Many Diagnostic Choices for Tomato Wilt

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This was one of many tomato questions submitted to Ask an Expert and Ask a Master Gardener, OSU Extension's on-line service providing Ohioans answers to horticulture questions and other topics.  This started a discussion on how providing a definitive answer is not always possible. Even when more details are provided, one diagnostic solution is not always the answer; there can be several things all happening at the same time.  In this particular case, we reviewed the many possible causes for tomato wilt.  These include:


  • lack of water,
  • tomato spotted wilt virus,
  • vascular wilts - Verticillium and Fusarium wilts,
  • stalk borer
  • Walnut toxicity


The key to a good diagnosis is asking good questions and hopefully receiving accurate information.  Fortunately, the first rule of diagnostics was easy - identify the plant; this was a tomato plant.


If you want to familiarize yourself with tomato ailments here are some good resources: