Trying to figure out why the leaves are looking this way on two of my tomato...

Asked July 23, 2014, 4:09 PM EDT

Trying to figure out why the leaves are looking this way on two of my tomato plants. Growing in Silver Spring near Four Corners. Both being grown in grow bags. Other tomatoes healthy and doing well. Fruit is not disformed. Thought it might be a magnesium deficiency but an application of Epsom Salts did not seem to help. Thank you!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

The tomato foliage in the photos looks like they were subject to spider mites, a foliar disease; early blight, and possibly some leaf scorch.

Spider mites are a sucking insect that likes hot dry conditions. The leaves will show a stippling. All you can do is hose the plants and leaf undersides with water. A horticultural oil or insecticidal soap spray may cause more damage to the foliage. Next season monitor early and spray if needed. For more information see our website

Early blight is a common fungal disease on tomatoes. Spots or lesions on leaves, start at the bottom of the plant and progress through the season if conditions are right, to defoliate tomato plants (spotting, yellowing, dying.
You can remove the lower leaves to slow the upward spread of the disease, keep plants well mulched to minimize soil splashing, water at the base of the plants, provide adequate spacing and spray with a copper fungicide (early in the season) to lessen spread of the disease. It is too late to spray this season. Fungicide treatments can help to protect new or un-infected foliage they are not curatives. See more
See our publication on growing vegetables in containers