Why Are Tomato Leaves Curled? Causes Of Curling Tomato Leaves. Photo

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Why Are Tomato Leaves Curled? Causes Of Curling Tomato Leaves. Photo
Why Are Tomato Leaves Curled? Causes Of Curling Tomato Leaves. Photo
Video: Why Are Tomato Leaves Curled? Causes Of Curling Tomato Leaves. Photo
Video: TOMATO LEAF CURL - 3 Causes and What to Do When Your Tomato Leaves are Curling Up. 2023, February

Tomato leaf blades curl not so rarely; a similar phenomenon can be observed annually both in protected and in open ground. More often the leaves curl only on individual bushes or even twigs of tomato bushes, and sometimes a similar phenomenon is observed almost on the entire plantation. Why do tomatoes curl leaf plastics, how to solve this problem and how to prevent this phenomenon from recurring next year? We will talk about all this in this article.

Rolling tomato leaves
Rolling tomato leaves

1. Damage to tomato roots

Tomato leaves may begin to curl immediately after transplanting into the ground or greenhouse. This is usually due to root damage during transplanting. In this case, it is difficult to help the seedlings with something, with enough food and moisture in the soil, you need to leave the plants alone, and after 4-5 days the leaf blades should return to normal.

2. Improper watering of tomatoes

This is perhaps the most common reason the leaves are curled. Everyone probably knows that tomatoes love an abundance of moisture, but you need to water these plants not from time to time, taking long breaks, but regularly. It is just a violation of the doses of water, the timing of irrigation, the frequency of soil moistening and can lead to trouble in the form of twisting of leaf blades.

So, for example, tomatoes especially need moisture immediately after planting seedlings in open ground or a greenhouse, that is, in a permanent place. During this period, you need to pour 4-5 liters of water under them. Further, repeated watering can be carried out 9-11 days after the first, 6-8 liters of water can be poured under each bush.

In the future, watering of tomatoes should be carried out in the greenhouse regularly - once or twice a week, depending on whether it is hot or cool in it, and in the open field - depending on the presence or absence of natural moisture (rain). If there is no rain, then watering should be carried out every week, pouring 5-7 liters of water under the bush, but if it rains periodically, then watering may not be needed.

During the formation of ovaries and the beginning of fruiting, the watering of the tomato should be increased by a third, but again, you should look at the weather.

With a lack of moisture, tomato leaf blades begin to curl inward, thus the plants protect themselves, minimizing the amount of evaporated moisture. If you notice this, then you need to quickly start watering the soil, but you should not pour out a lot of water at once, it is better to pour 1.5-2 liters of water at room temperature for a week every day, until the state of the leaf blades is normalized.

If, on the contrary, there is a lot of moisture in the soil, then the leaves of the tomatoes will curl upside down, the plant thus intensifies the evaporation of moisture. Here you need to immediately stop watering and do not moisten the soil for 10-15 days.

Do not forget that it is better to water the tomatoes in the morning or in the evening to avoid curling of the leaf blades. Avoid watering plants in the middle of the day, especially if the heat is intense and the sun is shining brightly. Use settled water at room temperature for watering.

Curling tomato leaves due to improper care
Curling tomato leaves due to improper care

3. High temperature

Temperature disturbances when growing tomatoes in a greenhouse or extreme heat when growing outdoors can also cause curling of the leaf blades in these plants. So, in a greenhouse for a tomato, you need to create conditions with a temperature of +21 to +23 degrees during the day and from +17 to +19 degrees at night.

When the temperature rises above +30 degrees, the plants begin to experience temperature stress. At the same time, in addition to the twisting of the leaf blades of tomatoes, the discharge of flowers and ovary can also be observed. In the greenhouse, you can lower the temperature by opening the doors and vents, however, you need to ventilate the room in parts, without creating drafts. In the event that the greenhouse is designed so that it has no vents, then in order to lower the temperature, it can be whitened inside or covered with a white cloth.

In the open field, you can try to shade the plants, increase the watering of tomatoes in the evening and morning, and additionally add nitroammophoska in an amount of 15-20 g per square meter dissolved in water. In addition, the aisles should be covered with hay, straw or covered with white or light colored non-woven covering material.

