User avatar
lilcee
Senior Member
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 5:22 pm
Location: Florida

Tomatoes wilting

I have a couple of grape tomato plants that have really started to grow great. They have a lot of blossoms and small tomatoes on them. Yesterday I noticed the leaves on one of them are starting to curl up and some are wilting. They've had plenty of water - it rains almost everyday. We live in Northern Florida. Any ideas what is causing this?
Thanks for any help

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Leaf curl and wilt are tricky to diagnose, since they can be caused by a variety of things including too much water. Make sure the soil where they are is very well drained and water doesn't stay around.

Maybe post a couple pictures of your tomato plants. Instructions for that are linked in my signature line.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

How well-drained is your soil? If it has been raining every day, you plants could be water-logged if you have harder soil.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
lilcee
Senior Member
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 5:22 pm
Location: Florida

I'll try to post a couple of pics. I checked the soil and it doesn't seem to be too wet. I did notice that down under the plant there seemed to be a hole like something was burrowing under the plant - like a mole or something. If it ever stops raining, I'll get some pics and check the ground further. Thanks

User avatar
lilcee
Senior Member
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 5:22 pm
Location: Florida

Ok, this morning the plants looked better. Here are a couple of pics of the leaves that are curled and dying. They also have roots growing along the stems. Should I burry them deeper or is it too late for that? Also, I found a worm on them. Not sure what kind it is.
(Sorry I posted this all here, I didn't see the group for Tomato planting :-)

[img]https://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q200/lilcee1947/100_1143.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q200/lilcee1947/100_1142.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q200/lilcee1947/100_1152.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q200/lilcee1947/100_1154.jpg[/img]

User avatar
lilcee
Senior Member
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 5:22 pm
Location: Florida

Here are a couple more pics. It looked healthy this morning and a couple hrs later it was wilted again. Could it be the heat? It's 90 degrees right now and will be hotter. We got a late start growing our garden this year - it was a spur of the moment thing, we weren't really planning to have one. Anyways, do you think the heat is what is wilting the plant?

[img]https://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q200/lilcee1947/100_1157.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q200/lilcee1947/100_1156.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q200/lilcee1947/100_1155.jpg[/img]

User avatar
susanaproenca
Full Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:40 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts

I have a few tomato plants growing in pots and the same thing has been happening to them. They have lots of flowers and small fruits, and there's no sing of bugs attacking them.

I thought mine could be over fertilized because we've been fertilizing them with the same frequency we fertilize the plants that grow in the garden. Have you been fertilizing yours as well? Maybe that's something to look at too. :)
Susana

User avatar
lilcee
Senior Member
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 5:22 pm
Location: Florida

susanaproenca wrote:I have a few tomato plants growing in pots and the same thing has been happening to them. They have lots of flowers and small fruits, and there's no sing of bugs attacking them.

I thought mine could be over fertilized because we've been fertilizing them with the same frequency we fertilize the plants that grow in the garden. Have you been fertilizing yours as well? Maybe that's something to look at too. :)
No, I haven't fertilized them. They looked fine this morning except for a few leaves but then a couple hrs later, they were wilted.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

No if they are watered enough, heat should not wilt your tomatoes like that. Over 90 degree heat can keep them from setting fruit and can slow down existing fruit from ripening, but the plants should still be fine.

Probably your plants got some kind of fungal disease, blight or wilt. Lots of rain and humid conditions promote that. The second set of pictures, the plants look pretty spindly. Did they always look like that or is it since they've been having problems? Are they in full sun?

In this thread someone posted pictures of their very healthy looking tomato plants. Look how leafy the plants are and how sturdy the stems

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=27511
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
lilcee
Senior Member
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 5:22 pm
Location: Florida

They are in full sun and looked healthy until the wilt. This is the first year in a long time that we tried to have a garden and it was an after thought. We got started late for our area. They have fruit on them but their not ripening. It's been raining every day in the afternoon and very hot.


rainbowgardener wrote:No if they are watered enough, heat should not wilt your tomatoes like that. Over 90 degree heat can keep them from setting fruit and can slow down existing fruit from ripening, but the plants should still be fine.

Probably your plants got some kind of fungal disease, blight or wilt. Lots of rain and humid conditions promote that. The second set of pictures, the plants look pretty spindly. Did they always look like that or is it since they've been having problems? Are they in full sun?

