The string of pearls is a plant that produces green pea-like leaves. But when you observe your String of pearls is turning purple. This indicates that your plant is under stress. If you don’t do anything it will die soon.

Many factors such as high-intensity light, overwatering, overfeeding, and temperature changes directly impact the color of leaves.

In this post I’ll explain:

Why do plants change their leaf color?

Why your String of pearl is turning purple?

What you can do for fixing it?

Let’s start the journey

Why String of pearl changes its color?

The String of pearl or any other plant only changes its leaf color when it goes under stress. The String of pearls produces a stress hormone called anthocyanin. It changes the color of its leaves and gives them blue or purple color.

There are many factors that contribute to increasing plant stress.

Like water-related stress, environmental stress, cold drafts, sudden temperature changes, root damage, over-fertilization, lack of air circulation, poor drainage, etc.

But because it is a strong plant only a few of them can affect its health. All the main causes are discussed below with the solutions.

Root Damage

Plant roots transport water and nutrients to all parts of it. But when they get damaged, this cuts the supply of water and nutrients. This gives stress to your plant due to lack of essential things your String of pearls starts turning purple.

Root rot is the main disease that affects root health. It is triggered by extra moisture in the potting soil. Those who flood their plant with water face this problem.

Inspect your plant if the stems are soft and mushy this is a sure sign of root damage.

Immediately follow the below solution and save your plant. While buying a blue or purple String of Pearls do not forget to check the roots.


Take sharp shears and cut the infected parts of the plants (leaves and stems)

Then take it out of its pot

Remove soil from the roots and cut the damaged parts

Then put it on the newspaper to dry and apply a fungicide.

After 5 minutes, repot it in the new potting soil.

Direct Sunlight

The String of Pearls does not need direct sunlight. But when they get exposed to direct sun rays. The high intense rays burn its leaves. To heal itself the plant release stress hormone that gives it a purple hue.

Place your plant where it can only get indirect but bright light. It can be near any sunny window. The good news is you can also use grow light to grow this plant.

Note: Signs of overlight exposure are Scorched and burned leaves.


To maintain its health, you must keep it away from direct sunlight. Do not place it close to the window glass. This will also increase the chances of sunburn.

I placed my string of pearls 2 feet away from our sunny window.

Poor drainage

The String of pearls needs a plant pot with good drainage to drain extra water from the pot. I prefer using terracotta pots. Because they are made from a porous material. These pots have tiny holes that increase the aeration and speed up the draining.

In the absence of a draining hole, the water does not find a path to go out of the pot. This makes the soil wet and turns the String of Pearls purple.


At first, you should choose the terracotta pot with a draining hole at the base. Small pots have one hole whereas medium to large pots has multiple holes.

The second thing you need to keep in mind is a selection of potting soil. Use soil that has brilliantly well-draining properties. I use a cactus and succulent potting mix. This formula works for all succulent plants.

If possible, add some organic material to the mixture like compost or a similar one. This will increase the fertility of the mix and supply essential nutrients to your plant.

Potting soil mixed with organic material takes a long time to go out of nutrients.

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A string of Pearls needs a little bit of fertilizer to keep it healthy. Overfertilization put negative effects on its roots. The roots get burned and your plant turns purple and, in some cases, brown.

Overfertilization signs are:

Brunt leaves

Burnt stems

Stunted growth

Yellow leaves and stems


Do not fertilize your plant in the winter season. Fertilize only in spring and summer (once in 30 days). Use succulent liquid fertilizer or use general-purpose liquid fertilizer.

Dilute it with water to reduce its potency and then pour into the base of the plant.

In case of overfertilization take the plant out of its pot and flush the soil with clean water.

Temperature change

Our general home temperature is good for growing a String of pearls. This plant cannot handle too hot or too cold temperatures. Even if you expose it to cold winds this will result in the discoloration of the string of pearls.

Too cold a temperature freezes the glucose in the stems and leaves of the plant. This way your plant does not get its food and turns purple. Cold temperature also inhibits the photosynthesis process.


Keep the room temperature between 65 to 85 degrees F and your plant will stay healthy. Do not put your plant outside in the winter season.

Do not expose it to hot or cold winds.

Place it away from the flow of direct hot air on winter days. Because the hot air will dry the soil in a few minutes.

Whereas cold air freezes the sap of the plant and first your plant turns purple and then dies in a few days.

Pest infestation

There are many pests that turn the string of pearls to purple color. Actually, these pests suck the sap of the plant and destroy its natural defense mechanism.

They make a tiny holes in the leaves and lay their eggs. Their larvae eat the internal tissues of the leaves. This damage to the leaves makes the string of pearls turn purple.

Aphids, mealybugs, and Scales are a few common houseplant pests.


Firstly, try to prevent pest infestation. For that, you need to daily inspect your plant stems and leaves. keep the plant pot and surroundings clean and hygienic.

Do not place your plant in a too humid environment this will increase the chances of bacterial infections.

Separate the infected plant immediately.

Use neem oil spray to prevent all possible pest and fungal infections.


Less watering turns String of Pearls leaves purple. The lack of water stops the production of chlorophyll. It is the substance that is necessary for photosynthesis and also gives color to the leaves.

Due to the lack of moisture, the leaves first turn purple then black, and at last, they fall off. To prevent this condition, you must know the correct watering technique.

Which is to check the condition of the soil before watering your plant. Succulents need less water and once half of the soil gets dry then water your succulents.


In the case of underwatering, you will see cracks on the potting soil and a few yellow leaves. Immediately take the plant to the sink and water it deeply.

When the water is coming out from the bottom hole stop watering. Leave it there for 30 minutes to drain extra water.

Then place it back in its place and give it regular care. Your plant will gain its health back in a few days.


Stress hormones triggered by temperature changes, low or too much light, and incorrect watering turn a String of Pearls leaves purple.

Pest infestation is another common reason for this problem.

To prevent all these issues, follow the correct caring guide and use neem oil spray twice in 15 days.


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