Why Did My Hydrangea Leaves Turn Purple – How to Fix(6 Reasons)

The leaves of your hydrangea plant may turn purple due to a variety of reasons, including nutrient deficiencies, soil ph imbalances, and exposure to extreme temperatures. To fix this issue, you can adjust the ph of the soil, fertilize the plant with the appropriate nutrients, and provide adequate shade or insulation to protect it from extreme weather conditions.

By addressing these factors, you can help your hydrangea leaves regain their healthy green color.

Understanding The Causes Of Purple Hydrangea Leaves

Purple hydrangea leaves can be a cause for concern among gardeners, as they are often a sign of an underlying issue. By understanding the causes of purple hydrangea leaves, you can take steps to fix the problem and restore your hydrangea plants to good health.

In this section, we will explore three common reasons why hydrangea leaves turn purple: nutrient deficiency, soil ph imbalance, and sunlight exposure.

Nutrient Deficiency:

  • Lack of phosphorus: Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for hydrangeas, and a deficiency can cause leaves to turn purple. This can be caused by a lack of phosphorus in the soil or an imbalance in the soil’s nutrient levels. To address this issue, consider adding a phosphorus-rich fertilizer specifically formulated for hydrangeas.
  • Iron deficiency: Iron is another important nutrient for hydrangeas, and a deficiency can manifest as purple leaves. This deficiency is often more prevalent in alkaline soils, where iron is less available to plants. To combat this, you can apply iron chelate or iron sulfate to the soil around your hydrangea plants.

Soil Ph Imbalance:

  • Alkaline soil: Hydrangeas prefer slightly acidic soil with a ph between 5.2 and 5.5. If the soil in your garden is too alkaline, with a ph above 6.5, it can cause the leaves of your hydrangea plants to turn purple. To remedy this, you can amend the soil with elemental sulfur or other acidifying agents to lower the ph and make it more suitable for hydrangeas.
  • Acidic soil: On the other hand, excessively acidic soil with a ph below 5.2 can also lead to purple hydrangea leaves. In this case, adding lime or dolomite to the soil can help raise the ph and create a more balanced environment for your plants.

Sunlight Exposure:

  • Too much direct sunlight: Hydrangeas generally prefer partial shade or dappled sunlight. Excessive exposure to direct sunlight can cause their leaves to turn purple. If your hydrangea plants are receiving too much sun, consider providing them with some shade during the hottest parts of the day or relocating them to a spot with more shade.
  • Insufficient sunlight: On the other hand, insufficient sunlight can also result in purple leaves. Hydrangeas require some sunlight to thrive, so if your plants are not getting enough light, they may develop purple foliage. Assess the amount of sunlight your hydrangeas are receiving and ensure they are getting the right balance of sun and shade.

By understanding these common causes of purple hydrangea leaves, you can address the underlying issues and help your hydrangea plants flourish. Remember to provide adequate nutrients, maintain a suitable soil ph, and ensure proper sunlight exposure for healthy and vibrant hydrangeas.

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Nutrient Deficiency: A Common Culprit

Hydrangeas are beautiful ornamental plants that can add a pop of color to any garden. But when the leaves of your hydrangea start turning purple, it can be concerning. One common culprit for this discoloration is nutrient deficiency. Let’s explore two particular nutrient deficiencies that can cause hydrangea leaves to turn purple and discuss ways to fix them.

Lack Of Iron In Soil:

  • Soil lacking in iron can result in purple leaves in hydrangeas.
  • Iron is an essential nutrient for plants, as it helps in the production of chlorophyll, which is responsible for the green color in leaves.
  • When there is a lack of iron, the chlorophyll production is hampered, causing the leaves to turn purple.

How To Fix :

  • Add iron amendments: Incorporating iron-based fertilizers or amendments into the soil can help supply the necessary iron for the hydrangeas. Choose a fertilizer specifically formulated for acid-loving plants, as hydrangeas prefer slightly acidic soil.
  • Use chelated iron: Chelated iron is a form of iron that is easily absorbed by plants. You can spray a chelated iron foliar spray directly onto the leaves of the hydrangea to supply the iron it needs. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates.

Insufficient Magnesium Levels:

  • Another nutrient deficiency that can cause purple leaves in hydrangeas is insufficient magnesium levels.
  • Magnesium is crucial for chlorophyll production and is involved in various enzymatic reactions within the plant.

