Why Are My Broccoli Leaves Turning Purple?

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You may have noticed that some of the leaves on the broccoli you are growing are turning purple. This might not be any cause for alarm. But there are some things you should investigate if you do notice your broccoli leaves turning purple.

Broccoli leaves turning purple could just mean the temperature dropped, it could mean there is a soil nutrient deficiency, or it could be a few other things. Read on to see why your broccoli might have leaves that are turning purple.

Reasons Broccoli Leaves Can Turn Purple

Nutrient Deficiencies

One of the most commonly found reasons that broccoli leaves start turning purple is due to a nutrient deficiency in the soil.

You will notice more changes in color in younger plants than older plants when it is due to a nutrient deficiency.

Broccoli is a very heavy-feeding vegetable that requires many nutrients to be available in the soil to grow well.

Purple leaves on a broccoli plant could be caused by various nutrients not being present or not being abundant in the soil.

In order to determine what your soil might be lacking it is best to get a soil test kit like this one.

The most common nutrient deficiencies that gardeners find when broccoli leaves are turning purple are either phosphorus or boron.

Making sure your soil has all the nutrients needed to support your garden is very important, and no matter what you are growing it is a good idea to get a soil test done in order to have the best chance at growing great vegetables.

MySoil - Soil Test Kit


While mulching in the garden is great to help insulate the soil and keep moisture in the soil it can cause issues with some plants.

If you have mulched around your broccoli make sure the mulch is not right up against your broccoli plant.

Some people have had issues with the lower leaves turning purple or even looking burned due to the mulch that they were resting on.


While broccoli is a cool-weather crop that can withstand light frosts, cold temperatures can affect the plant while it is growing.

The temperature dropping too much too fast can cause things like bolting or leaves turning purple with Brassicas like broccoli.

Neighbors In The Garden

There are some things that you should not plant near broccoli.

If you have other heavy feeders planted with your broccoli this could cause nutrients that are present in the soil to be taken by the other plants near the broccoli.

Find out what plants you should not grow near broccoli here.

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