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Curly leaves on tomato plants...

I have raised my own tomatoes from seed, growing Gardner's Delight as I have previously had lots of success with them.  They have been planted and raised indoors and then 3 weeks ago potted into large terracotta pots in the greenhouse, in their peat pots so as not to disturb the roots etc.  The problem is, they have appeared not to grow since, and upon examination, they have some sort of leaf curl, which is also making the leaves appear crispy.  I have removed the offending parts, as is usually good practice, but now I'm stuck for a solution - is this a pest or disease, the cold (although we have had no frost), overwatering, or something more sinister?

Has anyone experienced the same or can offer a solution please?  



  • jeffdjeffd Posts: 61

    It could well be due to cold weather my greenhouse thermometer has shown very low temperatures over the past couple of weeks. Also it sounds like you have potted them up too early you should only be planting them into large pots when the first flower opens, from the seedling stage you should gradually increase pot size up to about 3.5 Inch then plant into final growing pot when first flower opens.

  • Maybe the potting is an issue - thanks for the advice!  I've also emptied the trays below of any water and watered from the top - this has improved the green of the leaves within a day, so maybe there's hope for them yet!  You live and learn....!  Thank you.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,731

    Sounds like temperature and overwatering might be the issue. Toms don't like constantly damp feet. Let the mix dry out between waterings.

  • <span style="color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: small;"><span style="color: #333333; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; font-size: 8pt;">I would agree, temperature seems to be the problem here. Tomatoes ideally require a temperature of around 60f.

    <span style="color: #333333; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; font-size: 8pt;">Re potting on, it's a good idea to wait until the roots start popping-out of the base of the pot before doing it.

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"><span style="line-height: 115%; font-size: 8pt;"><span style="font-size: small;">  <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;"> 
  • Whoops! Don't cut n paste from a word preview button then?

    My previous post should have read: I would agree, temperature seems to be the problem here. Tomatoes ideally need a temperature of around 60f.

    Re potting on, it's a good idea to wait until roots start popping-out of the base of the pot before doing it.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    I think the answer is planted too early and it has gone from really warm weather to quite cold. You should pot into 3.5 or 4 inch pots then let the first flowers set. Have youir larger pots 10-12 inches filled and ready in position warming up and keep them damp. Plant into the large pots when the first truss is setting, I set the pots into the larger ones and let them settle then drop the plant out of its small pot and straight into the hole left where I took it out of the large pot. Leave enough room to top up the larger pot two or three times.

    My greenhouse is a lean to South facing and never drops below freezing as the brick wall behind takes in the daytime heat and gives it back at night. I do keep a fan heater in there during the early days of planting with a frost guard setting just in case, belt and braces. Tomato leaves will curl if too cold but then open up again when the sun gets on them. If the leaves were mottled or discoloured then they would be out, one bad plant can ruin the rest so do not take risks it is not worth it.


  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    I always get tomato plants with curled leaves and it only affected those plants which are next the greenhouse door, the chill/cold from opening and closing must affect them. Being as I live on the northeast coast, its pretty chilly at times.

    They contort, like I would if I was taking a dip in the sea....Brrrrrr

  • I agree with all of these responses, and am guilty of all really! I've previously got away with the bad weather / bad watering regime as because of weather conditions and later planting (I've been over zealous due to having an electric propogator for xmas)  and so done things a little early due to warm weather!  However, I'm pleased to report having drained the water from the trays and moved them away from the cold gap, the new leaves now growing are very green and healthy (so far!).  I was worried about some form of blight, but this seems like logical precautions to make a happy plant!  Many thanks for the advice to all so far!

  • Just GilesJust Giles Posts: 17

    Hi All, I too am seeing the leaves on my tomato and chilli plants curl. I can see a variety of possible reasons suggested above and may try to think of a way to test for each with the 3 mature plants that are doing it. But have also provided some pictures below, in case anyone is able to help me pinpoint the cause. As a bit more background, all three of the taller tomato plants I purchased from a garden centre, though I am starting to see some signs of curl on my grown from seed ones and am seeing it on some of my chilli plants all grown from seed. All plants have been sitting on a window sill temperatures probably 13c lowest, 18c average. On watering, it's my first time growing, reading lots of conflicting advice, had been keeping tomato plant soil very moist and chilli plant soil a lot less. I have been potting on regularly, I've checked for bugs and not found any. Any ideas welcome:





  • Ah now, this is different to mine - the lower leaves on mine curled and the upper leaves have now grown on ok (the uppermost leaves on yours seem ok too) - I tend to think, given the advice I had that the maturity of the plant is key, and presevere - the season has not yet been too kind to early plants - the bursts of sunshine seem to be helping in the long term....! 

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