The Q&A Archives: Tomato Plants yellowing

Question: My tomato plants are in pots on my balcony and were doing extremely well. It appears that they have aphids and the leaves quickly began yellowing. There are small black spots on the leaves, too. I have tried using a vegetable friendly insect spray. What can I do to save my tomato plants?

Answer: Aphids can be controlled with insecticidal soap or strong sprays of water from the hose (which rinses them off the plants). It's natural for some of the older, lower leaves to yellow and die on tomato plants, but yellow spots on other leaves indicates a disease of some sort. Unfortunately there are several diseases that can attack tomato plants and cause yellow spots on the leaves. Anthracnose symptoms include yellowing of the older leaves plus small spots on other leaves that are dark in the center, surrounded by yellowing tissue. Early blight causes small, irregular spots on the leaves. The spots grow and you can see concentric rings in the spots. Inspect your plants and try to figure out which problem might be causing the symptoms. Rogue out the diseased plants if necessary, to keep from infecting the other plants you're growing.

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