help with opalka seedling wilt

ikea_gwMarch 25, 2012

I have 2 opalka seedlings that have a various degree of wilting going on. Each has 4 true leaves right now. Wilt started with the bottom most leaves and spread from the tip of each leaf toward the main stem. Then it just shrivels up and eventually falls off. No yellowing at all so I don't think this is caused by too much water. Have about a dozen other tomato seedlings and they are all perfectly healthy so far. Much thanks in advance.

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

I am the person who introduced Opalka, so know it well, and I've never had seedlings do anything other than the other seedlings I was raising.

With no spots on the true leaves and no yellowing, I have no idea what might be causing the wilted leaves, but keep and eye on the seedlings and let us know, especially if you see any leaf edges that turn brown along the sides and tip of the leaves.

Carolyn, assuming that all your seeds were sown in the same soilless mix and treated the same.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 8:43PM
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Carolyn, all my tomato seedlings were started in espoma seedling mix and were treated exactly the same. Opalka has been the slowest among them but they were healthy until today.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Do the leaves truly wilt, or are they just gradually drying from the edges inward and crumbling? Opalka is quite spindly and wispy leafed compared to other tomatoes, the older leaves tend to point and curl downward, so they never look as healthy and vigorous as broader leafed varieties. As a wispy leafed, it's very prone to the indoor seedling malady called CRUD (which Carolyn named :-))

If you have the drying and crumbling of CRUD, the plants will outgrow it once they get outside into the garden under summer conditions. I often get CRUD on many of my wispy leafed seedlings while they are still in the house.

I once gave a friend some really nice large Opalka seedlings along with a bunch of other varieties. When I asked him later how he liked them, he said he pulled them because they looked sickly. Guess I forgot to warn him about the droopy leaves.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 1:54AM
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They truly wilt like the leaves are soft. This is my 3rd year growing opalka so I am used to its wispy growth but never saw this type of wilting before. I separated the two from the rest two days ago. One of them seems to be happy now. The other one continues to wilt but the progress is much slower. I hope at least one of them pulls through.

This year I am also growing san marzano redorta which also has a very wispy growth. Wonder if this is just more common among paste type tomatoes.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 11:56AM
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