drooping tomato plant

wkmaylishJuly 29, 2008

This is my first year with hydroponics and everything has been

going fine until now. I have one tomato plant that has grown great and produced a great amount of green tomatoes but that plant has started to droop like its not getting enough water although the coconut fiber is always plenty moist. The tomatoes are starting to turn red but they are still small (about half the size they should be.) Any information would be great. This year was a test year to see how it would go. I would like to have a complete hydro system next year and do away with the regular garden but before I can do that I need to get the kinks like this out.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

what are you using for nutrients? What "phase" or stage are you feeding? Whats the PH and have you monitored it closely?
and lastly, I assume these are outside, whats' the outside temps been? Does the plant "spring back" at night?

Could be lack of Oxygen in the nutrients, try adding an airstone, but need more info to be sure....How does the reservoir smell? Stinky (as in bad?)

Technology Garden

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you get me a picture of the plant I can probably tell you what's wrong.

Also, we need to know how your system is built, what the ppm or EC of the solution is, the pH, temperature of the nutrient solution... pretty much anything you can tell us.

Another good resource for these questions is the Advanced Nutrients Tech Support line. It's free, and you don't even have to use their stuff to get help from them. (Though I can vouch for their stuff being well worth it.)

Here is a link that might be useful: AN Tech Support Info

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 8:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry for the delay in a response. I am using foxfarms growbig for my nutrients. I monitor the PH several times a day and it is always around 5.9-6.1. The temp has been around 75-85 outside and the nutrients are around 65-70 degrees. Right now the PPM's are about 1500-1600. I have taken a picture of the tomatoes, and a couple of my cucumbers and cantaloupes. There leaves are turning yellow and brittle.

Give the page time to load...I didnt take the time to shrink the size of the pics so each one is about 1.5 megs. The last picture is the tomatoe plant(branch).

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 5:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greystoke(South Africa(11))

For your info,


N: Pale green leaves with red-purple veins die back from tips; leaf sheaths purple; kernels fail to fill.

P: Uniform purpling of leaves; young plants susceptible but may subsequently recover; delayed silking and poor pollination gives irregular arrangement of grains. Distinguish from N deficiency with plant analysis. Cold weather also causes purpling.

S: New leaves uniformly yellow, old leaf bases red.

K: Marginal leaf scorch.

Ca: New leaves emerge with dead tips or tips may fail to emerge; tips of several leaves may remain joined together; leaf edges serrated and curled.

Mg: Parallel yellow white stripes between green veins on older leaves followed by red or purple colours on tips and edges.

Fe: Yellow striping of new leaves which may become bleached.

Mn: White streaks between green veins; streaks may turn brown.

Zn: Broad bands of pale tissue appear in the lower half of emerging leaves in young plants, distinguish from Fe and Mg deficiencies which cause full length stripes, silking delayed and pollination poor, stem nodes reddish-brown.

B: Thick, brittle leaves with many raised stripes; short internodes; barren or partly barren ears with pointed tips.

I think the cucs are suffereing from a K- deficiency, and the tomatoes may have a root problem.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 11:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah, I come to the same conclusion. I was looking at the picture, re-read what you'd said, and thought to myself "first place I'd look is the roots".

Then I saw greystoke said the same thing.

You plant looks like it's not getting enough water, which means there's got to be something wrong with the roots since there's plenty of water available.

If I had to guess I'd say pythium. Either that or pests. Get us some pics of the roots if you can. In the meantime break out the 3% H2O2 (standard stuff used for disinfecting injuries) and mix it at roughly 1 cup per 10 gallons of water with your nutes when you water. The extra O2 should help kill off anything nasty in your root zone.

You can help boost the health of your roots to fight off this kind of thing before it gets started with stuff like Voodoo Juice, Piranha, and Tarantula (all by Advanced Nutrients). By colonizing your roots with beneficial microbes you make it harder for the bad stuff to get a foothold, plus they vastly improve the health of your plant so that its own immune system can throw off attackers more easily.

Plus, stronger roots make bigger and more plentiful fruit.

