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Curled, Gnarled leaves—Tomato Plants

Posted by chumledo NJ (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 16, 10 at 13:41

I live in Central New Jersey and am experiencing leaf curl problems with 4 out of my 6 tomato plants.
They are suffering from varying degrees of leaf curl primarily affecting the new growth at the top of the plant. The same leaves also have a very leathery appearance to them.
I believe the cause to be environmental due to the extremely hot and dry weather we had (I did water daily those days) and has been further exasperated by the drenching rains the past few days.
I haven't seen any insect activity on my plants. Interestingly enough, 2 of my pepper plants are also exhibiting the same symptoms.
I was just wondering if anybody else in the Central New Jersey is experiencing the same difficulties with their garden this year.
FYI—My radishes, cucumbers and swiss chard are doing fantastic.

Image link: Curled, Gnarled leaves—Tomato Plants (44 k)

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RE: Curled, Gnarled leaves—Tomato Plants

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 16, 10 at 23:24

Pix is *very* small & challenging to see details. Even so, I suspect weed killer damage used somewhere nearby.

RE: Curled, Gnarled leaves—Tomato Plants

I'd agree (on both the comment on the picture and the likely diagnosis). If it's affecting 2/3 of your tomato plants and a couple of peppers, yet the cucumbers are okay, that rather rules out cucumber mosaic virus; that would be the most likely virus to make curly leathery leaves which are also quite green. If it were widespread enough in your yard to affect that many plants, though, it should have spread to the cucumbers.

On the other hand, Solanums (tomatoes, pepper, eggplant, potato) are far more susceptible to the broadleaf weed killer 2,4-D than cucurbits, brassicas, or Betas. They'd be the first to show symptoms. Look to your yard and your neighbor's yard -- Weed & Feed can drift when sprayed or evaporate in high temperatures.

They may grow out of it if it's not severe, but if they don't start growing well within two weeks or so, I'd say you're out of luck. You might root a few shoots off of the tomato plants that seem to be doing all right, just in case.


RE: Curled, Gnarled leaves�Tomato Plants

i have these exact symptoms. Did you ever figure out what it was, and did the tomatoes recover?

RE: Curled, Gnarled leaves�Tomato Plants

As was said, it's herbicide damage, most likely 2,4-D, possibly dicamba.

Whether or not it recovers depends upon how big a dose the plant received. Only time will tell.

RE: Curled, Gnarled leaves�Tomato Plants

Herbicide damage? I don't hardly think so in my case. I have a pepper plant and tomato plant in a protected place, no herbicides in our yard. It's in the middle surrounded by tall perennials that would block any drift from afar. I am thinking it must be a virus thriving by environmental conditions this year. Been gardening a long time and never seen this on my plants. We had a really freaky winter and spring this year.

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