Why did tomato seedlings turn purple leaves?
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Noticing that tomato sprouts have become purple, many inexperienced gardeners are worried and find it difficult to find an answer as to what is the reason for this leaf phenomenon. Few people know how dangerous it is and whether there is a need to take appropriate action. But color changes signal that some changes are taking place with the plant already at the initial phase of their growth. As it turns out later, it only gets worse. Seedlings of a purple shade grows poorly, begins to wither. Why this happens in tomatoes, what they lack and what to do, we will tell further.
Reasons for the appearance of purple on tomato seedlings
The main ones include only two conditions:
- lowering the temperature regime of the air and soil composition;
- insufficient amount of phosphorus in the nutrition of the sprouts.
Any of the above reasons can arise independently, but in most cases there is always a mutual connection between them. When the temperature drops to fifteen degrees Celsius, tomato sprouts begin to experience cold. Saplings suspend their growth, foliage on the back side and stems acquire a purple hue. Even the streaks on the leaves can turn blue.
A large number of thermophilic plants belonging to the nightshade have a common feature - in cool soil, they poorly assimilate the necessary nutrients, including phosphorus. This phenomenon may also be due to the fact that the soil is characterized by high acidity.
When tomato seedlings were constantly receiving mineral fertilizers, but the lower leaves still turned purple, it indicates that the sprouts no longer have enough heat.
It is very important not to miss the beginning of the color change in order to take the necessary measures in a timely manner.
It happens that the seedlings are more colored in blue tones.... There are not so many reasons for this. The first is associated with a lack of water in hot weather. If there is such an opportunity, then on especially warm days it is necessary to cover the beds with seedlings with polyethylene material until the sprouts begin to actively gain strength and grow. After watering, the soil should be mulched to keep moisture in it longer.
The second reason should be associated with a domestic cat, which moves in places where it pleases. There are times when cats just "mark" the territory. If the urine enters the soil with the seedlings, the seedling will turn blue and die. So it is necessary to isolate the landing boxes from the ubiquitous pets.
You should not be calm if the seedlings begin to acquire a purple hue. It is necessary to take measures to help the seedlings.
What to do if the leaves turn purple
It is recommended to solve such problematic issues in a complex. First of all, the temperature regime in the room rises, which should be twenty-two degrees of heat. As a rule, after a week, the seedlings regain their normal color and continue to develop.
If this does not happen, then the reason is a lack of phosphorus.... We'll have to apply phosphorus-containing fertilizers. When choosing a drug, try to focus on those compositions that contain the minimum amount of nitrogen, because its concentration in the ground is already excessively high due to the lack of phosphorus. It will be better if the fertilizer contains no nitrogen at all.
Tomato plants respond well to the introduction of superphosphate. It should be used when watering, dissolving one hundred grams of the substance in a bucket of water.
Ammophos contains a large amount of phosphorus. It is brought in at the rate of fifteen to twenty-five grams per square meter of the site. In the case of seedlings, the drug is diluted, like superphosphate.
But at the same time, you should not be too zealous - an overabundance of nutrients for tomato seedlings is just as harmful as their lack.
For those gardeners who prefer do-it-yourself feed formulations, experienced experts recommend using the following recipe:
- pour one liter of boiling water into a glass of superphosphate;
- the mixture must be infused for ten hours, then the diseased seedlings are spilled with this liquid.
The serving size depends on the plant itself. For an adult tomato bush, you need half a liter of the drug.
Prevention of changes in the color of foliage and stem in tomatoes
Based on what was the reason for the appearance of a purple hue on the aerial part of the seedlings, in most cases, preventive measures are required. In addition to the introduction of appropriate fertilizers and temperature control, it is recommended to carry out:
- correct preparation of the soil composition for planting seedlings. It should be dug deeply, organic components and mineral compositions should be added in the amount of seven kilograms of manure, bird droppings or compost and forty grams of superphosphate per square meter of the garden;
- in the spring, all the soil in the greenhouse is dug up and processed, for each meter of area, twenty-five grams of superphosphate and twenty grams of a fertilizer containing potassium are applied;
- transplanting to a permanent place tomato seedlings need feeding in two weeks, containing organic and mineral components. This role can be played by manure and superphosphate diluted with warm water;
- two main feeding of tomato plants are mandatory, the interval between which is fifteen days. For this, solutions of twenty grams of superphosphate, fifteen grams of potassium salt and ten grams of ammonium nitrate are used. All drugs are diluted in ten liters of heated water.
