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Why Are My Tomato Plants Dying? (And Ways to Revive Them)

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If you are an avid gardener, it can be disheartening to see your tomato plant dying suddenly. It can leave you in a confused state and searching for “Why are my tomato plants dying?” There is no one reason for it. Wilting and dying show that one of the optimal conditions for growth is not being fulfilled.

So, to help you out with your planting problem, here are some causes for a dying tomato plant and what can be done to revive them. Keep reading for your one-stop answer to “Why are my tomato plants dying?”

Why Are My Tomato Plants Dying
Tomatoes dying from top down – via Reddit

Why Are My Tomato Plants Dying

From inadequate water and bad soil to incorrect weather and diseases, there could be several causes for your question- Why are my tomato plants dying? So, take notes from the guide below and save your dying tomato plant.

Inadequate Amount of Water

The dying of your tomato plants could be due to overwatering or underwatering. If the leaves turn yellow and get discolored but not dry, it is a sign of overwatering. In case of overwatering, you will notice the soil is constantly wet, and often the water stays stagnant on top of the soil, causing waterlogging.

Waterlogging indicates that you need to slow down on watering and provide ways for the plant to dry out a bit.

Be careful with excess water as once the soil gets blocked with water, the roots will rot soon, and the plant might not bounce back.

Underwatering is made clear in the drying leaves. Not only will the leaves start to discolor and wilt, but you will see the sign of drying like streaking. The lack of water can also be confirmed by looking at the soil. If the soil is dried, you need to add more water.

To save the tomato plant from dying due to water issues, make sure you know the requirements. The amount of water a plant needs will vary depending on whether it is planted in a garden bed, hanging pots, or other containers.

Add 1-2 inches of water per week to a garden bed. In hanging pots, the water may dry out more quickly due to proximity to the sun, so you need to add water daily. Check the dryness of the soil under the ground with a finger.

One more tip here is to add water slowly and deeply. Instead of watering with a meager amount daily, give water to plants a few times a week in an ample amount.

This will ensure the water doesn’t evaporate with the sun and goes deep into the roots. Also, make sure there are drainage holes in pots to prevent waterlogging.

Aphid or Pest Attack

A common symptom of aphid attack is the appearance of black spots and sticky, shiny residue on the leaves. The sticky material is the honeydew left behind by the aphids. As this honeydew stays on the leaves, it leads to fungus, which forms as black spots on the plant.

Other pests that may attack a tomato plant include flea beetles, blister beetles, whiteflies, stink bugs, and more.

If you any sign of pest attack, spray the leaves with a soap solution to disinfect them. Mix castile soap with water and thoroughly spray it all over.

Keep regularly spraying until all signs of pests are gone. For fungus, you have to cut off the parts under attack. Remove them, throw them out, and apply isopropyl alcohol to the rest of the plant.

Why Are My Tomato Plants Dying 2
My tomato plant is dying a slow death – via Reddit

Wilting Due to Fungal Diseases

Fungal diseases on tomato plants can be of several types. One of them is caused by one of the two types of fungus – Verticillium wilt fungus or Fusarium wilt fungus. If you notice that your tomato plant started dying or wilting suddenly and quickly, it is probably caused by a fungal attack.

In this case, a fungal spore usually attacks the soil and grows up with the plant. It embeds and spreads in the vascular system, blocking the plant from taking up nutrients and water. The plant dies soon after.

As the first sign of these fungi, you will notice the leaves getting lighter than the rest of the plant or other leaves. The stem will begin turning yellow. You may also observe brown streaking or white spots all over.

If the fungal infection has spread all over the plant, you must discard that tomato plant immediately. If you are lucky, the disease will not have already spread to other plants as well. Usually, the plant dies suddenly, and you can’t do anything about it.

You may even be unable to plant in the same soil for at least one to two years. Prevention is a better strategy in this case. You can buy resistant varieties of tomato plants to prevent fungal infections in the first place. Check for an ‘RF’ on the plant tag or ask the seller to give you a resistant plant.

Tomato Blight

This, too, is a type of fungal disease. In the early days of blight, the plant leaves will turn brown and have spots all over. In the later stages of blight, the fruit will become rotten and nasty-looking.

Your best bet is to cut off the affected parts as soon as you notice any signs. You can also add a fungicide to prevent the attack from escalating or starting in the first place.

Prevention of fungal attacks is the best solution for your tomato plants. Sow your tomato plants with ample distance between them to give them plenty of light and prevent dark, moist areas where fungi grow and thrive.

Avoid watering the leaves and give water directly to the roots, as most molds will attack the leaves if they are too moist. Applying a layer of mulch helps contain any spores and preserves the soil’s moisture. Give tomato plants plenty of sunlight – anywhere from 6-7 hours a day.


Now that you have your answer to “Why are my tomato plants dying,” you can focus on preparing a better environment for them. Remember, moderation is the key to watering plants. Take precautions to prevent diseases so you won’t have to treat them later.

Do you have a unique experience regarding this topic? Share your views in the comment section down below and let us know how you have been keeping your tomato plant healthy.