How To Fix:

  • Apply epsom salts: Epsom salts, which are rich in magnesium, can be added to the soil or dissolved in water and used as a foliar spray. The magnesium from epsom salts can be easily absorbed by the hydrangea roots or foliage, helping to alleviate the deficiency.
  • Incorporate organic matter: Adding organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to the soil can improve its nutrient content, including magnesium. This can be done before planting or as a top dressing around the base of the plant.

Taking care of nutrient deficiencies is crucial to ensure the healthy growth of your hydrangeas. By addressing the lack of iron or insufficient magnesium levels, you can help prevent purple leaves and promote vibrant, lush foliage. Remember to test your soil periodically and provide the necessary nutrients to keep your hydrangeas looking their best.

Soil Ph Imbalance: Influencing Leaf Color

A healthy hydrangea is a beautiful sight with its lush green foliage. However, if you notice your hydrangea leaves turning purple, it may be a cause for concern. One of the factors that can influence leaf color in hydrangeas is a soil ph imbalance.

When the soil ph deviates from the ideal range, it can affect the availability of nutrients to the plant, resulting in leaf discoloration. Let’s explore the impact of acidic and alkaline soil conditions on hydrangea leaf color:

Acidic Soil Conditions:

  • Soil ph below 6.0:
  • Aluminum toxicity: An overly acidic soil can release high levels of aluminum, making it difficult for hydrangeas to absorb necessary nutrients like phosphorus. This can cause the leaves to turn purple.
  • Iron deficiency: Low ph levels can inhibit the plant’s ability to take up iron from the soil, leading to purple discoloration of the leaves.

Alkaline Soil Conditions:

  • Soil ph above 7.0:
  • Nutrient lockout: In alkaline soil, certain essential nutrients become less available to the plant. This can result in a deficiency of elements like iron, manganese, and zinc, leading to purple leaves.
  • Color-changing cultivar response: Some hydrangea varieties are sensitive to alkaline soil, causing their flowers and leaves to turn purple. This is a natural response and not necessarily a sign of nutrient imbalance.

It’s crucial to maintain a balanced soil ph to ensure vibrant and healthy hydrangea foliage. Understanding your soil’s ph level and taking appropriate measures to correct any imbalances can help restore your hydrangea’s leaf color.

Sunlight Exposure: Impact On Leaf Pigments

Hydrangeas are known for their stunning blooms and vibrant foliage. However, if you’ve noticed that your hydrangea leaves have turned purple, it could be due to various reasons. One factor that plays a significant role in leaf coloration is sunlight exposure.

The amount and intensity of sunlight that hydrangeas receive can affect the production of pigments in their leaves, leading to changes in color. Let’s explore this further:

Uv Radiation Effects:

  • Hydrangeas exposed to excessive uv radiation may develop purple leaves as a response to stress.
  • High levels of uv rays can cause damage to the chlorophyll pigments in the leaves, disrupting their normal green coloration.
  • The plant’s defense mechanism kicks in, producing anthocyanin pigments, which give the leaves a purple hue.
  • Uv rays can penetrate through clear glass or reflective surfaces, so even indoor hydrangeas near windows can be affected.

Shade And Partial Sunlight:

  • Hydrangeas that receive inadequate sunlight, such as those grown in deep shade, may develop purple leaves.
  • Lack of sunlight decreases the production of chlorophyll, resulting in a lack of green pigment.
  • As a compensatory response, the plant increases the production of anthocyanin pigments, resulting in purple foliage.
  • Partial sunlight conditions can also trigger changes in leaf color, especially if the plant is exposed to inconsistent sunlight levels.

Remember, sunlight exposure is just one of the factors that can cause hydrangea leaves to turn purple. Other factors such as soil ph, nutrient deficiencies, and cold temperatures can also play a role. By understanding the impact of sunlight exposure on leaf pigments, you can better care for your hydrangeas and ensure they maintain their desired coloration.

Why Did My Hydrangea Leaves Turn Purple – How to Fix(6 Reasons)

How To Fix Hydrangea Leaves Turning Purple

If you’ve noticed your hydrangea leaves turning purple, you might be wondering what could be causing this color change and how to fix it. Several factors can contribute to this issue, including soil ph, nutrient deficiencies, and sunlight conditions. In this section, we will explore three effective methods to address this problem and bring your hydrangea leaves back to their vibrant green color.

