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Tomato plant leaves yellowing all of a sudden

Posted by jbe01 Oklahoma (My Page) on
Sat, May 21, 11 at 18:50

Hello all,

Im new here and have noticed in the last week or so that my tomato plant in my topsy turvy has a lot of yellow leaves. Can anyone tell me what might be going on here?

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Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tomato plant leaves yellowing all of a sudden

Hi. Welcome to the forum. The main problem is that you are growing a plant that needs at least 5 gallons of soil at a minimum (and 10 would be better) in a little Topsy-Turvy. I'm sorry if that sounds unkind, but it is the truth.

Your plant looks stressed and likely needs to be watered more often.

It is very hard to diagnose anything only from 'yellow leaves' because yellow leaves are just a symptomm of stress and the stress can have many causes.

Run through this checklist and see which you think might apply to your plant.

Yellow leaves might indicate....

The plant is too dry.

The plant is too wet.

The plant is rootbound and needs a larger container.

The plant got too hot and dry previously even if it is wet now.

When the lower leaves yellow on an upright tomato plant, often that occurs because the upper leaves are shading the lower leaves and the leaves cannot get the sunlight they need. This is a natural part of the growth process and the lower yellow leaves will drop off. They're old and have done their job. I don't know if/how this happens with tomatoes in a Topsy Turvy.

Yellowing leaves can be an early symptom of a bacterial or fungal infection. Normally if this is the case you see some black, brown or purplish spotting.

If the yellow leaves are accompanied by brown leaf spots with concentric circles, it could be Early Blight.

It could be a sign various plant pests might be damaging the plants. Check the underside of leaves for spider mites, aphids of psyllids.

You might notice small bumps on the main stem of your plant. Those are adventitious roots. They are somewhat common and are not necessarily considered "bad". It depends on the reason you're seeing them. For example, if young transplants are held too long in their pots instead of being transplanted into the ground, these little bumps indicate the plant is stressed and needs to be placed in the ground. When these adventitious roots appear above ground on plants in the ground, it generally means they are feeling hungry or thirsty and are trying to create more roots to feed themselves. On the other hand, when you bury a tomato stem deeply in the soil, adventitious roots form of that stem which gives you a stronger and healthier plant.

Combined with the advententious roots, your specific yellow leaves likely indicate the plant is stressed from having such a small area for root growth to occur, and is having trouble taking up enough nutrition and water to enable it to grow. The sparse foliage on the plant indicates lack of fertility. If it were my plant, I'd feed and water it regularly but I also would move it to a larger container.

Topsy Turvys are, IMHO, a triumph of marketing over common sense.


RE: oh lordy, take cover.

The sh#ts about to hit the fan.

Welcome, I'm sure some kind and knowledgeable person will be long shortly but don't mention the TT word again, I beg of you, for your own sake.

RE: Tomato plant leaves yellowing all of a sudden

Thanks for the quick replies everyone. The only expectation I had with the Topsy turvy is that it wouldn't work at all so it looks to be right on track lol.

Ive got other plants and they are doing just fine so Ill probably go ahead and chalk it up as a failed experiment and move on. Thanks again!

RE: Tomato plant leaves yellowing all of a sudden

You're welcome. Now, if you thought it wouldn't work, why did you waste time on it? lol

I think a person could grow a tomato plant successfully in a Topsy Turvy in our climate if they chose a really, really small plant like Tiny Tim, Red Robin, Yellow Canary, Orange Pixie or maybe even Patio or Patio Princess. But, with a plant that small, you couldn't get a lot of tomatoes, so I still don't think it would be worth the trouble.

I feel sorry for people who buy these things with Great Expectations in the spring only to have Great Disappointment by June or July. One of my DH's coworkers bought a TT last year so he could grow tomatoes. This year he put in a raised bed so he could actualy grow and harvest tomatoes. Lesson learned, I think. : )

RE: Tomato plant leaves yellowing all of a sudden

Hi jbe01 and welcome.

We all live and learn. Some of the things I am very good at now were once my biggest mistakes. :)

I am glad you tried the Topsy turvy and saved me the trouble. I was really really tempted. I am running out of garden space but I have a million places to hang a tomato.


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