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Old May 10, 2019   #1
navajoah
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Default Another leaf curl question

Hi folks. I started my plants indoors just over one month ago, placed under LED light. I have had great success with this every year. Some plants are massive, and very healthy, but maybe half are not doing well. For many, but not all of the unhealthy starts, they have curling leaves. See attached pictures. Any thoughts on what this may be? I used promix, added a bit on mykos when I potted up, and added tsp or so of dry fertilizer (again, only after potting up). Water regularly. Any thoughts would be appreciated and whether they will recover or are likely doomed. I do have two plants that already "succumbed".
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Old May 10, 2019   #2
bower
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I guess one question is, what is different from the past years which were successful? I mean has it been colder or warmer, less sunny, or any environmental effect that might be cause. Or if there is a genetic part (possibly) - are they the same varieties as other years or different ones?



Leaf curling in a tomato is like "miaow" from a cat. It can mean a lot of things. Not enough light, too much cold or hot wind, roots are cold and wet, roots found something icky like a piece of raw kelp or a hungry beetle... likewise insects such as aphids, mites or thrips on the leaf itself will often cause them to curl.



Insects is a cause you can test for. Try holding a piece of white paper under a curled up leaf that isn't necrotic (blackened and falling off), and tap it onto the paper. If mites are present you should be able to see them crawling on the paper.


If you don't find any insects, try taking a clearer closeup pic of the leaves that have yellow and curling on the margins. I see them there but can't tell what the leaf surface looks like as they are a bit blurred. Someone may be able to help then, identify what it is.
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Old May 11, 2019   #3
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Picture 2 looks like it has a dried brown leaf on it at the 11 o'clock area near the top. In picture #3, middle right looks like something has been eating on the leaf. This might help others looking at it to help diagnose the problem.

Bower, I like the cat's meow reference, and I agree with you.
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Old May 14, 2019   #4
navajoah
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Thanks for the suggestions and insight. I tapped the leaves and no critters, I scanned the soil too and didnt see anything "moving." 10 of 15 plants are succumbing, and I wish I knew why. Five of the plants are just fine, growing like gangbusters, but the other 10 are suffering and losing most of their bottom foliage. Each year I try and learn from my mistakes and improve my growing but in this case I just have no idea what went wrong. I will try and take more pics to see if that helps diagnose the issue. Thanks again!
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Old May 14, 2019   #5
brownrexx
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I would suspect fertilizer burn. I only ever use dilute liquid fertilizer on my seedlings and when I pot them up I use an organic potting soil with some nutrients.

If you used a dry fertilizer, it is possible that you used a bit too much in some pots or that the roots contacted dry fertilizer and were burned which can effect water movement within the plant.
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Old May 14, 2019   #6
navajoah
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Yeah, that sounds like it could be it. Could fertilizer burn end up killing the plant? Thanks so much!

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Old May 15, 2019   #7
MrsJustice
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It looks like the plants have out-grown it planting pots, as it is clear that the New Leafs are showing a yellowing tone as well. If I was you, I would place them in bigger pots or directly in the ground in your Garden. Once normal green new growth starts appearing with healthy looking "green Leafs" slowly start cutting the damaged Leafs from the plants.
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Old May 15, 2019   #8
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The size of container measurements and the size of the plants would help. I personally haven't seen leaf curling because a plant outgrew its pot, but anything is possible.

Yes, fertilizer burn can kill a plant in a hurry. Too much is too much.
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Old May 15, 2019   #9
navajoah
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It isn't the pots, I have successfully used this size for years as the final step before transplanting into 5-gallon buckets (I start with dixie cups, up to solo cups, up to 1 gallon nursery pots, which is what they are in now). I am fairly confident it is fertilizer burn. Wow, I had no idea one could kill a plant that way. Lesson learned. That was my goal - learn from my mistakes. Thanks again everyone for helping with this mystery!
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Old May 15, 2019   #10
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Years ago when I was Teaching my Daughter how to take care of my plants as my Husband had a Long Assignment. She called me an stated that one of my plants was looking like "Navajoah Plants" shown to us here. Well, she skips watering that plant as it was outgrowing it small pot for 2 days in hot weather. That Plant slowly recovered with the leaves curling, but the new growth was healthy. I told her to place the plant in a large planting pot. When I returned home, I just had to cut away damaged leaves and transplanted the Tomato Plant in the ground.
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Old May 15, 2019   #11
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Navajoah, I have realized that Heirloom plants outgrew their pot faster than hybrids., because God designed most Historical Tomato Plants to grow over 14 feet to produce tomatoes each week during the growing season, developing large rootballs. I never add added fertilizer to my potting soil, but that just my way. I am trying to help since Miss Carolyn is sick. Please keep us undated, Amen!!
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Old May 15, 2019   #12
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I agree with Mrs. Justice, a safe way to save those plants is to move to bigger pots until they can go in the ground. If too much fertilizer is the cause, the extra soil volume will help to dissipate that.
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Old May 15, 2019   #13
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I agree - new soil - no additional fertilizer.
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Old May 15, 2019   #14
navajoah
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Great, thanks for the additional insight. Unfortunately, I am severly constrained on potting up to 5-gallons since I live at 8,000 ft in Colorado mountains and we still get snow this time of year (June 1 is usually my set outside date). In fact, forecast calls for more snow next week! I am stuck having to keep them inside my little office under a grow light. Another lesson learned, wait another two-weeks and start seeds mid-April rather than April 1, the plants tend to outgrow my grow tent and 1 gallong-pots and become unwieldly!
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Old May 15, 2019   #15
oakley
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I agree with fertilizer burn. Not pot size. I have healthy seedlings still in small tray cells.
(back-ups)
Re-potting in same size with new un-fertilized soil might save them...or try one or two as a
test. Realestate indoors is always a problem here as well.

Too much of anything is often the biggest problem...water/fert/cold/high humidity-rain
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