Why Are My Tomato Seedlings Wilting or Dying?

Worried about tomato seedling wilts? You must be thinking, you took good care of these but why still die? Let’s look into the reasons why tomato seedlings wilt and die.

Tomato seeds that are not healthy wilt very easily and do not germinate to become fully grown fruits. The seeds of any plant which provides fruit that does not grow completely, are suddenly caught by disease and are exposed to harsh weather conditions which they cannot endure. Seeds are delicate and small, which require proper care to grow and become a healthy and large plant. If your tomato seedlings wilting, read the article to know the actual cause.

Why Do Tomato Seedlings Wilt So Easily?

Many gardeners and plant lovers cannot find the reason why tomato seedlings wilt and die so easily. The main causes for the death of tomato seedlings are the lack of water or excess of water, stalk borers, tomato spotted wilt virus, vascular wilts, walnut toxicity, and other causes which are not very commonly seen. The affected parts of the plant turn yellow; if you can identify the part and eliminate it from the rest of the plant, the full plant does not wilt.

Why Are My Tomato Seedlings Wilting?

Tomato seedlings that are transplanted might go through transplantation shock; that is, they could not adapt to the new soil and conditions they are planted in. The sudden change of environment for the delicate seeds becomes fatal. When the seedlings are affected by fungi and bacteria, they catch the damping-off disease. This disease of the plants or saplings does not let the seed grow and prosper. The seedlings which do not stand straight in the garden could be victims of a gas leak. These might stop the growth of some seedlings completely and also might decrease their chances of giving fruit.

Fungi like Pythium spp and Rhizoctonia are the causes of such damping conditions of the tomato seedlings. The part of the seedling which is above the soil appears to have spots and is soggy; then, you will know the seedling is affected by fungal activities. With overhead watering, the bacterial action on the plant increases, causing the seed to wilt. These seedlings, when taken proper care of, can be cured of these very common diseases. There are several ways to prevent these plant diseases as well. In this article, we will know about some of the ways to prevent your tomato seedling from wilting.

Also Read: How Long After Flowering Do Tomatoes Appear?

Let’s list the ways to prevent the tomato seedling from wilting

  • Tomato seedlings should be watered in the right way
  • The humidity of the surroundings have to be controlled
  • The soil must not be rich in nutrients
  • 1 inch of water every week is what tomato seedlings require
  • Proper sunlight and air should be available to all the seedlings
  • Seedlings growing on sandy soil will require more water than the ones growing on comparatively wet soil
  • They will need more water and care on hot days
  • You must not water the tomato seedlings from overhead
  • Avoid transplanting if it is not completely necessary as it can rupture the roots and cause wilting
  • Keep tomato seedling away from your walnut trees; they are the reason for tomatoes to wilt

Also Read: How to Speed up Tomato Ripening on the Vine?

A Fungal Attack Causes Wilting

The tomato seedlings which are not healthy can be discarded or repaired according to the level of harm endured by the seedling. These seedlings are very weak and delicate and require your full attention and care. If the seedling is attacked by fungi, there is a way out of it. You can use antifungal solutions to spray on the lower parts of the plant or the soil. Cut off the affected part of the plant so that the disease does not spread to the entire seedling. The antifungal sprays could be chamomile tea after letting it cool. Or you could also take boiling water and some chamomile flowers, let the water cool, and then spray it on the stems of the seedlings.

Vascular Wilts Cause the Tomato Seedlings to Wilt and Die

The Verticillium and Fusarium wilts are seen when the leaves of the plant wilt or dry during the hot summer days. During hot summer days, these small seedlings need more water to keep them hydrated.

However, leaves tend to recover in the evening when the temperature cools down with the absence of the sun. With the wilting taking place, many daily plants cannot endure the harsh humidity and die after some days. They need proper sunlight for the process of photosynthesis.

Verticillium and Fusarium wilts are soil-borne fungi that cause fungal disease to the plant by entering into the plant through injured roots. The fungi spread easily through the xylem tissues in the stem and block the flow of the water through the stem to the rest of the plant. Thus, resulting in the death of tomato seedlings, a brown discoloration of the vascular tissues is seen in the dead parts of the plant.

Also Read: How Can You Grow Tomatoes from Fresh Tomatoes?

Wilting of Tomato Seedlings Due to Fungal Attack

The fungal attack is very obvious on the young and unsteady plants, things you can do to prevent it if you can sow the seed and cover it with a sterile container. The container will keep the fungi away and help the seedling to grow in face conditions.

Another antifungal element is cinnamon which acts as an antifungal agent. You can just sprinkle some cinnamon powder over the tomato seedling. These are ways in which your tomato seedling can be safe and grow to become a healthy plant.

Tomato seedlings grow together and form a crowded cluster soon after they emerge from the seed. To maintain the good health of the seeds, you can transplant some of the healthy-looking seeds from the crowded pot to another one where they will get good air circulation.

Why Are Tomato Seedlings Wilting?

