Slit in leaves

Sandra_NC(7B NC)June 17, 2005

A few of my tomato leaves have "slits" in them. They look like they were cut with a very sharp knife. Do you have any idea what may have caused this and the best way to deal with it?

(I checked the tomato problem solver but didn't see anything like it in the photos. I do have the occasional fly etc but nothing just hanging around.)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

A few of my tomato leaves have "slits" in them. They look like they were cut with a very sharp knife


Other than bird damage it's hard for me to visualize just a slit with no chewing or other damage.

Below is a link to a NC site and the top part lists those critters known to damage tomato foliage.

It may or may not help.


Here is a link that might be useful: Foliage damage

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 1:08PM
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Sandra_NC(7B NC)

Carolyn - Thanks for your fast reply. I just came in from checking my plants. While I was outside I saw an insect that looked like the drawing of a blister beetle from the NC site. There was only one and it wasn't solid black. It had somewhat of a orange sheen under the wings rather than solid black.

According to what I read a blister beetle makes the plants "ragged" looking and stunt their growth. Recommended control is Pryrethrim or 5% Sevin. I don't know if the slits could be the start of the ragged look.

From what you know, do you think this is might be the culprit or should I keep looking? Should I try the 5% Sevin as a precaution? If you think so I need to go to town to pick it up.

Thanks for your advice.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 3:15PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)


Where I live we don't have such critters so unless someone else knows them and can give you advice I'd go with what the recommendation is when you do further reading about them re a Google search.



    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 5:11PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Have you had hail recently? It makes slits, also 3-corner tears.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 10:33PM
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Gimme3Steps(7 or 8, NE GA)

Many potato-leaf plants will naturally develop a slit in their leaves, if growing happily. Its almost like the plant is so happy, it caint contain itself, an the split leaf exhibits that. Never seen split leafs, in a RL plant. A Brandywine growin happy will Always have some big, Beautiful, split leaves.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 1:06AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Jean and Gimme,

Interesting on the hail comments, and maybe I was not visualizing the slit comment correctly, but when I've had hail damage, which I have many times, the leaves were shredded to one degree or another, depending on the size and amount of hail that came down and regardless of whether they were RL or PL plants.

But if you two have seen single slits with hail, then maybe that's a distinct possibility in this situation.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 11:22AM
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Sandra_NC(7B NC)

Thank you all for your ideas.

Jean and Carolyn - We haven't had hail. We had an extreme down pour (flooding etc.) 3 weeks ago. I check my plants 2 times a day and yesterday was the first time I noticed the problem. We haven't had exessive wind or anything like that so I don't think the weather is the problem.

I have already sprayed with the Sevin. I went ahead and sprayed for precautionary purposes. If it is a pest causing the problem it's not hanging around.

The plants are happy looking. I think you would consider the foliage regular. (They are Parks whopper tomatoes.) At least the leaves aren't the deep green potato-leaf shown in Carolyn's book.

Gimme3Steps - It would be lovely to think they are just healthy happy tomato plants splitting at the leaves. - - Just a note. The slits have occurred on the really big ones and the small ones too.

Just another thought considering both Jean/Carolyn's weather thoughts and Gimme3Steps happy plant idea. Everything got so wet when we had that downpour I haven't watered the tomato plants in 3 weeks. They didn't turn yellow or anything but didn't produce much of anything except leaves. (It's been hot and humid too.) In the last week they have been popping new tomatoes all over the plants (top to bottom). Wouldn't it be wonderful if this is caused by a happy plant!!

Thanks for your help. I will certainly keep watching them!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 1:50PM
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Do they look like the picture here?

I haven't figured out what it is though... I have my own thread going here trying to figure out what that and some other damage is. Just thought a picture might be helpful

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 10:38PM
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