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Growing tomatoes takes a lot of work, but the first juicy fruit makes it worthwhile. One of the most common problems is tomato plants wilting. There are a number of reasons for a drooping tomato plant, some easy are easy to fix and others have no effective treatment. Keep reading while we take a look at wilting tomato plants. 

Reason for Wilted Leaves on Tomatoes

Soil borne diseases such as Fusarium wilt, bacterial wilt and Phytophthora infect the stems or roots of the plant effectively damning up the flow of water. A common problem in tomatoes, these diseases often begin with one or two wilting branches. As the disease progresses the entire plant wilts. 

Interestingly, wilt in infected plants is most severe in the early stages of the disease. This leads gardeners to suspect that the plant needs more water, which then helps the disease spread. In these cases of wilting tomato plants there isn’t an effective cure and the plants must be discarded.

Tomato Plants Drooping in Sun

Tomato plants like it hot, but even for these heat lovers there can be too much of a good thing. If you notice your tomato plants are wilting in the heat it’s time to take some proactive steps to save the plants. 

Most plants require an inch (2.5 cm.) of water per week but that is dependent upon weather conditions. If it is unusually hot, plants might require a bit more water. Instead of sticking to a once a week schedule for watering, be sure to check for soil moisture midweek either with a meter or by sticking a finger into the soil. 

When the cause of wilted tomatoes is dried out soil from heat, watering them will generally perk them up immediately. Apply water at the base of the plants avoiding the leaves or if using an overhead sprinkler, water in the morning to reduce the possibility of foliar diseases. 

To further retain moisture around the tomato plants consider applying mulch around the plants to keep roots cool and reduce water loss. 

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.