What Causes Tomato Leaves To Curl? - How to Cure it and Avoid it?

What Causes Tomato Leaves To Curl? – How to Cure it and Avoid it?

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What Causes Tomato Leaves To Curl? But don’t worry we will let you know everything about why the tomato leaves are curling or rolling like this, which you never expected. All the reasons for this are just right below. Take a look!

The sweat and effort you put into planting tomato plants and now the leaves are curling and you are worried. This is DISHEARTENING, right!? We understand!

Key takeaways:

  • You are here because the plant is growing well if you use Florida Weave Trellis to support them and you want to keep it away from all the problems and diseases.
  • You want it to stay healthy! So, it is better first to dig into knowing the symptoms and causing agents leading to the curling of tomato leaves.
  • Some different reason that causes tomato leaves to curl is Virus, Herbicide damage, Nitrogen overload, Irregular and improper watering, etc.
  • First of all, leaves are of the following types, they can be young or newly formed ones or old (aged) ones.
  • It is important whether the mixed types of leaves are rolling or a particular of these two is rolling.

You will also get to know how to cure them if any get stuck to your lovely tomato plant. 

Rolling up or down? Yes, this also matters in noticing the cause of tomato leaf curling. The color change in leaves, and pest infection. By knowing this, it will be easy to know what the next step should be to uncurl the tomato leaves.

What Causes Tomato Leaves To Curl? – Causes of tomato leave curling


Viral infections are not easily cured. The viral infection led to high damage to the plants. The wild plants are infected plants growing nearby should be removed 

While transplanting, sometimes the gardener might not notice that the plant is infected and has already been attacked by whiteflies. These whiteflies are the carrier of viruses that can further be transmitted to healthy plants and cause twisted tomato leaves that are upwards and also lead to the yellow coloration of leaves. 

Plants seem to look droopy, and lifeless, and almost zero fruit production occurs. For this infection, the responsible virus is the Tomato Yellow leaf curl virus.

Another virus is Tomato Mosaic Virus- this viral infection also leads to the curling of leaves with other effects like dwarf leaflets, mottled-colored leaves, and browning of the inner portion of fruit. 

Tobacco mosaic virus – this viral cause has almost similar effects on tomato plants as that of tomato mosaic virus. This plant pathogenic virus is easy to spread and creates a loss.

Herbicide damage

The herbicides are another factor that is causing the curling of tomato leaves.  Specifically, the herbicide 2,4-D herbicide which is a hormone weed killer is washed off or carried away through the wind to tomato plants, which are sensitive to this chemical and get reacted by it.  The twisted leaves are indicated by unhealthy fruits.

Wait for a few weeks if the normal growth doesn’t appear then remove it. 

Removal of a plant if the damage is not reversed which can happen if little herbicide has reached the plant 

Irregular and improper watering

The leaves of tomato plants might be rolling due to water not reaching the leaves which can be due to the “underwatering” of plants. Tomatoes need 4-5 cm of water in 7 days. This can vary with its size. The hot climate demands more water, tomatoes need more water during this time. In cold to humid climates, make sure that you don’t overwater the plants.

Nitrogen overload

Cutting or trimming tomato plants in proportion to their size demands less nitrogen but if you keep applying fertilizer the plant will get overloaded with nitrogen, as most of the fertilizer has a nitrogen supply. Many gardeners keep using natural nitrogen supply to the plants which can cause twisting to curling of tomato leaves. To balance it out you can also plant other companion plants with tomatoes.

Environmental causes

Winds, hot-dry weather, cold-humid conditions, drought, etc. are some of the environmental conditions that might cause the curling of tomato leaves just like the philodendron leaves curling. These environmental variations can temporarily affect the plant and can be reversed back to the form as the environment gets suitable for a tomato plant. If not the cause can be something else which can be physiological causes like root damage while preparing the soil, excess pruning, etc., or the above-mentioned causes.

Remedies for curling of tomato leaves

  • Don’t let the soil get too dry or drained in water for long
  • Use shade fabric when it’s too sunny or during times of heat waves. 
  • Choose pest-resistant varieties 
  • Remove the virus-infected plant as soon as possible 
  • Try to protect the plants from broad mites, insects, aphids, and whiteflies. 
  • Weeds removal
  • Use clean tools 

For more such plant related-articles, you may also read, How to Protect Plants from Frost?

Final thoughts on the context:

What Causes Tomato Leaves To Curl? – we hope you have the solution now! We hope this article has made you understand how tomato leaves curl when they happen, and how to stay cautious and keep the star of your garden away from the ‘rolling leaves’ problem.


Can tomatoes recover from leaf curl?

Depending upon what causes the tomato plants’ leaf twist, they sometimes can recover and sometimes can’t recover at all. Usually, when the plant still can grow normally after getting affected that means it is getting recovered. More viral infections of tomato plants don’t recover at all.

How do you control the tomato leaf curl virus?

You can spray the plant with a chemical called imidacloprid. This chemical should be sprayed after every two weeks on the infected plant. 

What is a good fertilizer for tomatoes? 

The fertilizers with a good amount of phosphorus in them, are found to be suitable for the tomato plants. 

What’s wrong with my tomato plant leaves?

The leaves show a change in shape when they are getting an abnormal amount of water. They twist, wilt, and cupped upwards or downwards and this shows that something is wrong with your plant, which can be due to overwatering or underwatering.

Becky Decker

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