What Causes Wilt Of Tomato Plants?

by Susan


My tomato plants are wilting over night and then they die. What can I do to prevent it?


Dear Susan,
If your tomato plants are dying after wilting starts and you are watering and fertilizing on a standard schedule, (click here for tomato plant care) then you most likely are dealing with "tomato wilt disease."
Tomato wilt is a fungus that invades the vessels inside a tomato plant. Those vessels are responsible for transporting water to all parts of the tomato plant. The vessels, by the disease, are made unusable by the plant. Thus in a small amount of time, they start to wilt. No matter how much water you would give them, being unable to supply itself with water, they will die.

There is no treatment for tomato wilt. The only thing that can be done, is destroy the tomato plants themselves. Also, tomato wilt disease is a soil borne disease that can live for a few years in potting soil, compost, etc.

Tomato Wilt Disease

So whatever soil is being used, whether in the garden or in a container, you'll need to stay far away from it.

I wish there was better news to deliver, but a positive note is that varieties of tomatoes are now on the market that are resistant to this disease. These varieties are usually labeled VF, Verticillium- and Fusarium-resistant, or something very similar.

Good Luck in your gardening!! I hope things work out!

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