Bad tomato plant? Help needed!

sacnetJuly 20, 2011

I have this one tomato plant in my raised garden bed that I'm concerned about. About a month ago, I noticed that many of its lower stems curled inward, pointing down. (I cut them off last night, before deciding to post my question on this forum).

Last night I also noticed some bumps on the stem:

Many of the leaves curl upwards:

Several of the stems have this strange curl inwards also:


I don't see any bugs anywhere on the plant nor do I use weed killer.

1. Do I remove the plant?

I'm concerned that if it has some disease, it will spread to other plants.

2. Do I keep it?

There are flowers but only 1 very tiny tomato growing. All other tomato plants that I planted during the same time have grown fruits except for this one. If I hadn't discovered this little tomato last night, I would have gotten rid of the plant.

Any help diagnosing the problem would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Here is a link that might be useful: More photos here

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monco(zone 9)

oh, my!

Your tomato plants looks exactly like mine! except the shape difference of different variety.

Take a look at my posts couple of lines down, mine's title is 'why my whole black pepper size....

Mine was herbicide demage. The symptom of herbicide - especially 2-4-d is curling leaves upward and twisted-curled stems. Also plants stop growing for awhile.

Mine grow out of it after week and half- means started showing growth- but it still has that horrible curly leaves.

Mine started flowering too after I see some new growth.

I hope this is what it is for yours too and yours get better like mine did.

Herbicidal agent can spread about 1/2 miles if there was any wind at that moment of application.

You didn't use herbicide, but you neighbors probably did!

Good luck!!!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 12:28PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

There is really nothing wrong with your plants and over-all they look very healthy. There's definitely no disease or herbicide damage showing in any of your pics. Only the very last pic shows any discolorations at all and even those are minimal and just environmental.

The bumps on the stem are normal and the stem curling and leaf rolling are just common physiological responses of the plants to stress - heat, over-watering, inconsistent soil moisture levels, over-fertilizing, etc. Identify the source of the stress and eliminate it and all the signs go away. Some varieties are more affected by it than others.

You can search 'physiological tomato leaf roll' here for many discussions about it or Google it for even more info. Also Google 'adventitious roots' which are what the bumps turn into.

I 'suspect' you are either shallow/frequent watering or over-watering since that is what the adventitious roots usually often indicate. Shallow frequent watering leads to stressed plants, leaf roll, and shallow water-dependent roots. Avoid it.

Otherwise there is definitely no reason to pull the plant.


Here is a link that might be useful: Phy. Leaf Roll

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 2:32PM
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Thanks for the feedback from both of you! I'm glad I didn't yank out the plant then.

And yes, it's probably the shallow watering that's doing the trick. I'm going to have to look into a drip system or something. Last year I think I overwatered, so this year I water very infrequently and for only a couple minutes at a time.

Thanks for the help!! I really appreciate it. :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 6:36PM
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