The Q&A Archives: Tomato Leaves that Curl

Question: I transplanted my tomatoes last week and the leaves are starting to curl under. What is causing this? I also have impatiens that I just transplanted to strawberry pots and their leaves are turning yellow. What is causing this? JR Posey, Bucks County, PA

Answer: Ther are a number of reasons for tomato leaves curling including virus, powdery mildew amd water stress. Also the impatiens could need a shot of soluble nitrogen fertilizer such as fish emulsion. However, considering the weather in the East, I'd guess the biggest reason your tomato leaves are curling and impatiens leaves are yellowing are the cool nights and cool soil you're still experiencing. Air and/or soil temperatures in the 40F can cause all kinds of symptoms on young transplants, including those described. I'd suggest covering both plants with floating row covers until the night temperatures get at least into the 50Fs. Don't over do the watering and fertilizing this time of year, since the cool soils won't allow for lots of uptake of nutrients. When the weather warms, hopefully you'll see better growth.

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