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Tiny Red Bugs and Leaf curling, wilting (pictures)

Posted by fargel GA (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 10, 07 at 14:42

I have 4 tomato plants, 2 of them are Roma plants (and are doing just fine), 1 of them is a Better Boy plant and one is a Bush Champion. I have 2 problems: On the Better Boy plant I have a few small, red bugs which used to be much more numerous, but they are still there (probably 15-30 on the plant that I can see now).

With the Bush Champion plant I have some leaf curling and yellowing, which started after I went out of town for 4 days and they weren't watered (the plants looked pretty wilted when I got back, but immediately watered them and all of them have recovered completely, with the exception of this one). Is this due to the stress of not having any water for a few days (maybe scorching?), or is it something else? Should I prune the yellowing/curling leaves from the plant?

Thanks for any suggestions!


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RE: Tiny Red Bugs and Leaf curling, wilting (pictures)

Hi fargel - The insects are aphids - you can also see the white molts where they have hatched. They are attracted to excessive nitrogen in plants and suck nutrients from the leaves and stems. A few won't harm the plant but a bad infestation can kill it. Check the undersides of the leaves for aphid gatherings. ;) The link below tells you all about them. Controls vary and include just blasting them off with water and insecticidal soap sprays.

The leaf roll is most often a result of inconsistent watering levels and is common with container plants as it is difficult to maintain consistent moisture in them. But it can also be caused by excessing watering if the soil does not drain well. You can search "leaf roll" here and find several discussions on it. It doesn't affect production and can usually just be ignored unless it becomes severe.

You can safely remove the yellow leaves (also a sign of watering problems) but the rolled ones will do fine as is. They will straighten out once the watering problem is solved. ;) Good luck with your plants.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: IPM - Aphids


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