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Why is my Jade Plant Turning Purple?

Is your Jade Plant turning Purple? If so, relax your nerves!

We often get overwhelmed when our plant shows some abnormal signs.

It is a natural reaction as a plant fanatic; however, in the case of Jade, you are lucky enough, the problem is not extremely severe.

Generally, temperature fluctuation, improper lighting and watering conditions, fertilizer issues, pests, and disease infestation cause Jade Plant purple leaves. In addition, unfavorable growing conditions stress the plant resulting in the release of Anthocyanins responsible for the purple color. 

Jade Plant
Jade Plant (Source: Pixabay)

Interestingly, the color change in Jade is easily fixable. But, there is always whys’, Hows,’ and Whens’ while troubleshooting a problem.

If you want to learn more about the color changes in the Jade plant and the ways to fix them, read the full article.

Here, I have embedded all the necessary information relating to the Jade plant purple leaves.

Is it Normal For Jade Plant to Turn Purple?

Sometimes Jade turns its foliage to red or purple, which is common in succulents.

But, hey, do not stress your nerves. Though the Jade plant turning purple is not a good indicator, but it is fixable.

Jade is an adaptable and flexible plant, so you can easily solve your problems by identifying the underlying cause.

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

However, if many leaves are turning blue exhibiting symptoms of droopiness, limpness, and stunted growth, you must be cautious.

Jade plants turn purple because of several factors.

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

There are several culprits behind your jade plant turning purple.

Some include temperature fluctuation, extreme sun exposure, low light, watering problems, nutritional deficiencies.

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?

Well, 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.

Moreover, finding the causes and resolving them in time helps to revive your jade plant.

Here are the possible causes of the jade plant turning purple and solutions to mitigate the problem.

1. Insufficient Light

When it comes to succulents, sunlight is vital for their growth and development. Therefore, succulents generally require more sunlight compared to other house plants.

As Jade is succulent, it adores bright indirect light and grows less fuller and leggy when it receives insufficient light.

Jade plants thrive well in bright light. However, when they do not get enough light, the photosynthesis rate is reduced.

To reciprocate reduced photosynthesis, they produce Anthocyanins that act as a catalyst to increase the photosynthesis rate.

The release of Anthocyanins causes the jade plant to turn purple.

Insufficient light for Jade plant
Insufficient light for Jade Plant (Source: Unsplash)

If you cannot improve the lighting condition further, the plant exhibits stunted growth and may die gradually.

Jade enjoys 4 to 6 hours of bright direct sunlight. Therefore, please provide them with either morning direct light or afternoon shades.

If it is spring or summer, Southern-facing or west-facing window is best recommended.

If you do not have a sunny location, provide them with 8-10 hours of indirect sunlight while making sure to introduce them to direct sunlight for a few hours each week.

The next reason the jade plant turns purple is shifting the plant from brighter light to low light.

While doing so, it stresses the plant, and thus they might turn purple.

Solutions

  • If you have moved your Jade plant from a brighter to low light area, re-introduce the plant to bright light.
  • Provide your Jade plant with 8-10 hours of artificial lights if your plant is subject to insufficient light.
  • The plant does well in full-spectrum fluorescent lights. Moreover, the intensity of natural lights is low in winter, so it is best to provide them with artificial light in that period.

2. Extreme sun Exposure

The next cause for your Jade plant turning purple is extreme sun exposure.

Jade, like other succulents, adores sunlight. Brighter light is essential for their overall development.

But, when they are overly exposed to the scorching sun, it causes moisture loss.

Excessive moisture loss stresses the plant, which consequently leads to purple leaves.

Furthermore, when the sun exposure is extreme, Jade develops a defense mechanism.

It produces anthocyanins on the leaf’s surface to protect itself from extreme sunlight. In the process, Jade leaves turn purple.

Moreover, red, purple, pink edges in the leaves of Jade are results of extreme sunlight.

Red Color in Jade due to extreme sunlight
Red Color in Jade due to Extreme Sunlight (Source: Pixabay)

Therefore, I advise you to avoid scorching sunlight for your Jade plant.

