If you’re new to growing broccoli in your garden, it might be shocking to learn that broccoli leaves can sometimes turn yellow. What does it mean when your broccoli leaves are yellow, and what can you do to get that beautiful green color back?
There are three main reasons that broccoli leaves turn yellow: a nutrient deficiency, fungal infection, or growing past maturity.
Keep reading to find out what’s causing your broccoli leaves to turn yellow. We’ll also share some ways to keep the leaves a vibrant green in the future.
Reasons For Yellowing Broccoli Leaves
For the most part, yellow broccoli leaves mean something isn’t quite right with your plants. Plant leaves turn yellow when they are under stress of some kind, so it’s necessary to figure out what is causing the stress so you can give the plant what it needs.
One of the most common reasons for broccoli leaves turning yellow is inadequate nitrogen in the soil. Broccoli has high nitrogen requirements, so it can struggle to thrive in poor soils.
If the crown (or head) has turned yellow, there’s a good chance you harvested the broccoli too late. As broccoli matures, it turns yellow and becomes quite bitter.
Several funguses can cause your broccoli leaves to turn yellow. Fusarium wilt is the most prominent and is easy to spot. Starting at the bottom of the plant and eventually working its way to the top, Fusarium wilt causes the leaves to turn yellow, and they will eventually turn brown and die.
How To Fix Yellow Broccoli Leaves
Most fixes for yellow broccoli leaves are simple. After following these steps, you should see improvement in your plant’s leaves.
If insufficient nitrogen is the cause of the yellow leaves, adding nitrogen to the soil is a quick and easy fix. Commercial fertilizers are very effective at providing the appropriate amount of nitrogen.
If you wish to be eco-friendly, you can place used coffee grounds in the soil around your plants. Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen, so they’ll give your broccoli the nutrients it needs without any added chemicals.
If your broccoli plants have become too mature, try harvesting them sooner the next time around. By supplementing nitrogen and other nutrients, you may be able to extend the growing time of your broccoli plants to prevent the heads from turning yellow.
Some funguses are easy to control with fungicides. However, some (such as Fusarium wilt) spread too quickly and can survive in the soil permanently. In these cases, you should discard all affected broccoli plants and place them elsewhere the following season. Rotational planting is a great way to ward off future diseases.
Yellow leaves on broccoli plants can be confusing, but they aren’t usually a big deal. Typically, adding nitrogen to the soil, harvesting your broccoli crowns earlier, or planting your broccoli in a different section of your garden each year can help the leaves stay green and continue to be productive throughout the growing season.