Ever wonder if Over watering your tomato plants can cause blossom end rot in tomatoes?
Taking care of tomato plants can be a very challenging experience, especially when you have issues like blossom end rot to worry about. It is one of the most common conditions affecting tomato plants, and still continues to be a huge problem to a lot of us in the present day.
Blossom end rot is mainly caused by the insufficient supply of calcium to the plant, but there are so many things that can inhibit calcium supply to tomato plants. Could we say the same about overwatering?
Can overwatering cause Blossom end rot?
Yes. Overwatering plants can surely cause Blossom end rot in your tomatoes. This is because overwatering plants usually drowns the roots. After they are drowned, they begin to rot. If they rot, the plants won’t be able to receive the nutrients that they require (including calcium) to keep up to the overall growth.
This causes the leaves to wilt and develop blisters. Eventually, not only will this lead to Blossom end rot, but the plants will probably die somewhere along the way, even before your tomatoes ripen. And when they do ripen, your tomatoes can form cracks.
There is nothing worse than a backyard gardener fears than seeing your garden suffering from too much watering. Luckily, there is always a way to save them.
In this post, I will walk you through the symptoms and methods you can practice to save your tomato plants.
Symptoms of an Overwatered Tomato Plant
Overwatering your tomato plants is one of the most common mistakes that most tomato gardeners do. Besides, knowing how to water tomato plants correctly might have been one of the toughest challenges you took up as a gardener.
Overwatering can quickly lead to plants’ spoiling and early death, whether they are in containers or in the ground. Generally, an overwatered tomato plant shows signs of rotting and mold.
Here are the few symptoms you see to find out if you are watering your plants.
The plants’ wilt
Tomato plants are very quick on responding to the change in the care that they are given. When it comes to overwatering, tomato plants will automatically start to wilt.
Always pay attention to this sign because your plant is trying to communicate with you.
We are used to the fact that wilting plants are commonly associated with a lack of proper watering. However, similar symptoms are shown in plants that are facing a serious drowning situation.
Besides wilting, the whole plant will start to feel wet. As such, you can touch the plants in or to confirm that they are indeed being overwatered.
Sometimes all it takes is checking regulary how wet your tomato plant feel even during the day, if they have more than what they need, simply means time to slow down and let the plants use the water they have already absorbed as too much water that cannot be easily used over causes blossom end rot. You also have to touch the soil around the plants. If the soil is too wet, you might be overdoing the watering.
Leaves become Brown and droopy
If the leaves start developing a brown color and they become droopy, this could be a sign that you need to dial back the watering. But, Brown and dropping leaves are very complicated signals to interpret.
So, before you start rushing to pour water near the plant’s roots, just make sure that you check the water’s condition around that plant. If you pour water to a plant that was already drowning, you might have made this worse.
Edema in plants is a condition resulting from an abnormal absorption of water in plants. This condition shows itself through the development of bumps and blisters on the surface of the leaves.
The worse part about Edema is that it can easily extend across the plant. For instance, things such as improper watering and the application of excessive fertilizers can cause this condition to spread across your plant’s branches.
Even though edema in tomato plants is not life-threatening, you will need to treat this disease as quickly as possible in order to restore the look and health of your tomato plants.
In this circumstance, it is important to understand that Edema originates from a situation whereby the plant absorbs more water than it actually needs.
Also, you have to understand that increasing the water supply can only make the situation worse.
The growth of mold and mildew
Another symptom you should expect is the development of molds. However, the growth of molds is only seen when the overwatering has simply been prolonged. Otherwise, molds do not usually form. So, if you see molds, you are way across the line.
One of the most common causes of spoiling is white mold (which is also called sclerotinia). This type of molding affects the stems and the soil around the plant.
Unlike most diseases, white mold is a very dangerous condition that is capable of spreading across all your crop. So you should never take it lightly.
Rotten roots and foul odors
As we mentioned earlier, the roots of the plants will start to rot due to overwatering. In this case, their roots will absorb an excessive amount of moisture that the plant cannot process.
Eventually, the water will stagnate in and around the roots, which will inhibit your plants’ growth. Alternatively, your plants will be more susceptible to pathogens.
While some symptoms are easier to notice (like the drooping of the leaves), rotten roots are very hard to notice, hence it is difficult to treat early enough. By the time you notice that the roots are rotting, it may be close to “too late”. Some of the revealing signs of these conditions are:
- The stems become Fleshy
- White mold develop around the roots area
- The plant gives out a foul odor indicating that it rotten.
- Leaves will fall off the plant
How to Save an Overwatered Tomato Plant
Prevention and regular monitoring of your garden are the best ways to protect your tomato plants from the destruction caused by overwatering.
Nevertheless, ensure that you water and fertilize it regularly. Just don’t overdo it. Always check the soil around the roots and the plant itself before you water you plants.
It is also important to understand whether your plants are effectively in need of water. On top of that, you should understand the moisture level of the soil and how it can be affected.
In order to assess if you plant does need watering, simply stick a finger in the ground. If it is still dry two to five centimeters below the plant’s surface, you can water your plant.
If your plant shows any of the symptoms that have been given above, there are some steps you can follow in order to save your plants. Learn about these methods below.
Remove stagnant water
Make sure that you remove the water that hasn’t been absorbed into the ground and into the roots. For indoor plants, this could be done by removing the drip tray underneath the container.
If you have outdoor plants, turn off all irrigation systems, especially those that were set to water your plants automatically.
Dig up your plants and remove them from the soil
If you notice any signs that your plant’s roots may be rotting, act fast. In this case, you will need to start by removing your plants from the ground.
This step might be a lot easier if you have indoor plants, as it can be easy to remove the plants and clean the containers. For outdoor plants though, it might be a little challenging.
Treat the roots
How do you treat the roots? You can start by removing any residual soil and any extra dirt that is still attached to the side branches.
What you want to do is to cut off any spoiled or unhealthy root while avoiding cross-contamination of the roots, which could potentially transmit other diseases to the plant.
Let it dry
Here, you have to expose the plants’ roots to fresh air and sunlight- that’s after you have dug them out of the ground. This will help them get rid of the excessive moisture they had absorbed.
Repot it or replant it
And the last step, you have to repot or replant your tomatoes into more suitable grounds. Also, make sure that the new grounds have been mulched.
This way, you are assured that the level of moisture will be maintained, and the mulch materials will absorb the extra water in times of overwatering or heavy rainfall.
In conclusion, overwatering will surely cause blossom end rot, mainly since the rotting roots won’t take up enough calcium (or any nutrients) to the plant, particularly the roots.
Don’t get me wrong though. Tomatoes do love an abundant supply of water, but they are also delicate plants that are highly susceptible to external changes, including exhaustion of the thing that they love most, water. Clearly, too much of anything is bad.
While it may be challenging to learn how to water a tomato plant correctly, it is something that your plants will thank you for in the long run, and what better way can to thank you than you give you beautiful tomatoes? So, the learning will take time as well as a lot of practice. Eventually, you will get the hang of it.