Gardeners mostly grow tomato plants in their gardens. Tomatoes look gorgeous when fruiting and they can grow both indoors as well as outdoors. Tomatoes may yield juicy fruit, fresh fruit with adequate care and attention.

When it comes to growing tomatoes, there are a number of issues that can arise, such as tomato leaves turning purple. The leaves of a tomato plant should be green. Asking yourself why something is turning purple could be an indication that you need to take a closer look. The bottom part of the leaves may have a more noticeable purple hue.

There is a variety of reasons causes to turn tomato leaves purple. As soon as you identify the issue, it’s simple to fix and you can get back to doing what you love.

Regardless of the cause, it’s crucial to keep an eye out to see if the purple turns green. You should take action if any of the other leaves begin to wilt and fall from the main stem as a result of the current problem. The plant will eventually die from this issue if it isn’t fixed. By reading this guide, you will be able to know, Why Are My Tomato Leaves Turning Purple.

Why Are My Tomato Leaves Turning Purple: Guide with Reasons

Let’s start,

What causes tomato leaves to turn purple?

The leaves of a tomato plant can turn purple for a variety of reasons. The following 10 reasons mainly impact turning your tomato leaves purple.  

1. Overexposed to Sun

Intense light exposure might cause your tomato plants to develop purple leaves when they are still young. This can happen in natural sunlight as well as in fluorescent lighting (indoors).

Tomato plants produce anthocyanins, which give their leaves a purple hue when they are exposed to high levels of light.

How to fix it?

Start your tomato plants indoors by lowering the intensity of their light exposure. It’s possible to reduce the intensity of the light by moving the lights higher above the plant and switching to less intense bulbs.

Row covers and shade cloths can use to lower light intensity if you’ve grown or transplanted tomato plants outside.

This is a common problem for young plants, but they are usually able to overcome it. In the long run, their development should be unaffected.

2. Competition Stress

Your tomato plant’s leaves may turn purple if it is under a lot of stress.

Stress can also be caused by the competition between plants. Competition for resources can occur between tomato plants that are planted near one another and those that are left unchecked by pesticides. This will cause nutrient deficits in certain of your plants, such as phosphorus deficiency and the purple leaves that follow from this.

How to fix it?

In order to avoid this, you need completely weed or mulch your garden to prevent the growth of weeds.

Make sure to place your tomato plants at least 2 to 3 feet apart at the beginning of the growing season.

3. Potassium Deficiency

It is impossible for tomato plants to grow well without potassium. Flower and fruit production is enhanced by its participation in the generation of sugars and starches.

Additionally, plants use it in the process of making their own nourishment. Cellular chlorophyll assists plants in their photosynthesis by absorbing solar energy. Oxygen and carbohydrates are formed from water and carbon dioxide by the plant, which is then used to grow new leaves and plant parts.

This photosynthetic process relies heavily on potassium, which is a key component. Poorly developed plants with purple leaves might be caused by a lack of potassium in the soil.

Young tomatoes, on the other hand, have a harder time absorbing potassium from cold soil than they do in warm soil. Planting them in chilly soil can cause their foliage to temporarily turn purple or yellow.

In warmer weather, leaves may return to their original color. However, the rest of the growing season will likely be stunted, resulting in a lack of blossoms and, consequently, a lack of fruit.

How to fix it?

Feed the tomatoes a potassium-rich fertilizer to fix the problem. Potassium-rich fertilizers include those based on seaweed or kelp, as well as those containing granite dust or wood ash.

4. Phosphorus Deficiency

Purple leaves on tomato plants might be caused by a lack of phosphate. It is possible that, in addition to veins, the rest of the leaf will turn a darker shade of purple. Phosphorus deficiency may be to blame if you notice your tomato seedlings turning a dark purple color. Early in the season, this is more likely to be a problem.

A tomato plant’s roots and blossoms both benefit from phosphorus, which is an essential nutrient. Because of this, it is important to identify and correct the phosphorus deficit as soon as possible.

Roots need Phosphorus to thrive. Phosphorus insufficiency or a plant’s inability to absorb it can cause the leaves to turn a dark green and slightly purple color. As a result, the plant’s growth and flowering will be postponed. Curled and spotty leaves are possible outcomes.

How does a lack of phosphorus cause tomato leaves to turn purple?

