The Q&A Archives: Sunburned Leaves

Question: What is causing the leaves on my young vegetable plants to turn white? The white leaves are very soft to the touch. Is this a leave scorch problem?

It's been a week after transplanting into the garden; although the sun has been out each day, we have provided plenty of water. The problem is so bad I believe I've lost my green pepper plants. Squash and tomato plants have also been heavily hit.

Answer: It sounds like sunburn. I'm having the same problem with my transplants--I left some of them outdoors thinking it was going to be a cloudy day--but it was sunny all day and they got burned. Fortunately, most plants will recover, as long as the growing point was not damaged. Next time, try to acclimate the plants gradually to the outdoors--place them in a sheltered spot for a few hours the first day, increasing the amount of sun and length of time they're outdoors over the course of a week or two.

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