Tomato Plant Leaves Turning Yellow: Reasons and Solutions

If your tomato plant leaves are turning yellow, you may be wondering what is wrong and what you can do to fix it. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, hopefully, we will do our best to explain the reasons why this can happen and what you can do to fix it.

When a plant’s healthy condition changes from green to yellow, it is cause for concern and necessitates frantic remedies that might do more harm than good. Yellow leaves on tomato plants, on the other hand, are a typical issue that many tomato gardeners encounter at some time during the tomato plant’s growth period.

The most common reason is an easy fix (such as over-watering), or perhaps no cause for concern at all. The most typical reasons for tomato leaves to turn yellow are listed below. Isolate the problem (if there is one), correct it, and your plants will get to being green and healthy.

In this article, we will discuss the possible reasons why your tomato plant leaves are turning yellow, as well as some solutions that you can try. Keep reading for more information:

tomato plant leaves yellow snippet image

Table of Contents

Why Tomato Plant Leaves Turn Yellow

Tomato plant leaves may become yellow for a variety of reasons, many of which are simple to solve. The following are the most prevalent causes of tomato leaf yellowing, as well as possible solutions:

1. Compacting of the Soil

If the leaves on your tomato plant are turning yellow and falling off, it could be due to the compaction of the soil. This means that the roots are not able to get enough oxygen, which is essential for the plant to grow. The solution is to loosen the soil around the base of the plant so that the roots can breathe. You can do this by adding some organic matter, such as compost or mulch, to the area around the plant.

The Solution:

Loosen the soil around the base of your plant to allow for better oxygenation. Add organic matter, such as compost or mulch, to the area around the plant.

compacting soil

2. Fungal Diseases

Yellow leaves on tomatoes are frequently caused by fungal infections. Early blight, for example, is apparent by yellow foliage and small patches or spots that develop and expand, eventually taking on a bulls-eye appearance. If the illness is serious, the fruit may be harmed as well.

The most common form of late blight, however, affects the top leaves. The vast, greasy-looking sores on both leaves and stems are a sign of late blight. Late blight is caused by fungus spread by moisture or wind. It usually shows up in the summertime and causes yellow tomato leaves on one side of the plant, often starting with older, bottom leaves. The plant won’t be able to produce fruit due to poor growth and stunted development.

Some plant diseases caused by fungi, such as black rot, can be treated with chlorothalonil. Water correctly. Provide adequate air circulation between plants by spacing them far apart and trimming thick growth if necessary.

The Solution

If you discover any indications of illness in your tomato plants, you must take immediate action. If it is not treated promptly, the problem might spread to the rest of your plant and to other parts of your garden.

If detected early, light and heat treatments may be used to control early blight and Septoria leaf spot. Remove the diseased leaves and discard them in a safe location away from other plants in your garden. Follow the directions on the fungicide specifically until the condition improves, applying one that is effective against this fungus.

Unfortunately, if you detect one of the three “wilts,” you must trash the plant right away. There is no cure for any of these ailments, and they will spread throughout your garden if given the chance. To avoid the disease spreading, take care not to bring the sick plant into contact with other plants while removing it.

There are things you can do to decrease your risk of developing a disease. Choose plants with stronger resistance to such diseases, and provide each plant enough space so that its leaves do not touch. Clean your gardening equipment on a regular basis and use crop rotation for optimum soil health.

tomato blight

3. Nutritional Deficiencies

If the bottom portion of your tomato plant is mostly yellow, you generally don’t have anything to be concerned about. This typically implies that these leaves aren’t absorbing enough nutrients from the soil or aren’t receiving enough light. On older plants with fruit, this is most often the case.

It’s entirely possible that your garden was planted at an incorrect time of year, or perhaps you didn’t follow the proper watering techniques. It might also be a lack of nitrogen in the soil. If this is the case, have a soil test done to see what nutrients, if any, are lacking so you can treat as needed.

The Solution

Apply a broad fertilizer if you suspect nutrient insufficiency. Most all-purpose fertilizers will include a balance of nutrients to compensate for any soil mineral depletion. It is crucial to conduct a soil test, which will help you determine the source of the problem and remedy it with a specific solution.

