Why do my broccoli leaves turn yellow?

Broccoli is a crop that requires high amounts of nitrogen from the soil. If the soil lacks nitrogen, then the broccoli leaves can turn yellow. Hence the main and common reason for broccoli leaves turning yellow is a deficiency of nitrogen.

In this, the lower parts get affected first and it continues towards the whole plant. In critical conditions, the whole plant can even turn yellow and die. This broccoli is edible but can taste bitter. One can also cut off the yellow part and use the rest. 

Besides, leaves don’t just turn yellow due to less nitrogen but this can also be due to lack of other nutrients. Along with a lack of nutrients, moisture stress can be another reason for this.

So to stop your broccoli leaves from turning yellow, one should make sure that your plants get enough nitrogen and all other nutrients along with proper moisture. Also to keep your broccoli fresh, you should avoid wrapping your vegetable in plastic and use damp paper towels instead before storing them. 

Why do my broccoli leaves turn yellow:

Broccoli is a crop grown in cold climatic conditions. It requires sufficient light. It requires Sandy soil that is rich in nitrogen and has a slightly acidic pH. There are mainly three situations where the leaves of a broccoli plant can turn yellow.

The first one of them is becoming yellow with time also called maturity yellowing, the next is due to lack of nitrogen and the last is any fungal disease. 

Getting yellow as it becomes mature:

The head or the main edible part of the broccoli is made up of very small flowers. When the broccoli becomes mature, ready to harvest then these flowers turn yellow and start to produce seeds if they are not harvested for a long time.

However, these seeds can be used for the next generations. When the main part becomes mature, the buds start expanding and till the flower bursts, the head part of the plant turns yellow. This yellowish broccoli hence lacks all the nutrients and is also bitter. 

Lack of nitrogen:

As told earlier, broccoli needs a lot of nitrogen from the soil. If the soil lacks nitrogen, then the broccoli leaves will start turning yellow. Starting from the lower part the leaves gradually turn yellow to upwards. In uttermost conditions, the whole plant can turn yellow and die at the end. 

Any fungal disease:

Fusarium oxysporum is a type of fungus that affects broccoli plants that can cause yellowing of the leaves of the plant. This fungus mainly enters the plant through the new roots or through old roots during transferring the plant to the main field. This fungus makes its way through the stem to leaves resulting in the leaves turning yellow. This fungus is very dangerous and kills the plant.  

Along with these above-mentioned reasons some diseases are also the reason behind the yellowing of leaves. Downy mildew is the first disease that is accountable for the broccoli leaves turning yellow. It is also a type of fungal disease.

Must Read: Growing the Microgreen Broccoli

The fungus named Peronospora parasitica causes Downy mildew. This fungus can act upon both seedlings as well as the mature plant part. In this, the leaves of the broccoli turn yellow. High moisture content supports this fungal disease. In this disease, mainly the leaves at the bottom get affected. 

Prevention of Downy mildew: For avoiding this, one should plant the crops at sufficient distances. Also, take care that you water the crop near the roots so that the leaves don’t get wet. Besides this one can also use chemicals or fungicides to control the disease.

You should spray the fungicides at weekly intervals after transplanting the plant. Use these fungicides on the leaves present at the bottom. Avoid fungicides when the temperature is more than 35° C. 

The next one is an Alternaria leaf spot. It is again a type of fungal disease in which Alternaria species is responsible. This disease occurs when the conditions are warm as well as moist. You can see small dark shade spots on the stems as the symptoms of the disease.

In the matured plants round spots of brown color can be noticed on the leaves and the leaves gradually turn yellow with time in this disease. A temperature of 15 to 35 °C supports the disease. 

How to prevent and treat this disease: one should clean up all the debris after harvesting. This disease can also be very easily spread through the infected tools or wind or splashing water or through insects hence one should take care of all this. Other than this one can also use chemicals and fungicides to control the disease.

Black rot is the next disease that is spread by bacteria named Xanthomonas campestris pathovar campestris. In this disease mainly the parts above the ground get affected. In this V-shaped lesions of yellow color appear on the leaves that expand with time. 

