Broccoli Leaves Turning Purple – It’s Not the End of the World!

Broccoli Leaves Turning Purple

Vegetable gardening is one of the most liked hobbies of many people around the world. And why not? After all, you get to enjoy self-grown healthy veggies in your everyday meals. Broccoli comes among the favorite plants to grow in many homes. But, the issue of its leaves turning purple has concerned people.

By reading this article, you will get to know why broccoli leaves turn purple and what you can do about it. Also, we’ll introduce you to the facts about naturally grown purple sprouting broccoli.

Should Broccoli Leaves Turn Purple?

No, broccoli leaves should not turn purple. When it happens, it’s considered that the soil is nutrient deficient. The process happens faster in younger broccoli plants than the older ones.

Can You Eat Purple Broccoli Leaves?

Yes, you can eat purple broccoli leaves without any risk. But, make sure you discard its extra-thick woody stems. It is best to eat purple broccoli as an accompanying vegetable to the main cuisine. It can be consumed both boiled or steamed.

Why Are My Broccoli Leaves Turning Pink?

The pinkish color of the broccoli is due to the transplant shock. Though the pink leaves would be completely healthy to consume, you can consider watering the plant using a liquid fertilizer like seaweed or fish emulsion.

Why Are Some Leaves Purple?

The phosphorus deficiency is considered the main reason why normal green leaves of your broccoli plant turn purple. Phosphorus is essential for plants to produce sugars, energy, and nucleic acids. This issue arises quickly in newer plants.

Factors Supporting Broccoli Leaves Turning Purple

Aside from nutrients deficiency, there are a few other factors that trigger broccoli leaves to turn purple:

  • Temperature

When the broccoli plant gets too cold, its leaves start to turn purple. It happens when the soil on which broccoli is planted gets overly cold, making roots unable to receive any more nutrients.  

  • Pests and fungal diseases

When broccoli plants get exposed to fungal diseases, their leaves start to turn purple. Also, pathogens like blackleg trigger the purple pigment in broccoli leaves. They are commonly found in soil.

  • PH level of the soil

The wrong pH value of soil can trigger purple pigment in broccoli. If the soil acidity is higher, it affects the plant’s capability to absorb phosphorus and other microelements. Thus, it causes a color change.  

How To Prevent Broccoli Leaves From Turning Purple?

Follow the below-given steps to prevent your broccoli plant from developing purple leaves:

  • Before planting a seedling, ensure to soak it in a weak mixture of potassium permanganate.
  • Keep air temperature between 68 to 70 °F.
  • Keep a neutral pH value of soil between 6.5 to 7 pH.
  • Use organic fertilizers.

What Happens When Broccoli Turns Purple?

When broccoli turns purple, it indicates that anthocyanin, a naturally occurring pigment, has been released. Though it shows that broccoli is nutrient deficient, the process is completely normal.

Can You Grow Purple Broccoli Naturally?

Yes, you can. These are known as purple sprouting broccoli and are generally grown in the UK. But, using its seeds and maintaining the needed temperature and soil pH value, you can grow them indoors.

How Do You Know If Purple Broccoli Is Bad?

The main indicator of bad purple broccoli is its intense smell. Simultaneously, the crisp texture of the leaves would become limp.

What Does Purple Broccoli Look Like When It Goes Bad?

Bad purple broccoli would start to develop brown and yellow spots in the leaves. It’s a sign of it getting spoiled. You would also notice fuzzy black or white patches growing on the stem of the florets of your broccoli plant. It indicates the formation of mold, and you should toss it soon.

Can You Get Sick From Eating Old Cooked Purple Broccoli?

Yes, consuming old cooked purple broccoli can make you sick. It is because prolonged cooked food tends to get spoiled quickly. Old cooked broccoli generally develops an unpleasant taste that can cause food poisoning. Also, it can cause vomiting, mild cramps, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Why Does Purple Sprouting Broccoli Not Sprout?

There are multiple reasons that make purple sprouting broccoli not sprout. Some of them are as follows:

  • Planting broccoli in the wrong season

Broccolis are cool weather plants. They should be planted during the spring season so that they’ll be ready for harvesting in winter. Planting the seedlings too late doesn’t give them adequate time to grow sprouts before the commencement of warm seasons.

  • Overcrowding

When you overcrowd or plant the sprouting broccoli additionally close to one another, it stops them from sprouting properly. The uneven nutrient and water distribution would cause a delay in their growth. It is advised to plant them at a minimum distance of 2 feet. One plant can spread up to 2 feet.

  • Root damage in seedling

If seedlings’ root system is damaged in a way, it will stop broccoli from growing well. It would not absorb the needed nutrients properly, and as a result, they would not sprout. The root damage happens when seedlings are left on their seed tray for a prolonged period causing them to get interwoven.

How Long Does Purple Sprouting Broccoli Take To Sprout?

Purple sprouting broccoli would generally take 180 days or 6 months to sprout. Once they grow fully in these 6 months, they start to sprout for many further weeks.


When To Plant Purple Sprouting Broccoli?

March, April, and May are the best periods to plant purple sprouting broccoli during the spring season. Thus, they can grow over the months and become ready for consistent sprouting by December, January, and February.

What’s The Easy Way To Grow Purple Sprouting Broccoli?

Planting purple sprouting broccoli in the backyard of your home is the easiest and most convenient way to grow it. Make sure soil is damp, and seedlings are placed at suitable distances ( at least 2 feet apart). Make sure roots aren’t growing out of the punnet’s bottom.

Is Purple Broccoli Easy To Grow?

Yes, purple broccoli is a pretty easy plant to grow. You only need to ensure the soil is well prepared before you plant the seedlings and water them as needed. Doing only these two things won’t need you to add even fertilizers or pay extra attention to the plant.

Why Does My Purple Broccoli Have Yellow Flowers?

Your purple broccoli plant grows yellow flowers when it is reproducing. The process takes place when the broccoli sprouts are left on the plant. Ensure to pick the broccoli sprouts quickly once it matures to avoid yellow flowers from developing on them.

What Happens When Purple Broccoli Starts To Grow Yellow Flowers?

The growth of yellow flowers on your purple broccoli would prevent the plant from sending out more sprouts. Thus, it is advised to take out sprouts as soon as they start to grow. This process usually takes place during summers when your purple broccoli plant has completely grown.

Do I Need To Stake Purple Broccoli?

Yes, you need to stake your purple broccoli plant to keep it safe from heavy winds. You can use bamboo or hardwood as stakes for this purpose. However, if you live in areas where it’s not that windy, then not staking the plant would be ok.


To summarize the article, the process of broccoli leaves turning purple is due to the action of anthocyanin, a naturally occurring pigment. It is triggered by various factors like temperature, diseases, pests, and soil pH value. Take care of these factors to prevent the process.


Alice is a writer who grew up on a beautiful homestead in rural Old England. She now lives in New England with her fur babies and is on a mission to return to the land for a simpler, greener, and all-round kinder existence.

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