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What's wrong with my tomato plant?

Hi Guys,

I was given this tomato plant a couple of weeks ago and everything was going great until just recently. The stems started to turn brown and the leaves are starting to wilt. I'm not sure if it's getting enough sun (it's just sitting in a window sill) or if maybe I'm over-watering. Fertilising seemed to help initially, but now it's not looking so great.

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Location: TN/GA 7b

Oh my! Let's see -- probably not nearly enough light. Tomatoes can be grown indoors (see winter indoor tomato threads ... oor+tomato ... oor+tomato ) but it is not easy. When applestar does it, she grows selected varieties that are early maturing, handle less light, are dwarf, etc. AND she gives them artificial light as well as the window. Tomatoes are full sun plants that require a good deal of help to grow indoors.

And yes almost certainly over-watered. You don't want them to dry out, but you don't want their soil soggy or for them to be sitting in water in that saucer.

And you don't have one tomato plant. It looks like four stuffed into one tiny pot.
applestar's indoor tomato plant.jpg
applestar's indoor tomato plant.jpg (51.51 KiB) Viewed 1569 times
That's a picture taken from one of those indoor tomato threads. That is one dwarf tomato plant in the white container. Gives you some idea of container size.

So I would repot in a good organic potting mix, giving each plant its own larger pot. Bury them deeper than they are now, so a lot of that bare stem is underground. Tomatoes have the unusual property of being able to grow roots from stem that is buried, so that will increase their root system. Get a lamp to shine directly on them from just a few inches away. What has worked for me is having a table next to the window with the plants on it and then one of these


multi-headed floor lamp with the lamps on flexible goosenecks so they can be individually aimed. Keep it on sixteen hours a day.

After repotting, don't fertilize until the plants are putting out new growth.

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Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

I agree the stem looks like it has a white film, probably fungus. Maybe early blight or downy mildew. It would depend on the variety of tomato. Definitely the soil is too heavy and the saucer is keeping it wet too long. It also looks like maybe a 10 inch pot? Tomatoes are usually big plants unless you have a patio, or mini and they don't taste all that good. Even a smaller tomatos should be in a five gallon pot. A large tomato in a 20 inch (14-18) gallon pot. They need a lot of light ( 6-8 hours of full sun) and unless you are in a frost free zone, they would need to be grown under lights indoors. When you plant a tomato remove all except the top leaves. Plant the stem in the soil up to the bottom of the leaves. Tomatoes are the exception to the rule, they need to be planted deep as they develop a large root system.

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