Young jade plants that have tender foliage get largely affected by extreme sunlight. In severe conditions, they might die too.

Solutions

  • Decrease the time of direct sun exposure but do not make any drastic changes immediately.
  • Transferring plants from extreme sun exposure to low further stress the plant. Therefore, gradually decrease the direct exposure by half to one hour per day.
  • Avoid direct daylight as it is high in intensity. Moreover, you can use a light curtain or drape to block direct midday sunlight.
  • Instead, provide the plant with only morning direct light or afternoon shades.

3. Temperature Extremities

Jade Plants do not like sudden changes in the environment and temperatures.

So when you place your Jade in a certain location or temperature, it adapts to the particular environment.

If you change the location frequently, plant stress to adapt to the newly introduced environment.

The fluctuating temperature in the changing environment stresses the plant. Consequently, it turns purple.

Also, you should not place your Jade near cooling or heating vents such as coolers and radiators.

There is high instability near such vents, and the Jade plant might find difficulty coping with the constantly changing environment.

Moreover, when the temperature goes beyond the ideal condition for Jade, they start to change the color to purple.

The ideal temperature for Jade is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

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

Furthermore, fluctuating temperature disturbs the photosynthesis process of plants, and the stress causes purple leaves.

If the temperature further cannot be improved, the leaves start to droop and fall off.

Solutions

  • Choose a location for your jade plant that supports its ideal condition.
  • Deadhead the affected foliage to save plant energy for the revival.
  • Do not move your Jade from outdoors to indoors or vice versa as the temperature fluctuation is high.
  • To prevent frost, you can cover your Jade with transparent plastic or frost blanket.
  • Covering the top layer of soil with dried leaves, straw, or dried grasses can form insulation from frosty temperatures.

Learn more about 8 Amazing Jade Plant Benefits

4. Overwatering

As Jade are succulents, they are highly susceptible to overwatering.

When Jade is overwatered, the roots get drowned with water, and it cannot breathe.

In addition, Overwatering occupies vacant air spaces causing less aeration in the soil.

In lack of proper aeration, the plant cannot absorb all of the required nutrients as it reduces the oxidization process of nutrients.

Thus, overwatering leads to fewer nutrient absorption, less aeration, and soggy soil, which ultimately causes stress in the plant.

watering Plant
Watering Plant (Source: Unsplash)

Further, consistently moist soil causes root rot and fungal growth.

All of the problems accumulate and stress the plant.

The plant, therefore, produces anthocyanins leading to purple or black leaves.

Solutions

  • Water your jade plant only when the soil dries out completely.
  • Establish a proper watering schedule. Water your jade plant once or twice a week in summers and twice or thrice in winter.
  • Use a container that has good drainage holes.
  • Inspect the roots of Jade, and re-pot your Jade cutting off the rotten roots.

Pro Tip: Inspect the soil moisture digging stick in the pot. Water your jade plant only if the stick appears dry. Otherwise, wait for a few days till the soil dries completely.

5. Underwatering

When was the last time you watered your Jade?

If you think Jade is succulent and can thrive without water even for a long time, you are mistaken.

Jade adores dry soil, but it does not mean the plant tolerates draught for a prolonged time.

Therefore, you must be careful that your Jade does not suffer from underwatering problems.

Soil moisture is important for plants to absorb nutrients and essential minerals from the soil.

The essential nutrients that the plant requires are dissolved in the soil moisture, which is then absorbed by roots.

Dry soil lacking in nutrition
Dry soil lacking in nutrition (Source: Pixabay)

If you do not provide your Jade with sufficient water, it lacks nutrients, minerals, and water fundamental for the photosynthesis process.

Decreased photosynthesis results in wilting of plants and they, turn purple.

In addition, when the plant is dehydrated, the activities of its cells are collapsed, which leads to wrinkled and droopy leaves.

A decrease in moisture activates the plant’s defense mechanism, i.e., the release of anthocyanin, and thus the plant turns purple.

The problem is more frequent in summers when the soil dries out rapidly.