Tomato seedlings dying due to many reasons. These plants get diseased very easily. During high humidity or warm temperatures, black lesions start to grow on the plant, increasing to form a bull’s eye. These effects spoil the necrotic tissues of the tomato seedlings ruining their stems and eventually the full sapling.

This disease of tomato seedlings is called Early Blight. This phenomenon can be prevented by controlling humidity. The tomato resistant varieties that perform well are Celebrity, Jetstar, Burpee VF, and some others.

Also Read: White Lines on Tomato Leaves

Damping-off of tomato seedlings

Damping-off is a very common occurrence that affects the seeds in wet soil. When the soil is rich in nutrients or stores a lot of water, this condition can be seen where tomato seedlings wilt and die.

Feeding pests are responsible for making tomatoes weak and, in the process, wilt. If you see any dark spots on the seed, then you must take action. Spraying a fungicide and eliminating the affected parts of the plant is the only cure for preventing the seedling from getting fully affected and wilt.

Lack of proper light and air can also be reasons for the wilting of your tomato seedling. Without proper sunlight, they are not able to perform the process of photosynthesis and thus making the seeds weak and delicate. Proper irrigation and outflow of the water are very important for tomato seedlings.

Overhead watering is very harmful to tomato seeds. You can save a wilting plant only when you know what has affected the plant. After knowing the disease, finding a cure is not very difficult.

Gardening is a difficult task that needs a lot of study and observation as well. You need to know how it is done, or all your efforts will be seen in dead plants. Thus knowing before getting on the field is very important and helps you to get better results.

Are Stalk Borers Harmful to Tomato Seedlings?

It is a pest that affects plants and seedlings, including tomato seedlings. The larva of caterpillars bores into the stem and makes its way to the stalk of the seed. The plants are affected by this and tend to wilt and die.

Some plants survive even after being damaged by stalk borers. Good care of the plant has to be taken to recover the plant. The stalk borer is a colored and creamy striped caterpillar with a solid purple band around its body. It is a pest that can be seen early in the season. It moves from tall weed plants to tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and other vegetable plants. A single stalk borer can damage a lot of tomato plants at once.

Tomato seedlings that are affected should be removed so that the stalk borer does not affect the other plants. When the plant is destroyed, the stalk borer can also be destroyed to prevent further destruction. These pests can also be controlled by planting tall weedy plants around vegetable gardens. Stalk borers cannot be controlled by insecticides.

Why Are Tomato Seedlings Dying?

Natural gas is another thing that tomato seedlings cannot endure. Tomato seedlings are very sensitive and are attacked by viruses, fungi, and bacteria very easily. However, you will find many ways to prevent these conditions.

Some of the most common diseases faced by the tomato seedlings are early blight, Fusarium wilt, Damping off, Botrytis, and copper fungicides cause a lot of harm to the seedlings or the young tomato plants. Ways these diseases can be prevented are by controlling humidity, cleaning up the debris or humus of old plants, and avoiding overhead watering. If you see a part of the plant is cut or wounded, it is prone to bacterial action. It is advised that you cut off that part of the part as soon as possible so that the rest of the seedling is safe.

Tomato Seedlings Wilting After Transplant

Tomato seedlings wilt after they are transplanted from one soil to another. The tomato seedlings are not able to adapt to the soil as they are very delicate. These seedlings need full care and support to grow.

After transplantation, they are not able to take the shock and start to wilt. Transfer from one soil condition to another makes the seedlings wilt. Soil that is too wet or is full of nutrients does not let a tomato seedling grow properly.

Thus before transplantation finding out the soil type and neutralizing it is very important to make the tomato seedling survive. The usage of resistant types is a very effective way for all the gardeners to prevent losses for the wilts.

How to Prevent Wilting of Tomato Seedlings?

Juglone particles in the soil consist of both living and decayed plant materials. Rain droplets leach juglone from the twigs, buds, and leaves. The decomposition of plant materials, dead plants, and insects releases juglone into the soil, which is not very good for delicate young seedlings.

The highest amount of juglone is found in the dripline of walnut trees. Thus, walnut trees should be kept away from tomato plants. Nothing can be done to save the juglone damaged tomato plants. All you have to do is rip it off from the stem.

Gardeners who have large walnut trees should not plant tomato seedlings on the same plot; they should look for alternative sites for growing tomato plants. Tomato plants should be planted 20 to 25 feet away from the dripline of walnut trees to lessen the toxicity released by the walnut trees.

Final Words

From this article, you have found out a lot about tomato seedlings, the ways they can be affected by diseases leading them to wilt. We have also discussed the ways in which these diseases can be prevented and how to have a healthy seedling. Diseased tomato seedlings can be cured to have a new seedling.

Now you know a lot about tomato seedlings. You can have a garden of your own with healthy seedlings. You need not worry about plants dying, or you do not have to consult an experienced person; you know how to deal with plant diseases and how to cure your plants of diseases.

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