Skip to Content

Why are My Tomato Plants Dying From the Bottom Up?

Why are My Tomato Plants Dying From the Bottom Up?

Tomatoes are lovely crops to have in your garden, and when they start to die, it can be devastating and much worse when they die from the bottom up.

It’s known that tomatoes are disease-resistant, and if your soil is contaminated, it can be a great source of diseases.

When it comes to water, too much water can make the tomatoes waterlogged, causing root rot and destroying them.

If you want to find out why this is happening, we have prepared a well-detailed article on the causes of your issues with tomatoes. Read to the end to discover more.


Why Are My Tomato Plants Dying From the Bottom Up?

There are three reasons why your tomato plants die starting from the bottom up. These three reasons could be soil diseases, tomato pests, or environmental issues (watering, nutrients, or light issues).


Three Reasons Why Your Tomato Plants Are Dying From The Bottom Up


Tomato diseases

Tomato diseases are probably the most common reason why your tomatoes are dying from the bottom up.

There are numerous diseases that tomatoes are susceptible to, and here are some of the most common ones.


Late blight

This is one of the rarest tomato diseases that attack the stem.

When the fungus attacks the stem, the leaves turn pale brown while the fruits develop indented spots.

It attacks the lower part of the stem and progresses upwards.


Early blight

This disease attacks the bottom or lower leaves. It exhibits a large black irregular spot on the leaves with yellow rings around them, and it affects the leaves, stems, and fruits.

Usually brought about by a fungus, early blight can cause cankers and spots to appear on your tomato plant’s leaves.


Bacterial canker

In this case, the leaves wilt, turn yellow, brown and then die from the bottom up.

The first symptom involves developing sunken wounds on the stem, which appear to be weeping rusty liquid.

Bacteria cause this disease. When it attacks, the tomato plant refuses to bloom during spring, and any new leaves wilt, yellow, brown, and die.


Southern blight

When tomato plants are attacked by this disease, wilt and brown spots appear on the stem at the soil level.

A soil-borne fungus causes it. It commonly attacks during the summer season as the soil is warm and moist.

During this time, it is essential to on the lookout for such disease.


Timber rot

When this disease attacks, it causes hollow stems on the tomato plants in addition to moldy spots on the stems and leaves.

It usually occurs when the tomato starts flowering. Cool and wet conditions facilitate its spread.


Environmental issues

Environmental issues are other problem that affects tomato plants from the bottom up. These issues include:


Watering problems

When tomato plants are exposed to too much water or are less watered, the effect is similar. They tend to wilt, with the leaves starting to turn yellow.

You can check if you’re watering your tomato plants with the right amount by examining the soil itself.

If it appears dry and cracked the tomatoes are water-starved and they might start to dry from the roots.

But if it seems swampy, the soil is waterlogged, not healthy for the plants. Water enough to ensure the ground remains wet and not dry nor swampy.


Lack of nutrients

Nutrients are essential for plant growth, flowering, and fruit development.

Poor nutrition can result from planting weak developing roots and stems, while leaves may start yellowing due to phosphorous deficiency.

Nutrient deficiency is a serious problem that can result from plant death if not addressed on time.


Lack of sunlight

Generally, tomato plants ought to receive between 6 to 8 hours of sun daily. If they receive less than this standard quantity, they will be a stunt and eventually die.

Sun is necessary for photosynthesis. When it reduces, little food is manufactured.

Thus, the plant is unable to support its growth and fruit-bearing needs, and it eventually dies.


Tomato Pests

The presence of garden pests can damage the tomato plants from the bottom. While most pests attack the leaves and fruits, others attack the stem from the bottom part.

When you discover holes in the stem, leaves, and fruits, it is essential to apply suitable pesticides.

Keep checking for such signs and keep your tomatoes healthy.


Tips on Preventing Tomato Plants from Dying from the Bottom Up


Provide enough nutrients

If you want to ensure your tomato plants’ strong and healthy growth, provide them with adequate nutrients throughout.

You can do this by applying the recommended fertilizer like NPK. for instance, lack of sufficient calcium can blossom end rot.


Apply mulch material

To prevent your tomatoes from most soil diseases, you can apply mulch at the base of the plants.

This will prevent the soil from being in contact with the stem. It also suppresses them to remain underground.


Water regulation

It is essential to maintain the desired level of water in the soil. During summer, water the plants early in the morning before sunrise.

This will allow the soil to drain the water throughout the day, and in the evening, it will be wet enough for the night.

Avoid waterlogging the crops. During rainy seasons, avoid watering the tomatoes frequently.

You can even drain excess water if you notice the soil is becoming waterlogged.


Crop rotation

This farming strategy can help solve the issue of early blight.

It is essential to avoid planting tomatoes at the same place every year. This is because diseases in the soil are likely to attack the new crops.

However, when you change the crops, the tomato diseases will die as they cannot attack the new crop unless they belong to the same family.

When you use containers to plant your tomatoes, make sure to change the soil as well.


Frequently Asked Questions about Tomato Plants Dying from the Bottom Up


Why are my tomato plants’ leaves dying?

The first reason behind this is due to lack of sufficient water. Overwatering can also cause the foliage to wilt and die. Nutrient deficiency is another reason that your tomato leaves could be dying.


How do you prevent tomato plants from dying?

You can apply mulch before the temperature becomes unbearable for the crops. If the heat has already caused the damage, you can still spread the mulch material to prevent further damage.