In this thread someone posted pictures of their very healthy looking tomato plants. Look how leafy the plants are and how sturdy the stems

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=27511

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27736
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Forgive me if I'm jumping to conclusions, but the plant looks a bit spindly -- That coupled with the extensive root growth on the stems is making me wonder if there had been a lot of vegetation around the plant that had been recently removed. It might just not be used to the FULL, full sun, and needs a few days to get used to it.

Another thought is that if the "rain every day" is merely a passing shower, your garden may not be getting a good soaking, so that only the upper soil surface gets moistened and leaving the deeper regions of the soil somewhat dry. The tomato may be compensating by trying to absorb the moisture from the air and the rain drops on its stems. This may also mean that the plant is shallow rooted, and without the cooler protected and deeper roots, tends to dry out in the heat of the day.

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

I'd be looking at root damage. Maybe root rot disease. Plants are fine when it's cool, but wilt in the heat.

.
In severe cases, the tap root may be cut off completely by the rot. Sometimes, a mass of fibrous roots may develop at the crown to compensate for the loss of the tap root
https://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/dpi/nreninf.nsf/childdocs/-71E8091F577D52D24A2568B30004F3B2-07E8C65C31CFC12CCA256BC800029303-4C9C6833948D4DF54A256DEA00274836-D74BE6AAD9F3235ACA256BCF000BBEF4?open

User avatar
lilcee
Senior Member
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 5:22 pm
Location: Florida

There hasn't been any vegetation removed. And the rain we've been getting are every afternoon and we've had some downpoars. In fact, I got my feet stuck in the mud today it was so wet. Not where the tomato is tho, I have that hilled up so it drains ok. Thanks for your suggestions

applestar wrote:Forgive me if I'm jumping to conclusions, but the plant looks a bit spindly -- That coupled with the extensive root growth on the stems is making me wonder if there had been a lot of vegetation around the plant that had been recently removed. It might just not be used to the FULL, full sun, and needs a few days to get used to it.

Another thought is that if the "rain every day" is merely a passing shower, your garden may not be getting a good soaking, so that only the upper soil surface gets moistened and leaving the deeper regions of the soil somewhat dry. The tomato may be compensating by trying to absorb the moisture from the air and the rain drops on its stems. This may also mean that the plant is shallow rooted, and without the cooler protected and deeper roots, tends to dry out in the heat of the day.

User avatar
lilcee
Senior Member
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 5:22 pm
Location: Florida

That sounds like what it is - thank you.


DoubleDogFarm wrote:I'd be looking at root damage. Maybe root rot disease. Plants are fine when it's cool, but wilt in the heat.

.
In severe cases, the tap root may be cut off completely by the rot. Sometimes, a mass of fibrous roots may develop at the crown to compensate for the loss of the tap root
https://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/dpi/nreninf.nsf/childdocs/-71E8091F577D52D24A2568B30004F3B2-07E8C65C31CFC12CCA256BC800029303-4C9C6833948D4DF54A256DEA00274836-D74BE6AAD9F3235ACA256BCF000BBEF4?open

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27736
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Sorry about that, lilcee. I did recognize that those roots were a clue though.
My garden could really use some of that rain you've been getting. I think it's getting to the point where I'm incapable of imagining what waterlogged plants might look like!

Since the roots are developing, I wonder if hilling soil or even just sand around the base of the plants might help. It probably shouldn't be too water retentive, though sand would not stay mounded when dry. I think that's what I would do.

User avatar
lilcee
Senior Member
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 5:22 pm
Location: Florida

Thanks everyone for your tips and help. I went out and looked at it this morning and it's dead. :-( Will pull it out and get rid of it. I think it was root damage. Better luck next time. Haven't gardened in a long time because of our soil here in FL so was surprised we got anything growing this year. Our squash is doing great - had several off of them already.
We're going to do a bigger garden hopefully this Fall. We have to work it up tho. We grew up in NY and had a huge garden up there. I miss that. Down here the soil isn't very good so we really have to work in some potting soil and other things.
Thanks again. Have a great gardening day.

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

You said there was a hole by the base of the plant. Put a piece of cheese there and see if it disappears, or put something over the hole and see if it's moved.

If you have a vole, it could be damaging the root system of the plant.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”