Irrigation is carried out with warm water, which is warmed up by the sun during the day. Water is supplied to the root system, it is not recommended to get it on the foliage and stem.
In order for your tomato plants to have good productivity and a healthy look, you should periodically inspect the seedlings, whether they have turned blue, whether they have gone spots. Keep the room temperature under control. Another prerequisite is strict adherence to the rules of agricultural technology, according to which the tomato crop is grown.
Tomato plants acquire this color for various reasons. But all of them are the result of improper agricultural technology, that is, these are mistakes of the vegetable grower himself, which you need to know about in order to prevent them in the future.
If tomatoes are planted in unprepared and unfertilized soil and are forced to grow in it, then sooner or later they will react to it. The lack of basic nutrients inevitably affects the development of tomatoes, the physiological processes occurring in plants are disrupted.
In response to unfavorable growing conditions, purple leaves of tomato seedlings appear primarily from the bottom, since the plant lacks nutrients, especially phosphorus, and constantly seeks to redirect those that come from the roots to young tissues.
If the tomato seedlings turn purple, this means that the soil for their cultivation was chosen incorrectly, it does not have enough chemical elements that plants need for the normal development of tissues. The same happens if the substrate has an acidic or, conversely, alkaline reaction. In this case, phosphorus is in it in a form that is poorly accessible for tomatoes and is practically not absorbed by them.
Lack of light
In the life of any plant, sunlight plays a huge role and tomatoes are no exception. They will develop normally only if they are illuminated for at least 10 hours a day. Short daylight hours are another reason why tomato leaves turn purple.
But the duration of daylight hours cannot be more than 12 hours, excessive illumination is just as harmful as its lack. Tomatoes, seedlings and adult plants should rest, since it is in the dark that nutrients are absorbed.
Tomatoes are thermophilic crops, they do not tolerate temperature changes, especially day and night. The air temperature at which tomatoes grow best is not lower than 20 ° C, with colder air their development stops, and the absorption of phosphorus slows down. At the same time, a heat above 40 ° C will provoke the same effect, the tomato seedlings will turn purple.
Lack of phosphorus
This is the main reason for the purple leaves in tomato seedlings. In addition, against the background of a deficiency of this element, a violation of nitrogen assimilation occurs, the growth of tomatoes slows down, their leaves are twisted inward, pulled up, the stems become tough, brittle and fibrous. These signs indicate that urgent action is needed to save tomatoes.
A site about a garden, a summer residence and houseplants.
Last year, my tomato seedlings had a normal green color at the beginning of growth, and at the end of their growth all the stems and the underside of the leaves were somehow purple instead of green.
Why is this happening?
Svetlana Sergienko, St. Petersburg
There are two reasons for the purple staining of the stems and leaves of tomato plants.
Low air and soil temperatures (+ 15 ° С and below).
In this case, tomato plants stop growing due to a weak intake of phosphorus from the soil.
This is observed when the heating devices are turned off in the premises and when the seedlings are hardened on balconies and verandas in cold weather.
Feeding with phosphorus fertilizers will not give positive results.
You just need to raise the temperature in the room, the seedlings will turn green again and start growing.
If everything is in order with the temperature, then the reason is in the unbalanced nutrition of plants for phosphorus.
In this case, the seedlings need to be fed with water-soluble fertilizers containing phosphorus (superphosphates, nitrophoska, ammophoska).
If a purple tint in tomato seedlings in a greenhouse and in an open field, what to do
If a purple tint appears on seedlings that are planted in a greenhouse, then measures should be taken to increase the temperature regime:
- close all the windows
- keep doors open as little as possible
- put heating appliances,
- water the plants with warm water.
For tomatoes grown outdoors you need to choose the optimal time for disembarkation on the site, when the time has passed with return frosts. But if the whims of nature have presented a surprise in the form of a prolonged cold snap, which will inevitably lead to blue seedlings, it is recommended to install a frame made of metal arcs and cover the plants with spunbond or plastic wrap.
