Why are the leaves of my broccoli plant turning brown?

Are the leaves of your broccoli plant turning brown, or/and are you seeing brown spots on the leaves of a broccoli plant?

There are several reasons Why are the leaves of my broccoli plant turning brown:

  1. Insufficient or too much watering of your broccoli plant
  2. Broccoli plant growing in a less humid area
  3. Broccoli plant receiving too much or too little sunlight
  4. Using excessive fertilizer for your broccoli plant
  5. Poor pH of the soil
  6. Diseases, insects, and pests cause the leaves of your broccoli plant to turn brown

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If you are facing these problems and are concerned about why are the leaves of your broccoli plant turning brown, here are some of the reasons you can look into to figure out the main reasons behind the browning of your broccoli leaves and brown spots on the leaves of your broccoli plant.

Why are the leaves of my broccoli plant turning brown

Here are the reason, why are the leaves of my broccoli plant turning brown?

1. Insufficient or too much watering of your broccoli plant

Watering your broccoli plants properly is extremely crucial to make sure that your broccoli is growing healthy and properly.

But watering them too much or not watering them sufficiently can cause some major problems to your broccoli plant and can eventually lead to the browning of the broccoli leaves.

If you are not watering your broccoli plant sufficiently then not only it will slow down the growth of your plant but also the edges of the leaves of the broccoli plant will dry out and turn brown.

Thus drying of the broccoli leaves due to insufficient watering could be one of the most basic reasons for your plant leaves turning brown.

It is important to remember that these dry and brown tips or edges of your broccoli leaves can’t turn green again. So in such a case, you can simply trim those dry and brown ends of the plant. This will make your broccoli plant look a lot healthier than before.

In a similar way, if you water your broccoli plant too much, then it could stop oxygen from reaching the roots of your plant, which could lead to the browning of the leaves and could eventually lead to the death of the broccoli plant.

Your broccoli plant will require about 1 inch to 1.5 inches of water every week for its ideal growth. You can also check if your broccoli plant is getting the required amount of water by checking the soil present a few inches below the surface.

If the soil feels dry or warm, this could mean that you need to water your plant more. An ideal time to check this would be early evening or morning.

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2. Broccoli plant growing in a less humid area

The ideal level of humidity required for a broccoli plant to grow is 50% to 70%. So, if you are growing your broccoli in an area of low humidity, this could cause the leaves of your broccoli plant to turn crispy and brown.

If you feel that low humidity is causing the browning of the leaves of your broccoli plant, then you can do the following – take some water in a spray bottle and spritz over your plant gently. This could compensate for the low humidity present around your broccoli plant.

Apart from humidity, temperature also plays a very important role in the proper and healthy growth of your broccoli plant. Improper temperature can also cause the leaves of your broccoli plant to turn brown.

The ideal temperature for growing broccoli is between 18-22°C (65-70°F). California, Arizona, Texas, and Oregon have the ideal temperature to grow broccoli, which also makes California the leading producer of broccoli.

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3. Broccoli plant receiving too much or too little sunlight

Sunlight plays one of the most important roles in determining the growth of your broccoli plant, but at the same time, it is also very important to ensure that you not growing your broccoli in an area or space where it is going to receive too much of sunlight.

Receiving excessive sunlight could lead to the browning of the broccoli leaves and make them extremely dry and rough.

So in case you see browning of your broccoli leaves and find them dry and crispy, it would be a good idea to check if this is happening due to your broccoli plant receiving too much sunlight.

Apart from this, if your broccoli plants are exposed to excessive sunlight then this can also cause sunburn to your plant. This can appear in the form of brown spots in the center of the broccoli leaves.

If you are facing this issue, then you might want to move your broccoli plant to a location where it does not receive too much sunlight.

Similarly, the leaves of your broccoli plant can start to turn brown if they are not receiving enough sunlight.

If you see a pattern, where only the leaves which are facing away from sunlight are turning brown, and the side of the leaves facing the sun look healthy and green, then this could be a sure sign that the browning of the leaves of the broccoli plant is because it is not getting sufficient or enough sunlight.

