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Cherry Tomatoes

Q.downward curling leaves on old growth of tomatoes

Zone 3 | L Osinska added on May 12, 2015 | Answered

The leaves on my tomato plants, affecting most plants but not all leaves, seem to be curling downwards and have a tougher feel. The five leaves themselves are growing downward to make a sort of point, like when you put all 5 fingers together, and again facing downward.

Their growth, a decent size now with my bush variety cherries around 30 cm tall, my beef variety tall around 50 cm tall and my other cherries (urwin seeds) are around 60-70 cm tall (unsure if there bush or tall). The urwins I grew from seed set on the windows sill mid February, the other 2 I bought as baby plants from my local garden centre. They started life in the kitchen windows, then as more sun was available moved during the day to the front windows sill, south facing. Thye spent evening in the kitchen again for a while when heating was still needed for cooler nights, as the radiator was needed and it’s located directly below lounge windows. They where rotated every 4 days and now have spent the day outside hardening off for the last week.

In the last week, my cucumbers and peppers have also been out hardening off. They have developed dry edges on their old growth leaves since being out. Not sure if this is related. Only insecticide used in my garden is ant powder, as we have a fair few. No herbicides used. My neighbours haven’t even been out to mow the lawn yet, so they haven’t used any and the military have only cut the grass twice on the other side of my fence. I’ve been having this trouble with the leaves for around 4 weeks now. They’re still green and not dying so wondering the cause. And weather it will affect fruit. My urwins are in flower now too.

Thank you in advance

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L Osinska
Answered on May 13, 2015

Thank you for your quick response.
I did suspect this bit it started before they went out side. I am surrounded by farm fields that mainly grow rapeseed. When they where inside the window was rarely open. They growth hasn't been affected really. Should I just monitor them and note any changes. ?
Thank you.

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Answered on May 12, 2015

Interestingly enough, the downward curling leaves on your tomatoes could still be attributed to herbicide drift even though you and your surrounding neighbors do not use herbicides. Tomatoes are very sensitive to herbicides. Wind speeds as low as 5 mph can move herbicides up to a mile and tomato plants can be injured by concentrations as low as 0.1 ppm.

Here is an extension article that explains the above in more detail and provides numerous other reasons for curling tomato leaves:

For additional information on tomato plant leaf curl, visit the following link:

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