There are different ways that affect phosphorus deficiency and all of these effects turn tomato leaves purple. Cold soil, imbalance of soil’s pH, and the absence of phosphate in the soil affect to arise lack of phosphorus.

How does the cold soil affect turning tomato leaves purple?

Tomato roots cannot absorb phosphorus from cold soil. Even if the soil is rich in phosphorus, this can still occur.

To put it another way, plants can’t take advantage of phosphorus in the soil if it is too cold.

How to fix it?

Tomatoes may not be ready to transplant if the soil temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. With a short growing season, this can be a problem.

Tomato seeds can start inside as an alternative. Soil temperatures can keep high enough to ensure rapid seed germination and prevent the deficit of phosphorus.

Using cloches or row coverings is necessary if the tomato plants are mature enough but the soil is still too cold for planting.

Transplanting tomato plants into a cold frame or greenhouse will help them adjust to more sunshine and keep them warm while they grow. This aids in the hardening-off process. Tomato plants can transplant into your garden once the soil has warmed up.

You can use a cloche for each of your smaller plants. An air and soil heat retention cloche will help keep your plants warm at night.

Row coverings can also be used to protect larger tomato plants from the cold. Even a small shift in temperature can have a significant impact on your plants.

How does the imbalance of soil’s pH affect turning tomato leaves purple?

Too high or too low of a soil pH can affect a tomato plant’s ability to absorb nutrients like phosphorus from the soil.

How to fix it?

To find out the pH of your soil, you can either use a kit or send it off for testing. Adding lime (calcium carbonate) or dolomite lime (calcium magnesium carbonate) to your soil might raise its pH if it is too low (acidic). Keep in mind that lime is a calcium supplement for your soil.

Your plant won’t be able to absorb magnesium or potassium if it has too much calcium. So, don’t overdo it with the lime juice.

Sulfur can be used to raise the pH of your soil if it is too acidic or basic.

It’s important to bear in mind that adding certain nutrients and fertilizers to your soil can alter its pH, so be cautious when making changes.

How does the absence of phosphate in the soil affect turning tomato leaves purple?

Your tomato plants won’t be able to absorb the phosphorus they need if your soil lacks it. A phosphorus deficit can result from planting the same crop year after year in the same location.

If you don’t replenish your soil’s nutrients, you run the risk of creating a phosphorus shortage.

How to fix it?

Crop rotation can help prevent this. This is simply the practice of replanting your garden each year with a different crop.

To remedy this, you should apply compost, manure, and other appropriate fertilizers every year. Composting is a great way. If your soil is dry or does not drain well, this is essential.

Another great technique to supplement your garden’s nutrient and organic content is through the use of manure. A garden can benefit greatly from the nutrients included in animal manure, whether it comes from chickens, cows, or horses. Before using the manure, make sure to let it mature for a few weeks. If you don’t, the salts in the manure may cause damage to your plants by burning them.

Natural sources of phosphorus include hair, rock phosphate, and bone and fish meal. You can also apply a liquid solution known as foliar feeding to the leaves of a tomato plant. A soil test is a good idea before you start adding fertilizer to your soil.

5. Magnesium Deficiency

The chlorophyll molecules in plants’ cells include magnesium. In addition to potassium, it is important for photosynthesis. Magnesium deficiency causes chlorophyll deficiency in plants, resulting in stunted and sometimes purple leaves.

How to fix it?

Magnesium is abundant in organic compost. Add organic compost to the soil on a regular basis, either mixed in or used as a mulch, to fix the issue.

Magnesium sulfate, more popularly known as Epsom Salts, is another form in which it can be included.

One tablespoon of Epsom Salts in a half-gallon of water for every foot of plant height is the suggested dosage. If you apply the solution to the plant’s leaves every two weeks, it will return to its normal state.

6. Problems in the Seedling Stage

Why Are My Tomato Leaves Turning Purple: Guide with Reasons

First-year foliage is often green. In other circumstances, the seedling may not have developed its plant systems fully, regardless of the tomato variety. Purplish leaves and stems are common in plants that have not yet formed their respiratory and circulatory systems.

How to fix it?

To be on the safe side, let the seedlings develop on their own. Intervening at this point may really do the opposite of what is needed. In a few days or even a week, this condition should disappear.

