Tipburn can occasionally cause severe economic losses in cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Tipburn is a breakdown of plant tissue near the centre of the head in cabbage and Brussels sprouts, and on the inner wrapper leaves of cauliflower. It is a physiological disorder associated with an inadequate supply of calcium in the affected leaf margins causing a collapse of the tissue and death of the cells. Symptoms usually appear at the leaf tips. Margins turn brown and then black. High temperatures and fluctuating soil moisture conditions hinder the movement of calcium into the leaves, leading to tipburn.
Secondary rot organisms such as Erwinia spp. can follow tipburn. Many varieties of cabbage and cauliflower have been noted to be resistant to tipburn problems.
The best way to avoid tipburn is to grow tolerant varieties and to manage irrigation and fertilization.