Whether it’s in a garden or in your fridge, you can tell a lot just by looking at a plant. One of the earliest indications that something is wrong is what color it is.
This is true for arugula, too. There are a number of conditions that cause it to turn various colors, including yellow. If you’re wondering why arugula turns yellow and what it means, keep on reading.
We’ll be describing the circumstances that cause it to change colors and explaining how to stop it from occurring.
Quick Answer: Why Does Arugula Turn Yellow?
There are several reasons why your arugula may be turning yellow, and it depends on where it is. If it’s in your fridge, it’s a sign that it’s getting ready to go bad.
Is the arugula in your garden? Then there are a few diseases and deficiencies that can cause it to turn yellow.
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Recognizing When Arugula Has Gone Bad
Arugula, as a leafy green, is naturally more delicate once it’s been removed from the living plant. We all know what happens when you purchase or store veggies in your kitchen: in a few days, they rapidly become inedible.
When a veggie deteriorates, it looks different depending on the veggie. With arugula, yellowing leaves is one of the earliest signs that it’s getting too old to eat.
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Shortly afterward, you may start to notice moisture on the leaves. They’ll lose their distinct shape, shriveling and becoming less defined.
If you were to open the container with the arugula at this point, you would notice something else: a sour and earthy odor.
In other words, it’s time to throw the arugula away or compost it. Not only because it’s bad, but because the more it loses its green color, the less nutritious it is for you.
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Knowing the Signs of Disease in Your Arugula
Similar to all living things, arugula can get sick, too. These diseases cause visual variations, including changes in color.
One such condition is chlorosis, which is an iron deficiency. This occurs when the leaves of a plant turn yellow because they don’t have enough chlorophyll.
Chlorosis happens for a number of reasons. The causes include lack of drainage or root damage. Make sure your arugula has suitable soil and growing conditions, and you’ll do a lot to keep chlorosis from developing.
Alternaria leaf spot and black rot are a couple diseases that cause your arugula to yellow a bit in their earlier stages. As they progress, the yellow will become brownish black stripes and splotches.
The best way to prevent disease like this from happening is to eliminate the conditions that allow them to spread. Diseases can spread from plant to plant through splashing water, so be careful not to splash water across plants.
Make sure there’s plenty of air circulation in your garden, too. The air helps dry out soil that could otherwise remain too moist for too long.
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In some ways, arugula is like a traffic light. Its changing colors let you know when it’s healthy and safe to eat.
Green means it’s retaining all its nutrients and it’s a good time to eat it. Yellow, like a traffic light, means proceed with caution. If it’s turning yellow in your fridge, that’s an indication you’ll need to dispose of it soon, while yellow in your garden could mean disease or lack or necessary nutrients.
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