Why Is My String of Pearls Plant Turning Purple?

Last Updated on November 17, 2022 by Stephanie

While white and green varieties of this plant are available however, the most healthy String of Pearls is usually green.

The distinctive pea-like, fleshy leaves that look like a necklace made of beads change hue when subjected to stress. This is the reason the possibility of a String of Pearls turning purple is a major concern for cultivators.

Why does this occur? The leaves of the String of Pearls will turn purple when the plant is under stress. The plant will typically produce anthocyanin, a color that is produced when it is stressed by environmental factors such as sunburn, drowning excessive heat, overwatering or diseases and pests.

It is not important to worry about the color of the succulent.

Some growers put stress on their plants in order to create variegation within their plants. However, it is important not to overdo it with your excitement.

Ill go over some of the possible causes for the String of Pearls turning purple and ways to fix the problem.

Is Your String of Pearls Stressed?

A string Pearls leaves changing to red, blue, orange or purple indicates it is in stress.

Succulents are believed to produce anthocyanin, which is a color that is created when stressors are applied like sunlight, heat and a deficiency of water.

Anthocyanin is the pigment that imparts the color of purple or blue to plants, shields it from damage caused by sun and UV rays that are intense.

Certain Strings of Pearls growers take advantage of this change to enhance their Strings of Pearls more colorful. In rare instances the strain can be too excessive for the plant, leading it to be damaged.

If the discoloration of your plant is followed by other indications of damage, it is important to take action promptly.

Finding the root of the stress and reverse it will enable your plant to return to its natural condition of green. This is the first step.

Here are a few of the most frequent stressors String of Pearls String of Pearls must deal with:


A bright, indirect light is perfect to help String of Pearls development and growth.

But, if you put your plant in a window that faces the sun, or outdoors in summer, away from shade it is likely to be exposed to a lot of sunlight.

If you put your plant in an area that receives the suns rays, then it could be able to develop a purple color. Its possible that the leaves will have the appearance as well as the coloration:

  • Scorched
  • Scarred
  • Burned


If you like the purple hue that results from exposure to direct sunlight it is possible to expose the plant a bit to keep the color.

If the coloration is accompanied by symptoms of distress such as shriveling or dry leaves, it is recommended to relocate your plant into a shaded location.

Here are some more suggestions to keep your plants safe from sunburn:

  • Take it away from the glass hot of a window.
  • Change the plants location in the afternoon , when the sun is extremely hot.
  • You might consider shifting the plant to the opposite side of the room , where the light is indirect.
  • Put your plane on an arbor or a tree so that it will receive some sun in the morning and have enough shade to shield it from the direct sunlight of afternoon.


If the leaves that are purple of the String of Pearls plant are becoming shriveled, the issue may be that the plant isnt receiving enough water.

Plant cells that are deficient in moisture tend to shrink, which leads to the leaves shrinking to try to decrease the area of their surface and limit the loss of moisture.

In general, this reaction causes the leaves turning brown or purpling along with other symptoms of distress. It can also cause death if the plant does not get water on the right amount of time.


It is important to remember that succulents are extremely hardy and generally prefer watering instead of overwatering. But, you shouldnt overfeed your succulent. Instead:

  • Make sure you check the moisture levels of the potting mix on a regular basis.
  • In the event that your potting mixture is dry, put the container inside a tray of water for a few hours. This allows the plant to take pleasure in an energizing drink.
  • A slower drink is appropriate when the stems and balls start turning either brown or purple. The drink will probably reverse the coloration.


Stress from overwatering can be caused to the String of Pearls plant, which can trigger leaf purpling.

The most obvious signs are a crown that is mushy as well as soggy roots and an emollient stem. If left unchecked the overwatering can lead to the demise of your plant.

If the roots of a plant are exposed to excessive water, they are unable to absorb oxygen effectively and could drown, causing the plants demise.

A lot of water can encourage the development of fungal pathogens that can cause root rot. This can also cause death to your plant.


  • A consistent schedule of watering without regard to the health of your plants is not advised.
  • Dont water the plant till the tiny balls begin to shrink and then shrivel slightly.
  • If the green balls appear full they mean that the plant has had enough water.

Sudden Temperature or Lighting Changes

Numerous studies have shown that anthocyanins that plants produce as an inflammatory response may help in the fight against cold temperatures.

When your plants are exposed abrupt temperature and light changes, like extreme cold or heat thats why it could start to exhibit indications of a purple hue.

If grown in normal indoor temperatures and conditions, String of Pearls plants do extremely well.

Stress-related symptoms can manifest when you expose them to extreme amounts of direct sunlight, extreme temperatures or long times of dark.

This is particularly relevant when changes happen rapidly and the plant has very little time to adapt to the new conditions.

If you observe the leaves of your plant are turning purple after you moved it or changed the conditions at home, it is important to determine whats causing the changes in temperature or light.

Here are some examples of possible causes:

  • The plant should be placed next to an air conditioner or vent
  • The plant is moved outside near a large, bright window
  • The plant is located next to the heater


Keep a safe distance between the String of Pearls plant and vents, air conditioners, and doors that are cold.