What to do, how to help
Having dealt with the fact that the leaves have acquired an uncharacteristic color, and the plants have slowed down their growth, they are helped.
The air temperature in the room where the tomato seedlings are standing should be at the level of 20-22 degrees. It should not fall below 18 degrees. Any changes in temperature, a cold window sill or floor can cause the leaves to change color.
In order to keep the temperature at the same level, a thermometer can be installed next to the plants, and foil can be placed between the window and the seedlings. It will protect you from the cold and provide additional lighting. For additional heat, an electric heater can be placed a short distance from the plants until the temperature returns.
If there is a lack of light, they are provided with additional illumination with a phytolamp or fluorescent lamp. When placing seedlings on the windowsill, the light and warm side is selected.
In a few days, after the restoration of the thermal and light regime, the plants acquire their usual color, their growth and development are restored.
If the reason for the color change was not due to a change in temperature and a lack of light, but with a lack of phosphorus, the seedlings need to be fertilized. To do this, take any top dressing containing phosphorus in its composition.
When choosing a drug, you need to focus on the composition that contains the minimum amount of nitrogen. Due to the lack of phosphorus, its concentration in the soil increases significantly, which also has a negative effect on plants.
- For feeding, take 100 grams of superphosphate in a bucket of warm water. The solution is introduced when watering.
- With strongly pronounced signs, 250 milliliters of superphosphate is taken, which is diluted with 1 liter of boiling water and infused for 10 hours. Then the seedlings are watered with the ready-made solution.
- Phosphorus is also found in nitrophos, ammophos, double superphosphate, potassium monophosphate, as well as humate and bone meal. Fertilizers are applied in accordance with the dosage.
At the same time, you cannot overdo it. An excess of nutrients for tomato seedlings is just as harmful as a lack of them.
If the reason for the appearance of a purple color on plants is waterlogging of the soil, watering is reduced, the earth is gently loosened, if it began to swamp, the plants are transplanted into new soil.
If the reason is a lack of moisture, then in hot weather the beds with tomato seedlings should be covered with protective material. This procedure is carried out until the seedlings gain strength and begin to grow actively. After watering, the soil is covered with a layer of mulch, which allows moisture to be retained in the ground for a longer period.
If the soil begins to crack, then water must be injected in moderation, otherwise you can harm the roots of the plants.
If the reason is a cat that is not toilet trained, the seedlings should be placed out of the reach of the animal. It will be impossible to save the tomatoes after he marked the territory.
Purple tomato seedlings, what to do: video
Why tomato seedlings have purple leaves on the bottom, what to do
You will hardly find an amateur gardener who would not ask the question: "Why do tomato seedlings have purple leaves on the bottom?" By the appearance of the seedlings, you can always determine its condition, what it is sick with or what is missing. And you need to know exactly when and how to help your plants in order to grow healthy seedlings and get a guaranteed harvest of your favorite vegetables.
In this article, we will analyze in detail the question of why, after all, tomato seedlings turn purple. We will also tell you what to do if tomato seedlings turn blue-purple
Why do tomato leaves turn blue
It so happened that even most of the city dwellers are part-time farmers. Almost everyone has country houses or summer cottages.
One of the most popular crops we grow is, of course, tomatoes. Since the end of winter, our amateur vegetable growers begin to grow seedlings of their favorite plant.
And almost everyone is faced with a situation when suddenly tomato seedlings turn purple and spots appear on the leaves.
Someone does not pay attention to this. There is even an opinion that the purple leaves of tomato seedlings indicate that such plants are adapted to the cold, hardened. The opinion is erroneous, because this is a sign of plant disease and urgent measures must be taken to save the future harvest.
For the treatment of plants, it is necessary to establish why the tomato seedlings are purple, while the growth of seedlings slows down or completely stops.
And there are three main reasons:
What to do if tomato leaves turn purple
Indeed, the reason for the lack of illumination may also be the excessive density of the grown seedlings, in which the leaves can turn blue.It is not necessary to increase the duration of daylight hours for plants over 12 hours, it is more likely to harm the plants, because they also need to "sleep". In the dark, nutrients are assimilated by plants.
