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Tomato leaves have yellow or whitish spots

by Kesha
(Chicago, IL)

Q. I am trying to grow tomatoes in a container and have noticed that some of the leaves have yellowish or whitish spots. We have been getting a lot of rain in our area. I also have it planted in a self-watering containers. Will my plant still bear tomatoes or should I start over?

A. There are several possible culprits that could be causing these light colored spots on your tomato leaves, even this early in the season.

  • Early blight, caused by a fungus in the soil, can start as yellow or light-colored spots. Early blight is common in wet, humid weather. But if you used the sterile potting soil that comes with the self-watering planter, then it's not likely that the fungus was present to infect your plant. Treat early blight with a biofungicide or a fungicide.
  • Your wet conditions are also right for powdery mildew, which appears like yellow-colored spots. Looking closer, you may notice they're grayish. Treat powdery mildew with sulfur dust or spray.
  • Leaf mold flourishes in wet weather and spreads eagerly in wind. It appears as greenish-yellow patches on leaves' surfaces, with brownish-purplish on the the underside. Treat with a biofungicide or fungicide.
  • We noticed what looks like holes in the leaves near the light-colored spots. Check for aphids (soft-bodied) or spider mites (reddish pin dots). Spray to dislodge pests and then treat with horticultural oil or neem oil.

With quick and proper treatment, your tomato plant can turn around and produce healthy tomatoes this season.

Good luck ad happy gardening!
Your friends at Tomato Dirt

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