With a strong twisting of the leaf plates of tomatoes from the heat, you can try to eliminate this problem by introducing foliar dressings, that is, spraying the plants that are both in the greenhouse and on the site with an aqueous solution of urea (one and a half tablespoons per bucket of water, the norm is 8-10 plants). After three days, you can carry out another foliar feeding, but this time with potassium sulfate, dissolving 8-10 g of fertilizer in a bucket of water, the norm for 10-12 plants.

4. Excess or lack of fertilizer

You can't get a good harvest of tomatoes without fertilizers, many know this, but some, for fear of harming the plants, apply too little of them, while others, wanting to get the maximum yield, apply too much of them. Both of these lead to curling of the tomato leaf blades.

So, with an excess of zinc in the soil, the edges of the tomato leaf blade begin to bend. This can be confused with similar symptoms with a lack or excess of moisture, however, with an excess of zinc in the soil, the lower part of tomato plants becomes not typical for these plants, purple in color.

With an excess of manganese in the soil, tomato leaves first curl up, and then wrinkle and turn bright green.

With an excess of nitrogen in the soil, the leaf blades of plants begin to curl, usually at the top of the plants. To neutralize the effect of nitrogen, potassium sulfate (8-10 g per square meter) or wood ash (50-80 g for each plant) must be added to the soil in a previously loosened and watered soil.

With a lack of elements, for example, calcium, the foliage of tomatoes begins to curl upward, this state of the leaf blades is often accompanied by the appearance of apical rot on the fruits. If it is rather difficult to eliminate the excess of zinc and manganese, then the lack of calcium can be easily dealt with by adding calcium nitrate to the soil. To do this, in a bucket of water, you need to dissolve about 18-22 g of calcium nitrate, adding 350-400 g of wood ash and 8-12 g of urea to the solution. This solution is enough for 3-4 square meters of soil under the tomatoes.

With a lack of phosphorus, tomato leaves also curl, but at the same time they become grayish. In order to quickly restore the influx of phosphorus into plants, you need to add an aqueous solution to the soil, diluting 80-90 g of superphosphate in a bucket of water, this is the norm for 3-4 square meters of a garden bed occupied by tomatoes.

With a deficiency of copper, tomato leaf blades, in addition to curling, also acquire an atypical yellow color, sometimes become covered with yellowish spots, which can subsequently begin to turn black. They will help restore the balance of copper treatment with copper-containing preparations - "HOM", "Oxyhom" and the like.

Tomato leaves turning blue and curling may indicate a lack of phosphorus
Tomato leaves turning blue and curling may indicate a lack of phosphorus

5. Lack of pinning

Grazing is the removal of lateral loops, if not carried out, then the tomato plant will begin to actively branch. This leads to too much thickening of the plantings, the plants will form a lot of leaf mass, which is usually curled.

It is often difficult to correct this situation, especially if the plants are very neglected, therefore, tomatoes need to be pinned at a young age, when they tolerate this operation as painlessly as possible.

And remember, it is better to break out stepchildren, and not cut and do it in the morning, when the plants are in turmoil. In this case, the length of the stepsons should be no more than five centimeters.

6. Diseases of tomatoes

Quite often, tomato leaf blades curl due to various diseases. All sorts of diseases develop most actively in thickened plantings, in areas where crop rotation is not observed, where plants are over-watered, and the soil is not loosened.


In this disease, the leaf blades of tomatoes are usually curled and deformed, especially in the upper part of the plant, while they change color to pinkish or purple. In the lower part of the plant, the leaves usually turn yellow. It is best to deal with stolbur with the help of Phytoplasmin, this is the most effective drug. To spray plants, you need to prepare a solution in strict accordance with the instructions on the package.

Tomato bacterial cancer

When tomato plants are damaged by bacterial cancer, the leaf blades first begin to curl upward and then wither. You can understand that this is precisely a bacterial cancer by the reddish-brown spots located on young growths. Usually, the leaves in the lower part of the tomato plants curl and wither first, then the disease spreads higher and eventually affects the entire plant.

As a preventive measure, given the fastest possible development of bacterial cancer in conditions of excess soil and air moisture and the presence of various injuries on plants, it is necessary to water the tomatoes with moderate portions of water, avoiding waterlogging of the soil and when working with plants (weeding, loosening the soil), avoid damage at the bottom of the stem of tomato plants.