The main sign of a lack of warmth is that the underside of the leaves is not only turning purple, but also rising upward. The optimum temperature for tomato seedlings is +18 degrees. At the same time, the soil temperature should not fall below 15º. Let us explain right away why - at temperatures below 15ºC, plants stop assimilating phosphorus. That is why tomato seedlings are purple in color and do not grow.
That is why tomato seedlings are purple in color and do not grow.If the seedlings are grown on a windowsill, then foil can be laid under the box, concrete windowsills can be laid with heat-insulating material. If it does not help, then it is necessary to move the seedlings to a warmer place, not forgetting about the light.
We have already mentioned in passing the role of phosphorus in plant development. If a vegetable grower has a question "why tomato seedlings have purple leaves," then with a high degree of probability we can talk about a phosphorus deficiency in plants.
But you need to feed the blue seedlings only if you are sure that the temperature regime and lighting, which were mentioned above, are normal It is pointless to feed plants with a blue and purple tint with phosphorus if the soil temperature is below 15 ° able to assimilate it.
That is, temperature and phosphorus deficiency can be interdependent. And an incorrect diagnosis "why the leaves of a tomato are purple" can lead to the death of our seedlings, in which the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. An excess of phosphorus accelerates the growth of seedlings, it will grow faster, grow old and die, having accelerated through the entire growing season.
It also has a detrimental effect on the development of seedlings and excessive lighting (over 12 hours). In the light, plants poorly absorb mineral fertilizers, including phosphorus. You just need a period of night rest for the plant to grow well.
If, after treating the plants, red-blue-purple spots remain on the back of some leaves and on the trunk (stem) of tomato seedlings, it's okay. It is important that the seedlings begin to grow and turn green.
What does phosphorus deficiency lead to in seedlings
Now is the time to explain the importance of phosphorus in growing healthy seedlings. With a lack of this element in the soil, tomato seedlings turn purple and do not grow.
What role does phosphorus play in growing vegetables:
- improves the formation of the root system
- accelerates and improves fruiting
- increases plant resistance to temperature changes
- improves transportability and safety of fruits
- increases resistance to root rot and other diseases
It was found that the embryos of the first brushes in tomatoes are laid approximately after the appearance of the 6-7th true leaf. Fertilizing tomatoes with phosphorus fertilizers is especially important when growing seedlings. Only healthy seedlings can produce a crop you will be proud of.
Among other things, phosphorus promotes better assimilation of soil nitrogen by plants. Therefore, the correct, balancing and timely nutrition of plants with the necessary mineral fertilizers and microelements is the key to a good harvest. But in this article, we talk about the effect of phosphorus on growing seedlings.
Once again, we highlight the signs of phosphorus starvation of tomato seedlings and the occurrence of problems with the development of the root system:
We conclude that with a phosphorus deficiency, you will grow weakened seedlings with an underdeveloped root system. As a result, you will not get the harvest you are counting on.
How to properly carry out phosphorus fertilization of seedlings
Phosphorus starvation of seedlings, expressed in the appearance of purple spots on the leaves, is also due to the property of phosphorus itself to be poorly soluble in water.
This is his dignity and disadvantage.
Adding dry granules of fertilizers for feeding will not give results. If you have a granular fertilizer, you will have to prepare a liquid solution to feed seedlings with purple leaves.
Phosphate fertilizers and how to prepare top dressing
|FERTILIZER NAME||STRUCTURE||HOW TO USE|
|Superphosphate||Phosphorus 20-25%||If the tomato seedlings are purple, then a water extract is prepared for feeding it. For this, 100 g of fertilizers are poured with a liter of boiling water, mixed thoroughly several times during the day. To prepare top dressing, 75 ml of solution is added to a five-liter bottle of water. The rest can be used later, it does not deteriorate. Water the seedlings at the rate of about a glass of water per plant. You can also spray tomato leaves, that is, make foliar dressing.|
|Double superphosphate||Phosphorus 40-50%||From the name it is clear that the phosphorus content is twice as high, therefore, to prepare the extract, the consumption must also be halved. That is, use 50 g of fertilizer per 1 liter of boiling water.|
|Phosphorite flour||Phosphorus 20-30%||It is very difficult to dissolve in water. They are used for making plots for digging. Begins to operate no earlier than 2 years later. Not suitable for feeding.|
|Diammophos, diammonium phosphate||Phosphorus 45-52%||A universal fertilizer that can be used for almost all grown vegetables and fruit crops.|
|Bone flour||Phosphorus up to 35%||Very poorly soluble in water. For lovers of organic fertilizers (prepared from cattle bones), it is used for digging.|
|Pekasid||Phosphorus 60%||New! Phosphorus in an easily assimilated form, acts even at low temperatures. An excellent tool for fans of drip irrigation, which, in addition to feeding and watering plants, also flushes pipes and holes in them. Read the instructions.|
Of course, it is better not to bring things up to fertilizing with phosphorus. For this, the soil for seedlings must be prepared in the fall, having properly saturated it with phosphorus fertilizers. Remember that phosphate fertilizer is a long-lasting fertilizer. It is introduced into the soil every 2-3 years.
