Tomatoes are a favorite among both food lovers and gardeners around the world. However, they can be challenging to grow and maintain.
That’s why you will find so many articles online about how to grow tomatoes.
You will also find many people who have tried their hands at growing tomatoes and have been successful.
As with any other plant, however, you can encounter some problems.
One of these is the occurrence of white spots on the leaves of your tomato plant.
Below we’ll walk you through what causes those white spots on tomato leaves, how to treat them and what you should do to help prevent white spots from occurring on your tomato plants in the future.
What Are the White Spots on My Tomato Plant Leaves?
Powdery mildew is one of the main causes of white spots on tomato leaves. It appears during hot weather when tomato plants are stressed by drought, too much fertilizer, or other factors.
Your tomato plant will grow even if you don’t provide it with adequate sunlight and proper air circulation, but it will look sickly if its leaves develop white spots.
These white spots on the leaves will not hurt the plant, but they will reduce the yield of the tomato, change the flavor of the tomatoes, and increase the chance that it will become a “wilted” tomato.
As a matter of fact, there are many ways to do this.
If you keep the soil moist, make sure you provide ample sunlight, fertilize the plants, and provide proper air circulation to prevent water stress,
then you should be able to reverse the effects.
What Causes White Spots on Tomato Leaves?
One of the most common causes of white spots on tomato leaves is powdery mildew.
This fungal disease is caused by the formation of different types of fungi, and this occurs when moisture levels rise in the environment.
When this happens, the spores that live on the surface of the leaves start to grow. They move around on the surface of the leaf, causing tiny white spots.
Tomato plants are affected by powdery mildew only in their early stages. Younger plants are more vulnerable to this fungal disease than older plants.
Other Reasons for White Spots on your Tomatoes leaves
It is difficult to say for certain if your tomato leaves have powdery mildew because there are many things that can cause white spots on tomato leaves, even though it is a common cause.
If you have tried using neem oil, milk spray, and taking other preventative measures and still see white spots on your tomato leaves, it’s likely that something else has caused them.
Below are a few other reasons your plants may have developed white spots:
Stinkbugs have been known to eat ripe tomatoes and are a cause of concern for many farmers.
A needle-like mouthpiece punctures the tomato skin to get at the juice inside. The presence of these insects causes white fibrous spots on mature tomatoes.
The fruit from a plant that’s been attacked by stinkbugs will continue to grow normally, but the area where the stinkbugs fed on the plant will no longer receive moisture, leading to it becoming tough, white, and fibrous.
Some tomato fruits with stinkbug damage can still be eaten since the damage only affects the surface.
Additionally, stinkbug feeding doesn’t affect the taste, so if you’d prefer to remove the damaged area, you can do so.
The bacteria that cause bacterial canker in tomatoes is the Phytophthora root rot bacteria.
This bacteria spreads quickly among tomatoes when the soil is moist. As soon as the roots start to die, the canker starts to appear.
The best way to prevent this is to keep the soil dry and to prune off the infected plants.
This will help to avoid the spread of the bacteria.
What does powdery mildew look like on tomato plants?
When tomato powdery mildew first appears in the form of pale yellow.
These spots will soon become covered with white spores, They will almost look like they have been covered with flour.
The leaves become brittle and dry as the disease advances, turning the whitish areas brown and shriveling.
Powdery mildew most often occurs in late summer. Plants that are stressed and old are more susceptible than those that are young.
Simple Treatment for White Spots on Tomato Leaves
Powdery mildew causes white spots on leaves and flowers, and it can have serious consequences for your plants. There are several treatments that may help.
You should treat the disease soon after it is detected so that it does not spread to other plants. If you get the disease in time, then you might be able to completely eliminate it.
To keep mold and other problems at bay, it is best to use disease-resistant plant varieties.
You can, however, try a few home remedies if that isn’t an option.
Below we have listed four tried and tested methods to help eliminate white spots from your plants
- Neem oil: Neem oil is an insecticide, helping defeat white mold and ward off other pests.
Mix two teaspoons of neem oil with around half agallon of water into a spray bottle, Then lightly spray the mixture on the infected plant every couple of days until until you notice the mold is gone.
This is also completley safe for humans and plants and works great.
- Mouthwash: You can use ethanol-based mouthwash to treat white mold on your plants.
You can mix one part mouthwash with three parts water and apply it to the affected area. You should avoid oversaturation, because it will kill your plants.
If you use ethanol-based mouthwash be carefull, as it can harm new plant growth and burn leaves if used too often.
- Vinegar: This can be a great way to clean your plants. To get rid of white spots from your plants, mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a quart of water, and spray onto your plants.
You should repeat this step every day for a few days until your plant is back to looking like new.
- Prevention. It’s important to prevent mold from growing on your plants, especially around leaves and stems.
For treating leaves and stems, you can use an organic fungicide or a mix of baking soda and liquid soap in water. Mix in a spray bottle and gently spray evenley onto the plant.
How to Prevent Getting White Spots in the future
Powdery mildew can be difficult to treat, so it is much better to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Preventative measures can ensure that your tomato plants grow normally and avoid the hassle of treating powdery mildew.
Reduce your tomato plant’s risk of being infected by powdery mildew by following these steps.
Spacing and Pruning
In addition to poor air circulation, powdery mildew may also be due to stagnant water.
Powdery mildew cannot survive in damp places, which is why spacing is so crucial.
To make them grow successfully, tomatoes should be spaced 18 to 24 inches apart (46 to 61cm).
When your garden is too crowded with plants, the air can’t circulate around them and allow moisture to escape, which makes powdery mildew more likely to grow.
Whenever necessary, prune the leaves and branches of your tomato plants to ensure they have plenty of room.
It is also possible to prevent the spread of powdery mildew by planting different tomato varieties resistant to it.
Granadero is one of the most resistant varieties to powdery mildew compared to other varieties.
The powdery mildew won’t be able to spread from one tomato plant to another if one of its leaves develops white spots as a result of powdery mildew.
The reason for this is that the high-resistant plant will stand between the two low-resistant Tomato plants.
Powdery mildew can also be caused by inadequate lighting.
To prevent powdery mildew, it’s crucial to ensure your tomato plants have enough sunlight. Ideally, your plants should receive 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day.
To make sure that tomatoes grow well, they should be planted in full sunlight.
If you are growing them indoors, make sure that you have a sunny area available for them to grow in. As your plants need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day if you are not able to give them that, then artificial lighting is the next best option.