Solutions

  • Water your Jade immediately until the water does not run out of drainage holes.
  • If the soil is pulled away from the pot, gently push it toward the perimeter to ensure the soil well absorbs the water.
  • Water plant when 90% of the soil is dry. To confirm, insert your dingers 2 to 3 inches deep; water the plant if the soil is dry.
  • Avoid prolonged drought for your jade plant.
  • The best way to water your Jade is to apply the Soak and Dry method.
  • Take a shallow container with lukewarm water or regular tap water.
  • Drench the pot of your Jade until bubbles appear at the top of the soil.
  • Then, remove the plant from the water and let the soil dry completely. The method helps to absorb moisture proportionately.
  • Use a hygrometer to measure soil moisture.

6. Drainage Issue

When it comes to plants, Proper drainage is important for their healthier growth.

When the drainage system is poor, water sits in the soil, making soil soggy.

Water occupies the air sacks in the soil, and as a result, the roots cannot breathe.

In addition, poorly aerated soil leads to fungal infection and the growth of unhealthy bacteria.

Moreover, when your Jade dwells in poorly drained soil for a longer period, its root starts to rot.

All of these issues related to poor drainage ultimately stress the plant, and thus the Jade changes its color to purple.

Terracotta Pots with Drainage Hole
Terracotta Pots with Drainage Hole (Source: Amazon)

Solutions

  • Take your plant out of the pot and inspect root rot, fungal growth in soil, and the drainage system of the container.
  • If there are issues, re-pot your Jade in a new container using fresh potting mix.
  • Always use a pot that has a good number of drainage holes.
  • It is best to use terracotta pots or clay pots for your Jade to help dry out the soil.

Do you want to grow Jade outdoors? Learn more about Caring For Jade Plant Outdoors- An Ultimate Guide.

7. Wrong Soil Type

Soil type is an essential factor while growing plants. All of the plants cannot thrive in a similar type of soil.

The soil type a plant prefers depends on the type of the plant.

As a Jade plant is succulent, it needs fast-draining soil that does not hold water for a longer period.

Moreover, when the water drains properly, it flushes out extra salts stored in the soil.

Therefore, it is best to use Cacti and Succulent Mix for growing Jade plants.

However, you can also make your potting mix by combining 1 part peat moss, 1 part garden soil, 1 part perlite, 1 part coarse sand, and 1/2 part organic compost (manure, chicken litter, vermicompost, etc.)

Soil Mix For Jade Plant
Soil Mix For Jade Plant(Source: Unsplash)

The ideal soil pH for Jade is about 6. If the soil is highly acidic or alkaline, the plant cannot absorb enough nutrients.

Additionally, Acidic pH increases the solubility of toxic chemicals like aluminum which is toxic for Jade.

Moreover, regular garden soil is not perfect for your Jade plant as the soil density is high and causes high compaction.

The soil also starts to form lumps and blocks soil aeration. As a result, the leaves start to turn yellow, purple, and black.

If the soil you are using is poorly draining, infested with fungus and pests, retains high moisture, imbalanced pH, you are using the wrong soil mix.

All of these factors stress the plant; as a result, the plant produces anthocyanin, and the plant turns purple.

Solutions

  • Use fast-draining soil for your Jade plant. Avoid soil that retains moisture for a longer time.
  • Use perlite, pumice, peat moss, coconut coir, etc., to improve soil drainage quality.

8. Diseases and Pest Infestation

Generally, Jade is not extremely susceptible to pests and diseases. However, it is not untouched by them.

Jade is a robust plant whose fleshy, thick leaves do not normally attract pests.

However, common pests like aphids, scales, mealybugs, and spider mites can be found in Jade.

When the soil is consistently moist, it generates a favorable environment to grow pests.

Moreover, when the plant is already stressed, it makes them vulnerable to pest attacks.

These unwanted changes, such as damaged foliage, stunt growth, etc., caused by pests infestation stresses the plant.

To reciprocate the stress caused, the plant releases anthocyanin, resulting in which the leaves turning purple.

Similarly, diseases in the plant stress them, which leads to purple leaves.

