Top 5 Problems With Tomato Plants in Pots (+ Solutions)

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By Bryan Peters

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Growing a tomato plant in a pot could lead to little or no yield of tomato fruit due to the container size, too much or too little watering, overcrowding, or too much or insufficient sunlight, temperature, and fertilizer.

To grow a healthy tomato plant in a pot, you will need to keep the soil damp always and not wet. Too much watering could cause damage to the plant, while inconsistent watering could cause stressed plants, blossom end rot, or even split tomato.

In other words, you need to ensure the water level is perfect for the plant.

In this article, we will be looking at some of the common problems with tomato plants in pots.

Problems With Tomato Plants in Pots

Below are some common problems with growing tomatoes in the pot:

See Also: Can Tomato Plants Recover from Frost Damage?

1. Too Much Water 

Proper watering of plants is the primary key to growing a successful potted plant. Sometimes early signs of overwatering, including blisters on lower leaves and cracked fruit, are noticed.

Therefore, you will need to watch for any of these signs to grow a healthy plant. If this continues, it will leave you with corky leaves, and the root will eventually drown, rot and die.

2. Too Little Water

In the same way, too much water affects the plants so does insufficient watering. Too little water could reduce yield or no yield at all. It also causes issues like blossom end rot.

When they do not get enough water, the plant becomes droopy and begins to split. They will also perform poorly in both fruit production and fruit yielding. 

3. Inadequate Sunlight Supply 

Tomatoes require enough sunlight to blossom at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day. In other words, they are sun lovers.

The average amount of sunlight reaching a place changes over planting seasons. Weekly plant rechecks to ensure no obstruction between the plant and sunlight tend to help. 

4. Overcrowding 

Planting several plants in a pot may look like saving resources. Overcrowded plants must compete for soil nutrients, water, sunlight, and even fertilizers which may lead to ungerminated seeds. It is necessary to space plants because the smaller the space, the quicker nutrients are used up. 

5. Over-Fertilizing

Although fertilizer is essential for fruit production, fertilizers that contain nitrogen are most needed, especially in growing tomato plants. This is because nitrogen is a critical component in increasing plants.

It strengthens the soil and provides it with all the necessary nutrients needed. But too much fertilizer could cause yellow leaves, brown leaf tips, stunted growth, root rot, or even kill the plant. 

How To Grow Healthy Tomato Plants in Pots

New gardeners must know the essential tips for growing a healthy potted plant. A plant grows and yields based on how it is handled. Below are tips for developing a plant in a pot. 

1. Choosing The Variety 

Tomato height may range from 3 feet to 12 feet based on the variety. Although there are tomato plants that could grow up to 65 feet, you would not want a 65 feet plant growing in your little pot. Therefore, you will have to select a variety wisely. 

2. Get a Right-Sized Pot 

 Once you have chosen the variety of tomatoes. Banks come in different sizes, colors, and even designs, so it would not take time to get a pool that fits your taste and is also the best size for the plant.

Smaller varieties could be grown in small pots and big ones in large pots. It all depends on how long the plant can grow, but to be on the safer side, you would want to choose a bigger pot for even small plants.

3. Make Use of Good Potting Soil 

To grow a healthy tomato plant, you need a mix of unique ingredients suitable for pot surroundings. You could purchase a quality mix, but if you need to save resources, you could make your quality potting mix.

Whether homemade or industrial, this will prevent soil from holding in and reduce the transfer of soil diseases. 

4. Proper Transplant 

You will soon need to transplant your plant from its nursery bed to its final pot. They will quickly be able to produce more roots as they grow. Therefore, they will also need a bigger pool when transplanting a seedling.

Leave enough room below because the roots will still spread later. You would not want your plant root causing cracks in the pot due to insufficient space. According to research burying a tomato plant sincerely is recommended for healthy root system development.

5. Add Support Staking 

Not all plants need support to grow. It all depends on the variety of tomatoes chosen. Usually, short plants do not need help to grow, but this is different for tall plants. Supporting your plant will keep them upright and reduce the chances of bending toward the sun’s direction.