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4. Using excessive fertilizer for your broccoli plant

Just like too much water or sunlight could cause harm to your broccoli plant, in a similar way, if you are using too much fertilizer for your plant, this could also do more harm than good to the health of your broccoli plant.

If you use fertilizers for your plant and are noticing browning on the sides or edges and tips of the leaves of your broccoli plant, then it could be a sign that you are using excessive fertilizer.

This happens because, using too much fertilizer can create a buildup of salt in the soil, and this will prevent the broccoli plant from absorbing water and other essential nutrients from the soil.

Using excessive fertilizer also damages the roots of the broccoli plant, which can lead to the leaves of the plant start turning brown.

You can check whether you have used too much fertilizer for your broccoli plant. If you see a layer of fertilizer sitting on the surface of the soil, then this means you are using more fertilizer than what is required.

All you have to do is, remove that visible layer present on the topsoil and water them sufficiently. You need to wait for at least 1 month, before using fertilizer again.

Yet another way to deal with over-fertilization is to simply flush out your plant. To do this, you can leach the excess fertilizer by pouring water over the soil slowly.

Apart from fertilizers, even contaminated soil and using excessive herbicide could cause the browning of your broccoli leaves. So you need to be cautious while using these.

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5. Poor pH of the soil

Brown spots on the leaves of your broccoli plant could also be due to the wrong pH of the soil in which you are growing your broccoli.

All plants have an ideal range of soil pH for their optimal growth. This ideal range could be different for different plants. Broccolis require the soil pH to be within a range of 6.0 to 7.0. Thus, broccolis grow best in slightly acidic soil.

The low pH level of the soil can hinder the nutrient uptake of your plant thus causing brown spots to appear on the leaves the broccoli leaves.

Thus, it is important to check the pH of your soil and ensure that it is not too alkaline or too acidic.

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6. Diseases, insects, and pests cause the leaves of your broccoli plant to turn brown

Usually, when the tips of the leaves of your broccoli plant turn brown, it is more likely due to drying of the leaves, but if you find small brown spots on your leaves, then this could be a sign that your plant is affected by some infections or diseases caused by pest or fungi.

These pests can cause brown lesions on your broccoli leaves, by feeding on the water and sugar from the tissues of the plant.

Pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, scale, and aphids, commonly affect indoor plants.

Larger insects, which are visible to the naked eyes, can be removed manually, for eg, by using tweezers. You can also spray water over your broccoli plant, which is infected by these pests, by using a hose. Using neem-based insecticidal sprays can also help in such situations.

However, if your broccoli plant has been largely affected by these pests, then it will be best to dispose of your plant as soon as possible, in order to prevent them from spreading to other plants around.

Another cause for the browning of the broccoli leaves of your plant could be due to – Anthracnose. Anthracnose is caused by the fungi – Colletrotrichum and Gloeosporium.

When your broccoli plant is affected by this fungi, you will notice the tips of the broccoli leaves turning yellow firstly, then tan, and finally dark brown in color. Eventually, this dark brown color will spread to the entire leaf and the leaf will finally die.

To prevent further disease, picking off the infected leaves can help. You can also spray chlorothalonil or tebuconazole after this to reduce the chances of future infection.

Why are the leaves of my broccoli plant turning brown
Why are the leaves of my broccoli plant turning brown

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Conclusion

Leaves turning brown on broccoli plants is usually a sign of overwatering. When the soil is too wet, the roots can’t get enough oxygen and they start to rot. This causes the leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually fall off. If your broccoli plant is losing its leaves, check the soil moisture levels and make sure you aren’t watering it too often.

If you are experiencing this issue, try watering your broccoli plant less frequently and see if that helps. You may also want to wait until after your last frost date to plant them outside so they have a chance to adjust to their new environment before being overwatered.

I hope this article has helped you understand the causes of leaf browning on broccoli plants and how to remedy the situation.

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