Why do the leaves of tomato seedlings turn white and what to do

Why do the leaves of tomato seedlings turn white and what to do

Experienced gardeners claim that tomatoes are a strong and resilient crop. Caring for them is quite simple, and the harvest almost always pleases the owner of the site. However, not every beginner achieves good yields. Either pests spoil the seedlings, then diseases appear, then the leaves of plants turn white. In order to save a vegetable crop in time, you need to have basic skills in caring for an annual plant.

The main reasons why tomato seedlings turn white

There are several reasons why the leaves of seedlings may turn white and then dry out. Very often the problem occurs due to sunburn on young plants. The first step to confirm the reason is to inspect the greenery. Sunburn affects partially or everywhere the leaves and they can become covered with white spots, begin to thin out. White dots can appear not only from exposure to the sun when transplanted into open ground, but also while on the windowsill, living in cups, and even in a greenhouse.

What can you do to avoid sunburn? Can landings be reanimated? Compliance with simple rules will allow gardeners to prevent this trouble from occurring:

  • In no case should you immediately plant seedlings from a shaded place in the open sun. It is necessary to gradually accustom the green shoots to the sun's rays, otherwise the tomatoes will dry even more. To do this, cups with seedlings should be taken outside for 20-30 minutes every day. Gradually, the time spent in the air increases and as soon as the time comes, the tomatoes can be transplanted into the open ground.
  • No less often, chemical burns become the cause of the appearance of white spots on the foliage of tomatoes. They appear due to an increase in the recommended dosage of chemical fertilizer during the preparation of the solution. Excessive density of the solution, once it hits the plants, provokes the appearance of white spot on the foliage. Gradually, the affected greens die off.
  • There are times when green leaves are covered with white spots due to the manifestation of various diseases.

Some chemical preparations can be used only in cloudy weather, so as not to provoke a decrease in the degree of natural protection of plants from sunlight. Very often, ignoring these rules leads to the death of seedlings.

Diseases of adult plants in the greenhouse and open field

Low yields are provided for gardeners who believe that tomatoes do not require maintenance and fertilization. Only proper care of the vegetable crop will make it possible to form weighty fruits that will delight the owner of the tomatoes. When white spots are found on a green growth, it is necessary to identify the cause of their appearance. Not only pests, but also unpleasant diseases, such as:

  • brown spotting;
  • white rot;
  • powdery mildew;
  • septoria;
  • late blight.

Brown spot

When brown spot appears, the leaves of tomatoes turn white. In addition, seedlings are exposed to a number of associated diseases. Basically, this ailment affects greenhouse annuals.

The main signs of brown spotting include:

  • the appearance of a white cannon on the inner parts of tomato leaf plates;
  • gradual modification of the color scale of the plaque, a smooth transition from white to dark brown;
  • the appearance of yellowness on the outside of the foliage.

The development of the disease can be stopped at the initial stages. If you ignore the symptoms, then the foliage of the tomatoes will gradually curl, and the plant will soon die. To prevent brown spotting, the seedlings should be regularly ventilated and the humidity index should be lowered. Such methods will help prevent the consequences of a disastrous misfortune.

The appearance of white rot negatively affects the leaves and stems of the vegetable crop. The vegetative part of the seedlings is covered with white spots, the stems become soft and a plaque is formed on them, which resembles a mucous membrane.

To prevent the death of the bushes, urgent therapy is necessary. This requires strict adherence to the advice of experts:

  • First of all, we eliminate the infected part of the seedlings.
  • We treat the cut points with a solution of copper sulfate.

As a preventive measure against white rot, you can use a universal remedy called Bordeaux liquid. Spraying seedlings will save tomatoes from an unpleasant disease.

Powdery mildew of tomatoes

The light foliage of tomatoes can signal the appearance of powdery mildew. The main signs of adversity are:

  • a gray-white bloom on the lower part of the foliage;
  • yellowness on the upper side of the foliage.

The disease develops quite rapidly. The foliage dries quickly and the annual plant dies. It is very important to pay attention to the affected tomatoes in a timely manner and to carry out proper treatment. Powdery mildew is incredibly difficult to defeat.

It is best to take care of preventive measures in advance. High levels of air humidity and frequent changes in moisture levels are ideal conditions for the appearance of an unpleasant disease.

During periods of high humidity, experts recommend treating the bushes with special means, namely:

  • Fundazole;
  • Topaz;
  • Previkur;
  • Vitaros.

Septoria, no less often than other diseases, destroys tomato seedlings. The fungal infection spreads quickly enough through the greenery of tomatoes and forms many yellow-brown spots.

