Why tomato seedlings can turn white

One of the most popular vegetables in almost every Russian family is a tomato. Without it, a summer lunch or dinner is not complete. Tomato is nutritious and rich in vitamins. Many amateur gardeners dream of growing tomatoes on their beds, but this is an extremely troublesome task. In order to properly grow tomatoes and get a good harvest, you need to monitor plantings and prevent the development of various diseases. Sometimes not all gardeners can figure out correctly - why tomato seedlings turn white.

Causes of diseases of tomato seedlings

This type of plant is susceptible to a large number of diseases and many of them are manifested precisely with a white coating on the ovaries of seedlings or on the fruits. Due to the difficult cultivation of tomatoes and possible diseases, many gardeners simply refuse to plant tomatoes in their beds. If you properly take care of the seedlings and in time to prevent emerging diseases, then in the future, tomato seedlings will delight you with a plentiful harvest and delicious fruits.

Causes of white spots on tomato seedlings

  • Sunburn
  • Brown spotting
  • White spotting and white rot
  • High temperature and excess moisture
  • Presence of pests on landings
  • Deficit or oversaturation with various fertilizers
  • Bacteriosis
  • Late blight and powdery mildew
  • Vertex rot and strick


The most common seedling disease is sunburn. This disease occurs due to improper care and location of plantings. Sunburn is characterized by the appearance of white spots and stains on seedlings. All leaves to the stem can whiten at once, but only the upper young leaves can. In any case, if the leaves turn white at the plantings, then this is most likely a sign of a burn. Also, the reason for this phenomenon is not the preparedness of tomatoes for direct sunlight. To avoid burns when some parts of a tomato turn white, it is necessary from the very beginning to accustom tomatoes to the effects of ultraviolet radiation.

To do this, many gardeners put a box with seedlings on the windowsill where there is a lot of light. In the spring, before planting in open ground, it is necessary to accustom young plants to light gradually. Take out the seedlings in fresh air should only be a few hours a day. Every day increasing the stay of seedlings on the street. Well, if the leaves of the tomatoes still turn white, the foliage will no longer return the green color, but you can try to restore the tomato. To do this, after sunset, the leaves of tomatoes must be treated with special chemicals. Chemicals relieve stress in the plant. This procedure should be repeated 3 times with an interval of 7 days. It should be noted that most of the problems for beginning gardeners are associated with this phenomenon. Correctly observing the sequence of actions, you can easily avoid a sunburn on your seedlings.

Brown spotting

The disease is treated with Bordeaux mixture.

Mostly greenhouse tomatoes are affected by this disease. Brown spotting appears on seedlings at the time of bearing fruiting. This attack can be recognized by the following symptoms: the leaf on the underside is covered with white coating, after which the foliage becomes a porous structure. Over time, the color of the leaves becomes white and begins to dry. If the greenhouse has high humidity and temperature, then the disease will spread very quickly to healthy plants.

To prevent this disease, you need to monitor the humidity and temperature in the greenhouse. Be sure to ventilate the room once a day. If, however, the plantings are infected, then they should immediately be treated with a Bordeaux mixture. Reprocessing is recommended after ten days. If there are no improvements, then this procedure is repeated two more times with the same interval.

White spotting and white rot on tomato seedlings

If on seedlings of tomato on the lower leaves you notice white spots with a dark border, then this is a sign of white spotting disease. Subsequently, a fungus begins to develop in these spots, thereby affecting the plant. Such tomatoes need to be urgently removed from the garden, as they cannot be treated, but they can infect healthy bushes.

White rot is a common fungal disease. It is characterized by the appearance of mucus on the stems of the plant, which subsequently grows into white growths, the so-called white mycelium. The plant affected by the disease gradually begins to fade.

High temperature and excess moisture

Very often, under the influence of direct sunlight and high temperature, tomato leaves begin to curl. Thus, tomatoes are trying to protect themselves from moisture loss. In the evening, the leaves bloom again replenishing their moisture reserves. To protect the plants, they build a canopy over them in the hours of sunshine. In this situation, many summer residents usually make a gross mistake, starting to water tomatoes in the midst of heat. This is not recommended, especially if you are watering in the rain. With this method of irrigation, the water remaining on the leaves works in the sun like a magnifying glass, gradually burning out the foliage.

