Snapdragons with Purple Leaves

sherribabyApril 12, 2007

I have two of 36 snapdragons that are a little bit droopy. They have a very deep purple undertone on the leaves. The rest of them have a hint of purple but the droopy ones are very purple. I'm assuming that they are deficient in some nutrient but not sure which...any guesses? And if that is the case, what type of fertilizer would be best for them?

On a side note, my tomato plants are slightly purple on the undersides of the leaves too. Anyone know if that is normal or should I fertilize the same?

Thanks so much!


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linnea56(z5 IL)

These are from a pack of mixed seed? I would assume that the dark purple just means that these plants will be have very dark flowers. A nutritional deficiency would more likely show up as pale leaves of yellowing leaves, not purple. What kind of soil did you start them in?

Tomatoes make some of the same pigments of the red-purple variety too, though in their case you will not see much of it until the fruits turn red. In many plants the brighter green of the leaves masks the red family of pigments. They are there, but we can't see them...until fall, for many plants.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 11:52AM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

I have several snaps with some leaves that are purple, depending upon the colour of the blosssom. No problems here; my snapdragons are very robust.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 7:50PM
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Purple leaf discoloration could reflect a phosphate deficiency - or soil temps too cool for plants to take up this nutrient.

If growing conditions (light, temperature, ample root room) are OK, it's doubtful that you'd want to apply any more than a weakly diluted balanced fertilizer application to seedlings.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 9:40AM
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Eric is right about the phosphorus and purple leaves. It's very common on many plants in cool soil (seedling or mature). If that's is what going on with you don't worry, as soon as the soil warms they'll regain green :D
However I have Snapdragon 'Black Prince' who do have a purplish cast to the leaves in summer. Right now in the cool soil all the new growth is VERY purple. Here pics of one of them a few days back. BTW these have been perennial for me. This here particular one never completely died back either so it was purple all winter also...

My darker flowring Sweet William (vs the light colored) also have deep purple to maroon colored foliage when it cools in fall and again in spring...they green up before they flower. I assume since the white and pink flowering ones dont turn purple it must be indicative of bloom color :D
Also I noticed purple Echinacea has dark maroon early spring leaves vs. the White Swan which is bright green!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 2:55PM
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