Here are the most common diseases in the Jade plant.

Diseases Symptoms Pathogen
Bacterial Soft RotStems and branches appears mushy and soft. Harms the internal tissues of the plant collapse. Erwinia
Powdery MildewWhite spots on the leavesSphaerotheca
Black RingBlack spots like ring appears on the leavesBlack ring Virus

These diseases negatively impact their tissues, collapsing cellular activities, and the overall functioning of the plant.

All of these accumulated effects wreak havoc on the plant.

In turn, the plant is stressed, and as a defense mechanism, it releases chemicals that turn its leaves purple.

Solutions

  • Spray your Jade with lukewarm soap water. It helps in removing pests and their eggs.
  • Dip cotton balls in alcohol and gently run them along with the infected parts. It helps to pull away from certain pests and their eggs.
  • You can scrape off pests like mealybugs using a brush or blunt knife.
  • On the incidence of pests, spray your Jade with neem oil, insecticidal soap, or any other horticultural oil until the pests fade away.
  • In case of diseases like powdery Mildew and Black Ring, spray the plant with a copper-containing fungicide.
  • Remove the infected part of the plant to prevent the spread of diseases.

9. Fertilizer Issue

The next reason for your Jade plant turning purple is fertilizer issues.

Plants need nutrients and minerals for their overall development. They cannot shine and flourish without nutrition.

Although Jade is a light feeder or requires less fertilization, it cannot grow without fertilization.

If you have not fed your Jade for a long time, it is plausible that your Jade plant is turning purple.

When the plant lacks necessary nutrients, it hampers its overall growth, and the plant struggles to thrive.

The plant goes in survival mode, and the struggle to thrive stresses them.

As a result of stress caused by a lack of necessary nutrients, the Jade plant turns purple.

Moreover, the soil loses nutrition with watering. This is because the water washes off the nutrients.

So, you must ensure to fertilize them as they lose nutrition over time.

The most prominent cause of the Jade plant turning purple is a phosphorous deficiency.

If you cannot supply the requirements in time, leaves turn purple and black, wilts, and falls off.

Fertilizer
Vermicompost (Source: Pexels)

While fertilizing your Jade plant, try using organic fertilizers as they help increase the structure and quality of the soil.

Moreover, the use of synthetic fertilizers for a long period degrades soil quality and is not eco-friendly.

Likewise, excessive fertilizing also leads Jade plant leaves to turn purple.

You might wonder how but when you overfertilize your plant, the soil stores salts present in the fertilizer.

Excessive accumulated salts in the soil cause root stress, and ultimately the whole plant gets stressed out.

To reciprocate the stress caused, the plant releases anthocyanin, and hence Your Jade plant turns purple.

Solutions

  • Immediately fertilize your Jade plant with a balanced NKP fertilizer in the ratio of 5-5-5.
  • Feed your Jade plant with organic fertilizers in a frequency of 3-4 months.
  • It is best not to fertilize your Jade in winter as they go dormancy, and fertilizer might shock them.
  • Make sure to water your plant before fertilizing them to ensure even distribution of fertilizer in the soil.
  • If you have over-fertilized your Jade, Place the pot in a container of water without the saucer for half to 1 hour. It helps to wash off excessive fertilizer salts through osmosis.

Learn more about, 8 Best Fertilizers for Jade Plant.

10. Root Rot and Fungal Growth

The most common problem in succulents is root rot and fungal infection.

It is, therefore, very important to sneak peek at your Jade frequently.

When the root of Jade starts to rot, it stresses the plant, and thus the plant turns purple.

Root rot in Jade is generally caused by overwatering and bacterial soft rot.

Unhealthy Jade
Unhealthy Jade (Source: Public Domain Images)

Moreover, overwatering leads to fungal growth in the soil.

When the water blocks the air cavity in the soil, the soil lacks aeration, and thus anaerobic process starts leading to fungal infection in the soil.

When you re-pot your Jade frequently, it causes root stress and leads to root rot and purple leaves in Jade.

