Why Are the Leaves on My Tomato Plants Wilting?


Quick Answer

Tomato plants may wilt due to under-watering, fungal diseases, a virus or a bacterial disease. Tomato pests or planting near other plants may also cause tomatoes to wilt, though this is less common.

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Full Answer

According to Gardening Know How, tomato plants need at least 2 inches of water per week, provided through manual watering or rainfall. If not watered properly, the plants wilt.

Gardening Know How notes that tomato plants that are receiving adequate amounts of water but are still wilting most likely have a fungal disease. Fungal wilt in tomatoes are typically due to verticillium wilt fungus or fusarium wilt fungus. Verticillium and fusarium wilt fungi exist in the soil and spread through the roots and vascular system of the plants, which support the structure of the plant and its leaves.

If tomato plants are wilting and spotted, a virus called spotted wilt may be the culprit, according to Gardening Know How. The tomato spotted wilt virus causes brown and purple spots on a tomato plant. There is no treatment for this, and infected plants should be removed from a garden immediately. Tomatoes cannot be planted in the garden for another year.

Gardening Know How points out that tomato plants can wilt due to a bacterial disease. Bacterial wilt is difficult to diagnose because it cannot be positively identified until a plant has died. The tomatoes wilt and die quickly, and the inside of the stems of the plants are hollow, dark and sometimes watery. There is no known treatment for this bacteria, and all infected tomato plants should be removed from any garden.

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