Common Tomato Problems

Tomatoes are susceptible to many diseases. In order to collect good harvests of this vegetable crop, you need to understand tomato diseases and know how to treat each disease. Consider what problems with tomatoes are most common and how to deal with them.

Common Tomato Problems

The leaves are dry

One of the most common problems is premature drying of the leaves. This can be triggered by several factors. Consider each reason for the drying of the leaves of the plant separately and talk about how to cope with the emerging problem.

Lack of moisture

Not always the cause of drying out of the leaves are diseases. Sometimes the leaves dry due to dishonest care of the vegetable crop.

Often, in a vegetable crop, leaves begin to dry out with insufficient moisture. How many times you need to water the bushes, no one will say: it depends on the climate of the region and weather conditions. After the plants have sprouted, they are watered daily. After 1.5-2 weeks, grown plants do not need so much moisture - they are watered as necessary.

If water is not supplied regularly on the plot, it is advisable to mulch the beds with tomatoes so that the moisture persists for as long as possible. It is also worthwhile to make water supplies. Today on sale it is easy to find plastic barrels of different sizes, designed for installation on personal plots. They are equipped with taps at the bottom, so after their installation you can even irrigate the site.

This problem is also encountered by greenhouse owners who irrigate plants daily. If overheating of greenhouses occurs, fungal diseases develop 2 times faster. In addition, overheating negatively affects not only the condition of the leaves, but also on the development of the plant.

Some farmers in greenhouses grow tomatoes upside down. With this method of cultivation, tomatoes should be watered more often than with traditional cultivation upside down.

Tatyana Orlova (candidate of agricultural sciences):

Tomatoes are grown on high shelves (not in the ground) with artificial soil. Tall tomatoes are not tied to the trellis, but hang down freely. There is no need for garter plants and the use of ladders or ladders to remove fruits from the tops.

Harmful insects

If the leaves not only dry, but also turn brown, the plant struck a harmful insect thrips. It has a miniature size and hides under the leaves of tomatoes or in the middle of the flowers. Bushes damaged by thrips do not grow well, and drying leaves leads to wilting of branches. If no action is taken, the bush will die. Thrips control methods involve the use of insecticides or folk remedies, prepared at home on the basis of a soap solution. Experts recommend giving preference to purchased drugs, since folk remedies are not always effective. In addition, if there is a violation of the formulation during cooking, the product can be harmful to the plant.

To prevent the occurrence of thrips, which, in addition, carry the viruses of certain diseases, it is necessary to clean weeds in a timely manner, clean agricultural equipment and attract beetles to the plot, for which thrips and other small parasites are food.

Tatyana Orlova (candidate of agricultural sciences):

The use of chemical insecticides having a long waiting period (up to 20 days) is allowed if the fruits of the tomato are still green and they ripen no earlier than after 3 weeks.


The cause of the drying of the leaves may be a tomato disease. The following diseases are accompanied by this symptom:

  • late blight;
  • Fusarium wilt;
  • brown spotting.

Late blight

With late blight, the leaves first turn yellow, and then dry and fall off. The most common cause of this disease is high humidity. If when growing in greenhouses, the moisture level can be controlled, then when growing plants in open ground, this is not possible.

Tatyana Orlova (candidate of agricultural sciences):

The cause of this disease is the defeat by spores of the pathogen fungus. And it is promoted not so much by high air humidity as by sharp fluctuations in day and night temperatures, causing condensation and moisture loss in the form of dew on the leaves. Such weather conditions are high temperature during the day and cool nights usually happen in August. This time is the most dangerous for the development of late blight. This disease begins with the appearance of brown spots on the lower leaves. Within a few days, the affected leaves dry out and fall, and the disease covers the entire plant.

To avoid late blight, preventive treatment of tomatoes with appropriate drugs should be carried out. If the summer is rainy, the number of preventative treatments should be increased. From folk remedies for treating plants, you can use a solution of copper sulfate and wood ash.

The best preparation from copper-containing is Bordeaux mixture (1% solution). It contains lime, which lies well on the leaves and is not washed off by rains.

Fusarium wilt

A plant without treatment can die

Fusarium wilt affects the grown bushes. This is a fungal disease that, if untreated, leads to the death of plants. If with late blight, both the upper and lower leaves of tomatoes simultaneously dry, then with fusarium wilting, the leaves at the bottom of the plants first dry. In this case, before drying, the leaf plates turn yellow. You can get rid of this ailment with the help of special drugs. To prevent the disease, prophylactic treatment is carried out.

Tatyana Orlova (candidate of agricultural sciences):

The causative agent of this disease is a soil pathogenic fungus. After cleaning the bed in the fall, before digging, pour it with a solution of Fitosporin, Gliocladin or simply potassium permanganate.

Brown spotting

Brown spotting is also fungal in nature, but brown spots appear in this case before the leaf blades dry out. Damaged leaf plates should be destroyed, and the bush treated with fungicide.

