If yes, then you are most likely concerned with the problem of hydroponic tomato leaves curling down. They become yellow and curl down mainly due to nutrients deficiency. Well, there may be other things that you are going to discover as follows.
Growing tomatoes hydroponically, however, comes with some vulnerability such as diseases and pests. Then, you suddenly found out that its leaves suddenly become yellow and curled down out of the blue.
In this article, the reason for such an occurrence as well as the solution will be thoroughly discussed. So, let’s start to see how to fix hydroponic tomato leaves curling down.
How To Fix The Issue Of Hydroponic Tomato Leaves Curling Down?
As you have already studied that the reason for leaves curling down of hydroponic tomatoes could be most likely environmental stress, viral infection, or herbicide damage. It also depends upon the location of your hydroponic system setup to determine the pests coming from the outside environment.
In order to prevent or fix the issue of hydroponic tomato leaves curling down, you are firstly required to examine the plant and the infection it is undergoing. Check whether it is environmental stress or actual disease.
If you see the entire leaf roll symptoms on hydroponic tomatoes crop, it is most likely due to herbicide damage, wind damage, or environmental concerns. This case requires you to check further for the specific tomato viruses.
You will need to destroy and remove the symptomatic plants of your crop that have tomato mosaic virus. On the other hand, the transmission of tomato yellow leaf curl virus or beet top curly virus is usually uncommon as the transmitter insects have already gone.
Well, there is no such formula to control the issue of hydroponic tomato leaves curling down. The best thing you can do is control the transmission of disease through insects. Setting up the system of hydroponic tomatoes in an ideal location is also a great idea to consider upon.
You can control the insect carriers by applying the garlic barrier. It greatly helps to control the sucking insects such as aphids or sweet potato whiteflies.
The application of things like the garlic barrier also helps to repel the count of insects on the crops while increasing the odds to prevent any disease. Also, make sure that you keep the area of hydroponic tomatoes set up clean and weed-free.
You should remove symptomatic stems, leaves, and fruits from the entire crop to prevent transmission of disease especially when it is tomato mosaic virus. Even the infected tools are not a good idea to use with hydroponic tomatoes setup.
You must clean the tools via bleach and water in the ratio of 1:20. Cleaning other equipment that comes into the contact with diseased plants is also necessary. All in all, it would be great if you can control large populations of whiteflies, aphids, or other sap-sucking insect carriers.
Avoid unnecessary concerns of injury while doing all of these tasks.
What Does Hydroponic Tomato Leaves Curling Down Mean?
In general, there could be a total of four aspects with regards to your hydroponic tomato leaves curling down. So, let’s get started with what it means by curl up of the tomato leaves.
Leaves Curling Up
The curling up of leaves of hydroponic tomatoes is usually common and is a result of environmental issues. When your plant is exposed to too much wind, sunlight, or lack of water, the leaves will curl up and close to protect themselves.
Well, this curling up of leaves will get normal as these environmental concerns will be solved.
Leaves Curling Down
The curling down of leaves is caused due to root rot. And, the root rot occurs when your plant is overwatered. In this scenario, the roots of the plants will stop the water uptake and protect themselves from dying.
However, the problem will not get solved by itself. You have to take some preventive measures which are discussed in the last section.
Leaves Curling On The Top
The leaves curling on the top is a cause of a disease called ‘Curly Top Virus‘. This virus is usually spread through the leafhopper bug and will not be transmitted to other plants. Most of the time, your hydroponic tomato plants will themselves fight the virus after growing side shoots.
Well, you have to plant multiple tomato plants as you can’t do anything about the curly top.
Leaves Curling On The Bottom
The leaves curl on the bottom when there is micronutrient deficiency. These signs can be seen long before the leaves start to curl. It occurs when your nutrient solution is often packed with other micronutrients or minerals that are not good for the health of a particular plant.
Why The Hydroponic Tomato Leaves Curling Down?
The reason for curled or twisted leaves of any of the vegetables could be chemical, environmental, or biological. In short, there are five main reasons for the curling down of your hydroponic tomato leaves as given below.
Nutrient Solution Deficiency
The deficiency of nutrient solution can be the major factor behind such a cause. The case may be like you have put in less amount of nutrient solution than desired. However, it may not be the case every time your hydroponic tomatoes get ruined.
So, next time, make sure you have followed all the required instructions with regards to the usage of the appropriate amount of nutrient solution. Sometimes, you also need to dump out the extra solution and refresh it with the new one.
Low humidity, blowing dust, and high winds can damage the stems as well as the leaves of hydroponic tomatoes. Mostly, it’s the hot weather that causes symptoms called physiological leaf roll.
In response to the symptoms, plants develop a self-defense mechanism and thus its leaves and stems get slightly curled. It was also done to protect against further loss of water. Another reason for hydroponic tomato leaves curling down could be the location.
If your hydroponic tomatoes setup is located near corn or cotton fields, then the hormone-type herbicides used in these crops may cause serious damage through the wind. Even if little of these herbicides reach your hydroponic tomato system, the yield will definitely suffer.
Thus, you must make your hydroponic tomatoes set up at an ideal location where there is no disturbance of outside elements especially the nearby crops.
Nutrient Solution Drift
It’s called drifting of the nutrient solution when you cannot control pH in hydroponics. The PH of the nutrient solution also drifts up after it comes into contact with the hydroponic plants. Constantly adding pH down or PH up is also not ideal for pH adjustment.
So, you are required to maintain the ideal pH of nutrient solution in the range of 5.5 to 6.8.
Just like humans, viral infection can also be caused in hydroponic tomatoes. These are often called tomato viruses that are transmitted through infected transplants or whiteflies.
However, it may take two to three weeks to let the symptoms develop. Then, you get to see the most common indicator as curling and yellowing of the leaves of hydroponic tomatoes.
It further promotes the bush-like plant growth habit. And, the flowers will usually drop off or may not develop at all. All these have a serious impact on the production of hydroponic tomatoes.
Generally, we get to see two main kinds of viruses in hydroponic tomatoes. Such viruses are named as tomato yellow leaf curl virus and Beet curly top virus. As the name suggests, the tomato yellow leaf curl virus is responsible for curling as well as the yellowing of leaves.
On the other hand, the beet curly top virus also produces spine-like or swelled outgrowths on your tomato crop.
Broad mites affect various plant families including tomato, potato, pepper, eggplant, citrus, and cotton. The infestations of broad mites can make the underside of fruits or leaves a bit bronzed.
These mites are so minute that you can’t see them with human eyes or even magnifying glass. They infect tomato plants via the legs and antennae of whiteflies or through transplants from greenhouses.
For this purpose, you must not treat your hydroponic tomatoes in excessive temperatures above 90˚F or when this fruit plant is water-stressed.
As discussed earlier, root rot occurs when there is overwatering. It occurs when the roots of hydroponic tomatoes get so strangled that they can’t breathe. Poor circulation is the main cause of root rot in a hydroponics setup.
And, the culprit is said to be a water-borne fungus called Phytophthora. You will identify them as root staining in the nutrient solution. However, the staining is quite normal without any smell of root mass because there is no such ‘earth’ in the hydroponic system.
So, this is how the issue of hydroponic tomato leaves curling down can be identified and resolved. After you follow all the instructions while maintaining proper care, the crop of hydroponic tomatoes will come out to be the most healthy and fascinating.