Echeverias are very low-maintenance plants just like any other succulents, but they should be taken care of appropriately. You must understand their needs and the signs they give and communicate with them.
Let’s get to know quickly Why do Echeveria turn purple?
When Echeveria is sun-stressed or has a sudden change in their surrounding temperature, they lose their color or turn purple. This happens when the plant releases the chemical named anthocyanin to protect itself from stress and turns purple.
When I was a beginner my first succulent was an Echeveria plant. This plant is one of the easiest plants to grow that needs very little care and attention. After taking care of Echeveria for a few weeks it started to lose its color and started to turn purple.
I was not aware of this, so I consulted a few expert gardeners and researched about it. They shared the best knowledge about it, by knowing this I was able to understand what was happening with my Echeveria.
The main reason for the Echeveria’s to turn purple is stress. When the plant is in any kind of stress that forces the plant to release anthocyanin to protect themselves from the burn and reduce photosynthesis when they are getting too much sun exposure. Now let’s get to know the reasons.
Top 8 Reasons Why Echeveria lose their color
Echeveria should be taken care of by having a great watering schedule and exposing them to the sun to avoid any type of stress. There are few of the gardeners who I know intentionally stress the succulents to get these beautiful colors. But as a beginner you must avoid this you might end up with a dead succulent.
Here are a few reasons why Echeverias turn purple.
1. Sun Stress
Just like every other succulent, Echeverias also love to be exposed to the direct sun. But the problem occurs when they are exposed too much to the direct sun as that damages the plant tissues and causes stress in the plant.
Back then, I exposed my Echeveria too much to the direct sun and that caused my plant to turn purple, whitish. This also made to lose their color and they start to appear pale. This is the sign of the sunburnt Echeveria. Immediately after knowing the reason I kept the plant in partial sunlight throughout the day.
The results were astounding, the Echeveria started to recover and gain the original color. Therefore, while growing them you must avoid too much sun. Make sure to place them at a place where the plant can get partial sun throughout the day.
2. Underwatering Echeveria
Echeverias can change their color due to underwatering, when they lack water their leaves may start curling, shriveling and the soil dries. This can make their appearance pale and purple.
If your plant has any of these symptoms then that can be due to a lack of water. Make sure to catch these signs and understand their watering needs.
For watering them, I prefer the soak and dry method. I find this method super useful, this method makes it very easy to understand the watering needs of the plants. You just need to water them when the soil is completely dry and repeat it before the next watering.
3. Inadequate light
When Echeverias do not get enough light while growing them, they start to stress and that causes the plant to lose its shape and color. Due to inadequate light echeverias may start to turn purple.
This can mainly happen when you are growing them indoors and during the winters. There are few regions where it is impossible to get any sunlight during winters, in such a scenario, you cannot keep them near windows for partial sun.
If you belong to such region then make sure to keep them under the lights, you can use grow lights if you can afford it or normal LED lights will also do the job. These lights will keep them warm and will avoid any stressing during the winters. You can buy the grow lights from Amazon or Etsy.
I am not an affiliate to any of these websites, just sharing my knowledge.
4. Sudden Change in temperature
Like every other succulent, echeverias also do not like any sudden change in their surrounding temperature, they start to stress and turn purple. Usually, this happens when you suddenly expose them to the bright sun right after the winters or you keep them outdoors during the frost.
This causes stress in the plant, when I was a beginner I used to keep my echeveria right in front of radiators during winter and in front of the air conditioner during summer and that causes stress in the plant. So you must avoid these mistakes, avoid any kind of sudden change in the surrounding temperature.
Also, right after the winters gradually introduce them to sun, firstly place them under the cloth shed for a few days then expose them to direct sun. This will avoid stressing and color change in the succulents.
5. Natural Process
Echeveria can turn naturally purple due to their biological process. This can also happen when there is a change in their growing season. Most of the succulents go dormant during the winters.
And right after the winter it’s their growing season, that could be the reason for the echeveria leaves to turn purple. Mostly you can notice the tips of the leaves purple during this period. That is considered as healthy and usually it is normal for the succulents.
6. Not Having Correct Soil
Having good soil is just like having a good home for succulents. You must have good quality fast-draining soil for the plant. This type of soil flushes away all the excess water from the pot and holds just enough water for the roots to absorb.
This avoids overwatering in the plant and root rot. Also, you must have pots that have drainage holes underneath to help them grow healthy.
I usually repot my succulents once in a while, the reason being, they grow big in size and it is important to change the potting soil every few months. Doing this will keep them healthy and will avoid stressing in the succulents.
7. Lack Of Nutrients
Echeveria needs nutrition like any other succulents, usually, they get the nutrients from the soil. But the soil is not capable of providing all the essential nutrients to the plants.
Therefore, you must provide them with all the extra nutrients that they need by fertilizing the succulents. Fertilizing the plant will help them grow healthy and beautiful, consider using organic fertilizers as the chemical ones can damage the plant.
I prefer fertilizing my echeveria once a month and during winters I avoid fertilizing them as they go dormant during this season. Fertilize them right before the winters as that will enhance their growth.
8. Fungal Infections
When you plant the Echeverias in a pot that has poor soil or drainage, that causes root rot and fungal infections. In such type of arrangement often plant suffers from overwatering and invites fungal infections.
I keep my plants in good soil and frequently look for infections. If you notice any change in the color of their leaves, take out the plant from the soil and look for any black blue roots, they are the infected roots.
Cut them carefully and replant the plant, also consider spraying fungicides on the plants. Spray the fungicides on the infected area till the fungus disappears.
How do you know if Echeveria is dying?
Echeverias mostly die when they are not taken care of properly. When you notice the shriveled and wrinkly leaves due to underwatering or soft, soggy leaves that are almost colorless due to overwatering the echeveria plant.
These are the early signs you must catch to know that they are dying. You must take appropriate actions as soon as possible to help them thrive.
How do you save a dying Echeveria?
When you notice any of these signs such as drooping, shriveled, or brown leaves that means the echeveria is dying. To save them you must dig the echeveria out of the pot and remove the soil. Then look for any black or brown roots and with the help of clean scissors cut those roots, as they have already rotten.
Once you have cut them leave the plant as it is for a day or two, till then roots heal and dry up. When the roots are completely dry plant them back in new soil. You can plant them in old soil too, but I prefer having fresh potting soil.
How do I know if my Echeveria is healthy?
When echeverias have fat, thick green leaves and appear fresh, is the easiest way to know that they are healthy. If they have any dry, shriveled, brown, or wilted leaves they need to be taken care of appropriately.
Echeverias are one of the easiest plants to grow and take care of. They need very little care and attention while growing. They are beginner-friendly succulents. When you take care of them correctly and give them little attention when they need it, they stay healthy.
Echeveria mostly changes their color whenever they have any kind of stress. The most common causes of stress are sun stress, temperature stress, and underwatering. This causes the plant to turn purple by releasing the chemical called anthocyanin to protect itself from it. Therefore, you must take care of them and avoid any stress in the plant.
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