0
points
Tomato plants turning white

Tomato    South Carolina

I have a question about my tomato plants. I transplanted them about a week ago and after a few days I noticed that one of them was turning bleached looking and white. Over the next few days all of the plants began to look the same. I'm at a loss, this has never happened before. The plants were grown from seed indoors. Has this happened to anyone before? Is it an issue with too much water or something. I hope I can save them - all are affected and I don't have any others. What can I do?


Posted by: Simon (2 points) Simon
Posted: May 28, 2013




Answers

1
point
The tomato plants may be reacting to the much higher level of sun they receive outside in the ground as opposed to in your house under lights or in a sunny window. They are undergoing what I have heard called "photo-bleaching". I have seen this happen to many tomato plants at the community garden where I have my plot, and many times they do recover. After about two weeks post transplant they should start putting out new dark green leaves that are adapted to dealing with the higher levels of sunlight. They will look pretty terrible until that happens, but barring any unforeseen weather events they should make it through. In the future, you should try to "harden off" your seedlings by exposing them to direct sun a little bit each day for a few days leading up to transplant. You can also try putting some row cover over them (that reduces light transmission by up 15-25% depending on thickness). Fabric row cover is available from most online garden suppliers like Johnny's or Gardens Alive.


Posted by: Kerry Mauck (58 points) Kerry Mauck
Posted: May 28, 2013


Simon commented,
thank you for the super fast response. I confess I scrimped on the hardening and it looks like I'm paying for it now. I will keep an eye on them and hope to see some new growth
over 6 years ago.

Tanya in the Garden commented,
You can use almost anything you have around to shield them from sunlight. I've used window-screen material, plastic bags, sheets, curtains, etc., as well as row cover. I put the tomato cage in place and put the material over the top of the cage. If it's still below 50F at night, I wrap the cage as well. I always leave room for air flow -- a foot or so near the top. Clothespins work well to anchor the material.

Tomatoes are resilient and, if you keep an eye on them, they usually bounce back. I beheaded one of my taller seedlings last week, so I planted the stump and planted the top part in a container. The stump has sprouted new growth. The top part looked totally wilted for a couple days, but under cover it has bounced back and now looks healthy.

over 6 years ago.



0
points
Sounds like it could be sunburn. Hard to tell without a picture. Did you harden the plants off before you planted them outside? By harden, I mean did you put them outside and allow them to get a little sun over several days or a week before actually planting them?


Posted by: Susan League, UF/IFAS Sumter Program Assistant (1 point) Susan League, UF/IFAS Sumter Program Assistant
Posted: May 28, 2013




0
points
Yup, I'm thinking sun scald too. You'll lose those leaves but should have new ones popping out soon.


Posted by: Deb (7 points) Deb
Posted: May 29, 2013




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