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Please diagnose my tomato illness

Hello, hope you’re all well

I have 12 tomato plants, of which 4 are ill. All 4 didn’t become ill at once. One became ill. Then a couple of weeks later a second did. Then today I’ve noticed 2 more are. 3 of the affected plants are Ailsa Craig, and one is Golden Wonder.

Please could you help diagnose what is causing my tomato plants to go completely limp? The affected areas droop and are saggy; if you lift them up they flop straight back down as if they’re quite heavy. 

Is this a disease? Pest caused? Environment based? They’re in 30cm pots and are watered on a consistent basis.

I cut them back to just healthy leaves and flowers so they can still produce fruit, then move them to the other end of the garden, but I’d like to know more about the cause of this. 


Other than this, my other tomatoes are thriving, and so were these until they spontaneously got ill. 



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    edited July 2021
    I don't think there's anything wrong really. Probably struggling to take up enough water for the amount of top growth.
    They look very congested - have you been nipping out the side shoots?
    The photos are all jammed together so it's hard to see them properly, but there looks like quite a few on the plants. They're best removed to save the energy for the main plant. 
    You only leave them on bush varieties, but Ailsa Craig certainly isn't - it's an indeterminate variety. I don't know about G. Wonder. 
    Many people have been experiencing blight, but I can't see any signs of that on the stems.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thank you. Pruning has fallen by the wayside a bit, I must admit.

    The problem has spread to the full plant(s) so it’s not a localised problem. It’s like all the side stems have lost structure and turned soft. 
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,426
    Did you plant them in the same compost, not just type but batch when bought?
    I had this and found the compost wasn't holding water. I put trays under the pots and watered into them, the pots then soaked up the water and the plants revived, looking like nothing had happened.
    Hope this helps.
  • Thank you. I’m not sure if they were the same batch. Most of the tomatoes do have a compost in common which was bought at the same time, but some do have bits of other brands of compost from transplants or from using up half used bags from earlier in the season. 

    Although in the latter 2 images they look dry, it’s almost like they’re so full of moisture that they’re heavy and lose any rigidity. The compost does look to be holding moisture well. 
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,426
    Try picking the pot up, if it's light they are dry, don't go on how the compost looks or feels.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    edited July 2021
    I wonder if it's the opposite problem and they're really overwatered. They actually do better if allowed to dry out a little between waterings   :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • WilderbeastWilderbeast East YorkshirePosts: 1,327
    All my marmade tomatoes look like this, leaves are all scrunched up and feel crispy. There are loads of fruits though which are growing nicely and side shoots growing from everywhere 🤣🤣
  • StephenSouthwestStephenSouthwest Southwest EnglandPosts: 375
    Are they physically supported? I'm wondering if they're just collapsing under their own weight?
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,611
    This is the plant the right way up, there’s far to much growth for that pot to support.
    if you want it grow them that way they need to be in the ground and all stems supported, also fed twice weekly. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thank you all

    And thank you Lyn for rotating the picture! I can’t figure out how to get my GW posts to have pictures the right way! I even tried rotating them in my camera library to counter the way the forum changes it!

    I will prune this plant and see if bounces back. Unlike the other 3 plants I won’t cut it right down as if it’s a write off. 
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