Are Yellow Tomato Leaves A Big Problem?

One of the most common first signs of either disease of fungi in your plant is yellow tomato leaves, usually accompanied by a slight wilting. The wilting is caused by insufficient water, and the yellowing leaves is caused by insufficient nutrients to the leaves, resulting from the plant’s battle with fungi or disease.

The water-flow in the plant (the vascular system), which is the essential life-flow for any tomato plant, can get restricted or cut off by the invading infection. If you cut directly across the stem of your plant you might see some discoloration around the center, where the water flows.

Here are some of the most common causes of yellow tomato leaves and how you can rescue your plant from them:

Early Blight

Early Blight is unfortunately quite common in tomato plants, and can cause the leaves to turn yellow, usually with dark discoloured brown or black spots appearing on the leaves, which can often begin to fall off.

The best way to control and prevent Early blight is with good crop rotation with other, non-tomato, plants. And when you see signs of it remove the infected leaves entirely from your garden. If allowed to fall and lie on the ground the disease can spread to other plants.  Airflow is an important aspect of your plant care and good airflow around the plants helps to fight Blight. You can increase this will good trimming and more space between plants.

Root Rot

If your plant has severe yellowing leaves and wilting, it may be a sign of severe damage to the root system by Root rot – fungus that attacks the roots of the plant. Unfortunately it is very hard to save a plant infected by Root Rot, but you can help to prevent it from occurring by making sure your plot soil has excellent drainage before planting, and do not over-water your plants.

As with Early Blight, crop rotation is another way to keep this bothersome fungus away.

Fusarium Wilt

Another common cause of yellow tomato leaves is the fungus Fusarium Wilt, which can take up residence and grow in the water-flow system of your plant, stopping nutrients and water from adequately feeding the leaves and tomato fruits.

Cut the stem of your plant to see if the vascular system is discoloured – dark brown or red. You can also identify this fungus by seeing if the roots are discoloured.

The disease is encouraged by over-watering, so make sure you are not drowning your plants. You can buy seeds that are resistant to this disease, ask at your garden store. Once you have identified it in one of your plants you’ll have to destroy the plant and not plant any more tomatoes in that spot for a few years. This fungi lives a long time in the soil.

Vericillium Wilt

If the leaves of your tomato plant are yellowing with a v-shaped lesion appearing anywhere, your plant may be infected with Vericillium Wilt. This final disease is more prevalent in cooler regions. Again you must destroy infected plants immediately. And the best prevention is to buy seeds resistant to this disease, and maintain crop rotation on your plot.

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