If the leaves remain purple for more than two weeks, it may be time to investigate other possibilities. Also, be on the lookout if there are already six to eight real leaves and they still have a purple hue. This is a red flag.

7. Insect and Pest Infestation

Purple leaves, for example, are caused by a variety of pests that stress your plants.

It is possible to impede the absorption of nutrients such as phosphorus by pests that attack the roots of the plant. Purple leaves on your tomato plants may grow as a result of this.

How do Psyllids affect to turn tomato leaves purple? 

Psyllids are tiny flying insects that feed on sap from plants. The fact that there are usually a lot of them makes them easier to spot. When you shake the plant, a cloud of them will rise into the air. The purple discoloration is caused by a poison injected into the plants.

The upper leaves of a Psyllid-infested plant begin to yellow and/or become purple at the first stages of an infection. It is common for lower leaves to curl upward.

How to fix it?

Insecticides, beneficial insects, or organic pesticides can be used to treat tomato plants if they show signs of infestation.

Sulfur can be sprinkled on your plants’ leaves to help them thrive. The psyllid nymphs dwell on the undersides of the leaves.

How do Garden springtails affect turn tomato leaves purple?

Garden springtail (Bourletiella hortensis) is a tiny bug that can harm young tomato seedlings. They are tiny, dark purple with yellow patches, and wingless. They use forked, tail-like appendages to propel themselves into the air. It is common for them to eat tiny holes in the leaves of little plants that are just above the soil’s surface.

How to fix it?

In most cases, it is not required to control or treat tomato plants in the event of a brief visit by them.

8. Improper Temperature

Tomato plants thrive in hot conditions. When the temperature is too low, the leaves of your tomato plants may become a darker shade of purple.

Until the temperature is consistently 50F⁰, tomatoes should not be planted outside. As a result, the leaves of immature tomato plants may become purple if they are grown in a greenhouse that is too cold. A drop in temperature at night can cause tomato leaves to curl and turn purple, even though the daytime temperatures are high enough for them. A short-term issue, but one that can hinder the tomato plant’s progress is this.

How to fix it?

You shouldn’t plant tomatoes outside until the temperature is consistently 50F⁰. Use plant tags to find out more about the varieties of plants you have in your yard.

9. Diseases

There are a few disorders that might cause the leaves to turn a darker shade of purple. It’s possible for tomato plants to have purple leaves because of a variety of diseases.

How does Curly Top Virus affect to turn tomato leaves purple?

Infected tomatoes have curled leaves, purple veins on the underside of leaves, and a light green discoloration as a result of Curly Top Virus. Stunted growth and twisted leaves are two other signs to look for in your garden. Beet leafhoppers spread the curly top virus.

How to fix it?

Using row covers to keep leafhoppers away from tomato plants is the greatest method of management and prevention because there are no effective chemicals.

Curly top virus-infected plants should be ripped out of the garden and disposed of as soon as possible. This will keep the disease from spreading to other plants in your garden.

Keep the discarded plants out of your compost pile since the virus can survive there.

How does Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus affect to turn tomato leaves purple?

Tomato plants may be infected if they have dark brown or purple patches on their leaves. As these dark spots spread, they’ll eventually reach the plant’s stems.

Despite the stiffness of the leaf tissue, leaves begin to wilt as the infection spreads. Yellow dots or rings may appear on any fruit that develops.

How to fix it?

Plants that have been contaminated should be removed from your garden and disposed of, not put in your compost pile.

How does Tomato Purple Leaf Disease affect to turn of tomato leaves purple?

You may have tomato purple leaf disorder if the tops of your leaves turn purple but the veins remain white or light green. The undersides of the leaves will eventually turn purple, too.

Even if a plant has an abundance of phosphorus, this condition can still occur. The severity of the problem appears to vary depending on the type of tomato cultivated.

How to fix it?

Curly top virus-infected plants should be ripped out of the garden and disposed of as soon as possible.

10. Inconsistent Watering Schedule

Water is essential for the survival of tomato plants, just as it is for any other plant. These nutrients and minerals are transported from roots to various regions of a plant via water. However, if the watering schedule is uneven, there may be some issues.

How does lack of watering effect to turn tomato leaves purple?

When there is not enough water, for example, this can lead to tension.

How to fix it?

A lack of water can be remedied by increasing the organic matter in your soil.

In the morning, when temperatures are cooler and the sun is lower, water your plants more slowly. The water will be able to sink into the soil before evaporating as a result of this technique.