For black rot disease, no chemical cure is available so the plant must be prevented from this disease. For this, all the debris should be removed from the field.

Also, weeds should be cut off from time to time. Seeds of infected plants should not be used at all. Wind, splashing water, insects, etc. are also the reason behind the disease. High temperature and moisture also support the disease so these conditions should be avoided. Disease-free tools should be used in broccoli farming. Also, the seeds should be free from infection. 

Bottom line:

There are many different reasons for broccoli leaves turning yellow. They may be insufficient nutrients or some diseases. So one should provide sufficient amounts of required nutrients to the crop and also keep a check on the symptoms so that if any disease is there it can be treated on time.

Growing the Microgreen Broccoli

The broccoli is a dark green plant that appears like a green miniature tree and belongs to the cabbage family. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds. 

Apart from nutrition values, the broccoli is a cash crop due to its demand in the daily diet. And, broccoli farming is picking the trend nowadays.

Broccoli has the greatest content of essential nutrients, including magnesium, iron, and calcium.

 Being a nutritious vegetable, broccoli is growing in consumption. Besides its use in a variety of cuisine, it is quite popular in green salads.

As broccoli is a cold season crop, it is wise to grow broccoli in the winter so that at the time of harvesting the temperature should not be above than 23-degree Celsius.

Also Read: Cabbage Farming: Planting, care, Harvesting- A complete guide

This is interesting that the broccoli thrives best in the climate condition that varies from 7-degree Celsius to 23-degree Celsius. Besides, broccoli is frost-resistant and can tolerate temperatures below the freezing level for at least one week. 

Understanding how broccoli grow

It is recommended to sow broccoli seed month before the spring’s last frost. Because now you get enough time to move the seedlings to the field in broccoli farming, after hardening off them for some time so that they can bear the hardest of climate conditions.

On the other hand, it is worth sowing the seeds indoors in the case of the late summer, for the regions that have mild winters. Later you can put them in the greenhouse, once autumn starts and so it can be harvested in the winter.

In both the cases, temperature hitting the freezing level for quite a time or rising beyond the 25-degree celsius can hamper the growth of the head of the broccoli.

While in areas that have cold winters, it is recommended to sow the seed in the summer so the crop can mature in autumn, just before the cold.

Soil Preparation

To make the soil fertile for broccoli farming, it is worth adding well-mixed compost containing the manure. Once, the manure is spread over the soils. Then plow the field for three or four times before starting the main planting.

The crops of Broccoli may be grown in a variety of soils. Besides, the sandy and silt loam soils are ideally used to achieve a higher yield from broccoli crops.

When considering the pH value of soil, it should be between 6 and 7 if soil can have the best moist conditions throughout the crop. 

In some cases, aging manure can be applied to soil to replace soil nitrogen in areas of heavy rain or sandy soil.

Selecting Variety of broccoli

While selecting the variety, it is necessary to keep the maturity time of the crop. The green sprouting variety often takes the 70 to 140 days to mature. The proper selection of the broccoli variety directly influences the final yield because one can thrive in a certain environment and others indifferent. 

Thus, it is worthy to select the relative variety so that the crop matures after optimum climate conditions.

In the case of broccoli farming, direct seeding is far more valuable as compared to the transplant. While for some areas, due to the climate conditions, transplant is a better choice.

Besides, in both cases, it is recommended to grow the broccoli in two rows on the raised beds with a minimum distance of 4o to 45 cm. While in case planting is done in a single line, space should be around 60 cm.

And, during the transplant, a young plant with some leaves and almost a month old is the right choice to succeed. 

On the other hand, it is better to transplant thin plants to a different section of the field.

And, in case of direct seeding, sow the seed half an inch deep and at least three inches apart. 

When transplanting, it is worth that you must have a minimum of 11,000 plants per acre. 

 Broccoli planting spacing

For the spacing make sure that it adheres to the capability of irrigation, the schedule of the plantation as well the particular demand in the market if there is any.

Must Read: Planting and Growing Okra Step by Step

Irrigation of broccoli plants

Broccoli gives a better yield when irrigated regularly, it’s worth keeping the soil enough moist when flowers start to bloom. Though, watering with the furrow or the sprinklers achieves better growth in the broccoli plant. 

