Why Are My Tomato Leaves Curling? What Does It Mean?🍅

Ridley's Wreckage

What Causes Leaf Curl On Tomato Plants?

Heirloom tomato varieties are a gardener's best friend. Honestly is there anything better than a juicy, perfectly ripe tomato? However, there is a vast array of pathogens, nutritional deficits, and pests to combat while producing them. A common gardening issue is with the leaves of tomatoes, particularly when producing hybrids or other non-heirloom kinds. Today, I’m going to go over a few tomato problems that may be diagnosed by observing leaf curl. Curling leaves might indicate different things depending on which part of the plant they're situated on.

Okay, so let's begin.

Leaves That Curl Up

Curled-up leaves are normal for tomatoes and won't harm your plant. Almost always, this kind of leaf curl is a reaction to environmental stresses. Your plant's leaves will curl up as a defense mechanism if they are subjected to excessive sunlight, heat, a breeze, or an absence of water. The leaves act as little solar panels, closing when the plant receives too much sunlight to avoid leaf scorch. Once the environmental stressor is removed, the curl will return to normal.

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Tomato leaves that curl upPhoto byPinterest

Leaves That Curl Down

Tomatoes with downward-curling leaves usually have root rot from a lack of nutrition. When a plant is overwatered, the roots decay, and it stops taking up water. In response to a lack of water, a plant's roots will shrink and shut down. Overwatering a plant can cause the roots to rot and eventually kill it. When the plant detects that it is no longer safe to drink the water, the leaves will curl. In this case, waiting for the plant to absorb all of the soil water is the best course of action. In typical scenarios, this issue would resolve itself. Better drainage may be added to your garden beds for next season as a preventative measure.

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Tomato leaves that curl downPhoto byPinterest

Leaves That Curl Up At The Base

Curled leaves at the base of a tomato plant usually indicate a lack of a certain vitamin. Curling leaves aren't always the first sign of trouble, but yellowing leaves usually are. This problem can be remedied in a few simple ways. Azomite is a clay compound full of nutrients and elements that are frequently washed away in today's soils. Plants may be revitalized by amending the soil with new compost or an all-purpose fertilizer.

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Tomato leaves that curl up at the basePhoto byPinterest

Top-Curling Leaves

Curly top virus is a disease that causes tomato plants to develop in a tangled, twisted fashion with smaller, curled leaves. The leafhopper insect, the vector of this virus, feeds only on a single host plant. Fortunately, this virus doesn't possess the ability to spread to surrounding plants. The development of plants infected with the curly top virus is stunted. If fruit is developing, it will ripen normally. However, when the harvest is complete, the plant should be removed entirely so that the area may be used for another crop. In order to reduce the risk of losing yield due to curly tops, it is recommended to establish many tomato plants.

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Top Curling Tomato LeavesPhoto byPinterest

Tomatoes can be such finicky plants to grow, will test your patience and probably grow you a few grey hairs but the payoff in the end is ALWAYS worth it!

Happy Gardening! 🍅

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Hello! Freelance blogger and videographer here! I love to refurbish furniture, show my creative side with cooking and crafts, and love to talk about my homestead and hobby farm. Follow me for flipping furniture inspiration and techniques, DIY craft projects, homestyle cooking with easy to follow recipes and some great gardening and animal husbandry tips!

Red Creek, NY
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