To minimize the risk of any disease, you should use high-quality planting material. Preference is best given to varieties of hybrid origin, which are immune to many tomato diseases.

Micronutrient deficiency

Tomato leaves also dry with a lack of trace elements. To determine which particular trace element is not enough for the plant, you need to look at the bushes. If the leaf plates not only turn yellow, but also curl, the plant lacks copper. Even with a lack of copper, the leaves become brittle. With a lack of boron, dark spots appear on the fruits in parallel with the drying of the leaves. With a lack of calcium at the edges of the leaf plates, a yellow edging first appears, then the leaves dry out. Also, a lack of calcium is accompanied by a slowdown in the growth of bushes.

This problem is solved by the introduction of appropriate fertilizers, but when feeding tomato bushes, it is important not to overdo it. An excess of nutrients affects the development of tomatoes no less negatively than their lack.

Tatyana Orlova (candidate of agricultural sciences):

In acute micronutrient deficiency, it is better to resort to foliar top dressing (on the leaves). The fact is that this deficit often arises not because of the real absence of any elements in the soil, but in the inability of the plant to absorb them by the roots. For example, calcium deficiency occurs if the heat is above 30 degrees. Tomato roots cannot absorb calcium at high temperatures. On acidic soils, some trace elements turn into insoluble complexes and cannot be assimilated either.

Leaves twist

When twisting the leaves, you need to act very quickly. Any procrastination will cost a significant portion of the crop.

Lack or excess of moisture

Leaf curl occurs with a slight lack of moisture. If no action is taken, the sheet plates will begin to dry out. Excess moisture also leads to the fact that the sheet plates curl. Every gardener should know that with an excess of moisture, the leaf plates are twisted outward, and with a lack - inward.

If there is an excess of moisture, a roof should be built for beds with tomatoes. It is best to make it from a dense film. If you use material that does not allow sunlight, the growth of plants will slow down, which will negatively affect their productivity.

Air temperature

Sometimes the cause of leaf curl is an excessively high air temperature (more than 35 ° C). After sunset, the leaf plates straighten. In a well-equipped greenhouse, adjusting the air temperature is not difficult. If we are talking about growing tomatoes in open ground or in a greenhouse where there is no way to adjust the temperature, you can save the plants by mulching. Organics are used as mulch.

You can protect plants from heat by obscuring plantings. At home, the bushes are obscured by improvised means. If the summer is too hot, it is advisable to plant the crop in the shade of trees.

High temperature is detrimental to plants

After the sun sets, the leaf plates of the plant are treated with a weak solution of potassium permanganate or urea. When preparing a solution with urea, 8 tbsp of water should account for 1.5 tbsp. l urea.

Excess nitrogen

Curly leaves appear with an excess of nitrogen. In this case, only the top leaf plates of tomatoes are curled. In addition to twisting the leaves, the stem thickens. The sheet plates themselves become thick and break easily.

Tomatoes get nitrogen not only from nitrogen fertilizers. This trace element is found in large quantities in manure, chicken droppings and herbal infusions, so you need to carefully feed the tomatoes.

When the above symptoms appear, it is advisable to refuse top dressing with any fertilizer containing nitrogen. It is necessary to exclude even formulations containing this trace element in small quantities. After the appearance of the fruits, only fertilizers containing potassium and phosphorus are used as top dressings.

Micronutrient deficiency

Curlyness is also characteristic of plants that lack potassium or phosphorus. If tomatoes lack phosphorus, leaf plates are wrapped down. There is also a change in the color of the leaves. They turn dark green or purple. With a lack of potassium, the leaf plates are twisted upward. Light spots appear on the fruits.

The problem is solved by applying appropriate fertilizers. From organics, you can use wood ash.


Sometimes the cause of curling leaves is improperly pruned bushes. You can not remove a large number of stepsons in one approach: this will provoke stress in the plant. To help recover, the plant is fed a growth stimulator or a complex fertilizer is applied to the soil.


Often folded leaf plates and due to the activity of harmful insects. This symptom may indicate that a red spider mite, aphid or whitefly appeared on the beds. These miniature insects live on the inside of the leaf and feed on the sap of the plant. In addition to the fact that the leaves are curly, dark spots appear on them, a yellowing of the leaf plate occurs.

To control pests we use pesticides. Folk remedies in this case are ineffective, and each day of procrastination leads to the death of the bush. As a prophylaxis, leaf plates should be inspected daily from the inside, even if they look healthy. Inspection is important after the leaf plates have curled up too late.

For some varieties, leaves are down and slightly bent inward.

Ovary poorly formed

Tomatoes bloom poorly for many reasons. But most often, the cause of this phenomenon is inadequate care for planting.

