Yellow tomato plants: Why are my tomato leaves turning yellow? SEVERE condition explained

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Tomato harvest season is nearly upon British-based gardeners, as baking midsummer heat bears down on the country. After sowing in winter, the plants should have developed fruit in late spring to early summer. Some people, however, may find their crops don’t develop as expected and instead sport discoloured appendages.

Why do tomato leaves turn yellow?

People have July, August and September to harvest a healthy tomato plant growing outdoors.

Greenhouse gardeners may see theirs sprout earlier and remain harvestable for longer, but they are also vulnerable to disease.

Some greenhouse tomato plants may develop yellow blotches, a sign of leaf mould.

Tomato plants can appear rapidly and spread across multiple crops.

Leaf mould can cause “significant yield loss” if left to progress, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

The mould also creates a characteristic grey-brown growth on the lower surface of affected leaves.

Outdoor crops aren’t as vulnerable to leaf mould, meaning they won’t require as strict observation.

The RHS states people can prevent mould by cultivating genetically resistant plants.

Given mould also favours humid conditions, gardeners should also consider increasing greenhouse ventilation.

Leaf mould is one of the more severe causes of yellowing leaves.

Several other potential conditions may turn the entire plant yellow, and most of them are easily rectifiable.

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Other causes of yellow tomato plant leaves include:

Fungal diseases

  • Early and late blight
  • Fusarium wilt

Viral diseases

  • Tomato mosaic virus
  • Tobacco mosaic virus
  • Single streak virus
  • Cucumber mosaic virus
  • Tomato yellow leaf curl


  • Thrips
  • Spider mites
  • Aphids
  • Flea beatles
  • Whiteflies

Tomato plants may also turn yellow following inadequate care.

Gardeners who water too much or too little over the recommended schedule could court this discolouration as well.

The plants need watering at the base of the plants, with leaves as dry as possible, every five to seven days.

Tomato plants also suffer from nutritional deficiencies such as inadequate feeding or a lack of nitrogen-rich soil.

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