How Do You Treat Purple String of Pearls?

String of Pearls is found in Africa. They naturally create dense mats on the ground, vining and rooting anywhere. However, indoors, they make excellent hanging plants. They can also make beautiful decor in taller pots by flowing out of the pots and down toward the ground. 

Most of the time, String of Pearls have bright green stems and pearls with fluffy little white flowers. Occasionally, though, your String of Pearls will start to turn a purple or darker color. While some people do this on purpose, not everyone does. 

The purple coloring is usually because of environmental stressors such as the wrong amount of heat, light, water, or fertilizer. To treat your purple String of Pearls, you must identify the problem as too much or too little sunlight, over or underwatering, incorrect soil mix or extreme temperatures.

Once you figure out what is wrong, you just have to fix it. This is usually easy, involving something like waiting between waterings or moving your plant to a different area of the house. 

Why Is My String of Pearls Going Purple?

Many succulents tend to go purple when exposed to environmental stressors. This is due to a pigment known as anthocyanin, which is found in these plants. String of Pearls is one such succulent that turns purple when exposed to environmental stress. 

For purple String of Pearls, the most common reason they turn purple is too much or too little sunlight. However, they may also get the wrong amount of water, have soil that doesn’t work for them, or even be exposed to temperatures that they don’t like. It can even be due to a combination of these issues. 

The purple can be reasonably pretty. Some people even purposefully stress their succulents to get this gorgeous color. But, if you aren’t doing it on purpose, it is important to figure out what is causing the issue to keep your plant healthy. Too much stress can severely harm a plant. 

Purple String of Pearls Overwatered vs. Underwatered?

While overwatering more often leads to a purple color than underwatering, underwatering can still lead to purple coloring. This is why it is important to understand the other differences between overwatering and underwatering. 

Often, an overwatered String of Pearls will be enlarged and mushy. Since succulents hold water in their cells to keep their rigidity, getting too much water can cause them to absorb so much water that the cells burst. Then, the cells become mushy and weak. 

On the other hand, when String of Pearls is underwatered, they tend to become small and shriveled up. 

How Often Should You Water String of Pearls?

Watering plant
Since String of Pearls are succulents, they don’t need a lot of water. Usually, you can water your succulents about once every two weeks. Like with most other plants, you want to check the soil to get the specific day they need watering. 

You check the soil by sticking your finger or another item about one inch (2.5 cm) into the soil. If the soil is dry, then it is time to water again. As you get more experienced, you can feel the soil to determine its moisture. 

However, a good guideline is still about once every two weeks. If you aren’t sure that a succulent is dry enough, it is better to wait than overwater them, as they can bounce back easily from underwatering. 

Should You Bottom Water String of Pearls?

If your succulent isn’t in a lot of sun, then watering the foliage of the String of Pearls isn’t a good idea. That’s why most people recommend bottom-watering them. It’s also easy to ensure your plant gets plenty of water. 

All you have to do to bottom water your String of Pearls is to place the pot in water, which is about 25% covered. Then you let it sit in the water for about five to fifteen minutes or whenever the soil at the top is thoroughly moist

While some people have found they can top water String of Pearls without a problem, it can potentially harm your plants, as it can damage the pearls. For this reason, many recommend just bottom watering to prevent any issues. 

How Much Light Does a String Of Pearls Need?

String of Pearls likes to have a lot of bright but indirect light. They can usually handle about six to eight hours of light a day. Usually, a window with southern to eastern exposure is best. If you want, they can have more direct sun in the early morning and indirect sun in the afternoon and evening. 

String of Pearls can grow in low light conditions, but they don’t tend to flower unless they get plenty of light throughout the day. 

If your plant is getting too much sunlight, it will turn purple, shrivel up, and dry. Sometimes, it may get burned and turn brown when it gets too much sunlight. 

Too little sunlight can also lead to purple colors and shriveling of the plant. 

How Do You Bring a String of Pearls Back to Life?

It is important to figure out what is wrong to bring a String of Pearls back to life. If you can’t identify what may be causing your String of Pearls to turn purple, then you can’t fix what is wrong. 

For the most part, succulents turning purple is an easy fix, such as moving them from an overly bright area to a slightly less sunny place. 

Why Is My String of Pearls Dead on Top?

String of pearls turning brown
One of the most common reasons to have a String of Pearls that is simply dead on top is insufficient light. Though String of Pearls doesn’t need a lot of sunlight on their plant, they do need some. If your plant isn’t getting enough light, it may turn purple, and the top of the plant, or where there isn’t enough light, may start to die. 

Why Do String of Pearls Turn Dark?

If a String of Pearls is turning dark, likely, they are still just turning purple because of an environmental stressor. Depending on the plant, they may turn into a light green-purple or a dark color that looks almost brown or gray but is just a dark purple-green. 

If the color is a dark brown, it is likely due to root rot. Root rot occurs when a plant gets too much water. It invites fungi into the soil. This fungus can easily kill a plant, so it is important to repot your plant quickly after you detect signs of rot and use a fungicide. This prevents the fungus from getting worse and also stops the spores from spreading to other plants you may have nearby. 

How Long Do String of Pearls Live?

String of Pearls doesn’t live long. While they are perennial plants, meaning they live for more than one year, they don’t live for decades like some other plants. Usually, they can live anywhere from about three to five years. After that, the plant will grow slowly and die back. 

Thankfully, it is relatively easy to propagate a String of Pearls, so all you have to do is propagate the plant before it dies off, and you can have an unlimited amount of String of Pearls, despite their short lives. 


While some people purposefully get that rich purple color on their String of Pearls, for the most part, it is an accident. Since these plants turn purple due to environmental stressors, it is usually a sign that something is wrong with their habitat. 

To treat String of Pearls and stop them from turning purple, the first step is to figure out what is wrong. Sunlight and water are the most common problems, but other issues like incorrect soil mix and extreme temperatures can also cause this discoloration. 

Though they can handle hot and dry conditions, too much direct sunlight can cause them to burn and become stressed. Additionally, overwatering is a common issue with succulents, as they only need about one watering every fourteen days. Once you identify the problem, it’s an easy fix and your String of Pearls will be healthy again!