Keep a temperature between 70 and 80 degrees (21-27degC) within your garden during summer, and a bit warmer in winter.

Root System Problems and Root Rot

Your plants leaves get inadequate nutrients and water in the event that your root system has been damaged.

The deficiency could cause the whole plant to be stressed which can result in stunted growth, shrinking, as well as purpling of leaves. Root rot is a condition that could trigger this condition.

It is possible to have root rot when you notice that your plants root and stems becoming mushy and brown.

If it is allowed to spread, this illness can be very deadly and cause death to the String of Pearls.

Poor drainage, overwatering or fungal infections are the most frequent causes.

If you purchase a blue or purple String of Pearls, make sure that the roots are healthy and that the plant doesnt suffer due to root rot. Roots that are healthy are strong and white.


Take out all plant parts that are affected using sterilized, sharp scissors. Then stop the watering of your plant and allow your soil time to dry. If theres a lot of damage:

Step 1: Remove the plant from the pot.

Step 2: Take off the soil, revealing the roots. Wash them in the sink.

Step 3. Infuse the root with a pesticide that is fungal and then put them in a ventilated dry area with indirect lighting.

Step 4. Let the roots dry prior to replanting the cactus with fresh pots for cactus.

Poor Drainage

The leaves can be purple when the plant isnt getting adequate drainage. When you are cultivating the String of Pearls plant, put it in the clay or terracotta pot with drainage holes that are adequate and provide it with ample light.

This method helps keep the roots moist and aerated, while also maintaining the drainage.

To prevent the roots from becoming soggy it is essential to ensure adequate drainage in the soil used for potting.

If the roots are damaged theyre unable to absorb the proper water and nutrients, and the plant will become stressed and eventually turn become discolored.


Make use of a succulent and cactus soil mix that is available at any garden centre. Its lightweight and well-drained, which will allow the String of Pearls to swiftly recover its green hue.

Alternately, you can create your own potting mix of inorganic and organic materials. In a ratio of 3:2:1 an ideal mix that encourages healthy root growth as well as airflow and drainage might comprise the following elements:

  • Potting soil
  • Bark Fines
  • Perlite or Pumice


String of Pearls arent heavy feeders , and they can be for long periods without fertilizer.

In reality, excessive fertilizer or feeding too often could cause root burn which can cause discoloration, slow growth, or even death.

To determine if there is an overfeeding problem Look for brown or purple leaves and other indicators such as

  • Burnt leaves
  • Stunted growth
  • The pearls of green are yellowing.
  • Shriveling
  • Dieback


The most effective option is to use water to remove excess nutrients out of the potters mix. Put water in the sink or tub and let it drain out of the drainage holes.

In the majority of cases youll need repeat this process 3 to 4 times in order to fully drain the fertilizer. Following that, you must not feed your plant for at minimum one month in order for it to recuperate.

Cold Drafts

The String of Pearls plants are not tolerant of extreme temperatures, and drafts can create significant stress. If, on top of changing the color of your leaves, you notice them falling off it could be due to a draft. the reason.

Colder air causes a weakening and shrinking of the leaves that tropical plants produce. It is possible to check temperatures of air surrounding the String of Pearls to see whether theres an issue.


Transfer the String of Pearls to a warmer location away from windows, doors, or vents. It is also recommended to keep it away far from air conditioning units that might release cold blasts of air.

In general, you should maintain your plants temperature that are between 70 and 80 degrees (21-27degC) in summer, and slightly less in the winter.

Pest and Diseases

Pests and diseases can weaken the plant and reduce its capacity to absorb water, light, and nutrients.

The plant could produce pigment because of the stress, and also exhibit other signs of damage , such as stunted growth or shriveling. The most common diseases and pests that could impact the health of your String of Pearls include:


Neem oil is an efficient treatment for pests as well as sooty mould. If consumed it is able to alter a pests feeding habits, egg-laying and even the growth stage.

The instructions below will take you through the procedure of making a neem oil mix for the String of Pearls.

Keep in mind that since water and oil do not mix naturally, youll require an emulsifier like castile soap.

  • Pour 1 tablespoon of soap castor into one gallon of water, and stir until it is uniform.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of 100%% Neem oil into the mixture.
  • Spray between 2 and four cups in the soil around the plant. Sprinkle 2 to 4 cups of the mixture into the soil around your.
  • Repeat the process every 3 weeks as a preventative step.

When Should You Worry About Your String of Pearls Turning Purple?

Theres a chance that the plant is exhibiting variegating when it turns pink, blue, or purple.

Some people arent concerned if theyre String of Pearls turns purple since the color can bring an abundance in terms of interest a space.

The leaves of purple peas look like real pearls, which makes them a beautiful decorative piece.

Additionally, the stress caused by changes in temperature or water demands, or light can be reduced by altering the environment of the plant.

Increase or decrease the amount of time you water, or shift the String of Pearls to a shaded location, and it will be back the original color.

If the change in color of your plant is due to insects (mealybugs Aphids, mealybugs and ants.) or diseases such as root rot, then you need to be worried.

If you dont take care to address these issues immediately If you dont address these issues immediately, your String of Pearls plant could be severely damaged and then end up dying.



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)