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Curling Tomato Leaves

Posted by KevinH_SATX San Antonio (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 9, 13 at 13:06

All of the upper leaves on our tomato plants (multiple varieties) are curling. A picture of our Sweet 100 attached. Bottom leaves look healthy and doing well. Planted about 3-4 weeks ago. Tops have been curled 24 x 7 for last 1-2 weeks. Variable temps here with no freezing. Typically 70s-80s during days. Plants appear to still be growing (slowly), but concerned about overall health. No apparent bug damage on leaves. We are wondering if we need to replace and replant.

Appreciate any guidance that could be provided. Thank you!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Curling Tomato Leaves

That looks like some kind of herbicide damage. Any kind of spraying nearby?? I would at least chop off the bad part and see if the plant regrows normally, or you could replace. It's up to you.

This post was edited by edweather on Tue, Apr 9, 13 at 13:13

RE: Curling Tomato Leaves

2, 4-D damage?

See the third photo here:

Has anyone sprayed your lawn -- or perhaps the neighbor's lawn beyond the fence?

RE: Curling Tomato Leaves

We have an organic garden and yard. No herbicides in our yard. I'll check with neighbors, but I don't think they have lawn on other side of fence. Could over- or under-watering do this? We watered every other day while plants were getting established. Thanks.

RE: Curling Tomato Leaves

Sorry but that is a classic pic of herbicide damage. It could be in your mulch or any purchased compost, anything. But the most likely cause is drift and drift can be from as much as a 1/2 to 1 mile away depending on the wind direction and speed.

Every year at this time we see numerous posts of pictures of herbicide damaged plants. The source is difficult to tract but possible and it almost always turns out to be neighbor or lawn care service. Many have gotten damages paid.

Sometimes the plants will recover if it was drift or as mentioned you can cut off the damaged top and, if indeterminates, new growth will sprout.

Good luck.


RE: Curling Tomato Leaves

It does look like herbicide damage but cold over nite temps and not enuff water could be a problem too. The bottom leaves (they look fine) make me think it may be in need of water.

Nutrients (& water) in the soil would reach the lower leaves first. Stick a finger into the soil a foot or more away from the plant stem to check for moisture.

Cover the plants when overnite temps are below 50.

How long have these plants been in the ground?

What kind of watering do you do? From the top? Soaker hoses? Water cans?

I use buckets with a hole drilled in them for deep watering.

RE: Curling Tomato Leaves

It is not lack of water. It looks like herbicide damage to me too. And my experience says that even though it may grow out of it at some point, they never truly grow and produce correctly after this. Sometimes you will see creamy white streaks on the effected leaves.
The stretching of the internodes of the plants is another classic symptom that is associated with a lot of herbicides.
Again, based on my own experience, I would discard them.

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