Elimination of the manifestations of this fungus is possible in two stages:

  • cutting off the affected vegetation of the bush;
  • treatment of plantings with fungicidal agents like Bordeaux liquid, Baktofit.

The appearance of late blight

Almost every experienced gardener has encountered late blight, which destroys not only tomatoes, but also potatoes. The primary signs of phytophthora are:

  • the appearance of spots of brown-brown shades with a white edging along the extreme parts of the leaf plate;
  • rapid increase in spots;
  • the appearance of a light bloom resembling a cobweb on the lower part of the foliage;
  • yellowing of the leaves, their further folding and drying.

The stems of the plant gradually turn into dust, break and the seedlings die. Only timely treatment will prevent the death of the bushes.

How to deal with white spots on tomato leaves

Treatment of leaves affected by white bloom is not always effective. That is why it is better to worry in advance about preventive measures that will protect the bushes from pests and various infections. Experienced gardeners believe that it is important to plant seedlings correctly, which also affects the resistance of the vegetable crop.

To prevent the appearance of white spots on the foliage, it is necessary to choose a reasonable site for planting seedlings. Plants should receive a sufficient amount of sunlight, which will not make it possible to provoke excessive delicacy of the growth.

In the case when the seedlings were in the shade for a long time, and then were planted in open ground on the sunny side, most of the bushes soon became covered with white spots from sunburn and died. Even when the seedlings are barely visible from the soil in a glass, they must be systematically taken out into the sunlight so that they get used to such an environment.

It is equally important to take care in advance of protecting the bushes from the occurrence of various diseases. This requires:

  • select and prepare the soil for planting tomatoes in advance;
  • apply fertilizers recommended by specialists to the soil, which will increase the ability of plants to resist diseases of various types.

When spraying seedlings using chemicals, the instructions should be followed carefully. This will avoid chemical burns and further plant death.

In cases where white spots from sunburn have appeared on the foliage of tomatoes, it is no longer possible to return the green color. However, using special means, you can help the bushes to recover, and overgrow with new green mass.

After sunset, you can process tomatoes using the drug Espin. Such procedures should be carried out every 6-7 days for 3 weeks. These activities will allow the plants to be supplied with a sufficient amount of nutrients.

If the seedlings still get sunburn, then their fruiting will be delayed by 7-14 days, in contrast to healthy bushes.

Tomato seedlings are usually grown in indoor conditions: stable air temperature, absence of precipitation and wind, contribute to the fact that seedlings grow together, grow stronger, and grow green leaves. The only disadvantage of growing seedlings at home is the lack of lighting, which is usually compensated for by artificial light lamps.

In such favorable conditions, the seedlings grow high-quality, but tender. She is not used to changeable weather, to sharp fluctuations in temperature, to bright ultraviolet rays, to cold spring precipitation.

Having planted seedlings in the open air, after a few days you can see that the upper leaves have changed color - they have become completely white. If in adult plants the cause can be a disease, attack of pests or a lack of trace elements in the soil, then in seedlings this happens for a completely different reason.

Delicate plants transplanted into the ground are stressed. It manifests itself in a change in the color of the leaves from green to white, while the whiteness appears evenly, without spots or dots. After a while, these leaves may fall off.

The main causes of stress

  • bright sun rays
  • sudden changes in day and night temperatures
  • cold ground
  • cool rains
  • strong gusts of wind.

For tomatoes planted in a greenhouse, bright sunlight is the main cause.

The leaves of the tomatoes in the garden and in the greenhouse turn white

The main reasons for the change in leaf color in tomatoes after planting them in the ground in a permanent place:

  • severe stress
  • sunburn
  • pathogenic microorganisms
  • pests
  • eating disorders (lack or excess of certain elements)
  • burns from top dressing
  • soil problems.

Plants get stress when they are planted from home in shelters or on ridges. Change in temperature, precipitation, wind, bright sunlight in the greenhouse - all these factors affect tomatoes and can lead to whitening of the leaves.

White spots appear when the soil is highly saline, in which tomatoes grow. They can be provoked by attacks of insect pests, diseases:

  • white rot
  • brown spot
  • powdery mildew
  • septoria.

A whitish border on leaf plates can be with late blight. In each case, it is required to understand the possible causes and promptly take action.

Diseases of tomato seedlings

White bloom on the ground in tomato seedlings is associated with the spread of infections and fungal diseases. You have to fight them both with folk remedies and modern drugs.

