Succulent Leaves or Stem Turning Purple

Are you wondering why the leaves or stem of your succulent are turning purple? Here is a possible list of causes for the damage:

  • Compact Soil
  • Cold Temperatures
  • Over-watering of Succulents
  • Under-watering of succulents

The leaves of the succulent can become purple due to build of a pigment called Anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are found in flowers, fruits, leaves, stems, and roots. Purple colour due to Anthocyanins is an indication of phosphorous deficiency in the plant.

Anthocyanins builds up when there is some sort of growth restriction happening to the succulent.

The common causes of growth restriction for the succulent can be soil compaction, cold temperatures, over-watering and under-watering of succulents.

Compact soil

If the soil used for succulents is compact, it restricts the root from growth, this can cause the stem or the leaves to turn purple.

Use succulent specific soil. It is loose and airy. It allows quick draining of water and space for roots to glow.

Cold Temperatures:

Cold Temperatures can cause succulents to go under stress. This stress can result in the the leaves or stem of the succulent turn purple.

Underwatering Succulents

Under watering succulent causes lack of moisture. In some succulent species, the leaves of the succulent start turning purple. Once they receive enough moisture, their leaver gain their original colour again.

Overwatering succulents

Overwatering can be a big issue for succulents. Overwatering succulent causes succulent to rot. In some succulents, the rotting damage is seen by the stem or leaves of the succulents turning purple.


When you have a purple coloration on your succulent, nail down the factor that is restricting the growth of the plant. Once you have found the reason, for growth restriction of the succulent, correct the issue. If the damage is huge, your succulent may be able to become normal again.