The Q&A Archives: Powdery splotches on Tomatoes

Question: My tomato plants have developed white, powder-like splotches on the stalks and it is now spreading to the leaves. They're in a very large pot and are just now starting to blossom. They get full sun all day and seem to be thriving. Is this a disease andwill it affect the fruit? Is there anything that can be done? I live in Southern California, about six blocks from the beach.

Answer: Your disease could be powdery mildew (rare on tomatoes) or a simple case of gray mold. In either case, it is not a serious problem. The problem can be minimized by making sure the plants get plenty of air circulation and avoid getting water on the foliage or stems. The gray mold may get on overly wet or ripe fruit but is otherwise nothing to worry about.

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