Read on to learn about soil testing and nutrient supplements, adjusting soil ph, and providing optimal sunlight conditions.

Soil Testing And Nutrient Supplements

  • Conduct a soil test to determine the nutrient levels and ph balance of your soil. This will help identify any deficiencies or imbalances that could be causing the purple discoloration in your hydrangea leaves.
  • Based on the soil test results, choose an appropriate nutrient supplement to remedy any deficiencies. Look for a fertilizer specifically formulated for hydrangeas or one that addresses the specific nutrients lacking in your soil.
  • Follow the package instructions for applying the nutrient supplement to your hydrangea plants. Be cautious not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to other problems.

Adjusting Soil Ph

  • If your soil test reveals that the ph level is too high (alkaline), it could be causing the purple color in your hydrangea leaves. Hydrangeas thrive in acidic soil conditions.
  • To lower the ph, you can amend your soil with substances like elemental sulfur, composted pine needles, or peat moss. These materials gradually acidify the soil over time.
  • Work the chosen amendment into the top layer of soil around your hydrangeas, being careful not to damage the plant’s roots. Repeat this process annually or as necessary to maintain the desired ph level.

Providing Optimal Sunlight Conditions

  • Hydrangeas generally prefer partial shade or filtered sunlight. If your plants are receiving too much direct sunlight, especially during the hottest parts of the day, it can result in stress and discoloration.
  • Consider relocating your hydrangeas to a spot with more shade or using shade cloth or other light-filtering materials to reduce the intensity of sunlight. This will help prevent the leaves from turning purple.
  • Pay attention to the specific sunlight requirements of your hydrangea variety, as different types may have varying tolerances for sunlight exposure.

By following these tips for soil testing and nutrient supplements, adjusting soil ph, and providing optimal sunlight conditions, you can effectively address the issue of purple hydrangea leaves and promote healthy growth. Remember to monitor the progress of your plants and make any necessary adjustments as you continue caring for your hydrangeas.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Why Did My Hydrangea Leaves Turn Purple – How To Fix(6 Reasons)

Why Are My Hydrangea Leaves Turning Purple?

Hydrangea leaves turn purple due to several reasons, including ph imbalance in the soil, nutrient deficiencies, cold weather, sunburn, and certain diseases. To fix the issue, check the soil ph, provide proper nutrients, protect the plant from extreme temperatures and excessive sunlight, and treat any diseases promptly.

Is It Normal For Hydrangea Leaves To Turn Purple?

No, it is not normal for hydrangea leaves to turn purple. This discoloration can indicate a problem such as ph imbalance, nutrient deficiency, or environmental stress. It is important to identify the underlying cause and take appropriate measures to restore the plant’s health.

How Can I Fix Purple Leaves On My Hydrangea?

To fix purple leaves on your hydrangea, you need to address the underlying issue. Test the soil ph and adjust it if necessary, provide balanced fertilization to ensure proper nutrient levels, protect the plant from extreme temperatures and excessive sunlight, and treat any diseases using appropriate methods or products recommended by experts.

Can Overwatering Cause Hydrangea Leaves To Turn Purple?

Yes, overwatering can cause hydrangea leaves to turn purple. Too much water can lead to root rot and affect the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. This can result in nutrient deficiencies, manifesting as purple discoloration on the leaves. Ensure proper drainage and water the plant only when needed to prevent overwatering.


There are several reasons why hydrangea leaves turn purple. Understanding these reasons and taking appropriate actions can help maintain the beauty and health of your hydrangea plants. Firstly, an alkaline soil ph can cause purple leaves, so adjusting the ph level with acidic solutions can be beneficial.

Secondly, inadequate fertilization or nutrient deficiencies can lead to purple discoloration, so using a balanced fertilizer or adding specific nutrients can address this issue. Thirdly, extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can stress the plants, resulting in purple leaves. Providing shade or protection during extreme weather can mitigate this problem.

Additionally, pests and diseases, such as aphids or powdery mildew, can cause purple discoloration, so proper pest management and disease prevention are important. Lastly, transplant shock or root damage can also trigger purple leaves, so ensuring proper care during transplanting and avoiding root injuries is crucial.

By understanding these factors and implementing the appropriate solutions, you can keep your hydrangea leaves green and vibrant.

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark , a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Check our Social media Profiles: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram Tumblr

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