Why Is My Thanksgiving Cactus Leaves Turning Purple? Find Out!

Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera) require little upkeep and can survive without much care. This does not, however, imply that you should neglect your houseplant. There are several possible explanations that could be the issue if you’ve observed that your Thanksgiving cactus is wilting and becoming purple. This article aims to walk you through the most frequent causes of “why is my Thanksgiving cactus turning purple?” and will provide you with additional advice on caring for Thanksgiving cactus.

Why Is My Thanksgiving Cactus Leaves Turning Purple? 

Let’s start with the primary cause of your Thanksgiving cactus’ purple coloration and drooping foliage.

1. Nutrition

The nutritional needs of the plant are the primary factor causing Thanksgiving cactus leaves to turn purple. No matter the variety, cacti require fertilizer. While in bloom, Thanksgiving cacti don’t require fertilization, but from April to October, you should treat them every 2 to 4 weeks using an all-purpose indoor fertilizer.

Considering that Thanksgiving cacti require more magnesium per gallon than most other houseplants, adding a teaspoon of Epsom salts to one gallon of water should be done as a supplementary feeding method. Ensure you fertilize normally once a month in addition to this, although on another week. Thanksgiving cactus should be fed only once a month until the beginning of October.

Many gardeners prefer to make their own fertilizer from scratch rather than buying something from the store. Coffee grinds applied on Thanksgiving cactus are a fantastic substitute. This is due to coffee’s significant magnesium and potassium content.

2. Crowded Roots

If you’ve been fertilizing your Thanksgiving cactus appropriately and it doesn’t have any nutritional concerns, then congested roots could be the source of its purple and fading leaves. As a result, it may not be receiving all of the nutrients you’re feeding it in the form of food.

Because Thanksgiving cacti prefer to stay in a packed pot for at least three or four years, if their leaves turn purple, it is because they are overcrowded. Your Thanksgiving cactus leaves becoming purple are probably due to diet or environment if you haven’t repotted them in the past three years.

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Thanksgiving cactus should only be repotted in the spring if you chose to do so. You can only use a pot that is one size larger, and while repotting, you should add new soil for improved nutrition. In addition, you should avoid repotting your Thanksgiving cactus while it is actively blooming, since this can do irreparable harm to your plant.

3. Far too much direct sunlight

Revealing your Schlumbergera to too much sunlight is a very typical cause of purpling, especially in the summers. Schlumbergera, like the majority of houseplants, prefer the shade and protection of the forest floor.

Therefore, it is better to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, especially during noon. Your plant should ideally be in indirect, dazzling, moderate, or filtered light, similar to that found behind a flimsy curtain. Simply moving the plant to a somewhat less bright location will solve this particular problem.

4. Location

Now that you’ve recently repotted your plant, you’re sure you’ve been providing it with all the nutrients it requires. You may be wondering why your Thanksgiving cactus has turned purple because of this. And that is where you are.

Your plant needs bright light to grow in the fall and winter. Your Thanksgiving cactus’ leaves will turn purple if they are exposed to too much direct sunshine throughout the summer months. Most succulents and cactus will actually get sunburned in the summer from excessive quantities of direct sunshine, and your Thanksgiving cactus may even start to lose its leaves.

A north-facing window is the best location for Thanksgiving Cacti indoors. Your plant must be kept in a dark environment for about 12 hours each day beginning in September in order to bloom. Installing this light in a room that isn’t utilized at night would be preferable, as artificial light has its own set of downsides.

5. Temperature

Similar to how it might affect people, temperature changes can turn a Thanksgiving cactus purple. The plant should ideally be kept between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night and between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. It’s also best to keep the plant out of drafts and out of the direct path of heaters and air conditioners.

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Should I Water the Top or Bottom of a Cactus?

Are you confused about the right way to water your Thanksgiving Cactus? Have you been wondering if you should water the top or bottom of your cactus?

