Identifying tomato plant diseases can take a bit of detective work. Leaves, stems, fruit – there is plenty to consider.
Even when the plant droops, it would be convenient to say, “OK, that’s simple. I need to water my plants. Or it’s tomato wilt. ”
Problem: there are several kinds of tomato wilt.
When it comes to treating diseases, you want to know your enemy so you have the proper weapons to fight it and prevent it.
Here are some tips to help you identify 5 types of tomato wilt so you can take steps to protect your crop.
Yep, in each case the plant droops. But look for these telltale signs to help you distinguish one kind of wilt from another.
Key identifier: plants wilt suddenly, even overnight.
Leaves remain green.
Interior of main stem (when split) is dark and water-soaked or even hollow, particularly in later stages.
Key identifier: you’ll see yellowing and wilting on one side of the plant – a leaf, single shoot, branch, or several branches – that moves up the plant as the fungus spreads.
Wilted leaves dry and drop prematurely.
Interior of main stem (when split) shows discolored streaks from plugged water-conducting tissue.
Key identifier: symptoms begin on the top leaves first, while other wilts affect lower leaves and then move upward.
Red and yellow concentric rings on the fruit
The plant’s leaves have a bronze cast, first on the upper sides
Spots on leaves appear after bronzing
Key identifier: Infection pattern often resembles a V-shape. Symptoms progress up the stem.
Plants may wilt during the day and recover at night.
Yellow spots appear on lower leaves, followed by brown veins. Leaves then turn brown and fall off.
As with fusarium wilt, the interior of main stem (when split) shows discolored streaks. But here you’ll see them about 10-12 inches above the soil line would be.
Key identifier: walnut trees are growing nearby.
Yellowing and browning leaves
Stems turn brown or streak
Tomato plants growing a short distance from walnut trees may not die, but become flaccid and stunted.
More about Tomato Wilts
By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning writer and owner of Tomato Dirt, a leading online source for growing tomatoes and using them.
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