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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:22 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

Uncooperative tomato plant

Hi, this is my first post, probably not the last considering I just got responsibility for 31 different plants in the office. I have no experience with plants whatsoever.

Some of them are thriving, most of them look a bit sad, and the tomato plant is severely depressed. Any ideas? I didn't do the potting myself, but I observed it and it was done in a brutal, hurried fashion.

Some info:
The plants are all in a windowsill facing east, there are no other windows in the office.
They were bought at a plant store, and repotted into ceramic pots.
They were fertilized three weeks ago.
New branches started growing out after the other leaves looked dead. I suspect they are suckers, but since they were healthy I decided to leave them alone.
The leaves are crispy.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Not sure why you say it is "uncooperative" since the poor baby has produced two tomatoes despite being tiny, chopped up and in bad conditions :) .

The crispy leaves look burned. Ordinarily when people submit pics looking like that, I would say sunburned. When a plant is brought from inside to outside direct sun without gradual exposure, the leaves get sunburned and look like that. Was it out in the sun for awhile before it was brought in? I don't see how it could possibly be sunburned sitting in an east facing window. Other things can burn leaves like that: wind (which seems equally unlikely unless it was outside) or chemicals. Did some fertilizer or other chemicals get on those leaves?

The good news is that leaves like that are not usually due to a disease. If the plant puts out new leaves, they should be fine. The bad news is that the east facing window is not likely to be nearly enough light to keep it growing or especially to keep it producing fruit. Is there a way you can supplement that with a lamp? It needs to be a fluorescent bulb shining directly on it from just a few inches away.

Best wishes with your new plant responsibilities and welcome to the Forum!

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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:22 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

Wow, that was a surprisingly fast, thorough and helpful answer!

The plant was probably raised in a grow house somewhere. I can't take credit for those two tomatoes, as they were there when we bought it. We have eaten somewhere around 8-12 tomatoes off it, and a new green one appeared a few days ago.

The reason for its chopped up appearance is my initial response to what appeared to me as a dying plant. I chopped off some of the worse looking leaves, thinking that the plant didn't have to spend resources on keeping something that was eventually going to die. Probably not a great idea.

Ok, so if we assume the plant is OK, do I just keep watering it, or should I remove some more leaves and such? Assuming the photosynthesis-thing in that plant is junk - should I perhaps mix some sugar into the water?

I'm including a picture of the window, its probably facing east, south-east.
Thanks again for a fast and great answer :)

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