Lower leaves browning on potted cherry tomato plants

Asked July 3, 2018, 10:52 AM EDT

Hi, I grow cherry tomato plants in pots on my deck in full sun. Every year the bottom leaves get brown and die, continuing upward until many of the leaves are gone. I use plant food or fertilizer but it doesn't seem to help. I thought it might be rated to overwatering but if I don't water daily when it's hot, the entire plant droops. See photo Thanks!

Baltimore County Maryland

7 Responses

We viewed your photo. It is normal for the lower leaves to yellow and decline. Remove them. This may be more of a heat issue now. Decks are hot and this is a factor. Perhaps you can raise the container on some supports off the hot deck.
We do not see a leaf spot however, tomatoes can be susceptible to several leaf spot diseases that cause browning and eventually moves up through the plant. Here is more on leaf spots
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/early-blight-vegetables

Also, You do not want to squeeze large plants in small containers as it affects growth and yields. A full size tomato requires 4-5 gallons and a dwarf 1-3 gallons. This tomato is an indeterminate variety and will grow until frost. The container looks too small for the type of tomato. You may need to water every day even in larger containers during hot weather.

Here is our publication on containers and recommended varieties. If you want a small tomato plant, there are patio tomato types.
http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG600%20Co...
http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/Edibles/HG70_Re...

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