An excess of moisture, as well as a deficit, can harm plantings and this can manifest itself in white stains on seedlings. This usually occurs during the rainy summer. During heavy rains, if the soil is clay, then water begins to accumulate at the rhizome, blocking the access of oxygen to them. The plant, not receiving air, begins to wither and dry over time. To prevent this situation, when planting a tomato, loose soil is added to the soil so that the water is absorbed faster. It serves as a kind of drainage system. In the bed itself, small furrows are made from the stem to the side for unhindered water drainage.

Pests on tomato seedlings

Common pests that attack tomatoes are aphids, whiteflies, red spider mites. Another problem for the gardener can be insects - pests, although they do not often infect tomatoes. In particular, pests attack tomato seedlings if the beds are large and there are many plants on them. Insects settle on the underside of the leaf, gradually sucking out all the juices from it. The leaf begins to turn yellow, whiten and curl.

If there are few insects, you can try to treat the affected plants with a solution of onion husks, or celandine. If it does not help, then you need to try to treat with chemicals. It should be remembered that stronger drugs should not be used if tomato ovaries have appeared. Since the drug is delayed in the fruit and can be dangerous to your health.

Deficiency or excess of nutrients

Leaves may curl from excess minerals.

Lack of nutrients, as well as their overabundance, can adversely affect the state of tomatoes. Often, many gardeners adhere to the rule - better more than fewer and begin to fertilize their beds even more. Basically, among the common problems on the site, it is a shortage of mineral and organic fertilizers. As fertilizer is applied - fresh manure, various infusions or just chemical fertilizers.

With an excess of fertilizers, the tomato is not able to absorb them anymore and begins to twist the leaf so that the photosynthesis process does not go.

In addition, with plentiful soil fertilizer and high temperature, ammonia begins to be released. It burns leaves, which subsequently whiten, curl and die. The soil itself also suffers from ammonia. An excess of fertilizers adversely affects the biological processes occurring in the soil. If the greenhouse has a high temperature, but the soil has not yet warmed up, then the nutrients in the soil are not activated. Therefore, plantings need to be fed with special fertilizers, with the right dosage and application time.

Bacteriosis tomato seedlings

Such a disease can be recognized by the following signs:

  • Seedlings grow poorly, leaves turned white.
  • There is a shortened stalk, ugly shoots.
  • Basically, such seedlings do not bear fruit.

Bacteriosis of tomatoes is not treated. The disease is transmitted through the seed and the diseased plant infects the soil. The surest way is to remove the plant and treat the soil with a solution of potassium permanganate. After planting infected tomatoes, mustard can be planted in this place. Mustard kills the bacteria in the soil. And only after that it will be possible to try again planting tomatoes.

Late blight and powdery mildew

Late blight is another disease affecting tomatoes. First, it infects potatoes, and then it moves on to neighboring tomatoes. The main symptoms are the appearance of brown and white spots on the leaves, stem and the fruit itself. The fruit begins to harden, dries, and then sour. In some cases, the tomatoes turn white. In this case, you need to remove the damaged areas of the plant and fruits. And the tomato itself must be treated with a Bordeaux mixture. Also, for disinfection, tomatoes are removed for a couple of minutes in water heated to a temperature of 60 degrees.

The main cause of powdery mildew disease is a marsupial mushroom, which leaves a white coating on the plantings. Signs of powdery mildew are: a coating of gray in the lower part of the leaf and yellowing of seedlings in the upper part. This disease occurs as a result of increased humidity in the air and is easier to prevent than to treat. Prevention should occur after planting seedlings in open ground by spraying with chemicals.

Vertex rot and strick

The occurrence of vertebral rot occurs with a lack of calcium in the soil. If the leaves are unevenly whitened or have acquired an unnatural shade, then it is possible that your seedlings were attacked by vertex rot. Not getting enough mineral, the seedlings begin to fade. If the situation is not corrected in time, then you can lose the entire crop sown on this soil. Subject to the correct conditions for growing tomatoes, such a disease does not attack your plantings.

Strick disease can affect all tomato seedlings. With this disease, the tomatoes begin to become covered with strokes of brown and white. The stalk becomes thin and very brittle. The strick is not treated and at an early stage it will be almost impossible to track. First, the seedlings grow, ovaries appear in it, and then the fruits, which grow to the level of peas, and then fall off. Only after that, the leaves begin to change color. To avoid such an illness, it is best to buy factory seeds that have been processed.


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