Bumps on tomato plant stems, dying plants

janey01June 29, 2007

There are little bumps on the lower stems of my tomato plants, and the plants are shriveling up and falling over. I asked someone at a garden center and was told its something like transplant shock, but i don't think it is. The problem is on one end of the garden and spreading, but the plants on the other end are perfectly healthy, without any bumps on the stems.

These were started from seed and planted a few weeks ago. Since they were put in the ground, they doubled or tripled in size and seemed very happy, but now they're dying.

Help diagnosing the problem would be very much appreciated.

I took 2 pictures - if you zoom in on the stem you should be able to see the bumps.



Image link:

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have two tomato plants with the same thing but i grow indoors so i can't imagine anything but transplant shock.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 6:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

The bumps are root initials. Not a problem.

Sorry that I can't help with the dying plants.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 1:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the same problem. Why are the root initials coming out of the stem over a foot above ground level? It appears to only be affecting my amish paste tomatoes

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 11:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Tomato stem primordia may develop all along any tomato stem regardless of its proximity to the ground. Often it is a response to high humidity levels in the air or to excessive watering/rain around the roots. The plant attempts to compensate for the excess moisture around its soil roots by developing more roots. But the root initials themselves are not harmful to the plant. They are normal.

If you have a section of the garden that is showing a greater number of primordia and is also having wilt problems then it is likely that it is too wet there for some reason - poor drainage, too much watering or rain, etc. Diseases are more likely to develop there too.

Remember that roots need air as much as they need water and excessively wet soil deprives them of that needed air. More plants are killed by overwatering than by underwatering so when in doubt - don't water and pray for less rain. ;)


    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 9:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the same problem of the root primordia and wilting of the plants due to overwatering. If I stop watering will the tomato plants come back or will they continue to wither and die?


    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 12:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I purchased a tomato tower which is made to plant tomatoes and other vine crops upside down. I planted cherry tomatoes & added Miracle-Gro planter mix and then planted cilantro. The tomatoes were doing just great & then developed what looks like root primordia & the leaves all curled and the stem broke off right by the opening. Anybody else have any luck, good or bad with the upside down method of planting? I do not believe I over-watered, but we have had a lot of rain in the last two weeks. It did seem like the drainage was good. Could the fertilizer in the Miracle-Gro be a problem? The plants were quite small when I planted them.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 8:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I grow in pots and have upside down plants as well, all of my tomato plants have this and they are growing just fine ,I did learn not to water as much as I had a case of early blight.... the bumps are fine

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 9:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just noticed today the bumps on my tomato plant. It is planted in a topsy turvy and seemed to be doing well. I have been watering it twice a day because, if I don't, it wilts. Seems to need alot of water. I will cut back on the watering and, hopefully, it will take care of the problem.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 4:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
silver78(Z7 MD)

my bumps are not just near the bottom Are they still root bumps?


    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 8:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, what if the bumps go higher than just the bottom? (Like silver78 asked) Still root bumps?

Ours is in a topsy turvy.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 12:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
worst tomato plants ever
Hi I have been growing tomato plants for at least twenty...
Tomato Leaves Turning Blackish
I planted my tomatoes from seeds two months ago. They...
Wilting Tomato Plant
I am growing several types of heirloom tomato plants...
New Forum Sucks
Why is it when you have something great someone comes...
P.Brandywine bumpy soft ,green curling leaves
Firstly, I'm a raw newbie. Please forgive any faux...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™