The Q&A Archives: Phosphorus Deficiency

Question: My daughter brought home a plant for Mother's Day, and I replanted it last week and put it outside. Now the tips of the leaves are turning dark purple. The plant seems to be growing just fine, but I am concerned that there is a phosphorus deficiency. Is there anything I can add to the soil to reverse this purpling effect? I have no idea what kind of plant it is.

Answer: Rather than a phosphorous deficiency, I think your plant is simply reacting to cool night temperatures. This happens to several kinds of plants, especially when they've been recently transplanted from a nice warm area (your house) to the cooler temperatures outdoors. As soon as it adjusts to its new home it should be fine and all new growth will be a normal color.

Best wishes with your new plant!

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