Use the bottom-watering method preferred by seasoned cactus producers. Cactus plants should be watered weekly during hot weather, or anytime the pot seems light, by placing them in a shallow saucer filled with approximately half an inch of water and letting them soak for about half an hour.

What Should I Do to Make My Thanksgiving Cactus Bloom?

To be exact, Thanksgiving cacti bloom each year around the time of that holiday’s observance. While some growers appreciate the Thanksgiving cactus’ foliage, the majority of growers do so for the plants’ gorgeous, profusion-bearing blooms, which can be various colors of red, orange, pink, white, and yellow. Normal blooming season runs from November to March.

The Thanksgiving cactus may require a little assistance to bloom annually when cultivated indoors. The upshot of several weeks of shorter, cooler days is flowering. This can be accomplished by either putting your Thanksgiving cactus outside in the early fall to introduce it to colder temps or by creating these circumstances indoors in advance. 

Repotting your cactus should always be done in the spring since Thanksgiving cactus that are a bit pot-bound seem to bloom more freely. The flowering season can be extended and more blooms can be produced by deadheading spent blossoms.

How Can I Maintain My Cactus?

Are you trying to grow your cactus? Are you wondering how to maintain your thanksgiving cactus?

Water should only be applied if the top third of your soil starts feeling dry to the touch every two to three weeks. Whenever the top two inches of soil feel dry when you touch them, water the plant.

Once the soil has dried out enough, soak it until water begins to flow from the drainage holes in the pot. Placing a tray beneath the pot will help capture the water. After 10 to 15 minutes, discard any extra water in the tray to prevent the pot from becoming submerged in water. It’s crucial to give the plant plenty of water while it’s in bloom.

Plants should be pruned in the late spring to encourage branching and more blossoms. Simply cutting off a portion of each stem will cause it to branch.

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After some weeks, you can quickly plant the cut pieces in slightly damp potting soil to create wonderful gifts for your friends, family, or noteworthy individuals.

Feed your houseplants every two weeks during the spring and early fall months using a balanced fertilizer. Feeding the cactus once a month in the fall and winter will help it bloom better.

What’s the Difference Between Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas Cactus?

These three well-liked holiday cactus differ from one another primarily in two ways. 

The first difference is their leaves’ shape. Thanksgiving cactus features sharp-toothed leaves, Christmas features scalloped or teardrop-shaped leaves, and Easter features rounder leaves.

The second distinction is the timing of the cactus’s bloom, as shown by their common names. Typically, the Thanksgiving cactus will be blooming in late autumn, whereas the Christmas cactus will be blooming during the early to late winter and the Easter cactus starts blooming in early spring.

Can I Grow Thanksgiving Cactus Plants Indoors or Outdoors?

These plants can be used both inside and outside depending on the climate in which they’ll be planted. 

In areas where the winters are extremely cold, they are frequently kept as indoor plants. For spring and summer, they could be relocated outside if temperatures are over 50°F at night. Gardens in zones 9 through 11 can remain outside all year.

Best Fertilizer For Cactus

1. EarthPods Premium Bio Organic Cactus & Succulent Plant Food

If you have indoor or outdoor plants, pots or hanging baskets, you could utilize EarthPods Organic cactus & succulent fertilizer capsules with satisfaction. As a normal feeding schedule, I recommend using EarthPods every two to three weeks.

EarthPods plant feeding capsules are simple to insert completely into the soil close to your plants’ stems. Simply hydrate your plants after that! Nutrients are delivered directly to the roots of plants by breaking down and slowly releasing from EarthPods. EarthPods plant-based food capsules should be kept in a secure, dry location at a cool ambient temperature because humidity can hasten the degradation of some products. EarthPods are solely for garden usage to nourish plants/flowers and must never be consumed.


  • Effective
  • Easy to use


  • Expensive


At this junction, you should be clear on why your Thanksgiving cactus leaves turning purple. We comprehend why you would feel down if you discover that your Thanksgiving cactus leaves are becoming a darker shade of purple around the base. We hope today’s lesson helped you understand why this is happening and that you now know something new.