Curled leaves and flowers on tomatoes

by Elaine
(Visalia, CA)

Curled leaves, strong stems

Curled leaves, strong stems

Q. My tomato plant leaves and flowers are curling. I don't see any pests. They don't have brown spots or brown edges. Can you tell me what the problem may be?


A. There are several culprits responsible for curling leaves on tomatoes.

  • Leaf roll. Leaf roll (also called leaf curl) affects plants during wet, cool weather, inconsistent watering, or pruning (all stress factors). Leaves roll upward, become thick, and may overlap. Plants outgrow the condition and can produce healthy fruit.
  • Herbicide damage. Drifting weed control products and treated grass clippings can make tomato leaves curl downward and become stunted. Avoid using herbicides when treating areas surrounding your tomato patch - or at the very least, treat on a day with no breeze.
  • Tomato leaf curl virus. This disease is caused by a virus transmitted by insects and affects more greenhouse tomato plants than those grown outdoors. Leaves curl upward and the plant is stunted. Curling begins on new growth. If the plant is infected while tomatoes are developing, fruit may not be affected. If plant is infected earlier, flowers may drop or fail to set fruit. Control tomato leaf curl virus by controlling pests, especially sucking insects like aphids and white fly.

Stress always intensifies leaf curling. Keep conditions as consistent as possible for your tomato plants.

Good luck and happy gardening!
Your friends at Tomato Dirt

Comments for Curled leaves and flowers on tomatoes

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Aug 31, 2015
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tomato leaves small balls
by: Anonymous

my tomatoes are being grown in a hallway planter,like an Earthship. The new growth is all stunted , the leaves look like balls and never open. They are no longer flowering or setting fruit. Help, please

Jun 27, 2015
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Curled leaves
by: Anonymous

I removed some bushes beside our condo, dug out a lot of clay, added a lot of topsoil, a bag of peat moss and a few bags of composted fertilizer called Duck Dirt. Planted 4 tomato plants and a great amount of leaves are tightly curled and some of the normal looking leaves appear leathery. What did I do wrong.

Jun 24, 2015
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Curled leaves on tomatoes
by: Anonymous

Encouraging! I will be more careful how I treat them in future.

Jun 16, 2015
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Curled leave disease
by: dennis

I had this problem with my tomatoes last season it started with the new growth on the plants I grew from seed in my greenhouse. I always use miracle grow seed starter mix then miracle grow moisture control potting mix for all my transplants. This year I moved my plants outside to harden them off earlier. They looked great when I moved them outside for a few days then about half if them again developed this curling, contorted new growth resembling herbicide damage. One plant looked very poor so I removed it. Last year the grew out of this issue and were ok. I am hoping the same again this year.

How can this be controlled? Going to fertilize them!

Jun 01, 2015
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same issue
by: Anonymous

For the last 2-3 years...tomatoes planted in the same bed have had this issue...new growth has curled leaves. Last year I replanted and the new plants did OK....though they were late. This year I bought plants elsewhere.

So...the soil might be carrying a disease...or...someone dumped some "roundup" over the fence into my bin of composting leaves?

I'm using some rapidgrow fertilizer and am hoping they come out of it.

Growing in a partially shaded area doesn't help...

Jun 06, 2014
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treating
by: gary

can this be cured !! will it spread to other plants

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