Purple Thanksgiving Cactus: 6 Potential Causes

Ever caught your favorite holiday cactus pulling a quick color switch, going all purple Thanksgiving cactus?

purple thanksgiving cactus

Well, buckle up because in this read, we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of why this festive buddy is rocking a purple vibe.

Stick around for the lowdown on what’s behind the makeover and some handy tips to keep it in the holiday spirit.

Purple Thanksgiving Cactus: Is It Stressed?

Plants may not be able to talk, but they have their unique ways of communicating with us.

When a Thanksgiving cactus is stressed, it shows some telltale signs.

One of these signs is the emergence of thread-like aerial roots between the stem segments.

Additionally, the stem segments themselves may change from their vibrant green color to shades of purple, red, or even pink.

purple thanksgiving cactus

The emergence of purple discolorations on your Thanksgiving cactus can be attributed to a variety of environmental stressors.

This includes exposure to intense light, suboptimal moisture levels, nutrient deficiencies, and significant temperature fluctuations.

In this article, we will delve into a detailed examination of each stressor and provide recommendations on mitigating their impact to maintain the optimal health and vibrancy of your Thanksgiving cactus.

Purple Thanksgiving Cactus: 6 Reasons Why

1. Bright Light

Too much direct sunlight is a key player in turning your Thanksgiving cactus purple.

These plants dig the shady vibes, originally hanging out under rainforest canopies.

When they get more sunlight than they bargained for, they whip up a batch of protective anthocyanins, giving them that cool purple hue.

To prevent your Thanksgiving cactus from turning purple due to bright light, make sure to place it in a location with indirect or filtered sunlight, preferably facing north or west.

purple thanksgiving cactus

2. Inappropriate Moisture

Watering is another crucial factor when it comes to the health of your Thanksgiving cactus.

Both underwatering and overwatering can lead to stress-induced color changes.

3. Underwatering

If your plant is not receiving enough water, it may turn purple and eventually dry out.

Water is essential for photosynthesis, and a lack of moisture inhibits this process.

To provide adequate humidity and moisten the air, place a shallow pan of water in front of a heat register or use gravel trays.

You can also group your houseplants together or mist them occasionally.

4. Overwatering

purple thanksgiving cactus

On the other hand, overwatering can cause your Thanksgiving cactus to turn yellow or even purple.

Too much water can lead to root rot and deprive the plant of necessary oxygen.

To prevent overwatering, ensure your pot has good drainage and water only when the top one to two inches of the potting medium feel dry.

If you’ve overwatered your plant, you may need to dig it up, rinse the roots, and repot it in lightly moistened medium.

5. Nutrient Deficiency

A deficiency in essential macronutrients like magnesium, nitrogen, and phosphorus can also cause your Thanksgiving cactus to turn purple.

This problem often arises due to poor-quality potting medium, nutritionally depleted soil, or root damage.

To address nutrient deficiencies, use a high-quality potting medium and repot your Thanksgiving cactus as needed.

Additionally, you can try applying a highly diluted Epsom salts solution or a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer specifically designed for houseplants.

purple thanksgiving cactus

6. Temperature Extremes

Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can induce discoloration in your Thanksgiving cactus.

Excessive heat from direct sunlight or freezing temperatures can trigger a protective response in the plant, resulting in purple leaves.

Aim for a room temperature sweet spot between 70 to 80°F; it’s like a spa day for your plant.

Now, during its beauty sleep (aka dormancy for blooming), give it a little chill time at 50 to 55°F for six to eight weeks – a winter vacation for your festive buddy.

Final Thoughts

Trace these five easily detectable culprits, fix it, and your Thanksgiving cactus will reward you with that gorgeous green vibe all year round.

It’s like giving your plant the VIP treatment – just listen to its cues and tweak its digs accordingly. Happy cactus parenting!