Why Is My String Of Dolphins Turning Purple?

The string of dolphins is a succulent plant that is widely grown as a houseplant. They have unique dolphin-shaped leaves which are green in color. However, sometimes, you may notice that the plant starts to lose its green color and turns purple. It essentially means that your plant is stressed.

Succulent plants like the string of dolphins produce anthocyanins, which is a bluish pigment when stressed. This pigment is a survival tactic and helps the plant cope up with the damage caused by factors such as UV radiation.

While the color change has no physical consequences for the plant, it signifies that the plant is under stress and needs your care and attention.

While it is easy to treat a purple string of dolphins, if the plant is left untreated for too long, there may be permanent damage to the plant. So, the sooner you take preventive measures, the better it is for your string of dolphins.

Hence, it is very important to understand the factors leading to the purple color and take the required measures to help nurture your favorite succulent back to its original health and color.

Why is my string of dolphins turning purple?

So, let us explore the factors which may cause stress to the string of dolphins and lead to the purple color of the plant –

  • Sunlight
  • Temperature


One of the primary reasons for the purplish color of your string of dolphins is excess exposure to direct sunlight.

Excessive sunlight causes UV radiation which leads to stress in the plant. The plant in turn produces a pigment called anthocyanin to combat the radiation.

Due to the purplish color of the pigment, the plant starts to look purple. If left untreated for too long, it may lead to serious problems like sunburn and drying in your string of dolphins.


The ideal solution is to shift your plant to a location with partial shade where it has access to abundant but indirect sunlight throughout the day. If your plant is growing indoors, place it near a south-facing window to ensure that its light requirements are met.


Another reason for the purplish color of the string of dolphins may be frequent and extreme fluctuations of temperature. The string of dolphins is only accustomed to average household temperatures so, if the temperature falls or soars excessively, there may be tissue damage in the plant. It leads to stress and eventually the purple color of the plant.


Avoid leaving your string of dolphins outdoors on days when there are chances of extreme temperature fluctuations.

It is best to shift the plant to a location where it has access to neither direct sunlight nor frost. If the plant is growing indoors, remove it from daft places such as open doors and windows. Ensure that the plant isn’t placed near a source of heat or cold, such as air conditioners or fireplaces.

Thus, these are the steps to help you nurture your string of dolphins back to their original color.

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