wilting tomato leaves

sjs56222June 24, 2010

Any advice would be very helpful to me so I thank anyone in advance if you are responding. I have 8 tomato plants - 7 Beefsteak and 1 Better Boy -- the stems, roots, and most leaves are very healthy - but some of the leaves are wilting a bit, by that I mean drooping downward. All of my tomatoe plants are in pots 2.5 gallon pots and have been thriving. We recently recieved a lot of rain - but my plants quickly dried out and I am wondering if they need nutrients. They are planted in Happy Frog Soil (regular) and have been fertilizing with Tomato Miracle Grow and I just added Fish Emulsion mixture to them today hoping that will help. My plants are about 2.5 feet tall!! I have about 40 flowers amid my 8 plants. Just don't want them to die, wilt anymore, or lose flowers. Any advice would be very helpful. Thanks. I could post a picture, but don't see a link for that?

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jbann23(6 RI)

Seems like your plants are getting root bound. Transplant to much larger containers and loosen those roots a bit when you do. Expect them to sulk for a couple of days but then perk right up and take off again. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 12:51PM
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sjs56222

It seems like after a good watering they perk right up for a day and then boom drooping again. I would transplant them, but don't have the means to do it, I really think the containers are okay - but maybe the roots are being tightened. I can't put them in the garden because of the Black Walnut trees - the oils from years of walnuts in the soil has made it only condusive for onions and peppers love it - kills tomatos.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 12:57PM
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homegardenpa

"All of my tomatoe plants are in pots 2.5 gallon pots..."

The containers are way too small. Those are big indeterminate plants that need a hefty root ball, much more than that size container will allow. The general rule is that 5 gallon containers are the minimum for just about all tomatoes (exceptions being small determinate or dwarf varieties). I grow mine in approximately 15 gallon containers, some choose to go even bigger.

Not only is there not enough room for the roots, the dynamics of a container that small are different. Being only 2.5 gallons, it will dry out much faster than a 5 gallon container. It will need to be watered more often to keep it from drying out, which means fertilizing needs will also be increased since you will be washing out nutrients, and once the plants get bigger and more root-bound the problems will just get worse.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 1:44PM
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sandyzgarden

Hello, new here, first time in forums!

I have 3 cherry tomato plants about 10 inches tall. Planted them 8 days ago and seemed fine. Yesterday & today noticed the bottom and mid-area leaves are limp, fragile as tissue paper, pale silvery green. No slime, fungus or pests noted after careful scrutiny. Too much water? Transplant shock?

Thanks kindly for any info/help you can offer. I don't want to lose these plants, raised them indoors from seed and watched them grow.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 1:52PM
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pearsaml(6)

sandyzgarden,
is there any change in the leaves when it is sunny out vs. the evening after it is darker? What about after watering?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 12:44PM
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sandyzgarden

Reply to pearsaml

no, the leaves are constantly limp, fragile. morning, evening, even after watering. i even went 2 days without watering in case i overwatered when transplanting them, but they are still the same. thus far, only bottom and mid area of the plants are limp leaves. the top seems fine and has tiny new growth. just worried the wilt/limp/collapse of leaves will continue until the whole plant dies :(

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 12:18AM
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col_sprg_maters(Front Range 5)

SJS;

what PA gardener wrote is very true and good advice. I am a container gardener and 2.5 gal is only for the patio picnic, dwarfs and other small fellows.

the mix you have may not be a good match for the container, but that requies some analysis.

This is my first year with a significant container tomato investment. What I have learned!! Not enough, but here in colorado, container gardening and a greenhouse could help us have a decent length growing season, If I can correctly implement it.

There is a section devoted to container gardening and its idiosyncrasies. The pots, mix, watering, fertilizers, ... all different in containers vs. in the ground.

Here is a link to the container forum:

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardenweb container forum

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 10:03AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I really think the containers are okay -

Sorry but as already mentioned, there are very few tomato plants that can be grown in a container that small and none of the ones you list are included. 5 gallons is the MINIMUM recommended for any tomato plant and your plants would require something even bigger - maybe 7 gallons but 10 gallons would be even better.

Your plants are root bound and there is nothing left in the pot to hold either water or nutrients for them. Honestly, they will not survive much less produce fruit unless transplanted to much larger containers.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 10:20AM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

sandyzgarden you need to start your own thread, as you stomped in on this one

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:25PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

I don't know how they are doing it but one of my local nurseries has 6' black cherry tomato plants in about a 20 oz pot. They are not flowering but have thick stems and look very healthy. They are just laying on a table. I'd be afraid of breaking them trying to transport. I think the pots are coconut coir. I know they are root bound and probably wont sell but how did they do that? Hydro maybe?

sjs your pots are too small. As stated 5 gal. min.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 11:50AM
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sandyzgarden

didn't mean to intrude this thread :(

i just saw "wilting tomato leaves" topic and erroneously joined in.

truly sorry, it won't happen again

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 1:59PM
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lonelylib81

I'm a little worried about this plant. I was careless and didn't fertilize for 3 weeks due to back pain. This one started wilting. The other 11 are growing great and some are starting to set.
I blasted them with tomato dynamite fert about 4 days ago and I'll give it another week and a half.
It's better boy hybrid. Not sure about Tobacco mosaic virus? I smoke all the time right next to it.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 5:19AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Don't worry about TMV, for in S FL there are a whole bunch of what are called gemini viruses and what you show could well be Tomato Leaf Yellow Curl Virus,

If you go to the disease forum here, link at the top of the page, or even do a Google Search for the U of FL sites that deal with these disease issues I think you'd find out much more info about the possibilities, but what you show are not wilting leaves, they're curled and turning yellow.

Hope that helps.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:53AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Don't know what you mean by blasting them with fertilizer. Could you have over fertilized? That can kill a plant in a few days. Fertilizer burn can make leaves crispy. If the plants were given too much fertilizer, you might be able to save them by flushing the pots so that several gallons of water drain out of each pot.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:24PM
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