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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Leaves turning purple Toplef10Leaves turning purple 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Leaves turning purple I22gcj10Leaves turning purple 14dhcg10

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Leaves turning purple

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Leaves turning purple Empty Leaves turning purple

Post  littlesapphire 5/21/2010, 10:09 am

I'm having a really hard time posting on the SFG forum today, so I hope this time it works out for me.

I posted a couple days ago about my tomato problems and how I was worried I had a blight issue. Well, I noticed today that my marigolds are starting to show some of the same symptoms, which is pretty surprising!

What happened was the tomatoes were turning purple. The stems were purple, as well as the underside of the leaves were a very bright purple. The top of the leaves had patchy greyish spots, which is what made me think it was blight. I figured if it was blight, I didn't want it to spread to any of the neighbors, so I pulled all my baby tomatoes out and bagged them up. Better safe than sorry, right?

Well, I went out this morning to plant my new tomato plants I got from a local nursery and to my surprise, my marigolds are turning purple as well. Can it be a problem with my Mel's mix? I don't think these two plants can catch the same disease. Here's a picture of the marigolds:

Leaves turning purple Marigold

I planted the tomatoes and the marigolds about a week ago. The tomatoes, along with turning purple and spotted looking, were also turning their leaves down as well. One plant even turned a chalky white tan color and started wilting.

My strawberries have been in the ground for a month now and they're doing perfectly.

Leaves turning purple Strawberry

And I planted some lettuce from seed, and after coming up, it turned red. I have to double check the seed packet though, because they might just be a red lettuce, LOL

Leaves turning purple Lettuce

My other plants (cucumbers, summer squash, peas) seem to be doing fine. I read somewhere that plants sometimes turn purple when they don't have enough to eat. I think I got enough compost into my Mel's mix, but I'm not entirely certain because none of the bags I bought had any description of how many square feet they were. I also read that the problem could be the cold. It's been dipping into the 40s at night here, but not below freezing. Is there anything I can do to help my plants?
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Leaves turning purple Empty Re: Leaves turning purple

Post  timwardell 5/21/2010, 10:42 am

It sounds like a Phosphorus deficiency - especially since other plants are affected. Check these links:

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/02949.html
"Phosphorus deficiencies occur early in the growing season when soil is still cool. Phosphorus is abundant in our soils but may be unavailable to the plant when the soil is too cold. Don't plant tomatoes too early in the season. Use plastic mulch to warm the soil. Once soil temperatures rise, the problem usually corrects itself."

However, there is also a new problem known as Tomato Purple Leaf Disorder (TPLD)
http://www.growingproduce.com/production/cropprotection/?storyid=1187
"Initial symptoms of TPLD appear between six to eight weeks after transplanting and could be somewhat confused with mild phosphorus (P) deficiency. The key diagnostic difference between TPLD symptoms and the symptoms of P deficiency is that symptoms of P deficiency first appear on the lower leaf surface, causing vein purpling, and then extend to the whole leaf. By contrast, symptoms of TPLD appear primarily on the upper leaf surface, without affecting the veins, and gradually spread to the entire leaf surface."

Hope this helps!
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Leaves turning purple Empty My marigolds are also turning purplish

Post  loggah 6/5/2012, 11:00 am

I am having the same problem with my marigolds' foliage turning purplish, as well as some ageratum. I used sawdust for mulch, and am wondering if that could be the cause. I have planted hundreds of annual and perennial seedlings in my beds this spring, but only the marigolds and ageratum seem to be affected. My tomatoes are all fine.

I lightly fertilized all my beds with 10-10-10 two weeks before planting, making sure to work it well and deeply into the soil.

I live in central NH, where we have had some very hot days followed by several 60 degree days. We have 2-3 inches of rain this week, and night temps have been in the 40s.

Any ideas?
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Leaves turning purple Empty Re: Leaves turning purple

Post  camprn 6/5/2012, 12:03 pm

@loggah wrote:I am having the same problem with my marigolds' foliage turning purplish, as well as some ageratum. I used sawdust for mulch, and am wondering if that could be the cause. I have planted hundreds of annual and perennial seedlings in my beds this spring, but only the marigolds and ageratum seem to be affected. My tomatoes are all fine.

I lightly fertilized all my beds with 10-10-10 two weeks before planting, making sure to work it well and deeply into the soil.

I live in central NH, where we have had some very hot days followed by several 60 degree days. We have 2-3 inches of rain this week, and night temps have been in the 40s.

Any ideas?
HI Loggah, Welcome to the SFG Forum. DId you plant the flowers in Mel's Mix?

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Leaves turning purple Empty Plants turning purple

Post  loggah 6/5/2012, 5:51 pm

No ... I put them in established beds I have used for years. Good deep loam, enriched annually with compost. It's odd how nearly everything is OK, except the marigolds and ageratum. I planted zinnias, larkspur, cosmos, monkshood, sweet William, dahlias, impatience, salvia, butterfly weed, and lots more. I suspect it is the excessive amount of rain we have had. I watered them daily when I first put them in, since it was clear, sunny and hot, and then we got hit with two days of torrential downpours ... 2 - 3 inches in 48 hours, followed by two days of cloudy, cold, showery weather.
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Leaves turning purple Empty Purple Marigolds

Post  StephanieMorris82 6/10/2012, 4:33 pm

I am also in Central NH, Thornton actually, and I am also having a purple leaf marigold problem. If it is a phosphorus problem, I may test the soil before I add anything to it. My dill is also turning colors as well, but everything else in the garden is fine like the tomatoes, cukes, beans, peas, lettuce, and strawberries.

If anyone else has a thought on this that would be great. Thanks.
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Leaves turning purple Empty Re: Leaves turning purple

Post  Turan 6/10/2012, 5:26 pm

In my garden marigolds and broccoli are the most sensitive to mineral deficiencies or unbalances, the most likely to show purpleing. It can be linked to cool weather which inhibits the uptake of these minerals, but it can also be borderline that shows in certain plants more. If you have blossom end rot in your tomatoes as well I would consider that definitive and add kelp/green sand/bonemeal in the fall or even right now.

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