Tomatoes wilting and dying

jennieboyer(8)May 19, 2014

All,

Here is a picture of one of my tomato plants. I have had three do this already, with a few more showing early signs. This is one that seems to be completely gone. It was healthy and putting on tomatoes until it wasn't. It's in the ground, and we've gotten plenty of rain.

Will post a picture of early stages in just a minute.

Thanks!

Jennie

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jennieboyer(8)

Close up of that plant

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 8:29AM
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jennieboyer(8)

And early signs on another plant.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 8:30AM
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jennieboyer(8)

I took cuttings from these plants to my local store, and they think I have some type of fungus. I have lost two more plants. I have sprayed everything with fungicide - will the plants showing early signs of wilting likely make it or am I likely to lose all the plants?

Jennie

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 8:14PM
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slowjane CA/ Sunset 21

Sadly, my guess is bacterial wilt. You should remove all affected plants and throw them away or burn them - don't compost them. The link below will tell you more about what to do for the future...

Fungicides have no effect. Once they're infected I don't think they recover.

The only other thing it sounds like is water wilt - but if they aren't recovering at all then I think it's bacterial wilt.

Have you grown tomatoes there before? Do you have other nightshades in that soil like eggplant or peppers? Are they affected?

Here is a link that might be useful: Bacterial wilt

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 8:52PM
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jennieboyer(8)

I'm afraid you're right. I did tomatoes in that same space last year and did not clean up the area as well as I should have. Lesson learned :-(

Will see what I can save.......

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 7:50AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

If you didn't clean up last year it doesn't matter. It only matters if you had Bacterial wilt last year in the same spot since that disease is soilborne.

Dave just posted in an above thread where you said you were the one who lost plants to Bacterial Wilt, and asked you if you had done the stem test.

You can answer him there and share with him that I told you how to do it here.

You take a stem from a plant in question where you see those leaves, ASAP place it into a glass of water and look for a white streaming substance that flows out, and those are the bacteria.

I'm not convinced you have Bacterial Wilt, There's a big difference between wilted foliage and what I see in your pictures, which is leaves that have rolled over into either a tube, or more open faced.

Leaf roll is common early in the season, and if the leaves roll over into a tight tube, then consider aphids.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 1:05PM
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slowjane CA/ Sunset 21

Yes, the stem test is a good idea. Also, do they wilt pretty quickly and uniformly? It seems like it from the picture - I've heard that is a tell tale sign - it can wilt completely in a matter of hours. I learned about this because I had a similar looking phenomenon on one of my plants - but it seems to have recovered so I'm thinking it might have been water wilt - or dry spots in the bed that were making its tender roots sad. We also had a terrible heat wave.

Leaf roll and wilting can happen for many reasons - but this looks systemic to me. See what the stem test reveals. I'll cross my fingers it's something else easier to remedy!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 3:28PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Yes, with Bacterial Wilt it's an immediate total collapse of the plant since the bacteria have invaded the stems and leaves and clogged up any transport within the plant.

I was looking primarily at the last two pictures shown and what I see is Leaf Roll, which is a well described condition, see the link below and in that general Google search also click on the IMAGES link. When looking at IMAGES be sure to put your mouse over a picture to be sure of what you are seeing since sometimes some pictures of other conditions get mixed in.

And in the direct links describing the condition note the many reasons why Leaf Curl can appear.

In this situation for once I hope I'm more right than if it were Bacterial Wilt.( smile)

Carolyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Physiological Leaf Roll

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 4:57PM
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slowjane CA/ Sunset 21

yes Carolyn I hope you are right too! ;)

But does physiological leaf roll kill plants? Those top ones seem pretty gone.... Perhaps there are multiple things going on though - and maybe the bottom ones are okay? we shall await stem test results....

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 5:32PM
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barrie2m_

You're looking hard at the foliage but often when the foliage wilts the first place to look is at the root. Dig up a dying plant and examine the root mass. There are many pests that wreak havoc with the roots and can cause the foliar wilt you experience. I lost a few plants this spring to ants which had chewed the stems just below the soil line. Nematodes might also be suspect if you see unusual root knoting. It appears from the pic that you have a high amount of surface debris. Debris provides an environment where many pests thrive even including the larger pests like voles and mice.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 9:50PM
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jennieboyer(8)

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I did the bacterial wilt test, and it doesn't seem to be that (can't see any white stuff coming out of three stems I tried). I did speak to a local horticulturist who really does believe it is some sort of wilt. She recommended heavy amendments for next year. This makes sense to improve the soil, but will it really do anything to kill the cause?

I also have a bigger issue, I think. I built a teepee trellis in this area and put it in to the ground. Due to the way I built it, there is no good way to get in to amend the soil, till it up, etc. I'm afraid that I'm going to have to take down the trellis this fall :-(

Live and learn........

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 9:46AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

I'm glad that it doesn't appear to be Bacterial Wilt,

But in talking with your local person did she or he suggest physiological Leaf Roll or did you mention it.

The word WILT is just a generic word and there can be many reasons/causes of why plants will wilt, but I don't see amending the soil to be one of them that will either prevent or cure WILT, IMO, for any reason.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 2:26PM
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