Why Is My String of Pearls Turning Purple?

A healthy string of pearls is usually green despite many variegated forms. The pea-like foliages that resemble a bead necklace can change color due to environmental stress. A string of pearls turning purple tends to raise concern among growers.

So, why is my string of pearls turning purple? The possible causes are direct sunlight exposure, under-watering, overwatering, sudden temperature changes, root-bound issues, over-fertilization, pest infestations, poor drainage, and diseases.

The information in this article provides a detailed explanation about a string of pearls turning purple. Take the time to read through it and figure out the underlying issues. It also provides a string of pearls care tips that help avoid future problems.

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Reasons for String of Pearls Turning Purple

Root Damage

Damaged roots of the string of pearls will inhibit the supply of water and nutrients to all parts of the plant. Lack of nutrients is the reason behind the string of pearls turning purple.

Root rot is the leading reason behind unhealthy roots, and it is due to excess moisture in the potting. It is a common problem among those individuals that overwater their houseplants.

Mechanical damages are other means of hurting the string of pearls root systems. Always handle your string of pearls with ultimate care to protect leaves from turning purple.

Direct Sunlight Exposure

The string of pearls thrives under bright indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight exposure will scorch the leaves and trigger the release of stress hormones that give the plant purple color.

Put the plant near a window with sheer curtains to reduce the sunlight intensity. Ensure the string of pearls receives adequate indirect sunlight to thrive well.

Use artificial grow lights in dark rooms to protect your string of pearls from struggling. Low light conditions cause stunted and leggy growth.

Poor Soil Drainage

The string of pearls prefers well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes at the bottom to drain excess water. Poor soil drainage increases the risk of root rot.

A damp environment will also make your string of pearls turn purple. It is due to poor aeration and root rot issue. Use a terracotta pot due to its porous materials and drainage holes.

Besides that, consider a lightweight and well-draining potting soil. I recommend a succulent potting mix with the addition of organic matter to boost its fertility.


The string of pearls is among the few tropical houseplants that need a little bit of fertilizer to stay healthy and alive. Over-feeding the plant will hurt the roots.

Too much fertilizer will burn the roots and turn your favorite plant purple. I recommend flushing the potting mix to reduce the excess salt buildup.

Remember to feed your string of pearls during spring and summer. Use either succulent liquid fertilizer or general-purpose liquid fertilizer.

Don’t apply fertilizer to the string of pearls during winter due to the dormancy effect. Besides that, flush the succulent potting soil every three months to prevent excess salt accumulation.

Sudden Temperature Change

The string of pearls is more comfortable under indoor room temperature. The succulent plant cannot handle sudden temperature changes.

Too hot or cold temperatures will result in discoloration of the string of pearls. Cold temperatures tend to freeze the glucose in the leaves and stems that cause the purple color.

Besides that, freezing temperatures inhibit photosynthesis and other physiological activities from happening. The string of pearls will not get food and turn purple.

Place your favorite succulent plant away from hot and cold drafts. Be sure to maintain a room temperature range of 65-85oF.

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Overwatering is another reason behind the string of pearls turning purple. Other signs of excess soil moisture are mushy crowns, soggy roots, and fleshy stems.

Too much soil moisture inhibits roots aeration and may lead to plant death. Besides that, the damp condition may foster fungal pathogen growth that causes root rot.

Develop a consistent watering plan to keep your string of pearls healthy. Ensure the pot has drainage holes to eliminate excess water.

Pest Infestation

The string of pearls is more vulnerable to pests and diseases. Insect infestations and diseases are the reasons behind your string of pearls turning purple.

These sap-sucking creatures damage the vital tissues and weaken the plant defense mechanism. I recommend inspecting the plant daily to avoid pest infestations.

Use neem oil spray to eliminate aphids, scales, and mealybugs from your string of pearls. Avoid putting it in high humidity and poor ventilation space to discourage fungal growth.


The string of pearls leaves turning purple are signs of insufficient water. Besides that, the tiny leaves will begin to dry and shrivel if the condition persists.

Other distress symptoms are leaves turning yellow and brown. Remember to soak the potting soil with distilled water to rehydrate the succulent plant.

Water your spring of pearls plant every once a week during spring and summer to avoid discoloration. Reduce watering frequency during winter and fall due to dormancy effect.

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Related Questions

Why Is My String of Pearls Turning Yellow?

Insect infestation and low lighting conditions are the reasons for the string of pearls turning yellow. I recommend the use of neem oil to eradicate the pests and artificial lights exposure.

Why Is My String of Pearls Turning Black?

Improper watering and physical trauma are the reasons behind the string of pearls turning black. Inspect your favorite houseplant to identify the exact cause before adopting any fixing measures.

Why Is My String of Pearls Turning Dark Green?

A string of pearls turning dark green is due to low lighting, inappropriate watering, low humidity, bacterial infection, and other hidden stresses. Inspect the plant to identify the cause and fix it.

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Final Thoughts

Incorrect watering, sudden temperature changes, and improper lighting tend to trigger stress hormones that cause the string of pearls to turn purple.

The information in this article will help you identify other possible causes and their respective fixing solutions. The string of pearls problems is fixable without the need for seeking assistance.

Kindly share with us your experiences on succulent turning purple and dying in the comment section below. Besides that, feel free to share this information with other succulent plant enthusiasts.