You’ve been caring for your beloved Jade plant for a while, and recently you noticed something strange: its leaves had started to turn red!
You know this isn’t normal behavior for your Jade plant, so you start to wonder, why is my Jade plant turning red?
It could be that your Jade plant is unable to fight one or more environmental and care hazards that threaten its health.
In this article, we’ll discuss in detail the many internal and external factors that can cause a Jade plant’s leaves to turn red.
We’ll also provide a few tips on how you can ensure your plant stays healthy and vibrant. So, if you want to learn more about why your Jade plant is turning red, read on!
Seeing your succulent plant turning red can be a concerning sight. In most cases, it indicates a problem with the health or care of the plant.
Here are some symptoms to look out for:
- Yellow Leaves: If you notice leaves around the red areas turning yellow, this can signify that the plant is stressed and struggling.
- Dying Leaves: This can be caused by a lack of water or some roots having trouble absorbing water.
- Slow Growth: If your Jade plant seems not to grow as it used to, this could indicate an imbalance in its environment.
- Dwarfish Growth: When your plant’s new growth is smaller than it should be, this could mean that something is off in its environment.
- Brown Tips: The tips of leaves and stems turning brown could indicate too much fertilizer or burn from direct sunlight.
Sometimes it’s not only the leaves of a Jade plant that turn red; the color can spread throughout its entire stem. There are several reasons why a Jade plant might turn red, and understanding these causes is essential for effective prevention or treatment.
Sunlight or Sunburn
The most common cause of a Jade plant turning red is strong sunlight and sunburn.
It’s important to remember that, as a succulent native to southern Africa, Jade plants do best in bright but indirect sunlight.
Keeping your plant in direct sunlight for extended periods can cause the leaves to turn red from sunburn.
Increased Fertilizer or Water
Too much fertilizer or water can also be a main cause for your Jade plant turning red.
Jade plants require small amounts of fertilizer and can be easily filled with fertilizer if you add too much of it to the soil.
Similarly, overwatering your Jade plant will make it susceptible to root rot and may result in red stems and leaves.
Poor Drainage or Inadequate Soil
Your Jade plant can turn red because of poor drainage and insufficient potting soil. This can be caused by nutrient deficiencies and fungal growth caused by soil that holds too much moisture near the roots.
To ensure the healthiest environment for your plant, use potting soil that’s specifically created for succulents. You should ensure proper drainage for water, and keep planting containers small enough so they don’t become soaked when watered.
Your Jade plant may be turning red due to nutrient deficiencies. Too little or too much of the four essential nutrients for plants can cause such behavior.
These nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
If your Jade plant has a nitrogen deficiency, you may notice red patches on the leaves.
Nitrogen supports healthy leaf growth. So, when there isn’t enough, it can reduce the chlorophyll in the leaves, causing them to become pale or yellow with red tips or edges.
A phosphorus deficiency may cause your Jade plant’s leaves to turn purple and its stems to turn red. It may also make it difficult for the plant to absorb other minerals like iron, which can further cause leaf discoloration.
Not enough potassium in your soil can cause your plant’s leaves to turn yellow with reddish tips. Also, you may start seeing spots on the leaves that look rusty in color.
As a result of this deficiency, your plant will be unable to grow correctly, and any new growth will be small and weak.
Magnesium deficiency’s symptoms are similar to those of nitrogen deficiency; pale or yellow near the leaves’ center with reddish edges.
However, suppose you’re unsure what kind of deficiency is causing your Jade plant’s discoloration. In that case, it’s best to consult a professional for advice or get a soil test done.
Extreme exposure to sunlight causes a Jade plant to turn red because the sun’s rays can cause too much stress on your Jade plant. This stress can lead to a defense response in plants called “photomorphogenesis.”
Photomorphogenesis is when plants develop dark pigments and grow thicker cell walls as defense mechanisms.
In the case of Jade plants, these dark pigments are what cause the reddish color. Additionally, excessive exposure to solar radiation will prevent photosynthesis.
Without enough photosynthesis, a Jade plant will start losing its green color. It may turn dull or brownish due to a lack of chlorophyll production and leaves or branches dying.
With proper care, you should have no problem keeping your Jade plant healthy and free from any sign of red leaves.
If you’re still wondering why your Jade plant is turning red and want to prevent future cases, there are steps you can follow:
Jade leaves need just enough water for their soil to stay moist but only slightly to oversaturate it. Watering once a week should be enough.
Make sure that the drainage holes in the pot are not blocked by debris or potting mix, and keep an eye out for signs of overwatering, like soggy soil or yellow leaves.
Jade plants love lots of sunlight, but they prefer it to be indirect.
If the sun is too intense, you must make sure that your plant doesn’t get too hot and dry under direct sunlight or get exposed to temperatures above 80℉.
Fertilizer isn’t necessary for Jades, but if you want to give it some fertilizer, be careful not to overdo it because too much nitrogen might lead to red Jade plant leaves.
Stick with a balanced formula of fertilizer every 2 months during their growing season, spring and summer.
Try replanting your Jade into a well-draining potting mix such as cactus mixed with light compost or garden soil.
Keeping them in these types of soils will help give air to the roots and reduce susceptibility to root rot caused by soggy soil.
The situation where your Jade plant turns red can be caused by too much sun, too little water, or over-fertilization.
It’s essential to identify the cause of the problem and take the necessary steps to ensure your Jade is healthy and thriving.
With the proper diagnosis and care, you can restore your Jade plant’s health and beauty so it can live a long life.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.