Now you know why tomato seedlings are purple, and what to do if the seedlings look blue. And you will not panic if the tomato seedlings turn purple, and the leaves roll the edges down.
How to grow healthy tomato seedlings
The place for growing seedlings must be planned in advance. This will most likely be a permanent and annual zone. And it is necessary to provide everything necessary to maintain a balanced thermal and light conditions. Then you will not be afraid of surprises like this: "Why did the tomato seedlings turn purple leaves from below?"
In order for tomatoes to grow and develop well, they must receive enough heat, light and the necessary nutrition!
Read Tomatoes how to grow big crops
Tomato leaves turn purple - what to do?
In healthy tomatoes, the leaves and stems are strong, juicy, evenly colored in green. But sometimes a purple tint appears on them. This is an indicator of violations in the development of the plant: a sign that an urgent need to correct the situation.
Reasons for the appearance of purple leaves in a tomato
All plants have pigments - dyes. Anthocyanins provide shades of reds, blues and their mixtures.
The color of diseased tomato shoots begins to change gradually, first from below, from spots on old leaves. A light lilac or pinkish tint appears, which soon turns purple or crimson. The underside is colored brighter.
If you do not take action, the leaves will turn purple and begin to curl. At the same time, they can snuggle against the stem, turning up or down.
The stem not only changes color to purple, but also becomes tough and brittle, and the villi on it lengthen and coarse. Tomatoes weaken and may wither completely.
Lack of phosphorus
It's all about phosphorus, the deficiency of which is especially dangerous during periods of root development and ovary formation. Tomatoes require 5 times less of this mineral than nitrogen, but they absolutely need it.
- gives energy to growth
- supports metabolic processes
- increases sugar content
- promotes the formation of fruit pulp
- increases productivity.
Having accumulated phosphorus in their tissues, tomatoes gradually consume it during the season.
Tomatoes, which lack this trace element, grow worse, later bloom, do not form ovaries. And those fruits, which nevertheless set, slowly gain weight and do not ripen for a long time.
The seeds from these tomatoes are not suitable for harvesting. The fact is, with a lack of phosphorus, tomatoes poorly assimilate nitrogen. Because of this, the development of plants stops, the fruits become smaller.
Tomato bushes, which normally receive phosphorus, tolerate a slight cold snap more easily, and better resist diseases. They have a powerful root system. The fruits of such tomatoes tolerate transportation well and are resistant to damage.
But sometimes the point is not that there is little phosphorus in the soil. There are several other reasons why tomatoes are not getting enough of this micronutrient.
It should be noted that phosphorus is poorly absorbed by tomatoes at low temperatures. If the soil temperature dropped below +12 0 C, and the air temperature - +14 0 C, then the tomatoes completely cease to receive this microelement.
The cold itself can disrupt the growth of tomatoes and cause the stems and leaves to appear purple. This is due to the fact that tomatoes are thermophilic plants, and for the correct formation of the bush and fruits, they need at least +20 0 C.
The absorption of phosphorus by tomatoes also deteriorates at high (above +40 0 C) temperatures.
For a good nutrition of tomatoes, the total amount of organic and mineral substances dissolved in the ground is important.
In addition, tomatoes love slightly acidic or neutral soil.
Alkaline plants inhibit the full development of plants: at a high content (pH 8–9), they poorly assimilate not only phosphorus, but all minerals. The same happens with increased acidity (6pH and below).
