Tomato Anthracnose Information: Learn About Anthracnose Of Tomato Plants

Anthracnose Fungal Disease On Tomato Plant
tomato anthracnose
(Image credit: Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Ext Slide Series,

Anthracnose is a fungal disease that affects vegetable crops in different ways. Anthracnose of tomato plants has a particular set of symptoms that affects the fruits, often after they have been picked. Anthracnose is a serious problem with tomato plants, and it should be avoided if at all possible. Keep reading to learn more about tomato anthracnose symptoms and how to control tomato anthracnose disease.

Tomato Anthracnose Information

Anthracnose is a disease that can be brought about by a number of different fungi in the genus Colletotrichum. The fungus can infect both green and ripe fruit, though symptoms don’t appear until the fruit begins to ripen. Tomato anthracnose symptoms appear as sunken, watery spots on ripe fruits. As the spots grow, they sink into the fruit and darken in color. Sometimes spores appear as pink masses in the center of the lesions. As these lesions spread, they often join together and result in large rotten sections of fruit. This can occur when the fruits are still on the vine, or even after they have been harvested.

How to Control Tomato Anthracnose

Controlling tomato anthracnose comes mostly down to prevention. The fungal spores can survive the winter both in seeds and in diseased fruit. Because of this, it’s important not to save seeds from diseased fruit or to leave it in the garden at the end of the season. The spores spread more rapidly in moist environments, so keeping the fruit dry as much as possible is a good preventative practice. It can also enter damaged fruit much more easily, so every effort should be taken to keep from injuring the tomatoes. There are several anti-anthracnose fungicides available. These should be applied as soon as fruit is set, in order to keep the fungus from taking hold. Immediately remove and dispose of infected fruit to keep the spores from spreading. Note: Any recommendations pertaining to the use of chemicals are for informational purposes only. Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and more environmentally friendly.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.