Tomato Quirks Part 7 – Leaf Roll

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This is final part of a seven part series on some quirks that can be found with tomatoes. This article will end the Tomato Quirks Series. If you missed the first six articles, you can check them out here:

Tomato Quirks Part 1 – Catfacing

Tomato Quirks Part 2 – Bumpy Stems

Tomato Quirks Part 3 – Green Shoulders

Tomato Quirks Part 4 – Sunscald

Tomato Quirks Part 5 – Splits & Holes

Tomato Quirks Part 6 – Spotted Tomatoes

Why Are The Leaves On My Tomato Plants Rolling Up?

Most of the tomato quirks featured thus far have pertained to the tomato fruit. Today’s tomato quirk will feature an issue with the plant itself.

Environmental leaf roll (also called leaf curl) can be very common with most tomatoes, and many times is nothing to really worry about. Generally, the leaves on a tomato plant will roll, or cup, inwards as a sign of some type of stress. This could be due to inconsistent watering, or high temperatures. The leaf will curl in an attempt to reduce leaf surface so the plant can grow stronger roots for better survivability.

Tomato Leaf Roll

There is also viral leaf roll, which can be very harmful to tomato plants. Viral leaf roll is transmitted by insects. The veins of the leaves can turn purplish or spotted. The leaves will become lumpy and twisted. These symptoms will help to determine which leaf roll is affecting your tomatoes.

What Can I Do To Prevent Leaf Roll?

If your tomatoes are experiencing environmental leaf roll, begin consistently deep watering your tomatoes. Most of the time environmental leaf roll is not a threat, and will not effect the growth or production of your tomatoes plants, unless the condition becomes severe.

If you check the underside of the leaves and find the purplish veins, then you may have viral leaf roll. If viral leaf roll is suspected, pull up the affected plants and promptly discard or burn. This will help to prevent it from spreading to other plants.

This will conclude the Tomato Quirks Series. I hope you enjoy reading the entire series as much as I had preparing it. There are many disorders, diseases, and other problems with tomatoes, these are just a few. I hope everyone is having a bountiful harvest of tomatoes this season!

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Comments

  1. Awesome info. I had a feeling when I brought the Oxheart home, he’d have a struggle. Plant looked so pissed off – really. Hung over, leaves shrunk up (and now curly), and it was overdue to be transplanted out of his seedling pot. Way too big. All my other tomatoes are plump, vibrant, big and happy, but Oxheart is the grump.

    Well, I’ll hang tight and see if he comes around. Thank you!!
    .-= karen´s last blog ..Sweet Escape =-.

    • Hi Karen,

      If you keep the Oxheart well watered (but not overwatered), add mulch around it and provide good nutrients, it should perk up soon. It is always important to purchase healthy looking plants right from the jump. I know I’m getting a somewhat sickly looking plant sometimes thinking I’ll nurse it back to health. While most of the time the tomato will make it and produce fruit, it doesn’t produce as good as it could, or should, because it took so much time to get it healthy.

      Thanks for stopping by and let me know how the Oxheart progresses :)

  2. Hi, I’m new to tomato growing–actually gardening in general–and I’m anxious as a mother hen over any and every perceived problem with my young’uns. I’m curious about your reference to purple veins w/leaf curl being a sign of a viral condition–I’ve been doing a bit of Internet research and the info I’ve found thus far suggests nutrient deficiency, stress, cool weather, even improper fertilization…. But none of the pics I’ve seen match the condition of my plants and I just don’t know whether to toss em (if viral) or keep trying to fix and wait it out as other sites suggest. In short: condition started with purple veins, top and bottom of leaf, whole plant, with some leaf curl. No wilting. Plant and leaves seem stunted overall, grows slowly, but is producing fruit. No excessive insect activity. Added bone meal to soil as if phos deficiency. Next week tried fish/seaweed extract. Its been a few weeks, plant continues to worsen–leaves have purplish/grayish areas, stippled looking. Some lower leaves turn almost bronze with stippling, other plants,bottom leaves yellowish. Thick, leathery, firm but not brittle and not falling off. No residue or marks on reverse of leaves New leaves at top, small but green with purple veins. Oh yeah–I’m growing in containers :-) In Virginia, south of Richmond, some temp discrepancy at nite during April but generally warm and sunny w/col but mild nites. Any thoughts on how to figure if it’s environmental, nutritional, or viral? I’ve got a number “infected” but a number that are not (thus far). Thanks for any ideas!

  3. Shawn Fleming says:

    My tomatos plants are 5 feet tall, and all of a sudden starting at the top and working down all the leafs have rolled up tight and into a ball. I pulled 3 last week and now another has the same problem.
    I grew the plants from seed. Dark green very healthy before te problem.
    They did not turn yellow at all, so I thinking its noet the common leaf curl.
    Also my beads are raised and I did the layered composting peatmoss method,
    Thank you kindly,
    shawn
    La Mesa, California

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