Tomato plant

Asked August 4, 2019, 4:35 PM EDT

My tomato plant isn’t doing well. Leaves are curled and bumps on stems. Also bottoms of some tomatoes turning black. What is the problem and is there anything I can do to save the plant?

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

You may be dealing with several issues. The bumps on the stems are adventitious roots. This is not a disease or insect. Tomato plants, particularly heirloom varieties, and tomatillos may produce small growths with short, fleshy, bristles. These are adventitious roots or aerial roots which would grow into normal roots if placed in contact with the soil. The degree to which a gardener will see this is determined by cultivar, weather conditions, and culture. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/adventitious-roots-vegetables

Leaf curling - The upward rolling of the lower leaves of tomato plants is a common occurrence in mid-summer and is associated with high temperatures. Some tomato cultivars are more prone to leaf roll (see above photo). It does not harm plant growth or yields. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/leaf-curl-vegetables

Yellowing and brown spots - It is normal for the lower leaves to yellow and brown. Remove them. Also, the plants can be susceptible to a foliar disease called early blight. See more information on management https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/early-blight-vegetables

Black on bottom sounds like blossom end rot - a comon nutritional disorder. Fruits may experience a shortage of calcium if water becomes less available to plant roots (drought). Regular, deep watering will alleviate the problem if calcium levels in the soil are adequate. Remove the affected fruits. See more https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/blossom-end-rot-vegetables

Marian