Tomato seedlings turned purple

Lou421May 6, 2013

Hello I planted my Roma's back on March 30th. I didn't use any lighting other then what sun light was coming through my window. They were started in small cells. I up potted them twice since. They are now in 16oz cups. They started to turn purple the first time they were up potted. I have down loaded a pic. As you can see they haven't grown much either. Will they survive and what can I do?

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

They do look a little small for being planted on 3/30. Purple is common for seedlings, but yours look a little extra purple. Have they been exposed to cold temps? Other than the normal purple for the underside of seedlings leaves, it usually indicates a phosphorus deficency. They look small and purple, but not dying. Maybe try a very little, no more than 1/4 strength, fertilizer, and some warmer temps.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 7:35PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Need fertilizer. As was suggested, start at 1/4-strength.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 8:42PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

That poor thing is 6 weeks old?? What are you using for potting mix? How much are you watering it? Over-watering kills roots and stunts growth.

I agree with the feeding recommendations but given the poor growth I suspect there are other problems too.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:15PM
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Kevinitis(5)

Get those in the ground ASAP! Provided you are past your frost date.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:22PM
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Lou421

Hi Thank you all for your advice. I think one of the mistakes I made was not up potting them soon enough the first time. I think that's one of the reasons why they're so small. I'm new at this and I went over board on the seeds. In other words, it was too much to handle. I guess you learn from your mistakes. As for any cold temperature, they have been in my living room and about 2 weeks ago, I bought a portable green house. I put them in there every morning once it warms up . In the evening when the temperature starts to go down, I bring them in. I will put some light fertilizer today and see what happens. How often should I fertilize? As for watering, I've been testing it with my finger and watering when I feel its dry pass the 2 inches. I live in CT so May 01 was my frost date but I read I should wait another 2 weeks after the frost date to plant them in the garden. Is this correct?
Thnk you all again!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:48AM
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charlieboring

My seedlings are purple also and I attribute it to a cool basement. Plant them out side, if there is no danger of frost, and cover them at night. Tomatoes need night time temps of 60 or above.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:34AM
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Kevinitis(5)

Look at your weather forcast. If you are not going to be in the 30's for about the next 7 days then you can probably plant out without much fear of a frost. As noted, tomatoes do best in warm temps at night (60), but they can survive 40's at night just fine. As long as the temps don't freeze they can survive mid to high 30's too, though they may not like it. Here In the arid west, our night temps don't get up to 60's until July and August. All may and most of June our temps are below 60. But tomatoes grow great in May and June here. So go ahead and get them in the ground.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:19PM
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Kevinitis(5)

Look at your weather forcast. If you are not going to be in the 30's for about the next 7 days then you can probably plant out without much fear of a frost. As noted, tomatoes do best in warm temps at night (60), but they can survive 40's at night just fine. As long as the temps don't freeze they can survive mid to high 30's too, though they may not like it. Here In the arid west, our night temps don't get up to 60's until July and August. All may and most of June our temps are below 60. But tomatoes grow great in May and June here. So go ahead and get them in the ground.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:22PM
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