My tomato plant's leaves are falling off
(West Seneca, NY, USA)
Q. I bought a tomato plant and planted it in a clay pot. Now, after a few weeks, the leaves at the bottom are falling off. There are tomatoes on the plant, but will the plant last long enough to get tomatoes? What seems to be the problem?
A. Alice, sorry to hear that your tomato leaves turning yellow ... but welcome to the club. Almost everyone has this problem now and then.
The condition can come from several issues, but the good news is that it doesn't necessarily mean the plant is failing.
If it's just a few leaves at the bottom that are affected, the problem could be a lack of nitrogen or sunlight. Check how much light the plant receives and monitor your feeding schedule.
More likely it is a water issue -- too much or too little. Too much water chokes tomato plant roots; too little stresses the plant. (See more details about watering tomato plants here).
Unfortunately, yellow leaves at the bottom of a plant could also indicate a fungus or bacterial problem. Check out all kinds of info about the different tomato disease possibilities and compare photos to what you find in your garden. Impossible to tell from here what it might be, if it's indeed a disease from one of those nasty infections.
However, prevention is the best way to handle tomato diseases. Apply fungicide BEFORE you have a problem. It's often hard to correct once these disease issues begin.
Will the plant bear fruit? Unless you've got bacterial wilt, the answer is YES - especially if you take corrective measures ASAP. Right now (mid June), we have several plants with the yellow leaf issue. We spray them, water them, respray after rain, and know we've done our best. You must stay aggressive with the treatment.
Study your plant carefully and it will give you the clues you need to know to take the next step!
Good luck and happy gardening!
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