Powdery mildew and late blight

Manifestations of powdery mildew - white leaves of tomato seedlings, when viewed, seem to be strewn with flour. Gradually they will wither and crumble. The reason is high soil moisture and incorrect temperature conditions.

Powdery mildew manifestations

The infection can be transmitted from long-ill indoor flowers, therefore it is recommended to isolate young seedlings from them.

Sick bushes are completely removed, sprayed with solutions of wood ash or tar soap. The latter is also used for washing damaged leaves.

Phytophthora is characterized by brown spots with a white edge, which quickly increase in size. A light cobweb-like bloom spreads on the underside. As a result, the plate begins to fold from the tips and die off from the stem.

It is difficult to stop the onset of the disease; correct agricultural technology, thorough soil preparation and dosage of nutrients serve as prevention.

Tomato mosaic

The phytopathogen virus is rapidly transmitted among young bushes. An effective therapy has not been created for him, since the infection affects the seed material. Excess moisture, the presence of drafts or an overly dense planting become provoking factors.

Tomato mosaic

The leaves turn pale, turn yellow, deform, the shoots become thinner, growths appear on the lower surface. Damaged plants dry out. It is recommended to completely remove the infected bushes and burn them, change the soil and disinfect with potassium permanganate.

Septoria, or white spot

Fungal infections destroy the efforts of gardeners more often than others. If tomato seedlings turn white due to septoria, there are many dots on the leaf blades that gradually grow and turn brown. The edges turn brown. A solution of sodium chloride used for spraying helps to fight. Of the drugs, they stop at Fitosporin or Thanos.

Septoria, or white spot

For the prevention of plantings, they are treated with fungicidal agents, Bordeaux liquid.

Cladosporium or brown spot

The upper surface of the leaf brightens during the disease, and from below it becomes covered with brown dots, gradually the plate twists. When such lesions appear, the weakened shoots will have to be removed so that they do not infect others. At an early stage of the disease, spraying with an iodine solution is carried out, the soil is changed or the seedlings are completely transplanted. For disinfection, the soil is dusted with Fitosporin.

Cladosporium or brown spot

At the initial stage, it is possible to stop the disease. "Treatment" involves regular ventilation of the room and a reduced amount of watering. The places where the dead growth was, is treated with copper sulfate.

Spraying with Bordeaux liquid becomes a prophylaxis.

Tomato seedlings bacteriosis

An unpleasant and incurable disease. If the leaves of tomato seedlings turn white, the following signs will help to conclude that there is bacteriosis:

  • slowdown in growth
  • distortion of shoots
  • short stems.
Tomato seedlings bacteriosis

The infection is transmitted through seeds, and the diseased plant also infects the soil mixture. Noticing damaged sprouts, you need to remove them immediately - they will not give fruit in the future.

The soil will have to be spilled with a manganese solution. If the disease is noticed after planting in an open place or in a greenhouse, the bushes are removed, and mustard is sown in their place.

What insects can make leaves turn white

White bloom on tomato seedlings can be provoked by midges - thrips. Insects multiply quickly and lead to the death of young bushes. For prophylaxis, an infusion of garlic in water is used, for treatment they use "Karate" or "Fitoverm".

The whitefly feeds on sap and lays the larvae; in a couple of days, individuals are able to destroy all the work of the gardener. Phosbecid helps to destroy insects.

Pests can also switch to plants adjacent to tomatoes - eggplant, pepper.

Tomato leaves turned white after planting, what to do

High-quality, strong tomato seedlings, planted in the ground, sometimes makes you worry. Its green, elastic leaves, immediately after planting, can turn white without changing the turgor. Is it a disease, nutritional problem or soil problem? The reason is quite different.

Causes of whitening of tomato leaves

Tomato seedlings are usually grown in indoor conditions: stable air temperature, absence of precipitation and wind, contribute to the fact that seedlings grow together, grow stronger, and grow green leaves. The only disadvantage of growing seedlings at home is the lack of lighting, which is usually compensated for by artificial light lamps.

In such favorable conditions, the seedlings grow high-quality, but tender. She is not used to changeable weather, to sharp fluctuations in temperature, to bright ultraviolet rays, to cold spring precipitation.

Having planted seedlings in the open air, after a few days you can see that the upper leaves have changed color - they have become completely white. If in adult plants, the cause may be a disease, an attack of pests or a lack of trace elements in the soil, then in seedlings this happens for a completely different reason.

Delicate plants transplanted into the ground are stressed. It manifests itself as a change in the color of the leaves from green to white, while the whiteness appears evenly, without spots or dots. After a while, these leaves may fall off.

