Herbalprincess
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My poor tomato plant :(

I just moved to California a little while ago and I'm not used to taking care of plants in such warm, dry weather so I decided to cheat a little this year and buy my tomato plants instead of starting them from seed. I got to the store and found the perfect plant, it looked well taken care of, lush, you know healthy. So I took it and a thyme plant home. I don't know which plant was the culprit but one of them had aphids (I'm thinking the thyme) and it spread to all my plants. I promptly searched the internet for home remedies (I'm a very poor college kid). I found one consisting of one part oil, one part water, and one part dish soap. The directions said to spray it onto the plants once a day until the aphids had suffocated and were gone.
I think it suffocated my plants. My thyme plants, mint, and other herbs died. The only survivor is my tomato plant and she looks dreadful
[img]https://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f16/coconutshampoo16/Plants%20and%20Garden/t3.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f16/coconutshampoo16/Plants%20and%20Garden/tomatoe1.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f16/coconutshampoo16/Plants%20and%20Garden/tomato2.jpg[/img]<p>
Those were from about a week ago. I really really want this plant to survive. Is there anything I can do to help her or is she recovering well enough on her own? As you can see, most of the leaves fell off and parts of the stem look burnt (i tried to keep it out of any direct sunlight because of the oil...).
Also, the leaves that are growing back are starting to curl a lot. Is there a reason for this? Too much sunlight, water, ect.
And, my tomato plant is about 2ft tall and living in a pot that holds 22 cups of soil (about a gallon and a third). Is my pot big enough? The lady at the store said it was big enough. I think she might have been mistaken.
Thanks a lot for your help :)
<i><b>Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams. ~The Alchemist </i></b>

TZ -OH6
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Oil and hot weather kills plants. The oil would probably kill it even in milder weather. I wouldn't use anything smaller than a 5 gallon container for a standard tomato plant, especially in a dry climate.

Can you save it? It won't be easy. I would let the tops grow a bit and then cut off a 6-8" section and try rooting it in a cup of damp mix. It might be faster to buy a new seedling or even start from seed and take advantage of the fall-early winter growing season.

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gixxerific
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What kind of oi did you use?

NEEM oil is okay along with some other horticultural oils, but vegetable oil or dare I say motor oil are definitely NOT okay.

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gixxerific
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Rereading your thread do not use regular dish soap. It is more than likely a detergent with mean ingredients. You need to use real soap like Ivory or DR. Brenners (SP) they are more mild. Again the spray every day sounds a bit much even with the right mix.

I wish you luck but don't have any other answers.

I do hope you stick around though we can steer you right.

Aphids can also a lot of time be controlled with just a hard spray of water. They are too stupid normally to climb back up. :lol:

Herbalprincess
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I did not use motor oil! lol It was sunflower oil though. And when I put the oil on it I actually brought the plant inside until the oil had mostly washed off.
Thanks for your tips about aphids. Next time I have a pest problem I'll come here instead of experimenting with random recipes.
Thank you for your help guys. The input was great. I know this plant probably won't grow up all big and beautiful with copious amounts of tomato but I just can't make myself give up on it. Of courses I'm starting some from seed by now, and I'm going to the nursery tomorrow to replace my herbs. :)

What about the curling leaves? Is it just a result of the bad experience?
<i><b>Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams. ~The Alchemist </i></b>

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gixxerific
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There are many reason for curling leaves. Too many to state on here but check this link. One thing I didn't see on there was sometimes they will curl to hide from the sun and uncurl after the heat of the sun is gone. Usually it is nothing to worry about.

https://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_causes_leaf_curl_on_tomato_plants

Herbalprincess
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thanks again :)
<i><b>Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams. ~The Alchemist </i></b>

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rainbowgardener
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As gixx said dish "soap" is actually dish detergent. Soap is organic, detergent is synthetic, petroleum product and is very harmful to plants. And 1 part oil to 1 part water to 1 part soap is way too much of everything but water. A good spray against the aphids would have 1 tablespoon of true soap and maybe a little bit of oil, less than a tablespoon, in at least a quart of water. You want a 1 -2% true soap solution.

Between smothering them with the oil and burning them with the detergent, I'm sorry, but I'm afraid you have killed your plants.
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Signal30
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I think the dish soap is definitely the cause. If you have good weather all year around, just plant another.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Herbalprincess
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Thanks a lot for your help guys :) My tomato plant is actually doing a lot better and has a bunch of new leaves and branches. I am starting another plant but it's fun to see this one regrow. It's really starting to look great. :D
<i><b>Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams. ~The Alchemist </i></b>



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