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Jade Plant Turning Purple [Causes + Quick Fixes]

Is your Jade Plant turning purple? When was the last time you pleased its fertilizer, temperature, lighting, and watering needs or looked after the plant when pests and diseases hitched a ride on it?

Generally, temperature fluctuations, improper lighting and watering, soil and fertilizer issues, pest outbreaks, disease infestations, and natural tendencies are the reasons for Jade Plants turning purple.

The problem of purple leaves in Jade Plants is easily fixable, and if you want to learn more about the Jade plant’s color changes and how to fix them, read on.

Is Jade Plant Turning Purple Normal?

A Jade Plant turning purple is typical in succulents, as several desert inhabitants also turn their foliage red or purple.

If only a few foliages turn purple along with red margins, you need not worry. It is a biological tendency among succulents.

This is because purple indicates anthocyanins, a common pigment in all the plant’s cells. 

Usually, this pigment in Jade Plants becomes more prominent in early spring or summer when the plant is sun-scorched.

Also, it indicates that the plant is trying to protect itself from the high UV radiation of the sun.

However, you must be cautious if many leaves turn blue and exhibit droopiness, limpness, and stunted growth.

Generally, the plants turn purple when stressed due to an unsuitable growing environment. Next is because of pest infestation and diseases.

Therefore, maintaining an ideal condition might help rejuvenate your Jade plant.

Causes for Jade Plant Turning Purple and Their Solutions

Have you been thinking, what’s going wrong with your Jade plant?

We have already discussed that it generally is not normal for your Jade plant to turn purple. So, let’s find out the culprits behind it.

1. Improper Light

Regarding succulents, sunlight is vital for their growth and development as they require more sunlight than other house plants.

As Jade is a succulent, it adores strong 4-6 hours of daily direct sunlight from a south or west-facing window.

Furthermore, it grows thinner and leggy with a reduced photosynthesis rate in poor light.

Image represents reddish leaves of Jade Plant
When the light intensity is high or low, the lower surface and margins of the Jade Plant leaves get a reddish-purple tinge.

To cope with reduced photosynthesis, they produce anthocyanins that act as a catalyst to increase the photosynthesis rate by absorbing maximum visible light.

Thus, the release of anthocyanins causes the Jade Plant to turn purple.

Surprisingly, anthocyanins are also produced on the lower leaf tips as reddish-purplish tinges, protecting the plant from harmful UV radiations of excessive intense sunlight.

Although the color change from green to red or purple is just a sign of stress for the plant, you can still manage light conditions to revive its lush.

How to Offer Proper Light for Jade Plants?

  • If you have moved your Jade Plant from a brighter to a low-light area, relocate the plant to bright light.
  • Place your Jade Plant about 12-24 inches away from artificial light for 8-14 hours daily in winter.
  • Avoid intense direct daylight and use a translucent curtain or drape to block direct midday sunlight.
  • Transferring plants from extreme sun exposure to low further stress the plant. So, gradually decrease the direct exposure by half to one hour per day.

2. Temperature Extremities

As temperature depends on the intensity of sunshine, strong and weak light increases and decreases surrounding temperature.

In winter, when the temperature is low due to feeble sunlight, Jade Plants increase anthocyanin content in the leaves to absorb maximum light for photosynthesis.

So, if you want the leaves of your Jade Plant to remain green, offer them a daytime temperature between 65°F and 75°F and a nighttime temperature of around 50-55°F.
Image represents a frost-injured Jade Plant
Jade Plant can sustain frost injuries in winter that causes their leaves to “burn” from cold air and turn dark-purple.

Thus as the season changes, the fluctuating temperature in the changing environment stresses the plant.

When the temperature falls below the point or increases above the point for a prolonged time, Jade produces anthocyanins to reciprocate the stress caused.

How to Offer Ideal Temperature for Jade Plants?

  • Move your plant away from drafty north-facing windows, cooling vents, heaters, etc., that can fluctuate the temperature.
  • Sheath the topsoil with mulch to insulate the heat and protect it from frosty temperatures.
  • Do not move your Jade from outdoors to indoors or vice versa, as the temperature fluctuation is high.
  • Move your Jade Plant a few inches from windowpanes to prevent the foliage from touching the glass. 
  • Cover your Jade Plant with a frost blanket in winter.

3. Improper Watering and Humidity

As Jade is succulent, they are susceptible to overwatering and dislike soggy soil conditions.

But, it doesn’t mean the plant likes dry soil for extensive periods.

Jade Plants cherish water every 1-3 weeks in spring and summer. Check the top 1-2 inches of the topsoil in fall and winter before watering again.

When Jade is overwatered, the roots get drowned and cannot breathe due to root rot.

The leaves also turn purplish-yellow, get mushy and start to drop off from the stems.

Image represents root rot in Jade Plant
Succulent Jade Plant is very sensitive to overwatering, and soggy soil can increase the chances of root rot due to high humidity and moisture.

Also, since Jade Plants are adapted to dry habits, extreme humidity in the air creates purple patches in their leaves.

Similarly, the leaves of the water-deprived Jade Plant become wrinkled and attain a purple hue as a sign of stress.