While if you have a large farm in the case of broccoli farming, it is appropriate to use drip irrigation.

The amount of water for the broccoli largely depends on the soil type, weather conditions as well as the growth or maturity of the crop. 

The watering to the plants should be more frequent when the crop is in the last phase and the vegetable’s growth is at its peak.


To get the highest yield of the crop, applying the proper amount of fertilization is utmost necessary. For healthier plant production, most of the crops rely heavily on NPK fertilizer.

Broccoli is a relatively hard feeder and must feed in a thin layer of old manure before the crop. 

The land as a resource requires proper maintenance and monitoring. Fertilization will then be produced on the basis of soil analysis tests.

 In the case of the drip irrigation system, nitrogen can be applied through the water as it is the most precise way to feed the plant.

How grow broccoli sprouts

Broccoli develops in just more than two months from seed to harvest. It is appropriate to wait for the sowing before the weather conditions become favorable for the plants. Thus they can become stable and efficient, offering protection against intense weather.

While all broccoli plants may endure freezing, extended cold periods can delay development or harm plant production. 

The flowering cycle is triggered by low temperatures and warm days. This mechanism can cause plants to have flowers earlier than normal. This can affect the size of broccoli’s heads.

To combat these conditions, cold weather shelter is provided that gives further 4 to 8-degree insulation, protecting and extending the season of freeze harvests for up to four weeks.

Grow broccoli microgreens

Proper care of the crop is as important as another step. The caring of a plant may include, apart from the watering and fertilization, eliminating the unnecessary weed, identification of the insects or the adequate analysis of the crop diseases. 

The main problems of broccoli development may be insect pests, in particular for summer seedlings. 

Right monitoring of each plant can prevent unnecessary loss to the crop and eventually can hamper the overall yield at the end.

To take care of your plants, make sure you take appropriate action as soon as you get any hint of any problem to the plant.

These are some of the highlighted problems in broccoli farming:

Eliminating weed

The weed battles for food, sunshine, and air with the majority of the crops. And, consequently, reduce the growth of a particular plant. So, it is appropriate to keep the crop weed-free as it starts to appear after a month of transplantation.

Controlling the insects

Several insects harm the broccoli plant throughout its life. Flea beetles, wireworms or the cutworms can make the seedling die at the early stage. 

Besides, cabbage aphids can attack the heads while they are in the development phase. In this case, it is necessary to control these insects even before the head starts to develop. A quality insecticide can be sprayed to the plants to prevent these harmful insects. Or, you can handpick them to get higher yields.

The soil-borne pests have less impact over the broccoli plant, yet some soil pathogens can cause clubroot disease. These diseases can be controlled by crop rotation or applying the line to the roots in the case of broccoli farming.

Apart from these, downy mildew affects the broccoli plants quite a lot. It can be identified with the spots in the leaves. This fungal infection does not have a great impact on vegetables until it affects the head.

To counter such infection, some growers prefer to use a fungicide. In some cases, a seedling is treated by chemical treatment especially in moist conditions, which favors the disease.

The broccoli head is also susceptible to the various diseases that need to be taken care of. The head diseases severely affect the flower buds and can also because of the head rot.

Such disease spreads in wet conditions and causes significant damage to the overall yield. To prevent such conditions, it is appropriate to use correct pesticides once you get any symptoms.

Harvesting broccoli

Seed based plants can produce broccoli in 100 to 150 days. This is the best broccoli plant harvest time. Broccoli can be developed in 55–80 days from the transplants method. It is worth leaving the foundation and some exterior leaves of the broccoli plant to facilitate fresh heads in the secondary production.

A crop must be hand-picked two to three-times during a season and in case of storage, a broccoli stem should be cut at the 6 inches.

Moreover, it is recommended to harvest the broccoli in the morning to maintain the freshness of the vegetable intact.


1. https://harvesttotable.com/how_to_grow_broccoli/

2. https://me dium.com/@shinebrandseeds/everything-you-need-to-know-about-broccoli-farming-in-a-poly-house-e34aa6a21561

3. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/a20706315/growing-broccoli/