Why is my jade plant turning red!? This is a very common question, and one I get asked about a lot. In this post, I will tell you all the reasons for the color change, and give you tips to troubleshoot and fix any possible problems.
Jade plants are popular because they’re easy to care for, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
But if you’ve ever had one that turned red instead of green, you might be worried or confused by this color change.
In this guide, I’ll tell you all of the reasons why a jade plant turns red. That way, you can do some troubleshooting to figure out what’s causing it, and decide wether you should be concerned or not.
So, keep reading to find out what might cause your normally green jade plant to turn red.
Table of Contents
Why Is My Jade Plant Turning Red?
There are a few reasons why your jade plant is turning red. These causes range from being absolutely normal, to being a symptom of other problems.
The most common reason is light. Almost all types of jades will get red tips and margins when they receive plenty of light.
But the color change can be caused by temperature, improper watering, fertilizer, or the soil.
Before we jump into the details of all of the possible stressors, it’s important to understand that some varieties are naturally more red than others.
Red Jade Plant Varieties
A red jade plant is not always a cause for concern! In fact, it’s usually a desirable trait that many people adore.
Some varieties naturally have red leaves or margins, and other vibrant colors, which is part of their charm.
Below are a few of the most common cultivars. Keep in mind that the colors will be the more vibrant in full sun.
- Sunset Jade – Naturally bright yellow leaves with pink or red margins.
- Crosby’s Compact – Older leaves are green or yellowish with red tips, while the new ones are completely bright red.
- Tricolor – Variegated pink, white, and green leaves that can take on a brilliant reddish hue.
- Gollum (aka: Hobbit) – The long, skinny, finger-like leaves have bright red edges on top.
- California Red Tip – This cultivar has large, thick dark green leaves with red tips.
Is It Bad If Jades Turns Red?
Most of the time it is not bad for a jade to turn red. However, as I mentioned above, it can be an indication that something is wrong.
If yours suddenly changed colors, there are some things that could be going on with your plant. Here are the most common reasons for concern…
Related Post: How To Propagate Jade Plant Cuttings
Jade Plant Leaves Turning Red And Soft
If the red leaves are also soft or wrinkly, it’s most likely caused by lack of water. They will often darken and turn burgundy or almost purple when they are severely dehydrated.
Give it a deep drink and the leaves should plump back up within a few days. If you’ve been watering regularly, check the stem for rot.
Related Post: How To Properly Water A Jade Plant
Red Spots On Jade Plant Leaves
When there are small red dots or spots on the leaves, that is often a sign of a pest infestation.
Check them closely for signs of bugs, and treat an infestation immediately before it can spread.
Leaves Turn Dark Red And Then Brown
When jade leaves turn dark red and then brown, it is most likely sunburn. This is very common when you move an indoor plant outside, or one that’s in the shade to full sun.
It needs time to adjust to the intense rays. So move the plant to a shady location, and give it several weeks to adjust to the full sun.
Blistering, Cracking, Or Dried Spots On The Leaves
If the red leaves are blistering, cracking, or have brown spots on them, then it is almost certainly caused by sunburn.
Move it to the shade, and slowly acclimate it back to the full sun over the course of several weeks to prevent further scorching.
Related Post: How To Prune A Jade Plant
Red Leaves Dropping Off The Plant
It’s common for jades to drop dried or otherwise damaged leaves, and it can go hand in hand with the other problems listed above.
But when it starts dropping plump red leaves, it’s usually caused by overwatering. Make sure the soil dries completely before watering it again.
I also recommend using a soil moisture gauge to help you maintain the perfect amount.
Related Post: How To Choose The Best Jade Plant Soil
How To Make A Jade Plant Red
If you want to make your jade plant turn red, then all you need to do is give it more sunlight.
This sounds easy, and it is if you have them outside. But it’s very rare for them to naturally turn red indoors.
So if yours is inside, put it in an unobstructed south facing window. If that’s not enough, get a grow light and keep it on for 12-14 hours every day.
How To Make A Jade Plant Greener
If you want to make your jade plant greener, then simply move it to a shady spot. Just make sure it’s not too dark, or they will start to stretch, and become weak and etiolated.
You can also feed them during the spring and summer with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to make them even greener.
A red jade plant isn’t always a bad thing, and the bright hues can be very desirable. Monitor it for signs of stress, and follow my tips above to bring it back to health (if necessary!).
If you want to learn all there is to know about maintaining healthy indoor plants, then you need my Houseplant Care eBook. It will show you everything you need to know about how to keep every plant in your home thriving. Download your copy now!
More About Houseplant Care
- Growing Plants Indoors – The Ultimate Guide
- How To Rebloom Your Amaryllis Plants
- Why Do Cyclamen Leaves Turn Yellow & How To Fix It
- Why Does My Wandering Jew Have Brown Leaves & How To Fix It
Share your tips or experiences about your jade plant turning red.