Causes of death of tomato seedlings

It is not always easy to understand why tomato seedlings die. Often strong and healthy-looking plants begin to wither and dry. If you do not find the reason for this in time, then you can lose all plantings and crops.

Causes of death of tomato seedlings


Seedlings can die due to sparse watering.

The plant first withers, and then the leaves and ends of the shoots begin to dry. Water the tomatoes need to be plentiful, but not very often. It is better to wait until the surface layer of soil is completely dry.

If there are no drainage holes in the tank through which excess water would leave, then the soil is compacted and liquid stagnation forms. In this case, the roots of seedlings can rot. To avoid this, sand and pieces of charcoal are added to the soil as drainage. They prevent stagnation of water and rotting of the underground parts of the seedling.

Tatyana Orlova (candidate of agricultural sciences):

Often amateur gardeners grow seedlings on the windowsill. At the same time, the room temperature may be at the optimal level, but it does not take into account that the window sill is cold. This leads to the fact that the roots of seedlings stop working, absorb moisture from the soil and evaporate it through the leaves. Stagnant water in the growth tank causes root decay.

Temperature and lighting

Of great importance for the growth of tomatoes is the temperature regime.

At a temperature of more than 35 ° C, it dries and dies, and less than 15 ° - it stops growing. The optimum temperature for healthy growth is 18-22⁰ C.

When growing tomatoes on the windowsill, you need to ensure that there are no drafts. Cold air can cause seedlings to die. When ventilation windows are open, containers with seedlings of tomatoes need to be removed. Seedlings should receive a large amount of light, if there is not enough lighting, the seedlings are stretched out very much, after which it will fall down or break under its weight.

To avoid this, organize additional lighting. To do this, use phytolamps or ordinary ultraviolet. At night, the backlight is removed, because in the dark, the leaves process the sunlight received per day into carbohydrates. It is necessary to carefully adjust the power of the lamps so that the leaves do not get burns.

Dense planting

Seedlings can die due to the density of planting of seed material. It is necessary to observe a distance between rows of 5 cm, and between plants 2-3 cm. This is done so that the sprouts do not obscure each other.

Also, with a dense landing, moisture and nutrients may not be enough. The roots are strongly intertwined, which complicates the further picking of tomatoes and transplanting them into separate containers or open ground.

Top dressing

Feeding is a very important part in growing tomatoes. It provides an impetus for the rapid and healthy growth of seedlings. Therefore, with a lack of nutrients, plants begin to wilt, turn yellow and die.

An excess of mineral fertilizers in the soil not only negatively affects the quality of the grown fruits, but can also burn the delicate roots of plants. If this happened, then urgently need to transplant the plants into a clean substrate.

Tatyana Orlova (candidate of agricultural sciences):

A good substrate for growing seedlings is peat-based soil. But not every peat is suitable, but only peat. It already weathered well, decomposed, lost a significant part of its acidity. Ground peat is more acidic. Using it in the preparation of the soil at best leads to a delay in growth and development, in the worst case, to the rapid death of seedlings.

Dive Errors

You need to dive shoots correctly

Another reason for the disease and death of seedlings may be an incorrect picking of a seedling. Dive them when 2-3 leaves appear. Be sure to pinch a small part of the central root. This provokes an intensive growth of lateral roots.

The main errors of picking causing the death of tomatoes are as follows:

  1. Pinching off too much of the rhizome. A young plant loses the ability to normal root nutrition and dies from this.
  2. Damage to the remaining roots. If the measles system at the time of the dive is quite developed, then remove the plants from the soil, you need to transfer. Otherwise, the roots will be irreparably damaged.
  3. Use untreated dive tongs or scissors. Through a slice, various pathogens and fungal spores can enter a tomato. To avoid this, all tools are pre-treated, and the soil is shed with a solution of potassium permanganate.

Picked seedlings are abundantly watered and placed in a warm, slightly shaded place. The first few days, young plants may look slightly drooping. This is not a sign of illness.


The most dangerous disease is the black leg - it provokes the drying of the stem tissue. It becomes like a patch of thin black thread. Everything above this jumper dries and dies. First, the castings are bent, and after that the growth point completely dies.

The disease disrupts the circulation of juices in seedlings. It is advisable to treat plants until the surface of the stem has only just begun to darken slightly, but has not yet begun to thin. The remaining tomatoes need to be removed from the box, because there will be no sense in them. They are carriers of a fungal infection, so they need to be destroyed so that the entire landing does not die.

Tatyana Orlova (candidate of agricultural sciences):

The source of infection called rhizoctonia, or the black leg, is the soil. Therefore, a mandatory method when growing your seedlings is disinfection of soil, including store soil. Contribute to the development of the disease thickened sowing, excessive soil moisture and poor ventilation. At the first sign of illness in a box with seedlings (1-2 "fallen" seedlings), watering is sharply reduced, the soil surface is sprinkled (preferably especially carefully on plant stems) with ash or crushed tablets of activated charcoal.


To understand why tomato seedlings die, you need to carefully look at the conditions of its cultivation in order to prevent this in time. Preventive measures:

  • disinfecting the soil before planting by calcination or treatment with chemicals;
  • soaking seeds in a strong solution of potassium permanganate before immersing them in the soil;
  • timely top dressing and watering;
  • Selection of proven seed producers.


If young tomato seedlings die, but the reasons are not clear, then you need to get rid not only of the seedlings themselves, but also of the soil in which they grew. The cause may be the spread of some kind of fungal disease.

Poor planting material is one of the many causes of death of seedlings when growing them at home or in a greenhouse. No need to buy planting material from hand, and choose only trusted manufacturers.


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