Note to summer residents: why tomato seedlings turn yellow?

Note to summer residents: why tomato seedlings turn yellow?

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The problem of yellowing of the leaves of tomato seedlings can overtake both experienced and novice gardeners.

Yellowing can signal improper care of seedlings, or indicate the presence of a fungus.

The main thing is to find the roots of the problem in a timely manner and fix the problem, since otherwise the entire crop is at risk.

In this article, we will discuss the reasons why yellowing usually occurs and how to deal with this unpleasant phenomenon.

The most common reasons

Why do the lower leaves of tomatoes dry, the seedlings do not grow, wither and what to do in this case?


The abundance of peat in a prepared substrate for sowing seeds can slow down the growth of seedlings and form light yellow shades on the foliage. Also the substrate must contain sand and perliteotherwise, after watering, the soil will turn into a heavy lump, which will interfere with the normal development of the roots.

Important. Soil salinity is one of the main reasons for yellowing of tomato seedling leaves.

You can detect an excess of salt by looking at white and yellow spots on the surface of the earth. Salting occurs from hard water or excess fertilizer.

To solve the problem with the soil, you will have to transplant seedlings, having previously created an optimal earthen mixture, it consists of:

  1. Washed river sand - 1 part.
  2. Sod land -2 parts.
  3. Leafy soil or peat - 1 part.
  4. Perlite - 1 part.
  5. Coconut substrate - 1 part.
  6. Wood ash - 0.5 parts.

Salting the soil is treated by cleaning the soil from the surface (3 centimeters will be enough) and sprinkling with soft rainwater.


Tomato seedlings need a special watering regime. The basic requirements are:

  • Infrequent but abundant watering.
  • Warm water.
  • The optimal time of day for the procedure is morning or evening.
  • Water pours under the root, avoiding contact with the leaves.

Seedlings are equally harmful to an excess of liquid and its deficiency... Stagnant moisture deprives the roots of oxygen, as a result of which yellowness forms on the leaves, the roots rot, and the fruit turns out to be watery in taste. The lack of moisture can be recognized by the twisted and yellow lower leaves of the seedlings, while the top remains green, due to the fact that the plant allocates resources for the development of new leaves.

Advice. To solve the problem, it is necessary to normalize the flow of water by loosening the soil and watering abundantly, provided that it has sufficiently dried after the previous watering.


Trace elements are a very important factor affecting the health of the plant and seedlings in general. According to certain signs, you can determine what exactly the seedlings lack and supply it with this.

  • Potassium... Its deficiency results in yellowing of the edges and tips of the leaves when the veins remain green. To replenish, you can feed the seedlings with potassium sulfate or potassium humate.
  • Nitrogen... Its deficiency is visible on the yellowed tips and veins. Yellowness appears on the lower leaves of the seedlings, and the upper leaves decrease in size. Treatments include urea, ammonium nitrate, rotted mullein, or chicken droppings.
  • Calcium... Its absence curls and deforms the leaves. The upper leaves turn yellow, while the lower ones remain green. You can correct the situation with calcium nitrate.
  • Zinc... Its lack makes the plates of the lower sheets pale yellow, as if colorless. The solution will be to spray the leaves of the seedlings with zinc sulfate.
  • Iron... Its deficit in reducing the size of new sheets. The foliage at the top turns yellow, with dark green bulging veins. To compensate for the deficiency, you can add iron chelate to the watering liquid or sprinkle the leaves with vitriol.
  • Magnesium... Its disadvantage makes the edging along the contour yellow, and leaves the veins green. The addition of magnesium sulfate to the liquid helps.
  • Phosphorus... Its lack makes the stem and leaves purple, and the top of the seedlings acquires yellowness. Problems are solved by extracting superphosphate.
  • Manganese... A lack of it makes the leaves yellow and dries them up, which leads to wilting and dropping. To normalize the situation, it is enough to spray the foliage with zinc sulfate.