The damaged leaves cannot be recovered, but you can save the plant and secure some healthy leaves.

How to Offer Watering Care for Jade Plants?

  • Water close to the topsoil, and wipe any remaining drops of water from the leaves.
  • Toss the water from the pot plate after each watering session.
  • Amend the soggy soil with organic perlite to promote drainage and place the plant in direct sun for a few hours to dry up the soil.
  • Remove all the rotting leaves and roots and repot the plant in a fresh potting mix.
  • Resoak the soil with water only when the topsoil is 30% dry.
  • Offer well-draining potting soil and terracotta pots with drainage holes for seepage.
  • While repotting, select a pot size that is an inch larger than the diameter of your plant for spacious root growth.
  • Place your Jade Plant in a pebble tray with 1-2 inches of water for 15-20 minutes to moisturize its roots.
  • Set the humidifier between 30% and 50% to manage indoor humidity levels and avoid grouping the plants.

4. Soil and Fertilizer Issues

Jade Plants cannot grow in old soil for long as the essential minerals (NPK) get lost over time.

Although Jade is a light feeder, you must feed the plant at least 2-3 times during its growing season to keep it green and healthy.

Jade Plant needs fertilizer every 1-2 months during spring and summer. In fall and winter, the plant prepares to sleep and doesn’t need any feeding.

As water leaches out the crucial minerals from the soil over the course of several watering sessions, Jade Plants must be fed to cope with the lost nutrients.

If you have not fed your Jade Plant for a long time, it is plausible for the plant leaves to become greenish-purple.

However, if you have overfed your plant, it can also induce fertilizer salt stress, and in response to the issue, the leaves get purple.

Additionally, soil pH plays a vital role in the uptake of nutrients.

The soil pH of Jade Plants hovers around 6, and above or below this value, the plant cannot absorb nutrients from the soil and becomes nutrient deficient. 

So, the best way to save your Jade Plant is to offer suitable and nutritious potting soil asap!

How to Fertilize Jade Plant Properly?

  • Fertilize your Jade plant with a balanced NPK liquid fertilizer during its peak growth.
  • Add compost or peat moss to the soil to maintain the acidic pH.
  • Make sure to water your plant before fertilizing them to ensure even fertilizer distribution in the soil.
  • If fertilizer salts accumulate in the soil, wash it 4-5 times with distillate water to flush out the minerals.
  • But, too much fertilizer salt is difficult to clear, and you may have to repot your Jade Plant in a fresh potting mix.
  • You can also loosen the topsoil to remove the salt flakes to help you out while flushing the soil.

5. Diseases and Pest Infestation

There are 4 significant insects and 3 diseases that are uninvited hitchers on your Jade Plant.

Pests like mealybugs, root mealybugs, scales, and spider mites are outdoor guests, while diseases like leaf spots, soft rot, and powdery mildew are bacterial or fungal in origin. 

Infestation of diseases and pests causes your Jade Plant to stress out, and, as a result, they turn their leaves purple.

Image represents pest infestation in Jade Plant
Many pests hide under the leaves and weave silky substances to hide and degrade the plant’s vigor.

Pests suck on the sap of the leaves and hide on the underside of the leaves. They excrete honeydew drops, which can be a source of infection for new diseases.

Similarly, diseases render the leaf tissues necrotic and collapse cellular activities.

In turn, the plant is stressed, and as a defense mechanism, it releases chemicals to change its leaf color.

How to Get Rid of Diseases and Pests in Jade Plants?

  • Isolate the plant away from other houseplants to avoid disease extent.
  • Spray your Jade Plant with a strong gust of water or lukewarm soapy water to remove pests and kill their eggs.
  • Dip cotton balls in neem oil and gently run them on the infected parts to pull away pests and their eggs.
  • Scrape off pests like mealybugs and scales using a bristle-cleaning brush.
  • In case of diseases like powdery Mildew and Black Ring Spots, spray the plant with a copper-containing fungicide.
  • Prune your Jade Plant and burn the infected parts to reduce infection sources.

6. Natural Habit

Succulents often change their color into red, tinted pink, or purple.

It is a natural tendency among them. Therefore, your Jade might have changed color because of biological phenomena.

However, such phenomena are rarely observed in Jade. But, it can have purple or red color on the tips of its leaves as a natural phenomenon.

In such a case, you need not worry, as the plant will change its color back to normal naturally.

Should I Remove the Purple Leaves?

The purple leaves in Jade indicate that the plant is facing trouble.

To be precise, the problem lies within the unfavorable growing condition rather than the leaves themselves.

Therefore, maintaining the ideal condition for Jade helps leaves to regain their color back to normal.

So, removing the purple leaves from the Jade plant is unnecessary.

However, if the plant is stressed by diseases, pests, and fungal growth, it is better to remove the infected leaves to prevent their spread.

Likewise, if many leaves turn purple, remove a few leaves from the bottom of the plant to help it store energy for its revival.

From Editorial Team

Jade is a resilient plant that can easily endure minor environmental shifts and changes.

But, Jade Plant turning purple indicates the plant is facing a conflict in its growing conditions.

Therefore, the color change in Jade can easily be fixed by adjusting the environmental plights.

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