Tomatoes are delicious and, when eaten, bring one satisfaction. So when you see that your tomato plants are finding it hard to survive, it can be really sad to see. In this post, I’ll show you how to treat the curly top virus in tomatoes.
If you take note that your tomato plant has stopped growing and they now look curly and thick, it shows that your tomato has been infected with the curly top virus.
The curly top virus is a disease carried around by the leafhopper. And this article will discuss few things you can do to remove this virus and stop its spread in your garden.
1. Take note of curly, thickened, and leathery leaves on your tomato plant
Check out for signs that indicate that your leaves have been infected with the curly top virus.
Signs such as contaminated leaves looking dwarfed, crinkled, rolled inwards or cupped upwards. Take note of whether the leaves are thick and leathery.
- Some symptoms of the virus also include the purple coloration of the veins on the underside of the leaves
- Young and small tomato plants may be yellow in color instead of the normal green.
2. As your tomatoes show signs of infection, remove the infected plants.
Pull the plant from the ground by grasping its base and pulling it out. Then, throw away the plant in the garbage can so that the virus would not spread to other plants.
- Leafhoppers are the ones who transmit the curly top virus, not by contact, though. However, they spread the virus if the leaves of the infected plants are eaten.
3. Uproot any weed that is growing
Weeds that are growing near your garden can also be infected and show signs of the virus. So to keep the virus from spreading to the tomato plant, pull out the weed from the ground.
- The best way to avoid the spread of the virus is by removing plants and weeds that are infected
4. Cut back the top to encourage side growth and to save the plant.
To save your tomato plant, make use of tools such as a pair of pruning shears or sharp gardening scissors or a knife to cut back the plant.
Remove the top and the center to urge side growth and make your plant survive the more.
- The infected tomato plant will likely die, but there is a possibility that the plant may survive and produce fruits. Infected plants generally beat fruits that are premature or wrinkled
- Keeping the infected leaves without removing them can cause the virus to spread.
5. Select virus free tomato transplants
Before you grow tomato plants in your garden, examine them and take note of whether they have features like curly and leathery leaves. This will show that they might be infected with the curly top virus.
When choosing the tomato plants to plant, make sure to choose healthy ones to avoid introducing or even spreading the virus in your garden.
- Due to the fact that the curly top virus is spread by leafhoppers, it is possible to see a healthy tomato with a bad one when you buy them. But it does not imply that the healthy plants have been contaminated
- If you are in doubt whether a transplant has the virus or not, stay on the safer side and avoid choosing it.
6. Choose a variety of tomato that is very resistant to the curly top virus
There are four varieties of tomato that are very resistant to the curly top virus. These are; Colombian, Roza, Salad Master, and lastly, the Row Pac.
So when you want to select tomato for your garden, look for one of these varieties and choose it to reduce the risk of your plant being infected.
- To find these varieties of resistant tomato plants, check your local nursery or online.
7. Do not space your tomato plant too much to prevent the curly top
Whenever you plant your tomato in the ground, put them close together to encourage dense plant growth and also to prevent the curly top virus.
- This dense plant spacing is also known as “double spacing.”
- The double planting will lead to small and few yields of tomatoes.
8. To keep leafhoppers away, place netted cage over tomato plants.
Netted cage is also known as a tomato cage. This cage helps to protect young plants after planting.
To prevent leafhoppers, choose a netted cage with smaller holes to cover your plants. When you see that the plant is now mature, you can remove the netted cage.
- The netted cage also provides shade for your plant, which also can protect young plants from leafhoppers.
9. Use a shade cloth to cover your tomato plants
Shade cloth is made out of polyester material that is loosely woven. The shade cloth was made to block the sun and provide shade to your plant.
When plants are mature, hang the shade cloth over them to protect them from the leafhoppers.
- The leafhoppers like to eat in the sun, so putting your tomato in the shade can be effective to deter them from your plant
- Shade cloths are permeable so that you can water your plant in them.
10. To keep out the virus, spray the insecticide once a week
As said earlier, the leafhopper spreads the curly top virus, so you need to control the pest in your garden so that your tomato plant does not get infected.
To control the number of pests in your garden, spray insecticide in your garden.
- You can make your own natural insecticide for a more environmentally-friendly option.
- Do not spray insecticide in your tomato plant, as it is not the best way to remove leafhoppers. You need to regularly spray the insecticide in your garden. This is to chase away or kill the leafhoppers and other insects that may land in your garden.
Tip to remember
Always examine your plants. This way, you will see whether they have been infected or not. And if they have, because of your regular observation, you will be quick to treat them before they die.
Things you will need are:
- A pair of pruning shears
- Sharp knife or sharp scissors
- Gardening gloves
- Shade cloth
- Tomato cage, etc.
Keep in mind that every plant needs constant examination, care, and attention, and so is your tomato plant. When you apply these tips to prevent the curly top virus, you will cultivate a healthy and tasty tomato plant.
