Gray leaves, wilting Green Zebra Tomato Plants

Asked July 18, 2017, 8:34 PM EDT

I raised Green Zebra tomatoes again this year from seed. The foliage of my plants, and now one that I gave a friend, turned gray and wilted. I pulled it out and so far it has not happened to any other tomato plants. What could be causing this? Can I protect my other GZs from this? Thanks so much for your help,

Montgomery County Maryland wilt tomatoes green zebra

4 Responses

There can be numerous causes of tomato plant wilting, including lack of water, very hot weather, nearby walnut trees and root-knot nematodes. You have to be able to distinguish wilting of green leaves and stems and the appearance of dead leaves and stems caused by other diseases and conditions.

The most common wilt disease is fusarium wilt. You did the right thing by removing the plant. If you notice the other plants are wilting, test by scraping the infected stem or split it lengthwise and you will see browning of the vascular tissue. Take a look at the website for tips for more information and managing this disease.

The best defense are resistant varieties. This variety is an heirloom and there is no resistance to wilt. Take a look at the Disease Resistant Tables from Cornell


Thank you so much for your immediate and thoughtful reply. I'm adding a photo that shows the gray, wilted leaves and the unblemished as yet unaffected leaves.
Inrealized that Infailed to mention that the damage and death of the plants is very sudden.

Wilt diseases can take down a tomato plant very quickly. The best thing you can do is remove the plant and discard it in the trash (do not compost it). Unfortunately, the 'Green Zebra' heirloom tomatoes do not have wilt resistance. Look for other tomato varieties that are resistant to fusarium, which is the most common wilt disease we see in tomatoes.


Thanks again for your help