Problems on Tomato Leaves: How to Identify, Treat, and Prevent Them

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Problems on tomato leaves can mean the onset of a disease, an attack from a tomato pest, a nutrient deficiency, or conditions that can lead to trouble.

Healthy tomato plants have leaves that are green and evenly-colored. Look for these red flags on your tomato leaves to quickly identify problems.

Black, brown, dark, or water-soaked spots

Bacterial speck

Bacterial spot
Early blight
Gray leaf spot
Late blight
Septoria leaf spot
Spider mites
Tomato spotted wilt virus

Dark streaks

Tobacco mosaic virus

Holes in foliage

Tobacco hornworm
Tomato cutworm
Tomato hornworm

Irregular spots

Gray mold
Late blight

Leaf browning

Bacterial canker

Leaf distortion

Herbicide injury

Leaf mottling

Cucumber mosaic virus
Tobacco mosaic virus

Leaf roll

Curly top virus
Herbicide injury
Physiological leaf roll
Potato leaf roll

Purpling veins

Phosphorus deficiency

Spiral designs

Leaf miners
White flies

Sticky dew (“honeydew”)

White flies

Stripped foliage, defoliation

Tobacco hornworm
Tomato cutworm
Tomato hornworm

White spots

Leaf mold
Magnesium deficiency
Powdery mildew
Spider mites

Yellowing and wilting

Bacterial canker
Bacterial pith necrosis
Bacterial wilt
Fusarium wilt
Iron deficiency
Pith necrosis
Salt damage
Tomato spotted wilt virus
Verticillium wilt

Steps to take to prevent problems on tomato leaves

  • Plant healthy, disease-free plants.
  • Water at the base of plants. Overhead water spreads disease easily.
  • Water in the morning or midday to minimize the amount of time leaves are wet.
  • Monitor plants daily to check for pests.
  • Avoid working on plants when leaves are wet.
  • Remove and destroy affected plants at the end of the season.
  • Solarize soil at the end of the season to destroy soil-borne fungi and bacteria.
  • Rotate crops each year.

Are There Problems on Your Tomato Leaves?

Do your tomato leaves have a problem? Explain what the problem looks like. Share what tomato variety you’re growing and when you first noticed the problem. While you’re at it, describe your growing conditions, the weather, and how much water your plants have had. Any details you can share will help us help you with the problem on your tomato leaves!

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