A soil test will tell you whether the problem is in the soil or in the plant itself. Remember that a nutrient deficiency in a plant does not necessarily imply a problem with the soil. There may be an issue with the plant’s roots that prevents nutrients from being absorbed throughout the entire plant, rather than a problem with the soil specifically.

Examine your watering routines and the aeration in the soil to solve any issues if the soil test shows no need for supplementation.

fertilizing tomatoes to avoid yellow leaves

4. Pests

Yellow tomato leaves can be the result of a variety of pests, particularly those that cause damage. Insecticidal soap or horticultural oil is useful in treating minor pests such as these:

  • Aphids
  • Flea beetles
  • Spider mites
  • Thrips
  • Whiteflies

The Solution

When pests are discovered on your tomato plants, immediate action must be taken to remove them. If left untreated, the problem might spread to the rest of your plant and to other parts of your garden.

You can use certain natural remedies such as insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to get rid of the pests. Be sure to follow the directions on the label and apply them accordingly. You can also use pesticides such as clear bug ultra and other common brands.

tomato pests

5. Transplant Shock

If you’ve transplanted your seedlings (within a week or two) and notice yellowing leaves on the bottom of the plant, transplant shock is a good possibility. When seedlings are moved from a warm environment, such as indoors or in a greenhouse, to cold soil outdoors, they require time to acclimate.

The roots of the plant may also get shocked, which can cause the lower few leaves to yellow. Fortunately, this is just a short period of adjustment. There’s no need to worry as long as the new growth is green and healthy. The yellow leaves will eventually fall off and the plant will be restored to full health.

The Solution

It’s usually not harmful to the plant, and while it may not be fixable once it’s recognized, it’s best to avoid the issue altogether. It’s essential to warm up the soil before transplanting so that temperatures don’t drop too low (below 50F) overnight.

If you detect indications of transplant shock, remove yellowing leaves from the stem to assist the plant’s recovery. This will focus the energy on new growth rather than attempting to preserve dead leaves.

transplanting tomatoes

6. Viral Diseases

Tomato leaves may yellow due to a variety of viral infections, including tomato mosaic virus, tobacco mosaic virus, single streak virus, cucumber mosaic virus, and tomato yellow leaf curl.

Stunted growth and a mosaic pattern on the leaves are characteristic of tomato viral diseases. Fernleaf, broccoli-like development, brown streaks, or severe curling are some of the malformations caused by certain viruses. Whitefly, thrips, and aphids are common pests that spread viral illnesses.

The Solution

There are several viral infections that can kill your plants. Unfortunately, there are no chemical treatments available. Frequently, the greatest solution is to remove the diseased tomato plant and start over by planting virus-resistant types in a new part of your garden. Maintain good irrigation and pest management techniques so that you may water correctly and preserve your plants.

There are things you may do to minimize the chance of developing the disease. Choose plants that are more resistant to these illnesses and give each plant adequate room so that the leaves do not touch. To improve soil health, clean your gardening equipment on a regular basis and implement plant rotation.

tomato viral disease

7. Watering Problems

Watering may be the cause of yellowing leaves on tomato plants. Many gardeners make mistakes when watering, but too much is by far the most common error.

Gardeners may overdo it on the maintenance side and give a plant too much water in an effort to keep the soil wet. The extra water in the soil can suffocate the roots and cause them to rot. There is less oxygen available to the leaves as the roots are damaged and there is more water in the soil, causing them to turn yellow and drop off.

Sunburn and faded leaves are other issues that may happen when plants are overwatered. If the problem is watering, the leaves will eventually yellow from the edges before the entire leaf falls off the plant.

The Solution

Water your plants deeply but less frequently to allow the roots to grow deeper into the ground and access more water. Water in the morning so that the leaves have time to dry before nightfall.

It is also essential to make sure that your plants are getting enough drainage. If the water cannot drain properly, it will pool around the roots and cause them to suffocate. Be sure to check that your pots have drainage holes and that they are not blocked. If you are gardening in an area with poor drainage, consider planting your tomatoes in raised beds.

hose on tomato plants

8. End of season

The end of the season is another common reason for yellow leaves on tomato plants. As the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler, the plant will start to focus its energy on ripening the fruit that is already on the plant. The leaves will begin to turn yellow and eventually die as the plant stops producing chlorophyll.

The Solution

There is no solution to this problem other than to wait it out. The plant will stop producing fruit and the leaves will eventually all fall off. Once the leaves have fallen off, you can cut back the stems to about six inches above ground level. This will help the plant to regrow next season.

