Are you wondering why is my tomato plant wilting? Wonder no more! Ian Weiland of Rise Gardeners has the perfect tips to revive a wilted tomato plant and get it back to its healthy state.
So if you want to successfully get your wilted tomatoes back on track, read this article for some helpful insights from Ian Weiland today!
Why is my tomato plant wilting?
Wilting can be caused by a number of different factors, including too much sun or a lack of water. The most common cause is that plants wilt due to too little water, which causes the leaves to lose turgor pressure and become limp.
In some cases, wilting could also be caused by pests such as aphids sucking the sap from the plant or by root damage during transplanting.
To determine what the exact cause of wilting is, it is recommended to inspect the tomato plant and its environment in order to identify any potential issues that might be causing it to wilt. Here below are 10+ common factors contributing to my tomato plant’s leaves wilting.
10+ Common Causes of Tomato Plant Leaves Wilting
Why are my tomato plant leaves wilting? Your wilting tomato plant may need water.
The wilting of tomato plants is caused by insufficient water pressure (turgor). This leads to the loss of water throughout the day, resulting in drooping and wilted leaves.
To identify this issue, check if lower and upper branches and leaves wither; a flexible, slightly bendy branch will indicate hydration, whereas a dry branch that snaps easily points to dehydration. Stick your fingers into the soil to see if it’s dry at least two knuckles deep. If so, dehydration is likely the culprit
How to cure?
Make sure to provide it with an abundance of water; tomato plants typically require 1–1.5 inches of water per week. When their requirements are not met, it can result in wilted leaves and weakened stems.
Overwatering and underwatering is also the cause of wilting tomato plants. Tomato plants can become overwatered when the soil has poor drainage or when they’re watered too often. This causes an excess of water in the root system and prevents oxygen from getting to the roots, resulting in wilted leaves.
How to cure?
To solve this issue, reduce your watering frequency so that the soil has time to dry out between waterings. If there’s no improvement, you may have root rot; carefully remove it from the soil, cut off any dead sections, and replant in well-draining soil.
When digging up a plant from a pot, some of its secondary roots may have been lost. As a result, it has less area to absorb water and nutrients, causing the plant to wilt. However, with continued care, you should see it start to thrive within a few days.
How to cure?
To help the plant recover from transplant shock, make sure to water it regularly and deeply until it starts to show signs of improvement. You can also add a layer of mulch around the roots to keep them cool and moist.
Root-knot nematodes can inflict severe damage to tomato plants by infesting and feeding on their roots. Symptoms of root-knot nematodes include wilting, stunted growth, poor color, and prominent knots or galls on the plant’s roots. Act quickly if you spot these symptoms to prevent further damage.
How to cure?
Tomato varieties marked with “N” are resistant to nematodes. Growing these for several seasons can limit their numbers. Once susceptible varieties are planted, the nematode population will rise again.
Suspect a fungal infection when the base of your plant exhibits wilted yellow leaves. To confirm southern blight, look out for telltale white hyphae or mycelia near the stem, roots, and soil. This fungus appears in a stringy, mold-like form.
How to cure?
Plants infected with diseases can’t be cured, but it’s possible to prevent the problem from recurring. Rotate your solanaceous crops (e.g., potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers) every three years if your soil is contaminated. This will help you avoid future infections and keep your plants healthy!
Are you curious about “why is my tomato plant wilting?” Don’t worry, it may be a sign of Fungal wilt diseases.
Fungal wilt diseases affect tomato families such as pepper, eggplant, and potato. Verticillium and Fusarium are two of the most common. These fungi overwinter in soil or old plant debris and spread through the roots into the vascular system of plants, blocking water and nutrients.
Symptoms appear when leaves at the top or bottom start wilting during the day but can recover at night. Eventually, leaves turn yellow, wilt, and stay wilted, leading to plant death. Sadly, there is no cure, so infected plants must be removed, not composted.
How to cure?
Management techniques can control Verticillium and Fusarium wilt in the home vegetable garden. Use tomato varieties labeled “VF” for disease resistance (Celebrity, Mountain Pride, and QuickPik). Heirloom tomatoes usually have no resistance to these common wilts. Garden rotation is recommended for 4-6 years or container-growing with peat-based potting soil.
Wilting tomato plants may have contracted Verticillium wilt, a tomato fungus. Symptoms include yellowing and browning of the lower leaves in a V-shaped pattern. The main stem, when split, has discolored streaks about 10–12 inches above the soil line—caused by plugged water-conducting tissue. In cooler temperatures, verticillium wilt spreads slower than fusarium wilt.
How to cure?
Rotate crops and choose verticillium-resistant varieties to help prevent this fungus in tomatoes. If a plant contracts the disease, promptly discard it and avoid spreading it.
Affected by cold temperatures
Why is the top of my tomato plant wilting? Don’t worry!
Young tomatoes exposed to cold weather may wilt, but they can recover if you move them to a warmer spot. Mature tomato plants, however, won’t be so lucky when they experience a frost; it marks the end of their growing season and signals the start of wilting.
Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus
Another common reason for “why is my tomato plant wilting?” is the Tomato Spotted Wilt virus.
The Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) is a virus that can infect various plant species. It’s spread by thrips, and symptoms differ depending on the growth stage of the plant.