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Hi Josephine 🙂 I love tomatoes and I have never heard of this curly top virus. It’s very interesting to say the least.
Had I known about this I would’ve removed the infected plants. So your advice is to not put them to close together when planting them and this will help prevent the curly top virus?
I really wanted to get into planting tomatoes and I’m not too familiar with this procedure. You’ve got some very interesting points here that it appears will help keep the virus away.
So I think I’m going to start planting and print out your tips here so that I hope we do not have this virus in my plants. And of course you have to spray insecticide. That’s a given.
thank you for a great article and your advice. It really is going to help me!
Sorry for the delayed reply.
Thank you that you like my article about how to care curly top virus in tomatoes plant.
Thank you so much,
Great article you have here, and thank you for sharing such an informative article. The netted cage over the tomatoes would provide the most effective way as the leafhoppers wouldn’t have any contact with the tomatoes. And the weekly spray would be an additional way to treat the tomatoes from the curly top virus.
Thank you for stopping by and reading the article about the Ways to treat the curly top virus in tomatoes. Great that you find this helpful article to guides you on how to treat the curly top virus in the future gardening seasons.
Thank you and best wishes,
I really want to say you did a good job putting this article up have always noticed this in my vegetable garden, like seriously, I do think its actually something normal for the plant to undergo, or probably maybe because I was the soil I made use of was not fertile for it, I never knew a particular virus caused all this, and now I know how to deal with it
Thank you for your time reading my articles about Ways to Treat Curly Top Virus in Tomatoes. I’m glad that you find it helpful to you, and just following this guide, you may survive your tomato plant to more on viruses.
Thank you so much,
I began seeing my tomato plants looking different. Then it got worse. Leaves are dwarfed, crinkled, rolled inward, and cupped upward. Veins on the underside of leaves now have a purple discoloration, are roughened, and have spine-like outgrowths. Roots that are stunted show a proliferation of secondary rootlets. I’m sure it’s a curly top virus.
Nice to hear from you, and thank you for dropping by and reading my article about the Ways to Treat Curll Top Virus in Tomatoes. The one that you describe is sure that’s a virus. You need to follow the steps on how to treat them as soon as possible to have healthy growing tomatoes and more to harvest.
Best wishes to you, and thanks,
We have been growing tomatoes in the greenhouse for a few seasons now because the last few years, when we still had it outdoors, were a very poor harvest.
Otherwise, we had no problems with curly top virus and tomatoes; our tomatoes were attacked by some other disease that caused the leaves and fruits to turn black.
This still happens to us from time to time, and we try different methods of how to help such a tomato.
Last year, we deliberately bought seedlings from different producers, and they turned black from only one vendor, so we concluded that the seedling was already infected during rearing.
Every year we also try to grow some of our own seedlings, but unfortunately, the seeds are no longer as good as they were years ago, and our own tomatoes grow very slowly.
Thanks for these great tips on how to treat curly top virus and tomatoes. I will now recognize this disease if it occurs.
I wish you all the best
Thank you so much for your kind visit to my site and for reading my articles about Way to Treat Curly Top Viruses in Tomatoes. Thanks to that, you found these articles helpful to you and for your next gardening schedule. Sorry to hear about your experience with the disease attacking your plant. So, this guide helps you avoid it happened again.
Viruses are Bad. I have thought about getting some tomato plants. My other half is not a big fan of Fresh Tomatoes. To me, nothing beats a Mater Sandwich on white bread with Duke’s Mayonaise. I have never thought about Curly Top Virus before. Thanks for another great Tip on Gardening, Joyce. Happy Growing to You!
Thank you for dropping by at my site and reading this article about Ways to treat the curly top virus in tomatoes. Thank you! That you find this tip educative to you as you didn’t notice or don’t know it even before. Best wishes,
Thank you so much for this excellent article, I’ve found it very useful!
I am growing tomatoes in my garden and lately, I have noticed something is going wrong with them. They have the same symptoms you have described in the article. The veins undersides of the leaves are purple and the small tomatoes turned into yellow color. I am going to follow your suggestion, pull the plant from the ground. I’ll see how it goes. I just have a question about the spray insecticide. Is it bio? I mean, will it be ok to eat the tomatoes after putting the spay?
I usually eat organic:)
Thanks a lot!
Thank you so much for your kind comment that you have given in this article. Thank you that you found this article to help you with your future gardening schedule. Good sharing that you have that experience in your tomatoes disease. So next gardening season hope will use this guide to avoid that same problem. Thank you so much and come again. Regards.
Hi Joyce, What an interesting post! I am a gardener, plant tomatoes every year, and have never heard of the curly top virus. I may have had plants that had it but didn’t know what was going on. Now I know. Your site is so interesting; I look forward to your posts. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
Thank you so much for your time and for reading my article about the Ways to Treat Curly Top Virus in Tomatoes. I’m glad now you know what a curly Top in the tomato plant is. Thank you so much for commenting. I appreciate you very much.