green succulent turning purple, seek advice from a gardening expert or a specialized nursery. They can offer guidance on the proper care and maintenance of your succulent plants.

Remember, with the right care and attention, you can keep your green succulents healthy and looking vibrant for years to come.


How do environmental factors affect the color of succulents?

Environmental factors play a significant role in the color changes of succulent plants. Temperature stress, particularly during the winter months, can cause succulents to turn purple. Additionally, a lack of water or insufficient light can contribute to the color change. Sudden temperature changes can also impact the pigmentation of succulent leaves.

Can overwatering lead to a succulent turning purple?

Yes, overwatering can cause a succulent to turn purple. Excess water, poor drainage, and the presence of root rot or fungal infections can lead to color changes in succulent leaves. To prevent this, it is important to water succulents sparingly and ensure that the potting soil has good drainage.

How do nutrient deficiencies and poor soil quality affect succulents?

Nutrient deficiencies and poor soil quality can impact the overall health and coloration of succulent plants. A lack of essential nutrients and the use of inadequate potting soil can cause succulents to turn purple. To address this, it is important to provide succulents with proper nutrients and improve the quality of the soil they are planted in.

How does light and sunlight exposure affect the color of succulents?

Light and sunlight exposure are crucial factors for succulent health and coloration. Bright light, full sun, or indirect sunlight are generally beneficial for maintaining the green color of succulent leaves. However, a lack of light or excessive sunlight can cause succulents to turn purple. Finding the right balance of light is important for keeping your succulents vibrant and healthy.

What pests and diseases can cause a succulent to turn purple?

Common pests such as spider mites and fungus gnats can cause stress and affect the coloration of succulent plants, sometimes resulting in a purple hue. Fungal infections can also contribute to color changes in succulent leaves. Additionally, the appearance of black spots on the leaves can indicate a potential pest or disease issue.

How do seasonal changes and environmental conditions impact the color of succulents?

Different seasons and environmental conditions can influence the color changes of succulent plants. Extreme heat and temperature stress during the summer months, late autumn, and early spring can cause succulents to turn purple. Understanding and providing the ideal conditions for your green succulents can help prevent undesirable color changes.

Do different succulent species exhibit different colors?

Yes, succulent species vary in their natural colors and color-changing abilities. Some species are naturally more colorful and vibrant, exhibiting a range of shades, including purple. Additionally, certain succulent varieties may have red tips as a natural characteristic.

How can I properly care for my succulents to prevent them from turning purple?

Proper care and maintenance are essential for maintaining the health and coloration of your succulent plants. This includes watering them sparingly, providing them with the right amount of sunlight, using well-draining soil, and ensuring good drainage in their pots. Following these guidelines will help prevent color changes and promote optimal conditions for your green succulents.

How can I troubleshoot and address purple succulents?

If you notice your succulents turning purple, it may indicate overwatering. Pay attention to signs of overwatering, such as yellowing or wilting leaves, and adjust your watering frequency accordingly. Using moisture meters can help you gauge when to water your succulents. Additionally, consider the impact of room temperatures, air conditioners, and any new conditions on your plants. Acclimating succulents to new environments gradually can minimize stress and color changes.

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