Symptoms can occur at any stage, including fruiting, with wilted tips and brown or bronze leaves that may curl upward. If you spot yellowing or brown spots on your tomato leaves, read our article on yellow leaves to see if it could be TSWV.
How to cure?
TSWV is a virus with no cure, but pollinator-safe pesticides can be used to keep it at bay in vulnerable gardens. To find out more about what’s suitable, speak to your local gardening team. Good news: It doesn’t live in the soil, so feel free to replant in the same area next year without fear of infection
Bacterial wilt is a deadly disease caused by R. solanacearum, a soil-borne bacterium. It is found in hot, humid environments—coastal areas—and begins with wilting young leaves before spreading to the rest of the plant until it dies. Once infected, there is no way to save your plants and no way to know if you’re at risk until it is too late.
How to cure?
Peroxyacetic acid mixture Perosan (peroxyacetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid) was tested for its ability to manage tomato bacterial wilt (Ralstonia pseudosolanacearum).
Peroxyacetic acid mixture Perosan, composed of peroxyacetic acid, hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid, was evaluated for eco-friendly management of tomato bacterial wilt by Ralstonia pseudosolanacearum. Perosan drastically suppressed in vitro growth of R. pseudosolanacearum in liquid cultures in dose- and incubation time-dependent manners.
Pets are one of the causes made by “why is my tomato plant wilting?”. So, tomato plants can wilt when they are attacked by stalk borers and thrips. Caterpillars that turn into moths bore a hole at the base of the plant, tunneling into the stem and impeding the flow of nutrients and water.
Signs to watch for are excrement near the hole and little breathing holes on the stem. Eliminate other potential causes before trying to identify stalk bore
rs as the source of wilting.
How to cure?
To prevent extensive wilting, notice signs of stalk borers early. Make a vertical incision on the stem to remove the caterpillar with tweezers. Patch up with horticultural tape and monitor for pests and diseases.
If severely wilted, remove the plant. Mulch plants in the spring to create an access barrier and cut away tall grass to reduce hiding spots.
Bad Companion Plants
Another common factor is “why is my tomato plant wilting?” This is a bad companion plant.
Tomatoes can suffer from the presence of walnut trees. Walnuts release a chemical called juglone, which is toxic to tomatoes and other plants in its family. Planting walnuts and tomatoes too close together expose tomato roots to juglone, causing the wilting and eventual death of the plant.
Once ingested, the toxin quickly spreads throughout the leaves and stems, making it impossible to reverse the damage. To protect your tomato crop, don’t plant them near walnut trees!
How to cure?
Planting tomatoes away from walnut trees (at least 75–100 ft) or in containers could easily prevent root rot. Separating the plants will keep their soil and roots separate, so the tree won’t interfere with the tomato’s health.
Tips to revive a wilted tomato plant
Let’s fix “Why is my tomato plant wilting?” with some tips below
Check the soil moisture:
If the soil is too dry, water every few days, making sure not to overwater.
Make sure your tomato plant is getting enough sun:
Tomato plants need some direct sunlight for at least six hours a day in order to thrive. If necessary, move it to a location that gets plenty of suns.
Inspect for pests:
Check for any signs of pests or diseases on the leaves and stems of the plant. Treat with an insecticide or fungicide if needed.
Prune away any dead leaves or branches
Cut out yellowing and wilting foliage as soon as you notice it, and trim back any branches that are longer than they should be.
Start fertilizing your tomato plant monthly during its growing season using a balanced fertilizer designed for tomatoes, such as 10-10-10 fertilizer, or a tomato-specific fertilizer, such as 5-10-5 fertilizer for early fruiting varieties and 8-16-8 after flowering has started.Give your tomato plant a support system
Staking or caging your tomatoes will ensure that they don’t become too heavy with fruit and break off the stem before the fruits are ripe. This can also help protect against strong winds, which can knock down the plants or snap their stems.
Clear away weeds
Weeds can compete with your tomato plants for water and nutrients, so make sure to remove them from around your plant’s base throughout its growing season.
Plant different vegetable varieties throughout the garden area to help prevent soil-borne diseases from affecting one crop at a time.
FAQs: Why is my tomato plant wilting? Tips to revive a wilted tomato plant
Why are tomato plant leaves drooping and curling?
Leaf curling is a common issue among tomato plants, usually caused by environmental issues. Too much sun, heat, wind or insufficient watering can cause leaves to curl up in order to protect themselves.
Can tomato plants that have wilted recover?
Tomato plants need around 1 inch of water every week. If the soil is dry, plants may wilt; watering them will help them revive quickly. Regular watering during hot weather should make sure they get enough.
Why are tomato plants drooping after watering?
Are tomatoes suffering from fungal wilt? It could be Verticillium or Fusarium wilt fungus, which can be caused by excess watering. If your tomatoes wilt after water, it might be a sign to check for this!
Why are tomato plants wilting from the bottom up?
Incorrect watering frequently leads to wilting tomatoes and other issues, like yellowing leaves.
It’s important to understand “why is my tomato plant wilting” so that you can take the necessary steps to keep it healthy.
Thankfully, with helpful resources from theanacostiawaterfront.com, you can ensure that your tomato plant gets all the care it needs!