They will also help hold the weight of the plant, reducing the pressure placed on the stem and preventing snapping. You could support your plant by staking or caging, whichever method is preferable to you. 

6. Placing In a Perfect Spot 

Find the ideal location to place your pot for your plant. It would be best if you put it in an excellent healthy environment for it to grow. Tomato plants love sunlight. They will need at least 6 hours of nonstop supply of the sun to flourish.

7. Water Properly 

An average tomato plant contains about 95 percent of water. Watering is an essential need for plants. It helps enhance the taste under-watering could lead to the plant wilting and dyeing and also causes cracks in the fruit.

It would help if you kept in mind that the soil in a pot dries up quicker than in the garden. Therefore, you will need to water it double than how you do in the garden.

8. Increase Soil Layer 

This is generally known as mulching; this is done to retain the moisture in the soil from evaporating due to the sun.

Mulching also reduces dirt from compacting and prevents the fruit and leaves from having contact with the soil; applying layers of thick mulch could last a few weeks before replacing 

9. Fertilize Frequently 

Every plant needs to be fertilized, but tomatoes, due to their heavy feeding nature, might need a little more than typical plants. It is recommended that you add a handful of slow-release fertilizer when planting.

When the plant has fully grown, you could then switch to a fertilizer higher in phosphorus and potassium and lower in nitrogen.

Common Disease While Growing Tomato Plants 

Tomato plants are pretty vulnerable to infections. Below are some conditions you plant might encounter

Disease CausesCurative Method 
Blossom end rot due to insufficient calcium-remove all the affected tomatoes -water with powdered milk to supply calcium -water every day at least twice
Powdery mildewFungus pedosphere xanthii-neem oil -horticultural oil
Blight Fungus like organisms-remove the infected part -add mulch to the soil -make use of fungicides 
yellow leaves Lack of nutrients in the soil-try using a homemade Epsom salt mixture 
halo blight  Fungal spores carried by the wind, water, insects, and animals -keep the plant ventilated-tie up or stake plants-water plant properly 
Fusarium wiltBacterium Ralstonia (Pseudomonas Solanacearum )-remove and dispose of the affected area are there is no effective mean of curing it yet

 What Are the Varieties of Tomatoes?

There are over 45 different varieties of tomatoes around the world. But we would be focusing on the top 7.

Cherry Tomato

They are round little juicy tomatoes. One cherry tomato contains calories and also several minerals and vitamins. They are believed to be a hybrid of wild currant and domesticated garden tomato, while regular tomato is a sweet cherry tomato with a slightly sour taste. 

Grape Tomato

They are half the size of a cherry tomato but have thicker skin; they originate from southeast Asia with an oblong shape similar to a plum tomato. Its popularity grew due to its ability to stay over a more extended period without spoiling and its high sugar content level. 

Roma Tomato

These are also known as Italian plum tomatoes. They are used for canning and producing paste due to their firm nature. They can grow up to two to four feet tall in 80 days. 

Beefsteak Tomato

These are giant tomatoes cultivated. They can grow up to6 inches and weigh 450 grams or more. They come in pink or red and as tiny seeds; they are different from your regular tomatoes because they have smaller seed cavities than any other variety. 

Heirloom Tomato

These tomatoes are somewhat different from the rest they can. They are referred to as black tomatoes. Their color varies from maroon to purple-brown. They come from open-pollinated plants, which means they are not hybrid or genetically proven. Also, new seasons are grown from the seeds of the previous season. 

Tomato On the Vine

Tomatoes on vine are red round tomatoes mainly used in canning. They are sold with their vines still attached to them. They also have excellent health benefits as they contain antioxidants like cancer-fighting lycopene. 

Green Tomato

These are just tomatoes picked before they ripen fully; they could be any variety as long as it does not ripen fully. However, they could be confused for green zebra, which remains green even after ripening to the fullest.

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