Solutions

  • Let the soil dry completely before you water your Jade plant.
  • Deadhead, the infected portion, is leaving only 50% of the plant shoot. However, make sure to sterilize your pruning shears.
  • Then, take the Jade out of the pot, inspect its root, cut the rotten parts, and re-pot it in a new well-draining potting mix.
  • Loosen the top layer of soil to let air circulate. However, if the fungal growth is severe, apply a fungicide.

Here are some of the fungicides you can use for fungal infections in Jade.

11. High humidity

As Jade is a succulent adapted to grow in the native environment of South Africa, they grow well in a dry environment.

They grow well in 30 to 50% of the relative humidity. As Jade adores growing in a dry environment, high humidity is their culprit.

When the Jade is grown in a high humid environment, it stresses the plant as it is not suitable for its natural character.

The stress caused by high humidity is the driving impetus behind the jade plants turning purple.

Solutions

  • If you place your Jade near a humidifier or high humidity space like a bathroom, remove your plant from that space.
  • Do not group plants together along with Jade as it increases humidity around the plant.
  • Avoid misting the leaves of your Jade plant.

12. Natural tendency

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 the 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.

Jade Plant turning purple
Jade Plant turning purple (Source: Maxpixel)

Should I Remove the Purple Leaves?

The purple leaves in Jade are an indicator that the plant is facing trouble.

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

Jade Plant leaves turning purple is a tell-tell sign that the plant is stressed and needs to be fixed.

If you provide the ideal condition for the plant, they can easily revive back.

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

So, it is not necessary to remove the purple leaves from the Jade plant.

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

Likewise, if many leaves are turning purple, remove a few leaves from the bottom of the plant.

Again, it helps to store energy for the plant’s revival.

Tips to Take Care of Jade Plant

Jade plants are easy to care for and are tolerant plants. So, they generally do not demand high care, but you need to maintain ideal growing conditions for their healthier growth.

Here is the overview of the conditions required for the proper growth of the Jade plant.

Parameters Favorable Conditions
Light4-6 hours of bright direct light (morning light or afternoon shades) along with 4-5 hours of bright indirect light
Temperature 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit
Watering once or twice a week in summer 2-3 times a month in winter.
Soil Type Fast-draining, loamy, porous and nutrient rich
Humidity 30%-50% of the relative humidity
Fertilization once in very 3-4 months

Below are some additional tips for growing a healthy Jade Plant.

  • Rotate your plant regularly, like once a month, to obtain balanced growth.
  • If your Jade is growing leggy, your Jade is not receiving proper light. So, provide it with 3-4 hours of direct sunlight. However, you should avoid scorching sunlight for Jade.
  • If your Jade is not receiving sufficient natural light, provide it with artificial light.
  • It is not recommended to place your Jade in windows during the winter season as the temperature fluctuation is higher.
  • Water according to the necessity of the plant rather than following a rigid watering schedule. For example, water your Jade only when the top 30% of the soil dries.
  • Whenever you water your Jade, water it thoroughly until the water does not run out of the drainage holes.
  • The ideal pot size for the jade plant is a pot that is slightly larger than the diameter of your Jade plant. For instance, if your Jade is 5 inches in diameter, use a pot that is 6 inches in diameter.
  • If your Jade grows leggy and thinner, prune them as pruning enhances side growth making the plant bushier.
  • Moreover,  Pruning your Jade once a year is sufficient for its healthier growth.
  • Inspect your Jade regularly to ensure it is not affected by pests and diseases. Spray your Jade with soap water twice a month to prevent infestation.
  • Loosen the top layer of the soil once or twice a month to ensure proper aeration.

Learn more about A to Z Jade Plant Care Indoor and How to Repot a Jade Plant?

Jade Plant with reddened leaf tips
Jade Plant with reddened leaf tips (Source: Unsplash)

Conclusion

Jade is a hardy and resilient plant that can easily endure minor shifts and changes in the environment.

They are flexible and adaptable plants. However, they cannot thrive on constant neglect.

When the plant is neglected for a longer period, it manifests its stress through color change.

The color change is due to the release of anthocyanin that helps defend plants from unfavorable growing environments.

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

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