Sometimes phosphorus becomes unavailable for tomatoes due to the transition to an insoluble form. It is a solid mineral, and once it gets into the soil in the form of a liquid fertilizer, it soon returns to its normal state. This can happen in both alkaline and acidic soil. For example, when too much ash is added.
The earth becomes saturated with the kind of phosphorus that the roots of tomatoes cannot assimilate. Moreover, in this case, the mineral as a whole inhibits the nutrition of the bush.
In the spring, you can check if the site is oversaturated with phosphorus. For the test, radishes are sown on the garden bed: with an excess of this substance, every tenth plant begins to shoot.
What to do when a purple hue appears on tomatoes
There is no need to wait until the disorders in the development of tomatoes become irreversible. In most cases, with proper agricultural technology, everything can be corrected.
The first step is to make sure that the area where the tomatoes are growing is warm enough. If a purple tint on the leaves is noticed on time, and the reason is the cold, then the problem can be solved very quickly. To do this, increase the temperature in the room and water the tomato seedlings with warm water.
When growing seedlings at home, be sure to adhere to the temperature regime. When seedlings appear, it is necessary to maintain a daytime temperature of +16 0 C, at night - +13 0 C. After a week, you need to make the tomatoes warmer: respectively +20 0 C during the day and +18 0 C at night.
If a purple tint appears on the seedlings that are grown in a greenhouse, then it is not difficult to heat it: close the doors and vents, pour warm water, put in heating devices. If the tomatoes are on the street, you need to put arcs over them, cover the plantings with foil.
During a cold snap, it is not recommended to feed tomatoes. It is better to wait for warm weather, then the fertilizers will be absorbed faster and better.
If the temperature is balanced and the leaves do not regain their green color, then:
- there is not enough phosphorus in the soil
- it went into an insoluble form.
These causes can be corrected by using ready-made nutritional formulas that are balanced in mineral content. To eliminate the phosphorus deficiency, it makes no sense to fertilize with manure: there is very little of it.
Fertilizers are applied in small portions in liquid form or just before watering.
Granular formulations are applied directly to the root. They can be added to the soil in the fall when digging: phosphorus is best absorbed, which has been in the ground for about 3 years.
Every year it is preferable to choose a new place for planting tomatoes: if there is no crop rotation, the soil becomes saline and its nutrient composition becomes toxic. The beneficial substances in it pass into a form that tomatoes cannot assimilate.
- weakening photosynthesis
- reduced ability of roots to absorb food
- worsening breathing
- violations of protein synthesis.
To prevent phosphorus from binding in the soil, the soil is limestone, dolomite, lime. In the fall, you need to add organic matter: compost, humus. The green manures qualitatively improve the composition of the soil.
An excellent solution is the use of EM technology. It consists in the use of microorganisms that turn any soil into almost black soil. These are drugs such as "Baikal-EM", which can be used at all stages of growing tomatoes.
The main mistakes when growing a tomato
Growing tomatoes is not too difficult. But you need to create conditions suitable for these vegetables.
They can develop poorly if:
- Soil is not suitable, which should contain peat, garden soil, humus, sand. And also soil that is poor in fertilizers is not suitable.
- Tomatoes are not fed with highly soluble fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other minerals.
- The earth is periodically dry or waterlogged.
- There is a lack of light, air or heat.
- Preventive treatment against diseases with special preparations (Hom, Zaslon, Barrier and others) is not carried out.
At the seedling stage, tomatoes are watered with a spray bottle. On the site, drip irrigation is preferable once a week, not more often. Do not allow water to fall on the leaves and stagnate in the garden.
Tomatoes are planted spaciously. The holes are made taking into account the recommended planting scheme for the selected variety.
The greenhouse must be constantly ventilated, since tomato diseases spread well in a humid environment.
Another mistake is the untimely removal of stepchildren. They are removed, leaving a stump of 3-4 cm. In indeterminate varieties of tomatoes, pinch the top, leaving a distance of 50 cm to the greenhouse roof.
Purple leaves in seedlings or adult tomatoes are not yet a verdict on the harvest. Tomatoes respond quickly to good grooming. If you help them with the absorption of phosphorus in time, they will have time to give many tasty fruits.