Container Tomato Leaves are Looking Droopy

yucatanJune 4, 2011

I have these growing indoors under a high-output fluorescent grow light and next to a south facing window:

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-7930-gold-nugget-og.aspx

Using Al's 5-1-1 mixture with Osmocote 12-4-8 Slow-Release. I haven't added micro-nutrients, but I did mix plenty of eggshells in the soil.

My plants are only about 5 weeks old and 4 inches tall with a total of 6 side branches each coming off of the main stem.

I need to know why the leaves are wilting and curling upward. The plants themselves are growing vertically and producing new stems and leaves, but they look droopy.

I have ruled out a virus since the same thing is happening to multiple plants. They are now in 6-inch diameter pots with about 8 inches of depth. I water consistently and whenever the deep soil feels dry. The temps. have been ranging from 76-82 F and they haven't been introduced to wind.

Is too much water, lack of water, too high temps, lack of nutrition, or something else causing this?

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yucatan

It's probably too high temps. since the growing instructions say this is a cold-tolerant variety that does well between 60-70 F. That sucks because I cannot maintain those temps. this time of year. I think they will still grow, but will this have an effect on fruiting?

What additional nutrition should I supply aside from the eggshells and osmocote time-release?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 11:40PM
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calistoga_al

I doubt you have enough light. If you do not have a light meter, you may have an old camera with one. Tomatoes are not a low light plant, they do best in full sun. Al

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 8:17AM
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yucatan

I have enough light for the vegetative state and have fruited before with them too.

The grow light is high-output, giving off 5000 lumens per bulbs and running 18 hours a day. The length of each bulb is 4 ft. and one is 6500k the other is 3000k.

In addition to this, the sun is hitting the plants from a south facing window.

I'm leaning towards too high temps. unless someone convinces me otherwise.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:49AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Sounds like the pots are too small. They probably need regular fertilizer with each watering. Egg shells take a very long time to break down and provide nutrients. I wouldn't count on them in a container. I have used Osmocote and other CRFs at the rate if one Tablespoon per gallon of soil with tomatoes and still need to start using fertilizer "weekly, weakly" once they start fruiting.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 9:32AM
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yucatan

I started the seeds with weak hydrolized fish fertilizer and then added osmocote time release later. The pots are fine. I've done this many times. I just upgraded pots actually. And there's nothing wrong with the plant's vertical growth, stems, or roots; it's just that half the leaves are wilting. My jalapeno and habanero plants are doing fine under the same conditions and care, which leads me to believe that these specific tomato plants do better in cooler climates.

I'm so frustrated :(

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 7:59PM
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Joe1980(5)

With the 5-1-1, make sure that when you are watering, that ALL of the mix gets wet. I've found that if you wait just ONE day too long, the pine bark will regain its hydrophobic nature, and when you water, the top will get wet, but dig 1" down, and you'll find that it's dry. So basically you'll think you're watering good, but the plants suffer from drought. I've remedied my problem by watering more frequently, but I am new to the 5-1-1, and am trying to lose the habits of having used MG bagged mix for years.

Joe

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 8:07PM
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yucatan

Joe,

Yes, I do water all of the mix. I make sure the water is well integrated, but I don't drown the plant. The 5-1-1 mix is great because the water soon runs straight out of the bottom. It has much better drainage capability than the other mixes I've worked with.

What's odd about these tomato plants is that the tops and young leaves look completely healthy. But the older leaves are darker green and dying/wilting. My pepper plants are right next to them and doing fine. They are even colored all-around, no wilting and looking strong.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 6:57PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Sounds like you're doing everything right. Maybe you have a disease? Tomatoes are susceptible to so many problems, it can break your heart. Can you post a photo? Or search Google images for tomato disease. I've found that helpful.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 7:57PM
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yucatan

I kind of ruled out disease since this is happening identically to multiple tomato plants while every other variety of peppers is doing fine. Last year I remember the same thing happening early on. The plants fruited, but they lagged behind my peppers. How would I post a photo?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 10:47PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

How to post an image: Join a free photo sharing site like photobucket.com or Flickr.com. Upload your photos there. Then select one of the sharing options to get the code for your image. You add it to your message as HTML. So if your photo is named myphoto.jpg, and the direct link is something like http://photobucket.com/ohiofemsalbum/myphoto.jpg, the code you put in the body of your message would be .

If it is going to work, you will see your photo when you preview your message.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 10:35AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Let me try that again:
How to post an image: Join a free photo sharing site like photobucket.com or Flickr.com. Upload your photos there. Then select one of the sharing options to get the code for your image. You add it to your message as HTML. So if your photo is named myphoto.jpg, the direct link would be something like http://photobucket.com/ohiofemsalbum/myphoto.jpg. That is the link you put in the body of your message. The code has to start with: the less than symbol, followed by img src= followed by quote marks and end with quote marks and the greater than symbol . Put your code between the quote marks. This is hard to describe because I can't use the symbols in this message.

If it is going to work, you will see your photo when you preview your message.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 10:56AM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

After joining a free sharing site, upload your photos to it. Then copy and paste the HTML code right here in your text box of your post. It will show as a long confusing code at first, but when you look at the preview, it will show your photo. If not, than something wasn't done right.

JoJo

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 11:01AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

You said you ruled out disease because only tomatoes were affected. But I've never had problems with my peppers and often have problems with tomatoes. I found a good source for diagnosing tomato disease, linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aggie tomato problem solver

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 5:22PM
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