Plant care & Tips

Why is My Plant Leaves Turning Purple – How to Fix It

You may have noticed your plant leaves turning purple and wondering what could be the cause.

Leaf purpling occurs for many reasons, but the most common one is a phosphorus deficiency.

All plants need phosphorus, it is an essential nutrient for plant growth, especially for rooting, flowering, and fruiting.

Why is My Plant Leaves Turning Purple?

When your plant encounters a lack of nutrients such as nitrogen, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. It shows it in many ways – Oftentimes in the leaves.

The leave is one of the areas one can easily spot the lack or deficiency your plants are facing.

Purple Leaf coloration in plants is due to a deficiency in nutrients or trace minerals, and it can lead to stunted growth or death.

Deficient in phosphorus oftentimes leads to purple colors on plant leaves. Plant leaves turning purple is caused by the lack of phosphorus in the soil or the inability of your plant to absorb the phosphorus available in the garden’s soil.

When this happens, plants will stop growing, or the growth severely restricted. The older leaves begin to turn a dull, dark green, which eventually turns purple. Purpling starts at the tops or undersides of the leaves and spreads across the entire leaf.

The younger plant suffers phosphorus deficiency than older plants and is more likely to display the signs. Phosphorus deficiency can occur in some plants planted in cool and wet soil.

How Do You Fix Purple Leaves in Plants?

Before you go on Fixing the purple coloration at the tip of a plant leaves or on the whole leaves, you need to diagnose the cause of the problem.

Your findings should tell you or give you a clearer understanding of what to do.

Many times the problem is insufficient micronutrients like phosphorus in the soil. But sometimes, it could be the inability of your plant to absorb phosphorus through its roots.

When you noticed your plant leaves turning purple, there are a few things to consider.

1. Check Phosphorus Level:

After carrying out your soil test and the results indicate a low phosphorus level. You can fix purple leaves by adding rock phosphate, bone meal, superphosphate, and manure, or compost as a fertilizer.

2. Check Soil Acidity:

Soil pH measures the acidity level of the soil. Phosphorus uptake is affected by high soil acidity present in the garden.

To correct this, you need to reduce the high acidity of the soil, so that the plant can thrive and grow fruits.

3. Iron Levels:

Iron-rich soils can bind phosphorus in ways that make it difficult for plants to absorb.

You can see plant leaves turn reddish-brown, as this also shows too much iron in the garden’s soil where its located.

To improve phosphorus absorption in plants and stop plants from having purple leaves – you need to adjusting soil pH, balance iron with other micronutrients, or improve water aeration and drainage.

How to Fix Phosphorus Deficiency in Plants?

There are several things to do to help a plant suffering from phosphorus deficiency. But, before you go ahead, you need to test the soil first to determine the level of phosphorus in the soil.

These will help you regulate the phosphorus level, and the indication will tell you what you need to do.

However, if you are convinced and sure that the purple leaves of your plant are due to phosphorus deficiency, here is what you can do to fix it.

Rock Phosphate

plant leaves turning purple - rock phosphate

Phosphorite, also known as phosphate rock or rock phosphate, is non-detrital sedimentary rock rich in phosphate minerals.

And Gardeners uses them to make organic phosphate fertilizers utilized by their plants.

Phosphate fertilizer provides the number of nutrients your plants need to grow strong and healthy.

Apply rock phosphorus in the early spring, use about 4.5kg for a 100 square feet field. With rock phosphorus in your vegetable garden, you will have fewer pests with greater yield.

Always read the application instructions on the package to have the right amount of phosphorite in your garden soil.

Bone Meal


The bone meal consists of ground animal bones and slaughterhouse waste products. The product has high phosphorus content and is an organic fertilizer for plants.

In Gardening, bone meal serves as a fertilizer because of its high phosphorus and protein content.

Phosphorus is increased in the garden by using bone meal as fertilizer. It has an NPK of 3-15-0. Plants need it to blossom and bear fruits.

Plants readily absorb phosphorus from bone meal. Using bone meal will help your plants and vegetables grow healthier and more abundantly.

Apply bone meal in your garden and field, can use about 4.5kg for 100 square feet of Land.



Superphosphate is a type of synthetic fertilizer. Sulfuric acid treatment is applied to produce rock phosphate ore.

The more phosphate introduced to your plant, the larger and greener the leaves will be and, the problem of plant leaves turning purple will stop.

Applying superphosphate fertilizer can help increase macronutrients like phosphorus and calcium in the soil. That helps your plant can grow healthier.

Furthermore, superphosphate promotes larger leaves and more fruits production in plants. Whatever the purpose of use – whether you desire more tomatoes or more abundant roses. Superphosphate can be the answer.

Adding Manure, Or Compost

plant leaves turning purple - compost

Manures are high in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients that plants require to thrive.

Adding manure and compost will increase macronutrients in the soil and improve phosphorus deficiency. As we all know, the absence of phosphorus can lead to plants’ leaves turning purple.

Manure is an affordable fertilizer and an excellent way to dispose of animal waste rather than piling it up, which can be harmful to water quality.

Adding animal manure or compost to the soil will not only improve the soil’s quality. It will also improve the soil’s pores, and your garden would need less watering.

Conclusion on Plant Leaves Turning Purple – How to Fix It

We have stated above what are causes of plant leaves turning purple and how to fix it. However, it is essential to know that phosphorous deficiency can be managed and controlled.

Before going on increasing the level of phosphorous in the garden. You have to carry out some tests to know what quantity of phosphorous is needed and why your plant is not able to absorb phosphorus from the soil.

Happy Gardening!!

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