Indoors tomato plant dying

garwv(WV)February 7, 2008

I need some help.

I have a potted tomato plant that my girlfriend gave me last summer.

It was growing like crazy while I had it outside over the summer, had lots of blossoms, and I got a few tomatoes off it. I didn't move it inside until mid November because the weather was so nice. I got a couple more tomatoes off it after I moved it inside, and since about mid december it seems like it has been going steadily downhill. There were two actual plants in the pot, one of them died completely, the other (larger) one is visibly smaller than it was, quite a few leaves have turned brown and it just doesn't look good. I've seen no sign of any new growth or new buds.

I checked it out awhile back and it looked like it had powdery mildew, so I sprayed it a couple times with an herbicide, and it looks like most of the die-off has stopped but the plant just does not seem to be recovering.

Any suggestions?

Someone over in the fruits & orchards forum told me that it may be dying because "its time is up," and that I may be better starting from seed. However, this was given to me as a small albeit established plant and I had to wait almost all summer to get tomatoes off the thing as it was. Also, my girlfriend and her mother have potted tomato plants in their house that seem to weather the winter just fine and continue to produce tomatoes.

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jtcm05(Zone 6 CT)

It's not getting enough light.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 9:32AM
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Maybe it's rootbound and needs repotting?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 9:53AM
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what type of tomato plant is it?

If it's a determinate type, it'll flower, make toms, then stop. That's all she wrote.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 11:09PM
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I don't know what type it is.

I can't believe it's not getting enough sun, I had it in the same window my pepper plant was in, and it's actually putting out new growth and new blooms right now.

Like I said, this one came out of one of the pots my gf & her mother have, and theirs are a couple years old. But they are also in front of bigger windows so maybe that helps.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 12:03PM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

Could be a lot of things. Too little light, too close to the cold of a window, needs fertilizer, too much fertilizer, too much water, too little water, insect pests, fungal trouble, etc, etc. Do you have a photo?

And we'll assume you used a fungicide, not an herbicide on the plant. If you used an herbicide, you're lucky to have any plant left alive at all!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 4:07PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

garwv, of course it grew like crazy outside in the summer.

A greenhouse would help. Tomato plants generally don't do well when grown indoors. The air is too dry and there's not enough humidity or light to support them over a long period of time. Tomatoes need 6 hrs of full sun to make fruit and the winter sun is very weak. The window deflects and weakens the light cast upon the plants.

I've brought small sized tomato plants in for the winter and they do fine for awhile but they do go downhill and eventually die.

You could keep babying the plant and maybe get a cutting from it in early spring.

Btw, I do winter over peppers under lights in an unheated well lit room. They struggle but they still produce some peppers.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 4:37PM
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