Here is a link that might be useful: AN products

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Its Hard to say with no pics but it almost sounds like a phosphorus and potash deficency. and you should work on raising your ph to about 6.5 to let the roots absorb more nutrient to help with the wilting. phosphorus will help those tomatoes grow big and the potassium will promote helthy root systems so nothing like this happens again. i had a problem similar to this only with nitrogen, i went and ordered some ph up and a nitrogen and potassium supplement, and BAM! no more wilt! they also give really good deals on systems and lighting in case you wanna check them out for when u start your hydro garden. ill leave a link.

Here is a link that might be useful: www.groprohydro.com

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pay careful attention to you watering schedule. If you have to many fluctuations in the watering of your tomatoe plants you could end up with blossom end rot. Also limit the amount of potash you put into you plant. TO much of this nutrient can cause a Magnesium deficiency.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm still betting it's a root problem.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 12:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

Drooping is always "turger pressure". That means the plant is transpiring (using) water faster than it can take it up.

My experience is: that is usually something rotten in or around the roots. Healthy roots should be white (some exceptions, depending on individual cultivar). Check your roots.

If roots are anything but light or white, aerate the water. This can be done using a cheap fish-tank air pump and an air stone.

I've had tremendous success growing tomatoes using "aeroponics". All that means is that I spray the roots with a little stream of water 24/7. Everything is inside a bucket and all I do is feed and maintain water levels, check the pH now and then and watch things grow!

By using aeroponics, the water is mixed with air each time it is sprayed on the roots and things grow like magic! Half my greenhouse trickles and the other half thumbs (sprinklers).

God bless.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 1:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)


I wrote thumbs. Oops! Is should read: . . . and the other half thumps (sprinklers).


    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 1:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yup. That turger pressure is the amount of water pressure inside the cells of the plant relative to the outside. It's like a car tire: sealed up and filled with air it's strong enough to hold a car up. Take it off the rim and kids jumping up and down on it can squash it.

So when a plant wilts its because there isn't enough water pressure inside to keep them pumped up like a taut balloon.

Water goes in the roots and out the leaves (transpiration). If it doesn't go out the plants can't eat because they can only get food that's dissolved in water. So they've got to drink to eat.

If there's not enough water in the cells they're either not drinking enough or transpiring too much. Too much heat is a common cause of over transpiration (the plants are basically trying to "sweat" to stay cool).

But in this case we can pretty well rule that out, so it's gotta be an intake problem which means it's roots.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 4:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am also having trouble with my plant drooping. All of the leaves are pointing downwards and they feel unusually dry unless if that's my imagination running wild.

Its not under watered in fact I was told that I was over watering it. So I changed to fresh new soil so that it would have a better start but no change. Its been 6 days since.

Any help?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 7:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Adding to the turgor pressure:

The plants roots soak up water because of a process called osmosis or simple diffusion. If there happens to be too much salts or nutrient buildup on the root system, then you may notice the water will stop diffusing as readily because the concentration of salts is stronger on the outside of the plant, so naturally, the water is soaked up less and nutrients more. This may not be the most accurate statement for a plant but this is how many receptors and ion channels work in the human body.

I am by no means an expert, but, in my opinion you may need to do a good root cleaning or maybe even clean you entire setup as much as possible? I agree that you may need more air in your rez and there could be a root rot problem. If the latter is true then a good cleansing of the system (using 35% + H2O2 on the rez and spraying the roots gently with water) would be beneficial.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 7:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@ethnobotany - the original post to this was way back in July 2008, if the guy hadn't found the issue nearly 2 years ago then you can probably say his plants are now dead/life expired. Hey, better late than never ;-)

@darkia - are you growing in soil only, and not hydro.? You may be better off posting in the general garden section, for your plant, at the main GardenWeb forum if not.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 11:58AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Nutrients and PPM
I'm new to hydroponics and have a question. I bought...
Indoor Hydroponic Run on Solar
I have a plan to run a small indoor hydroponics setup...
Wireless pool/spa thermometer for outdoor hydro grow?
SIAP - I wasn't able to find anything that seemed related...
Nutrient Selection
I want to know people's experiences with different...
managing large amounts of water
I am new to hydroponics but have done a 300 gallon...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™