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You’re standing admiring your tomato garden, and suddenly you notice something strange. You see spots on the leaves.
You scratch your head thinking, wow, the fruit is one with a long growing season, and now it has a problem. So what can be the problem as you want your bright red tomatoes to be rewarding and satisfying.
Well, today, we will help answer your question to remove this great jeopardy from your plant.
Some Reasons Why You See White Spots on Your Tomato Tomato Plants
The leaves of your tomato plants play a vital role as it turns the sun’s rays into fuel and protects the fruit from sunscald. If you notice leaf-like spots or even mildew growing, it is a cause of concern. Here are some reasons why you may see white spots on tomato leaves:
The Tomato Plant Has Insufficient or Too Much Exposure To Sunlight
Great you noticed a white or silver leaf color on your tomato plants. The leading cause can be from too little or too much sun. You find the problem taking place in tomato seedlings when transplanted outside.
Yes, tomato plants receive and love the full sun to grow, but a sudden change in their environment can shock them, causing the plant’s foliage to turn white. Sun damage appears more like a border of white, and the leaves curl up and break.
Another concern is the wind, as it can exacerbate the condition, but if it is a mature plant suffering from sunscald, you will notice blisters or even papery fruit. So for future transplants, let your tomato plants languish in the shade for a couple of days.
The best is to move them outdoors on a cloudy day to gradually place them in full sun for a few hours every day over two weeks. It allows your plants to acclimatize, and if the wind is an issue, it helps to provide them with windbreaks.
Poor Air Circulation
Another problem growing tomatoes with white spots on the leaves can be poor air circulation. To help solve these tomato problems, you can prune your plant. Doing this helps encourage growth and will also prevent powdery mildew. It also helps improve the air circulation, and you only need to remove the leaves with white specks.
Okay, if your plant has no nutrient deficiency and has not suffered sun scalding, there is another culprit. Late blight is a severe disease that is devasting to your plants.
You find the fungal disease in cool, damp weather causing the branches and leaves to shrivel up and die. Your tomatoes will develop brown spots or white fungal spots on the infected leaves. The best is to prune the infected leaves fast.
Neither must you compost the plant debris at it will get back into your garden. After pruning, apply a copper fungicide once a week as soon as possible.
When your tomato plant receives insufficient sunlight with high humidity and poor air circulation, powdery mildew forms on the leaves. While it cannot kill your plant, it reduces the yield and also affects the fruit taste.
It is a fungal disease that thrives in moist areas and does not receive enough light with air circulation. The leaves are ideal for these fungi to grow. Also, if you over-fertilize your plants, it increases the growth faster.
Is Powdery Mildew The Culprit
While not having the correct circulation is the main culprit, there are a few other things to consider before treating the fungal disease.
Provide Distance Between Your Tomato Plants
The best is to provide your plants with a distance of at least 24-inches to prevent powdery mildew from infecting other plants. Overcrowding your veg garden causes damage to surrounding plants.
Provide The Correct Lighting
Your tomato plant’s leaves need up to eight hours of direct sunlight. But after sunbathing for eight hours, it needs some shade as well. So grow them in an area where they can enjoy the full sun with partial shade.
Plant Resistant Tomato Varieties
Different tomato plants are resistant to powdery mildew, such as Granadero. Hence, if one of the mature tomato plants gets infected, it will not travel to the next plant, creating a barrier between the different varieties.
How Do You Treat Powdery Mildew?
While infected plants with powdery mildew can have adverse effects, there are ways to treat it. Yet, treating powdery mildew infection is not 100%, but with early address, the chance is the treatment can work.
Prune The Affected Leaves
The first and most crucial step is to prune the tomato plant leaves infected. It will help the spread of the white spores to other parts and plants. Further, it helps improve air circulation for future infestation.
After removing the infected leaves, make sure to sanitize your sheers, preventing powdery mildew infection on other plants. If your tomato leaves are severely infected, only remove the foliage with the most infected white spots.
Also, make sure to burn the leaves instead of adding them to your compost heap.
Try Some Homemade Spray
One of the most natural sprays to treat plant diseases is using an organic fungicide such as neem oil. The best of it is also an organic insecticide that repels different insects such as mealybugs, aphids, and whiteflies.
You can spray the neem oil diluted with water once a week on the leaves until you notice the symptom disappearing. Another solution is to make a homemade potassium bicarbonate spray. All you need is one teaspoon baking soda, a drop of liquid detergent, and mix it in two gallons of water.
Spray the solvent on all the tomatoes infected and remember the underside of the leaf as well. Lastly, you can make a milk spray to treat the infestation. All you need is two parts milk mixed with three parts water to spray the infected plants. Apply it weekly until it diminishes.
Invest in Commercial Spray
If you feel you instead go the commercial fungicide way, you can invest in the following treatments:
- SuffOil-X – you can rinse the foliage using it as a regular spray to prevent leaf spots.
- Bonide Sulfur Plant Fungicide or a copper-based one such as Bonide Copper Fungicide Dust also works well.
Other External Factor Surrounding the Tomato
While white spots on tomato leaves are one concern, your plant can also be affected by growing conditions. The truth is that growing conditions one can sometimes control and reverse with human intervention.
For example, watering your tomatoes during drought, providing mulching, soil moisture, improving poor soil, and selecting a more tolerant cultivar. Yet there is some concern you need to take into consideration as follow:
- Never grow your tomatoes within 50 feet of a butternut or walnut tree drip line. The trees produce a juglone chemical that is toxic to other plants.
- Look out for blossom end rot leaving leathery patches on the fruit resulting from a calcium deficiency during the fruit development.
- Blotchy uneven ripening as the typical red pigment is absent. One contributes to the problem is a low potassium level in the soil.
- Fruit not ripened can result for many reasons, but some tomatoes do not ripen red. Hence, your white beauty tomato does not go blush red when it is ripe.
We hope that you find a solution for your infected tomato leaves here with Plantly. Once you determine the cause of the dilemma, it makes it easier to treat the problem. If you notice powdery mildew, treat the fungi as soon as possible, remove the infected area and spray the infected tomato leaves.
Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!