The main causes of stress

  • bright sun rays
  • sudden changes in day and night temperatures
  • cold ground
  • cool rains
  • strong gusts of wind.

For tomatoes planted in a greenhouse, bright sunlight is the main cause.

What to do if the leaves of tomatoes turn white

Leaves that have turned white may fall off over time. Do not be afraid of this, because the point of growth is the top of the plant. New foliage, green in color, will appear from it.

To avoid this problem, it is advisable to cover the seedlings with agrofibre after planting. Low density non-woven covering material is suitable. So that the seedlings do not break, it is necessary to install arcs above the bed, which will not allow the shelter to sag.

The shelter is removed gradually after a few days. First, tomatoes are taught to the morning and evening sun, then they are left open for the day. After 10-14 days, the agrofibre is removed completely.

To keep young plants out of the bright sun, you can use an old proven method. Twigs are broken from birch, aspen, or other trees with large foliage. They are stuck in the ground near the tomato from the sunny side. A light shadow is formed. After a few days, the leaves on the branches dry up, and during this time the seedlings adapt to the bright sun.

How to spray

To improve the immunity of tomatoes and easier adaptation to new conditions, it is recommended to spray with a solution of "Epin" or "Zircon". The solution is prepared at the rate of 1 ml of the drug per 5 liters of water.

Processing is carried out one day after planting, spraying the leaves in the morning, or late in the evening.

If, according to the weather forecast, a cold snap is expected on the days chosen for planting seedlings, then it is better to postpone it to a warmer time. The less stress the seedlings are, the faster they take root in a new place and start growing.

The leaves of tomato seedlings can also turn white if part of the roots is damaged during transplantation. This shock can be eliminated by growing seedlings in separate cups. The transplant is carried out together with a lump of earth, which contributes to better survival in a new place.


The whitening of the leaves of tomato seedlings can be prevented. For this you need:

  • cut the tomato seedlings into separate containers
  • a week before planting, spray with a solution of trace elements
  • prepare agrofibre to shelter seedlings from the bright sun and night cool
  • harden two weeks before transplanting
  • choose a day for landing, adhering to the weather forecast
  • one day after planting, spray with "Epin", "Zircon" or other growth stimulants.

Hardening is carried out in stages. This is especially important for tomatoes grown under artificial light. In the early days, the plants are carried out only for a few hours, avoiding the sun's rays. A week later, boxes with seedlings are left overnight, covering them with a thin insulation. You can cover for the night until the very transfer, it depends on the weather.

A week after the start of hardening, they are accustomed to the sun. First, the plants are left in diffused sunlight, then they are exposed to bright light for two hours. The time is increased by 2-3 hours daily.

The full hardening cycle lasts two weeks.

Ways to deal with white spots

The disease can be defeated only if you know the reasons for its occurrence. If any signs of the disease are found, it is recommended to immediately start treating the seedlings. It is impossible to postpone the implementation of "medical" measures, since any delay can lead to the death of a vegetable crop.


Any vegetable crop needs sufficient sunlight. However, without preparation and hardening, immature seedlings exposed to an open area will not be able to withstand aggressive sun exposure.

First, the top of young bushes begins to turn white, and then the leaves curl, turn pale and dry out.

The occurrence of such phenomena can be prevented with the correct choice of the location of the containers with seedlings, as well as with the correct watering.

When watering, water should be directed to the root. It is important that drops do not fall on the leaves. If you ignore such recommendations, water droplets, like lenses, increase the aggressive effects of sunlight. As a result, the plant is exposed to severe burns. It is useful for novice vegetable growers to listen to the recommendations on how to save the plant from death.

Prevention will be belated when white spots appear on the leaves of tomato seedlings, as in the photo, and what to do with the culture if sunburn is the cause of the lesion:

  • containers with planted seedlings are removed from the windowsill, defining a semi-shaded space for them
  • the windows are covered with paper, covered with thick tulle to prevent the penetration of sunlight
  • during watering, water is directed in a thin stream under the root so that the droplets do not splash to the sides and do not fall on the leaves
  • after transplanting tomato bushes into open ground, they must be adapted to new conditions (for this, containers with seedlings are covered during the first three days after transplanting, providing reliable protection of the plant from sunlight for a period of maximum vulnerability)
  • a sick plant is sprayed with any growth stimulant
  • damaged leaves are removed.

Micronutrient deficiency

Any culture needs proper nutrition. The plant receives all useful micro and macro elements from the soil. If there are no trace elements in the soil or are in a minimum amount necessary for the full development of seedlings, the leaves first turn yellow and then dry.