If several elements are missing, when the foliage of the seedlings becomes yellow-green, and the stem is thin and elongated, you can use a complex fertilizer. In order to improve the digestibility of feeding and prevent burns the fertilization procedure should be carried out on a wet substrate.


Tomato seedlings love light and react negatively to prolonged, cloudy weather, up to yellowing.

In order for the seedlings to receive a sufficient dose of lighting, it is recommended at home to place the seedlings on a windowsill located on the sunny side.

In addition, you can get special phytolamps that will help to extend the daylight hours. Plants should be exposed to light for about 12 hours..

An excess of light is also harmful, as the plant can burn out. In addition, it is at night that the seedlings absorb nutrients, and therefore artificial lighting is not needed at this time.

Close fit

Tomato seedlings do not like cramped conditions... In the absence of space, the roots feel bad, and the seedlings begin to wither, which is displayed on the yellowed foliage.

Important... Optimal density of planting material: between rows of tomatoes - at least 5 cm, and between seedlings - 2 cm.


Diseases can lead to yellowing of the leaves of seedlings, as well as to the death of the crop. The most common ones are:

  1. Fusarium... The disease can be recognized by the wilting of the lower leaves, and by the yellowness of all the other leaves and the top of the seedling. If the plant is not completely affected by yellowness, you can try to save it by transplanting it into clean soil. If the plant is completely spoiled, all that remains is to throw it away to avoid further spread of the infection. Spraying with phytospirin also helps.
  2. Blackleg... An infectious disease that is very dangerous for many plants, including tomatoes. Its presence is evident by decay of the root collar, yellowing and falling leaves. The plant as a whole becomes lethargic and falls off. There is no cure for blackleg, the main thing is to have time to destroy the infected seedlings before the bacteria are transferred to healthy ones.
  3. Rot... Excessive moisture and lack of heat lead to the appearance of rot. It can be diagnosed by yellowness, dropping and decay of plants. Diseased seedlings must be uprooted and thrown away, and healthy ones must be transplanted.


Sometimes a problem can occur under certain circumstances and actions, for example:

  • After transplant... No matter how carefully the transplant is carried out, the tomato seedlings are still stressed and during the adaptation period the lower row of leaves will be yellowish. Acclimatization will take place soon.
  • On the windowsill... If the yellowness manifested itself suddenly, without carrying out any additional manipulations on the part of the gardener, then the matter may be in burns received from sunlight or a draft. Otherwise, you should take a closer look, as it may be due to illness or poor nutrition.
  • After the pick... Not all gardeners know why tomato seedlings turn yellow after picking. For seedlings, it is natural to react with the appearance of yellowness to this procedure, after 7-10 days everything will automatically return to normal. In order to calm down, you can spray the seedlings with "Epin".
  • Landing in the ground... It is important for seedlings to adapt to environmental conditions. Too many factors have an impact there - soil quality, temperature, insufficiently warmed earth, and so on. Pre-hardening of seedlings will help to avoid problems. To do this, it can be taken out into the shade, each time increasing the duration of being in the shade, and then returning it to the sun.
  • Open ground... In this case, yellowness can come from a lack of nutrients in the soil or the presence of fungi. In such a situation, fertilizing and disinfecting the soil will help, if there is a need for these measures.
  • Lower leaves of seedlings turn yellow... This can happen for a variety of reasons. After transplantation (in case of correct execution), yellowing will pass by itself, if it is a lack of nitrogen, then it is necessary to provide the seedlings with additional nutrition. Also, the effect of yellowing of the lower leaves can be observed from high or low temperatures, or insufficient watering.

Important... You should carefully monitor the appearance of the seedlings, since the slightest changes can correctly diagnose the problem and take timely measures.

In general, tomato seedlings need an optimal balance of light, temperature, moisture and nutrient soil. The presence of these conditions will prevent the occurrence of risks.

Related Videos

We offer you to watch a video about why tomato seedlings turn yellow and how to solve the problem:

Watch the video: What Happens When You Bury a Fish Head Under a Tomato Plant? (October 2022).