Why Do Marigold Leaves Turn Purple?

Marigolds are a popular flower commonly used in gardens and landscapes. They are known for their bright, vibrant colors and easy care requirements. However, sometimes marigold leaves can turn purple, which can be a cause of concern for gardeners.

There are several reasons why this may happen, such as environmental factors, nutritional deficiencies, and pests and diseases. Understanding the cause of the purple leaves can help gardeners take appropriate action to prevent or address the issue.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors, such as light and temperature, can play a significant role in the color of marigold leaves.

Lack of sunlight: Marigolds require a certain amount of sunlight to thrive. If they do not receive enough sunlight, their leaves may turn purple. This can happen when the plants are placed in an area that is too shady, or when the surrounding vegetation is blocking light from reaching the marigolds.

Extreme temperatures: Marigolds are sensitive to extreme temperatures, either too hot or too cold. If the plants are exposed to temperatures that are too high or too low, their leaves may turn purple. This can happen when the plants are placed in an area that is too exposed to the sun, or when the temperatures drop significantly at night.

In addition, high humidity or exposure to frost also can cause the leaves to turn purple

To prevent environmental factors from causing purple leaves, it is important to provide the plants with the proper amount of sunlight and protect them from extreme temperatures. This can be done by placing the plants in a location that receives a moderate amount of sunlight or by providing them with shade during the hottest part of the day. Additionally, it is important to protect the plants from frost and high humidity by providing proper insulation or moving them to a sheltered area.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies can also cause marigold leaves to turn purple. Marigolds require specific nutrients to thrive, such as nitrogen and phosphorous. If these nutrients are not present in the soil or if the plants are not receiving enough of them, the leaves may turn purple as a symptom.

A nitrogen deficiency can cause the older leaves to turn purple and yellow as well as stunted growth. Marigolds need a steady supply of nitrogen to maintain healthy growth, and if they don’t get enough, they can become stunted, and their leaves may turn yellow or purple.

A phosphorous deficiency can cause the leaves to turn purple and the flowers to be small. Phosphorus is essential for the plants’ root growth and flower development, so a lack of it can affect the overall health of the plant, including the color of the leaves.

To prevent nutritional deficiencies from causing purple leaves, it is important to provide the plants with the proper amount of nutrients. This can be done by fertilizing the soil with a balanced fertilizer that contains the necessary amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus. Additionally, it is important to test the soil to ensure that it has the proper pH levels for marigold growth and to amend the soil accordingly.

It is also important to note that over-fertilization, especially with high levels of nitrogen, can also cause the leaves to turn purple. Therefore, it is important to follow the recommended guidelines for fertilization and to avoid over-fertilizing the plants.

Pests and Diseases

Certain pests and diseases can also cause marigold leaves to turn purple. These include:

  • Aphids: Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects that can cause damage to marigold leaves. They can cause the leaves to turn purple, yellow, or become distorted. They can also cause the flowers to be deformed or to not open.
  • Powdery mildew: Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can affect marigold leaves. It causes a white or gray powdery coating on the leaves, which can cause them to turn purple. The leaves may also become distorted and curled. This disease is common in humid and warm weather, and thrives in poorly ventilated and overcrowded conditions.
  • Botrytis: Botrytis is a fungal disease that can cause the leaves to turn purple, brown, or gray. It is commonly caused by high humidity and can be found on the flowers and leaves of the plants.

To prevent pests and diseases from causing purple leaves, it is important to keep an eye out for any signs of infestation or infection and to take appropriate action. This can include using insecticides or fungicides, removing infected plant parts and practicing good hygiene and sanitation, such as removing debris and dead leaves around the plants, and providing good air circulation.

It is also important to note that the use of pesticides should be done with caution and that prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, it is important to practice good gardening practices, such as proper spacing, avoiding overcrowding and ensuring that the plants are receiving the proper amount of water, sunlight, and nutrition to keep them healthy and reduce their susceptibility to pests and diseases.

Conclusion

In conclusion, marigold leaves can turn purple for a variety of reasons, such as environmental factors, nutritional deficiencies, and pests and diseases. Understanding the cause of the purple leaves is important in order to take appropriate action to prevent or address the issue.