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Why Are The Leaves Of My Tomato Plant Turning White – The 5 Most Common Reasons

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Did you plant some tomato plant seeds on your lawn, and gave them all the love and care, hoping to get your favorite vegetable from them? But soon when your plant grew a little you started wondering ‘why are the leaves of my tomato plant turning white?’.

If this is the case, then don’t worry as we have all the information you will need to save your plant.

Tomatoes are a very common and easy to handle plant which is preferred by most home gardeners. It has an extremely long growing season. Many people start growing them indoors and then transfer them outside to prevent exposure to direct sunlight.

There can be several reasons of why are the leaves of my tomato plant turning white, which are described below in detail. Identifying the problem is the most crucial part of the treatment so we can find its solution!

Why Are The Leaves Of My Tomato Plant Turning White 1
These tomato leaves are turning white/browm and i dont know what do to. – via Reddit

Why Are The Leaves Of My Tomato Plant Turning White?

Changing the color of the leaves of a tomato plant is a very common problem. It is nothing to be worried about as it can be easily treated. Observe to detect the main cause of the whitening.

Let’s look out for some of the problems that normally cause the leaves of a tomato plant to turn white:


The leaves of a tomato plant are sensitive to sunlight if exposed for a longer period. They can easily get burnt if excessive sunlight is provided to them. This is termed sunscald and is common in various plants, but it can be prevented easily as soon as it is detected.

If a tomato plant is exposed to sunlight throughout the day, it can show white or brown colored leaves.


If you find out your tomato plant leaves turning white, it might be due to a sudden decrease in temperature. If the temperature of the surroundings drops below the optimum temperature of a tomato plant, white patches can be seen on the leaves of the plant.

Tomato plants react to the decrease in temperature and close their leaf cells as a response to it. This limits the production of chlorophyll, causing the leaves of a tomato plant to turn white.

Fungal Diseases

Fungal diseases are commonly found in plants that have been overwatered. Moisture provides a favorable environment for fungal diseases to act on the plant.

The most common diseases which can cause the tomato plant leaves to turn white includes root rot, Alternaria, and Septoria Leaf Spot. To prevent these diseases, plants should be watered carefully.

Nutrient Deficiency

The plant may show white leaves as an indicator of being nutrient deficient. Little or no nutrients in the plant can cause plant stress. If left untreated, it can cause plant death.

Common deficiencies include a lack of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.

Excess Of Nutrients

Unlike lack of nutrients, an excess of nutrients in the tomato plant can also cause its leaves to turn white. Healthy plant growth can be maintained by using specific fertilizers for tomato plants that contain all the required nutrients in a specified quantity.

Why Are The Leaves Of My Tomato Plant Turning White 2
Tomatoes leaves turning white and spotty – via Reddit

What Are The Solutions To Fix These Problems?

The damage done to the plant can be fixed by working on some solutions. Some of the tested solutions to fix the white leaves of a tomato plant into a healthy green plant are given below in detail:

Preventing Sunscald

Sunscald is not a disease so it should be prevented rather than treated. It can be treated by preventing giving unnecessary sunlight to the plant. Plants that are exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day are most likely to suffer from sunscald.

The tomato plants should be kept in shade or portable umbrellas should be used to cover the plant to prevent sunscalding.

If the entire plant turns white in color and curls up, then unfortunately it is too late for the plant to recover and you might have to say goodbye to it.

Hardening Of Leaves

Hardening of leaves before transporting them outside is a technique used to make plants strong enough to survive in both extreme temperatures. If they have been hardened off, there is a lower risk of sunscald.

Hardening off is a gradual process in which plants are exposed to the outside environment for some time each day for a few days. This helps them adapt to their surroundings and get used to them.


The whitening of leaves in a tomato plant can be a result of low temperature. Tomato plants can easily get frost damage so they are mostly planted indoors. They are allowed to germinate at room temperature before being planted outdoors.


Fungicides are pesticides used to prevent fungal diseases in plants by inhibiting the growth of fungi or its spores.

If your plant is affected by a fungal disease that is turning your tomato plant leaves white, the use of fungicide sprays is the most effective treatment.

Nutritional Balance

A well-balanced fertilizer that is specifically made for tomato plants will contain all the essential nutrients required by the plant in the right amount. To grow a healthy tomato plant, a fertilizer that contains adequate amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and nitrogen is required.

Another solution to prevent nutrient deficiency in tomato plants is the use of compost to fertilize the soil. Compost is rich in phosphorus and nitrogen that can help plants in their normal growth without the whitening of their leaves.

If the soil of your tomato plant is way too rich in nutrients, it can damage and burn the plant tissues which can turn the plant leaves white.


A plant should be watered according to its needs. If it is overwatered, it can stimulate the fungal spores present in the soil to cause fungal diseases.


Whether you want to plant your tomatoes or transplant an already grown plant in your garden, it can be challenging for you.

This article briefly describes the problem why are the leaves of my tomato plant turning white? with all possible causes and solutions, so you can now find out what your plant is trying to tell you.