Tomatoes Growing Too Quickly And Turn Yellow?

Tomatoes Growing Too Quickly And Turn Yellow?

Balanced growth of tomato plants is certainly desirable for any amateur gardener. However, if the plants shoot up too quickly, this is referred to as “yellowing”. This sometimes has fatal consequences for the health of the plants and should therefore be recognized in good time and at best avoided.

Shorten tomato plants


Some tomato varieties have unlimited growth and can reach a proud height of up to two meters. These include, in particular, the stake tomatoes, whose main shoot grows incessantly. But even with this variety, too high growth is usually not desirable. Because, on the one hand, there is often not enough space, and on the other hand, too pronounced growth can be detrimental to the harvest. Therefore, it is advisable to shorten the stick tomatoes from a certain height as follows:

  • after the fourth or fifth inflorescence
  • as soon as 2 to 3 strong side shoots have formed
  • carefully cut the main shoot
  • or leave several side shoots
  • and cut off all others


Tomatoes become yellow: Cause and consequences


The so-called horny growth is an unnatural growth in length, which often occurs in seedlings. This is the case when the relationship between temperature and light is imbalanced. To compensate for the light deficit, the tomato plants grow accordingly quickly upwards to be closer to the sun and thus to be able to grab more light. In doing so, the plants put all their energy into growing upwards at the expense of their own health:

  • the plants form weak, thin shoots
  • the formed shoots are not stable
  • the plant does not form thick stems
  • this could cause it to break
  • the tissue is also weak
  • this makes them more susceptible to pests and bacteria
  • the root growth is absent
  • thus it can starve


Caution: But it is not always the lack of light that triggers the rotting, because an over-supply of nitrogen can also be responsible for this unnatural growth in length. However, nitrogen is easily soluble and can be simply “washed” out of the soil. A preventive measure is mulching with straw, because this attracts the nitrogen to itself.

Wilted seedlings – what to do?


In the case of tender seedlings, special care must be taken to ensure that they are given the optimum conditions for growth. Because if they start to become yellow, there is a risk that they will not develop sufficiently and will only have poorly developed firming tissue. Therefore, it is advisable to always monitor the seedlings to allow early detection of horny growth. If unnatural length growth is evident in the seedlings, it is best to proceed as follows:

  • Place seedlings deeper into the soil
  • this will stabilize the bend
  • new root mass is also formed
  • place the plants in a cooler place


Tomato plants can be prevented from becoming yellow by creating optimal conditions for the plants. To do this, it is essential to know the specific needs of the plants. In addition, for example, the use of an indoor greenhouse, which provides sufficient light and heat. The optimal conditions for healthy growth are given when the following requirements are met:

  • sunny location, about 6-8 hours of light per day.
  • ideal temperature for seedlings is 20-24 °C
  • after germination slightly cooler, ideal is about 18 °C
  • in the greenhouse maximum 30 °C


Tomatoes die – what to do?


It is not always possible to create the optimal conditions, which is why the occurrence of yellowing is sometimes unavoidable. As soon as the plants appear to be yellowing, the first thing to do is to find out what is causing it. Then it is necessary to act quickly, because with these simple steps, the plants can be saved:

Reduce temperature


Tomato plants are heat and sun lovers, so they react accordingly to these conditions. Basically, the warmer it is, the more light the plants expect. However, if this ratio is imbalanced, the plants will sprout. If the sprouting has already occurred, lowering the temperature can counteract it. For this has the following effects:

  • the plant’s metabolism slows down
  • it does not become yellow as quickly
  • in addition, the plant does not hope for so much light
  • and does not grow further in the height


Provide more light


Especially in the dark months, as well as when trying to overwinter the tomato plants, it is essential that sufficient light is provided. If there is a lack of sunlight, it is therefore advisable to compensate for the lack of light with artificial lighting. Special plant lamps are available for this purpose, but commercially available energy-saving lamps or fluorescent tubes are also suitable. It is important that the light sources have the following characteristics:

  • they should be adapted to the color spectrum of the plants
  • the light should fall in the red as well as in the blue spectral range
  • the lamps should not get too hot
  • otherwise the plants can burn
  • the light spectrum should be sufficient


Do not use fertilizer


Tomatoes are highly nutritious and enjoy a balanced fertilization. However, the supply of nutrients is counterproductive for yellowing plants, as this has the following effects:

  • by fertilizing the plant receives more nutrients
  • and thus more energy
  • and can accordingly grow faster upwards and may turn more yellow

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