The Q&A Archives: Leaves of Tomato Seedlings

Question: I started tomato seedlings (Burpee's SuperTasty Hybrid) about four weeks ago indoors. After they got to be about 2" high, I transplanted them to individual clay pots. I notice that, even though they are all about 5" high now, the leaves on all the seedlings are browning at the very tip. Some seem to be healthy other than the tip "burning"; others seem to be wilting (even though I've given them plenty of water). Should I just start some new seeds, or can I salvage these?

Answer: Several things may be wrong. Root damage during transplanting, or over- or underwatering can result in these symptoms. Are you fertilizing? If so, you may be over doing it. Seedlings need no more than a half strength fertilizer at every other watering session. A stronger solution or more frequent feeding can result in burning. What environment are the seedlings in? Good air circulation is a must, but drafty areas can cause the tender leaves to burn. I wouldn't give up on these seedlings just yet - Ihave seen seedlings in much worse shape than you describe (in my own home) make a complete turn around, but you may want to plant some extras as a back up.

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