Temperature violation

Tomato is a thermophilic culture. Accordingly, at low temperatures, you should not expect that the bushes will please a large number of ovaries. Do not expect an abundance of ovary at high temperatures. If the temperature drops below 15 ° C, pollen is not able to ripen. Accordingly, the flowers do not give an ovary. At temperatures above 35 ° C, tomato pollen turns into sterile. It is not possible to protect tomatoes on open ground from lowering or increasing air temperature. In the greenhouse, you can always adjust the air temperature.

Violation of air humidity

With high humidity, fungal diseases develop

The second reason why tomatoes that bloom give little ovary is because the humidity is excessively high or low. At low humidity, tomatoes lack moisture. Bushes wither, and flowers fall. With increased humidity, not only diseases provoked by the fungus develop, but pollen remains in the anthers, sticking together into lumps. Accordingly, pollination does not occur.

Lack of pollination

Pollinating plants should be insects, but if it gets colder outside, insects may not fly to a personal plot. Accordingly, pollination of tomatoes will not occur. You can independently pollinate plants at home using an ordinary brush. Also, it will not be amiss to attract insects that pollinate vegetable and fruit crops to the personal plot. To do this, plant more flowers.

Tatyana Orlova (candidate of agricultural sciences):

The vast majority of tomatoes are self-pollinated crops. They do not require pollination by insects. Moreover, the pollination process often occurs inside the flower bud, i.e. the flower opens already pollinated.

Lack of sunlight

Insufficiency of sunlight leads to falling flowers. When planting seedlings, the rules regarding planting density should be observed. Tall bushes are planted at a distance of 50-70 cm from each other. Low-growing varieties can be planted a little thicker. With a lack of light, plants stretch excessively upward.


Another reason why tomatoes grow slowly and bloom little, and the flowers that appear, fall off, are nematodes. These worms damage the root system. It is not possible to save the affected plants. Plant protection involves disinsection of the soil and its timely digging. Another preventive measure is the proper planting of seedlings. Before planting, the soil is treated with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. Not only leaves, but also the root system are subject to processing.

Tatyana Orlova (candidate of agricultural sciences):

The nematode is scared away by famous flower plants of marigolds. You can use them as a casing of garden plants and in the form of green manure, i.e. at the end of the season, remove them from the flower bed, chop and dig them in the beds where nematodes were noticed.

Fruits crack

Sometimes fruits ripen during tomato ripening. Cracked tomatoes quickly disappear and are not as juicy as specimens that do not burst during ripening.

Improper care

Tomatoes do not tolerate a sharp change in air temperature or humidity. When growing vegetables in open ground, summer residents rarely encounter this problem, although in this case we are talking not only about air humidity, but also about soil moisture. It is important not to overfill the soil during the ripening period of tomatoes. To control the humidity level, you should occasionally dig a hole with a depth of 8-10 cm and look at the condition of the soil. If it does not stick together in a lump, the soil moisture content is normal.

Top dressing

In general, tomatoes whose fruits are already reddening do not need frequent watering or top dressing. If nevertheless it was decided to make fertilizers, concentrates not diluted in water should not be used. Vegetable culture should be fed with drugs of low concentration.

Fruit holes

Sometimes on the fruits of the plant you can see holes. At first glance, it may seem that the fruits are broken by hail. If there was no hail, the plant beat something else: the caterpillars of the cotton scoop. Methods of combating this pest involve not only the use of pesticides, but also the planting of flowers with a strong odor that repels harmful insects. It is best to plant nearby marigold tomatoes. You can also use the infusion, in the preparation of which the arrows of garlic are used.

The leaves and fruits turn blue

Gardeners rarely encounter this problem. If the leaves or stems turn blue, it means that when growing seedlings, the temperature was too low or the plants lack phosphorus. Do not rush to feed the bushes with fertilizers containing phosphorus. If the room is cold, the root system will not absorb this trace element. First of all, care must be taken so that the growing tomatoes get the heat they need.

Tomato Disease Prevention

All diseases of tomatoes, regardless of whether they are bacterial or fungal, lead to the death of bushes, therefore it is very important to observe several rules when growing tomatoes. First of all, you need to change the place of planting of a vegetable crop at least once every 2-3 years. You should also timely feed the plants with fertilizers and spud the beds.

Конечно же, нужно проводить обработку растений препаратами от наиболее распространенных томатных болезней, к которым относится мучнистая роса, бактериальный рак, стрик, парша, бактериоз, мозаика, макроспориоз. Делать препараты от болезней самостоятельно специалисты не рекомендуют. После сбора урожая ботву, накапливающую в себе споры грибов и бактерий, следует сжечь или вынести за пределы огорода.

Tatyana Orlova (candidate of agricultural sciences):

Для вирусных заболеваний томата — мозаика, стрик, бронзовость, вирусная желтуха на сегодняшний день не имеется средств защиты. Переносчиками этих заболеваний являются тли и цикадки. Поэтому все меры борьбы с вирусными заболеваниями направлены на борьбу с их переносчиками.


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