Treatment of weakened seedlings consists in carrying out such agrotechnical manipulations:

  • spraying seedlings with a 0.5% solution of ferrous sulfate
  • application of nitrogenous or complex fertilizers to the soil (carried out when they notice that the top of the shoots begins to turn white)
  • complete replacement of the soil with a balanced soil mixture.

Fungal infection

If the leaves turn white in a short period of time, you should suspect a tomato infection. To figure out how to help the plants, you first need to determine which particular fungus has affected the seedlings.

Cladosporium or brown spotting can be identified by the presence of brown spots appearing on the underside of the leaves. In this case, the upper part of the sheet, on the contrary, turns white, and after a short period of time, the sheet plates begin to curl.

It is possible to help the plant like this:

  • completely affected specimens are removed to prevent the spread of the disease to healthy seedlings
  • if signs of a fungal infection were noticed at the initial stage, the seedlings are sprayed with an iodine solution (to obtain it, 5 liters of water, 20 drops of iodine are poured into the container, and milk or serum is added, which ensure better adhesion of the solution)
  • all seedlings must be transplanted into other prepared containers with new soil
  • the soil can be disinfected with "Fitosporin", the effectiveness of which increases when it is used dry.

The photo shows how to prevent infection of tomatoes, and what to do if the appearance of white spots on the leaves is due to the defeat of seedlings with powdery mildew.

The main factors provoking the onset of the disease are:

  • maintaining a high temperature regime inside the room in which containers with seedlings are displayed
  • high soil moisture
  • excess nitrogen
  • dense planting of seedlings.

Powdery mildew affects not only tomatoes. Peppers, eggplants and other vegetable crops suffer from it.

The fight against such a fungal infection is carried out using special chemical fungicides or biological products. If the seedlings are grown at home on the windowsill, then folk remedies are preferred in the fight against infection:

  • 100 g of laundry soap is ground into shavings, 50 g of soda is added, the resulting mixture is poured into 8 liters of warm water, everything is thoroughly mixed and filtered, and then the affected leaves are wiped on both sides with the resulting solution
  • 0.5 kg of ash is diluted in 5 liters of water, the resulting solution is left for several days for infusion, then the affected seedlings are sprayed with it.

Septoria is another fungal infection that affects tomatoes. Many growers know it as white spot. The main signs by which the disease can be determined are:

  • the appearance of multiple white spots that darken quickly enough, acquiring a brown tint
  • the appearance of a brown edging of the sheet plate.

You can also treat seedlings infected with white spot with chemical fungicides and folk remedies. The most popular are:

  • seedlings up to four times within 8 days are sprayed with a solution that is obtained by mixing 5 liters of water and half a glass of salt
  • crushed five heads of garlic are dissolved in 5 liters of water, left to brew for several hours, after which the resulting infusion is filtered and the affected plants are processed.

Damage by viruses

Novice vegetable growers are worried about what to do if white spots appear on the leaves of tomatoes, as in the photo, how to determine the causes of damage to seedlings, whether it is possible to prevent the appearance of problems by organizing prevention.

Tomato seedlings are often attacked by the mosaic virus. Its characteristic features are the whitening of the leaf plate and the appearance of pronounced spots.

Mosaic virus is a contagious phytopathogen for which there is no effective treatment. Infection most often occurs when using infected seeds or contaminated soil.

If signs of infection with the mosaic virus are detected, the following should be done:

  • affected seedlings are immediately removed to prevent the virus from spreading further
  • the soil in containers is changed and disinfected with a solution of potassium permanganate
  • healthy seedlings are sprayed with a solution obtained from water and sour milk, combined in a 10: 1 ratio
  • to increase immunity, seedlings are fed with useful microelements.

Diligence, caring attitude to the planted seedlings, adherence to all recommendations for caring for plants will allow you to grow a strong vegetable culture.

When the reasons for the appearance of white spots on the leaves of seedlings are clear, when it is known what to do to save tomatoes, it is easier to organize prevention and grow, as in the photo, strong and healthy bushes, giving hope for a high yield.

What to do

If tomato seedlings have turned white due to exposure to the sun, then you should not try to return the leaves to their previous green color. However, there is a set of measures that allow tomato seedlings to recover and gain green mass.

So, for example, in the evening, at sunset, it is recommended to treat the seedlings with the drug "Espin" or another that has a similar effect. This manipulation should be carried out once a week for three weeks. It is also necessary to provide the plant with the proper amount of nutrients. It should be borne in mind that tomato seedlings that have survived a sunburn will begin to bear fruit later than their healthy species.

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