I recently transplanted a bunch of corn flowers and they are turning purple and red. I also have lupins, tomatoes, and sun flowers turning red and purple. When I transplanted them i dug the hole twice as deep and filled the difference with soil, 3 in 1 and 1/8 of a teaspoon of organic 4-4-4 fertilizer and lightly watered it before placing in the seedlings. They were all hardened off prior and had not been fertilized in ten days. Last fertilizer i used was a 2-2-2 fish emulsion at half strength. I thought I might have over fertilized but I have some that haven't been transplanted that look the same. What could the problem be and what can I do?

  • 3
    Can you please post some pictures Jennifer?
    – JStorage
    Jun 16 '17 at 20:55
  • Please send pictures and the dates of fertilizing. I don't think you overfertilized. Formulas should be just fine. What do you mean 3:1? For the soil? Are you transplanting starts into the garden?
    – stormy
    Jun 16 '17 at 22:05
  • I did have a picture up im not sure how to post from here. My bed was low it soil so i added 3:1 (3 garden soil, 1 three in one: manure hummus and peat). Yes they have gone into the ground. So last tuesday the 6th) i fertilized them with half strength fish emulsion. About 30 mins after fertilizing i dump out whatever drained into the tray then lightly watered. This tuesday (the 13th) i transplanted. I dug holes twice as deep if not 3 times deeper then necessary. In the holes i put about a 1/4 cup 3 in 1 mix 1/8 teaspoon of 4-4-4 jobes organic fertilizer then filled the hole to seedling level.
    – Jennifer
    Jun 17 '17 at 0:41
  • Ivw been watering as needed weve had hot humid days as well as rainy.
    – Jennifer
    Jun 17 '17 at 0:42
  • 1
    Yes we need that photo. Generically one possible cause is excessive watering. Half an hour after you water, is there any water in the tray? Best if the answer is no.
    – InColorado
    May 23 '18 at 15:39

I’m posting this comment, not really an answer, in hopes of closing the question. For plant species and varieties that normally are green, red leaves are a sign of stress. I’ve seen it mostly in overwatered plants and occasionally in dry ones. But red leaves can come from any kind of stress. That’s why the comments all ask for more information. People are trying to help you diagnose what kind of stress your plant is suffering.

Here are two plagiarized comments, with sources: “Fluctuations in the soil and air around plants upset nutrients and cause red pigments. Cool spring air and cold soil often produces red and purple foliage tints. ... High soil salts draw water away from plant roots and create droughtlike conditions that cause red leaves as surely as true drought. https://www.hunker.com/13406045/why-are-my-plant-leaves-turning-red-during-summer

“Red geranium leaves signal the plant is stressed in some way. This may be because the plant is receiving too much water or too much sunshine, or has been planted outdoors too early or in mineral-deficient soil. Geraniums that are planted too close together also tend to develop red leaves.” https://www.gardenguides.com/about_6538075_geranium-leaves-turning-red_.html

  • I definitely agree with your comments! The act of transplanting can also stress a plant.
    – Tim Nevins
    Nov 7 '19 at 18:57

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