Be sure to remove any dead or dying leaves from your garden so that they do not spread disease to other plants. If you have any green tomatoes on the plant, you can try to ripen them indoors by placing them in a paper bag with a ripe banana.

Check your tomato plants regularly for signs of yellowing leaves so that you can identify the problem early and take action to fix it. By following these tips, you can keep your plants healthy and productive all season long!

tomato seedlings

People Also Ask

Should I remove yellow leaves from tomato plant?

It is best to remove yellow leaves from your tomato plant as they can spread disease to other plants. They can also be a drain on the plant’s energy source so always best to remove them if they look near enough dead.

What does Epsom salt do for tomato plants?

Epsom salt can be used as a fertilizer for tomato plants. It provides the plant with magnesium, which is essential for healthy growth. Epsom salt can also help to deter pests and diseases.

What causes blossom end rot on tomatoes?

Blossom end rot is caused by a lack of calcium in the soil. This can be due to insufficient watering or poor drainage. Blossom end rot can also be caused by using too much nitrogen fertilizer, which can prevent the uptake of calcium by the plant.

tomato plant turning yellow

Can tomatoes get too much sun?

Yes, tomatoes can get too much sun. If the leaves of the plant start to turn yellow, it is an indication that the plant is getting too much sun. Move the plant to a shadier spot and make sure to water it (but make sure you don’t over-water).

Why are my cherry tomatoes splitting?

Cherry tomatoes can split for a number of reasons, including over-watering, sudden changes in temperature, or fertilizing with high levels of nitrogen.

What is the best fertilizer for tomatoes?

The best fertilizer for tomatoes is one that is high in potassium and low in nitrogen. This will help to encourage fruit production while deterring leaf growth. You can also try using compost or manure as a fertilizer for your tomato plants.

tomato seeds

When should I pick my tomatoes?

Tomatoes are ripe and ready to be picked when they are a deep red colour. You can test if a tomato is ripe by gently squeezing it. If it gives slightly, then it is ready to be picked. If you wait too long to pick your tomatoes, they may split or become overripe and mushy.

Are coffee grounds good for tomato plants?

Coffee grinds have around 2% nitrogen, with varying amounts of phosphorus and potassium, which are the plant’s basic nutrients. As the grounds decompose, they give off these nutrients into the soil, allowing them to be utilized by the plant.

Are eggshells good for tomato plants?

Yes, eggshells are good for tomato plants. Eggshells contain calcium, which is essential for the development of strong cell walls in tomatoes. Eggshells can also help to deter pests and diseases.

eggshells for tomato plants

How often should I water my tomato plant?

Tomato plants should be watered about once a week or when the soil feels dry to the touch. Be careful not to over-water your plants as this can lead to root rot or other problems.

My tomatoes are not growing, what could be wrong?

There are a number of things that could be causing your tomatoes not to grow. It could be due to a lack of sunlight, too much or too little water, poor drainage, or a lack of nutrients in the soil.

How can I tell if my tomato plant has root rot?

Root rot is a serious problem that can kill your tomato plant. Symptoms include yellowing leaves, wilting, and stunted growth. If you suspect that your plant has root rot, you should remove it from the garden and destroy it so that it does not spread to other plants.

Is Miracle Grow good for tomatoes?

No, Miracle Grow is not good for tomatoes. Miracle Grow is a chemical fertilizer that can actually harm your plants. It is best to use organic methods to fertilize your tomato plants.

What is the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes?

Determinate tomatoes are varieties that grow to a certain size and then stop growing. Indeterminate tomatoes are varieties that continue to grow and produce fruit throughout the season.

Should I prune my tomato plants?

Pruning your tomato plants can help to improve air circulation and increase yields. Pruning also helps to prevent diseases from spreading. To prune your plant, simply cut off any dead or diseased leaves or stems.

pruning tomato plant helps growth

Why are my tomato leaves turning yellow and dying?

There are a number of reasons why your tomato leaves might be turning yellow and dying.

Is baking soda good for tomato plants?

Although it might appear to be a silly method, this simple garden trick works. The baking soda reacts with the soil and lowers its acidity levels, resulting in tomatoes that are sweeter than tart.

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Oliver Wright

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