Why is My Christmas Cactus Turning Purple? 6 Causes

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Are you questioning why your Christmas Cactus is popping purple? There are literally many the reason why vacation cacti (together with Christmas cacti and thanksgiving cacti) flip purple. The nice half is that it may be reversed in lots of instances, and isn’t all the time trigger for extreme alarm.


Maintain studying to study in regards to the 6 commonest the reason why you will have a purple Christmas cactus. 


In response to Michigan State College, purpling of leaves is because of the presence of pigments referred to as anthocyanins, and the quantity of those pigments is influenced by quite a lot of components.

These pigments serve to guard vegetation from extreme gentle, and may even enhance stress tolerance.

Listed here are 6 potential causes of your Christmas cactus leaves (that are technically modified stems) turning purple.


By far, one of the vital widespread motive that your Christmas cactus is popping purple is because of an excessive amount of daylight. It’s not essentially a foul factor, however your plant could also be signaling to you to cut back the quantity of sunshine. 

Christmas cacti are epiphytes in nature and develop on timber, in order that they usually will develop in “vibrant oblique gentle” or dappled/filtered solar in nature. Indoors, you probably have them in a window that will get direct solar all day lengthy, it’s probably that you’ll have purple leaves.

If in case you have a typically wholesome plant, should you scale back the sunshine, you’ll be able to have your plant flip inexperienced once more, however you don’t wish to scale back it an excessive amount of in any other case it could not bloom.

A location proper in entrance of an Jap or Western-facing window can be nice. Even home windows that don’t have any direct solar would work, however be sure that it’s instantly in entrance of it.

Within the winter months, should you reside in an space with quick, darkish days, it’s arduous to overdo gentle ranges. You might be extra vulnerable to see your vacation cactus flip purple in the summertime months when gentle is extra plentiful. 

It is a Thanksgiving cactus (intently associated to the Christmas cactus) that turned purple attributable to excessive gentle and potential phosphorus deficiency.


Cooler temperatures can improve anthocyanin focus in addition to restrict phosphorus uptake, each of which trigger purple leaves. If cool temperatures are mixed with very excessive gentle as properly, it may well produce very purple vegetation!

Each Christmas cactus and Thanksgiving cactus belong to the Schlumbergera genus. The genus incorporates 7 species they usually’re all native to Brazil and develop within the jungle.

As you’ll be able to think about, they don’t actually like chilly temperatures, so intention to have minimal temperatures no decrease than about 55°F or so for finest flowering and progress.

In truth, a drop in temperature at evening can encourage your Christmas cactus to bloom

Excessive temperatures can really lower anthocyanin concentrations.

A really perfect temperature vary for rising Christmas cactus is roughly 60-85°F. 


An absence of vitamins, significantly phosphorus, may cause purple leaves. Phosphorus deficiencies may result from quite a lot of issues together with:

  • Not fertilizing in any respect. In case you are frequently utilizing a general-purpose indoor fertilizer, you’re supplying all the required vitamins to your plant and you may normally safely get rid of this trigger. 
  • Soil pH straight influences the supply of phosphorus to your plant. Even if you’re fertilizing and supplying phosphorus, if the pH of your soil is simply too low (too acidic) or too excessive (too fundamental), it should change into unavailable to your plant. Usually, pH points aren’t terribly widespread with indoor vegetation, however it’s a consideration. Typically, soil pH ranges of 6-7 or so work properly for many vegetation. 


In case your Christmas cactus is severely root certain, it may well change into very tough to your plant to uptake sufficient water because of the roots being so crowded.

And in case your plant’s means to uptake water is restricted, it may well additionally restrict your plant’s uptake of phosphorus (even should you’re fertilizing).

Though your Christmas cactus plant doesn’t want massive pots attributable to its smaller root techniques, it should ultimately outgrow its small pot and would profit from repotting. 


There’s a normal worry of “overwatering“. So many individuals are scared to water correctly that they really find yourself dehydrating their vegetation from lack of water by including only a “little bit” of water.  

Failing to water totally will trigger the foundation system to dry up and die.

Not moistening the entire soil correctly will trigger dry pockets of soil, and ultimately, the roots in these areas will die. And in case your root system is broken sufficient, it could restrict your plant’s uptake of phosphorus and change into poor and begin to flip purple. 

And please keep away from utilizing moisture meters as a lot of them are fault and can learn “moist” when the truth is your soil is bone dry!


If in case you have soil that’s excessively moist on a regular basis for no matter motive (poor drainage in your soil combine, no drainage holes, or perhaps you will have an “overwatered” Christmas cactus), this will result in root rot. 

And in case your plant has a broken root system attributable to root rot, this can restrict its uptake of water (mockingly), and thus will even restrict the replace of phosphorus, inflicting purple coloration in your plant. 

Even should you do have good drainage, all the time test any saucers on the backside of the pot to make it possible for your plant isn’t sitting in water. At all times discard extra water. Though these vegetation reside within the jungle, they’re true cacti identical to their desert cacti cousins, they usually require good drainage. 

At all times be sure to present your Christmas cactus with glorious drainage for his or her root well being. Make certain to not miss my publish on finest soil for Christmas cactus. A superb potting combine is essential within the well being of those tropical vegetation. 

I hope you’ve loved this publish on why Christmas cacti flip purple. Has your plant ever turned purple? Remark under. I’d love to listen to!

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