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Tomato Pest and Diseases 

Tomato Pest and Diseases

Tomato Pests and Diseases

Whitefly are the most likely pest to affect your tomatoes. The adult flies (they look like tiny moths) lay eggs on the underside of leaves. The growing eggs feed on the leaves, leaving a sticky secretion which attracts other diseases. 

As soon as you see the eggs, try spraying with water to wash them off and remove others by hand.

If the attack looks like getting out of hand, there is no alternative to spraying - your garden centre will have several types of spray available. 

Click here for more details on Whitefly.

Tomato Blight
This is caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans which is also the cause of potato blight. The signs are brown marks on the leaves which quickly increase in size. If left, any developing fruit starts to turn brown and rots. Click here for our page devoted entirely to identifying and treating tomato blight.

Red Spider Mite
These are normally only a problem in dry times. The mites are not visible (they are too small), but the leaves become mottled and yellowing. The solution is is to spray the plants with a fine mist of water as often as possible - red spider mites hate moist conditions. 
Click here
for more details on Red Spider Mite.

Aphids (Blackfly and Greenfly)
Planting Marigolds really does attract beneficial insects such as ladybirds and hoverflies  and these love to eat blackfly. Spraying the plants with water also works - it simply knocks the blackfly off the plant. Where neither of these methods work, its down to the garden centre for a chemical spray - most work well. 
Click here
for more details on Aphids.

Foot and Root Rot
Foot and Root Rot in tomatoes is often caused by irregular watering, the base and roots of the tomato plant begin to rot causing the leaves to discolour and the tomato plant may eventually collapse. 
Click here
for more details on Foot and Root Rot.

Mosaic Virus
There are many varieties of mosaic virus which can affect tomatoes but they can all be identified by leaves which turn yellow, then bronze and become distorted. This is a very infectious virus which can be transmitted by humans from plant to plant.
Click here for more details and a distinctive picture of Mosaic Virus.

Unusual tomato shape
Occasionally tomatoes grow into freakish shapes!

Recommended Varieties Of Tomatoes

The following varieties of tomato are recommended by the GardenAction team for growing outdoors (click the variety for a picture).

Type Variety Fruit Colour and Size Comments

Bush Fantasio
Red, medium size New from Suttons in 2006, Tasty, early fruiting, outdoor tomato plant with very good disease resistance. Rated best resistant tomato for blight.

Bush or upright Gardener's Delight Red, bite-sized. Well-proven, excellent flavour, good disease resistance, early cropping, good for containers. Available from Suttons.

Bush Red Alert Red, bite-sized As for Gardener's Delight - excellent.

Yellow/orange, bite-sized
Sooo sweet and delicious! Great for tubs, early cropper.

Upright Marmande Red, large Delicious taste, few seeds, shape is irregular.

Tomato Home Page               Previous Tomato Page


Name: Maryrose Bennett
E-mail: Private
Date posted: October 24, 2011 - 11:45 am
Message: Well washed. well dried (in oven) egg shells; crush under rolling pin. Water hole when planting out tomatoes and sprinkle 1 teaspoon in hole before inserting tomatoe plant. The resulting calcium feed has consistently given me excellent results.

Name: D.Nganga
Date posted: August 30, 2011 - 05:39 am
Message: Hi what causes clerking in tomatoes?

Name: D.Nganga
Date posted: August 30, 2011 - 05:25 am
Message: Hi what causes clerking in tomatoes?

Name: Dennis
E-mail: Private
Date posted: August 25, 2011 - 02:34 pm
Message: I have grown several varieties of tomato very successfully this year and would like to save seeds for use next year. Is this possible and if so what is the best way to do this.

Name: ken
E-mail: Private
Date posted: August 02, 2011 - 12:14 pm
Message: my toms are going at the bottom befor they get to any size how can i stp this and what is the cors

Name: Oanh Le
E-mail: Private
Date posted: July 27, 2011 - 09:27 pm
Message: Would you please tell me The tomatoes got whitefly diseases are safe to eat? Very truly yours

Name: Alan Cox.
Date posted: June 22, 2011 - 02:01 pm
Message: One of my alicante tomatoes,(under glass), Dying at top of third truss, small trusses. as if rotting. Any clues as to remedy please? Growing in double ring culture.

Name: Dickson Munuve
Date posted: June 20, 2011 - 03:49 am
Message: My tomatoe have been affected by powdery mildew,rose mildew and bligt.On sevral times victory 72 WP,nimrod 25 EC,and Goldzim 500SC have been applied to the affected tomatoe but no positive results.We would like to know the aternative chemical to apply to solve the problem

Name: Syed
Date posted: June 12, 2011 - 10:49 am
Message: For last three years, I am trying to develop a kitchen garden but failed. My tomatose get viruses/diseases and so are the other vegetables. Can someone tell where to find help or whom to contact. I live in 21228 zip code in Maryland.

Name: Anton
Date posted: May 09, 2011 - 06:18 am
Message: Looking for books of disaeses, fungus and grow of tomato's, do you know any books related to this, and where to get it in South Africa

Name: Graham seymour
E-mail: Private
Date posted: May 05, 2011 - 08:52 am
Message: My tomato plants have been damaged by frost,they are 4 to six inches high, leaves have gone black and droopy. Will they recover or do I need to replace?

Name: nestory
E-mail: Private
Date posted: May 04, 2011 - 09:28 am
Message: Kindly send me updates on tomato growing in green houses & tunnel especially in coast areas

Name: voster mdumuka
E-mail: Private
Date posted: December 07, 2010 - 07:25 am
Message: I want to plant tomatoes, so i want know the typ of diseases and pests which attack tomato.Thanks you can send in my email.

Name: Annie Collins
Date posted: November 30, 2010 - 09:34 pm
Message: I need pests for my tomato plants do you know any??? Where can you find them?? Oh and my tomato plants won't grow. I gave them soil, water, sunlight and LOVE there aren't even any pests coming. What is happening? Can you help me? Do you think these pests are found in the pet store? I have no clue on how to grow tomato plants. At first I bought three them they died. I bought i2 then one died and I bought 4 they all died except for one! What should I do? Can you please send me tips and the right pests for tomato plants? Thanks please send it in my email!!!

Name: Kristie
Date posted: November 30, 2010 - 09:27 pm
Message: do you know any pests in tomato plants that are easily found in the philippines?? I really need to know. It's for our Investigatory Project in School. Thanks really hope you can help us.

Name: Fred Kananura
E-mail: Private
Date posted: November 24, 2010 - 06:10 am
Message: Kindly send me updates on tomato growing in green houses

Name: jackie
Date posted: September 19, 2010 - 07:41 am
Message: i'am growing plum and beef tomatoe in growbags in the greenhouse,they were doing well until about a week ago now they are wiltered and the leaves are yellow and brown.The stems also have what i can only decribe as prickly bits on them.This seems to be only in the plants in one growbag the other plants in the other growbag are just wiltering.I have aload of green fruit so really don't want to lose it all at this point.Can you advise asp. This is the first time i have grown tomatoe.

Name: Annie
E-mail: Private
Date posted: August 15, 2010 - 11:13 am
Message: Several of my tomatoes have recessed black areas on them. The bottom leaves also appear slightly mottled - not sure if we have over-watered. Cant work out what type of pest of fungus this might be -can you advise and suggest a treatment please

Name: joe bulman
Date posted: August 15, 2010 - 02:55 am
Message: im just begginer, one or two of my tomato plants well in fruit have just dried up and stopped growing. ??

Name: wilfred phillips
Date posted: August 12, 2010 - 07:59 am
Message: see message about maggots contained inside black spots on alicante toms