It is difficult to fight bacterial tomato cancer, but at the initial stages of the development of the disease, plants can be treated with copper sulfate, copper oxychloride, or Bordeaux liquid. When carrying out treatments, try to moisten the leaves from the lower and upper sides and spray the soil surface as well. It is great if you loosen it a little before processing the soil.

Rolling tomato leaves due to a viral disease
Rolling tomato leaves due to a viral disease

7. Pests of tomatoes

In addition to diseases, the curling of the leaf blades of the tomato plant and pests are quite common. Most often, it is the sucking pests that suck juice from the leaf tissues of the leaf. Pests such as whitefly, aphids and spider mites usually cause curling of tomato leaf blades.


It is a white butterfly that settles mainly on the lower leaves of tomato plants. As a result, it is they who begin to curl, and then fade. Most of all whiteflies are in the greenhouse, if there the lower leaves of the tomatoes suddenly began to curl, then observe the plants, shake them, perhaps you will frighten off the butterfly, and it will appear.

If you see at least one whitefly, then be sure that it is in it. You can fight whitefly with any approved insecticides such as "Fufanon" or "Mospilana". If you do not want to use harmful chemicals, then you can treat whitefly-affected tomato plants with yarrow infusion (150 g per 5 liters of water) with the addition of half a piece of laundry soap to the solution. Try to carry out processing in the morning and evening hours, be sure to pay attention first of all to the lowest tomato leaves.

As a preventive measure, you can treat tomatoes with infusion of garlic (2-3 heads per 5 liters of water) or dandelions (500 g per 3 liters of water).

It is important to remember that the use of insecticides is possible no later than 20 days before harvest. It is advisable to carry out any treatments in cloudy weather, but only when there is no rain.


Aphids rarely, but nevertheless, affect tomato plants, especially often it appears on open ground plants, but it can also appear in a greenhouse. Most often, aphids lead to twisting of tomato leaf blades located on the top of the plant. It is easy to understand that this is exactly the aphid: you need to turn the tomato leaf over and you will see insects there. Often ants scurry between them, they are carriers of aphids and feed on its sweet secretions. With this in mind, the fight against aphids should start with the destruction of ants, because this is a more difficult task. It is possible to remove aphids using insecticides, which are necessarily permitted and strictly following instructions, for example, such as "Aktara", "Iskra", "Proteus".

It is possible, however, to exterminate aphids without using chemistry, especially if there are not many aphids. The plant can be treated with an infusion of wormwood (500 g per 3 liters of water) or celandine (250 g per 3 liters of water). For a greater effect, 70-80 g of laundry soap should be added to the infusions of celandine and wormwood as an adhesive.

In order to prevent aphids from settling on tomato plants, you can periodically, about once a week, treat them with an ash solution, for which you need to dissolve 300 g of ash in a bucket of water and treat tomato plants with this solution. For maximum effect, the solution should be allowed to brew for 48 hours so that the solution is saturated with ash components.

Spider mite

This pest also causes tomato leaf blades to curl as it sucks the juice out of them. The most common spider mite is found on tomatoes in a greenhouse, in the open field it also appears, but less often.

You can understand that this is a spider mite by the twisted and beginning to dry leaf blades, in which you can see a cobweb from the bottom side.

To combat ticks, including spider mites on tomatoes, use permitted and modern acaricides, such as Borneo, Flumite or Oberon.

It is important to know that acaricides can be used no later than 20 days before the start of harvesting.

If it is necessary to expel the spider mite from tomatoes without the help of chemistry, then you can treat the plants with infusion of dandelion (500 g per 3 liters of water), onion feathers (500 g per 3 liters of water) or garlic cloves (10-15 cloves per 3 liters of water).

Rolling tomato leaves due to spider mites
Rolling tomato leaves due to spider mites

8. Varietal feature

Some varieties of tomato twist leaves not because of some kind of disease, pest or lack of an element in the soil, but because this is their biological feature. The leaves curl to the greatest extent in the varieties: "Fatima", "Honey Drop", as well as in the overwhelming majority of cherry tomato cultivars.

Conclusion. When curled leaves appear in tomato plants, do not immediately grab onto chemistry or fertilizers, first assess the conditions in which your plants are. It often happens that they simply lack moisture or, on the contrary, too much of it. Water if the soil is very dry, or stop if there is too much moisture in it; carry out pinching, and only if all this does not help, try fertilizing or carry out pest or disease control according to the schemes that we have described.

If you have any questions, we will be happy to answer them in the comments.

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