How does overwatering affect to turn tomato leaves purple?

In addition to damaging plants, overwatering is also dangerous.

Overwatering tomatoes causes them to rot. This might lead to a lack of circulation of air beneath the soil if the roots are excessively damp. As a result, the roots are unable to take up nutrients from the ground. There will be no nutrients available to the leaves, and as a result, they will become yellow or purple.

How to fix it?

Stopping the watering of the plant will solve the problem. Excessive watering is a bad thing for tomatoes. Before watering, always inspect the soil for dryness. Because the sort of soil you have can make a difference, even though it appears dry on the surface, it may already be waterlogged underneath.

You should utilize soil that drains properly for tomatoes. You can also increase the quality of your soil by adding soil amendments such as coco peat, sawdust, wood chips, and sand.

Should the purple tomato leaves remove?

The tomato plant’s purple leaves do not need to be removed. However, you must first determine what is causing the purple coloration of tomato leaves. So, if a disease or virus is to blame, not only should the leaves be thrown out, but the entire plant should be destroyed. Not for composting.

Can purple tomato leaves recover again?

Preventing additional purpling of your tomato leaves begins with figuring out what’s causing them to turn purple in the first place. If suitable care conditions are maintained, the purplish leaves will eventually be replaced by new, healthy ones.

As a result, keep a close check on it.

5 Best homemade fertilizers used to prevent from turning tomato leaves purple

In order to keep tomato leaves from turning purple, what homemade fertilizers might be used?

1. Compost

Ideally, you’ll be able to make your own compost out of vegetable scraps and other household materials, but if not, you can buy organic compost at the market.

Compost, an all-purpose fertilizer that includes the majority of the nutrients your plants require, should make up half of your tomato fertilizer. Along with macronutrients and micronutrients, it provides important nutrients. Compost is an all-year-round food source for your garden’s inhabitants.

2. Bone Meal

If you’re looking to add phosphorus to your soil, bone meal is an excellent option.

3. Human or Pets’ Hair

Homemade tomato fertilizers can also benefit from the inclusion of hair, whether it is from pets or humans. Slow-release nitrogen and keratin, an essential protein for tomato plants, are found in this product. Make sure to chop the hair into little pieces so that it doesn’t clump together in the fertilizer.

4. Wood Ash

Potassium and phosphorous are abundant in wood ash, which is the byproduct of a wood-burning fireplace. Make cautious not to overdo it, as wood ash also raises the acidity of the soil.

5. Coffee Grounds or Tea Leaves

Nitrogen is present in both coffee grounds and tea leaves. Nitrogen is needed by tomato plants at all stages of growth, but the final phase requires less of it.

6. Kelp Meal

If you can’t get your hands on wood ash, try adding a cup or two of kelp meal instead. Remember that tomato plants need potassium throughout the latter stages of growth when they are flowering and ripening.

Watch Simple Tips to Fix Turning Tomato Seedlings Purple

Top 5 FAQs & answers related to Why are my tomato leaves turning purple

Do I need to water tomatoes every day?

A daily morning watering routine early in the growing season is recommended. Tomato plants may need to be watered twice a day when the temperature rises. Tomatoes in the garden need a weekly watering of 1-2 inches. Tomato plants planted in containers require more water than tomato plants in the garden.

What is the quickest way to add phosphorus to the soil?

Foliar kelp fertilizer is a good place to start if your plant is in need of a phosphorus boost. At the same time, treat the soil with a fast-acting phosphorus fertilizer, such as bone meal or fish meal.

Is there phosphorous in eggshells?

It weighs 5.5 grams of calcium carbonate in a dried eggshell. Phosphorus and magnesium make up around. 3 percent of an eggshell’s composition, as well as a small amount of sodium, potassium, zinc, manganese, iron, and copper traces.

Why do Epsom salt good for tomatoes?

Spray Epsom salt on tomato and pepper plants to enhance output and keep them lush late in the season; early in the season, apply Epsom salt to the soil to help seeds germinate, early root and cell development, photosynthetic processes such as photosynthesis, plant growth, and blossom-end rot prevent.

Do tomatoes need full sun to thrive?

Tomatoes require a minimum of six hours of sunlight to develop fruit, but eight or more hours of sunlight will yield the most tomatoes.


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