Aussies Living Simply

leaves going brown and dying from the ends

Home Forums FOOD PRODUCTION, HARVEST AND STORAGE Vegetables leaves going brown and dying from the ends

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #256824

    Hi All

    I too have been helped out here before and am hoping to hear from all you wise gardener people, that you might be able to help once again.

    I was thinking that our tomatoes had fusarium wilt before. But now I am not sure.

    The ends of some of the leaves go brown and gross looking, then they dry out. This moves toward the stem of the plant but doesn’t usually kill the plant. ie so it’s not rotting from the stem outwards.

    The plant keeps going, produces more green leaves, keeps producing fruit etc but the leaf-death continues to spread. I’ve quarantined tools used to just this part of the garden, and hands get washed before going out the back. Thankfully nothing out the back seems affected.

    So far it’s just tomatoes. Though I have noticed dry browning (a bit like when it’s too hot) on some of the beans/climbing peas. The pumpkins always get mildew out the front but the ones out the back are pretty healthy.

    capsicum appears not to be affected at all. nor rosemary, strawberry, fruit trees (question mark over one of the pears – but it’s a different symptom presenting). Chives, parsely, leeks and spring onions also all don’t seem to be effected.

    I’ve gone and checked out the links by one of the other long term posters (thankyou, and who’s username I can’t put in because I closed the other link!)



    so my questions are:

    1. is it fusarium or similar considering the plants don’t actually die, continue to produce new green growth and fruit?

    2. if I pull them all out, what can I plant instead that won’t be at risk?

    3. I have heaps of sheep and chook poo that I can put in to new beds and I would like to do a soil test but am worried about the cost (though I know long term it would be good, it’s the initial outlay iykwim).

    Also, this lot that have fallen prey to this ‘bug’, were planted in pots with fresh soil/manure etc ie not from the older beds.

    pics, I’ll take some tomorrow but this is what we have via a Google image search that is closest to what we have happening:

    from this site

    BUT none of the fruit ever rot/die – they go on growing perfectly.

    Thanks for reading




    Could be a potassium deficiency. General description is brown marginal scorching and the scorched margins then curling forward. There can be blotchy ripening of the fruit.

    Check it out and see if that fits.



    If the symptoms are showing in the oldest leaves first (this is very important in determining deficiencies)then I totally agree with mauzi you most likely have a potassium deficiency (common in tomatoes especially when fruiting, tomatoes are big feeders), quickest way to fix it is with a potassium based foliage spray, if the fruiting is close to finished an you are intending on removing the plants, properly would not worry too much about this crop.

    If the symptom is in the youngest leaves first then its a bit harder, it is likely to be calcium deficiency but could also be boron as a deficiency in boron reduces uptake of calcium again causing symptoms of calcium deficiency. In this case I suggest adjusting the calcium first, if no results then try boron, but again if its near the end of fruiting and you are going to remove the plants don’t worry too much.

    hope this is of some assistance

    cheers Jarn


    Hi Jarn, Hi Mauzi

    Thanks for your advice. I am most relieved it might be something like a deficiency, rather than one of the spore/wilt kinda ones. I am hoping it’s somewhat easier to remedy!

    Yes, it is the oldest leaves showing first. The newer and top leaves are excellently green 🙂

    Fruit is not at all affected. Lovely healthy fruit – that’s for the red cherry toms, tommy toe, beams yellow pear, yellow cherry etc

    Some pics:

    lower leaves

    showing the progression from the leaf on the left to the brown ones top right

    top of the plant – healthy (it’s mist on the leaves – it was a wierd morning)

    showing the ‘fine’ leaves, the beginnings of it on th yellow ones, and the brown in the background.

    amd the worst example is on the green zebra tomato

    the tomato out the back don’t seem as badly affected so maybe they have better soil…

    would chook poo be higher in potassium?

    or cow poo?

    anyway… once I’m mobile again (car) I’ll be looking into the spray. The plants still have HEAPS of flowers on them so I think it’s worth trying rather than pulling the plants – even just to learn what it is/rule out what it isn’t.

    Thanks for your help, both of you 🙂

    Attached files


    Hi, now seeing better examples of the issue my money is on the potassium, as long as you are giving them plenty of water its a deficiency problem, Chook poo would be just fine, if you have some that is aged then a good shovel full in a bucket of water for a week to make a tea to spray on the leaves would be great, It would not hurt to mix up some cow and chook together and put under the plants as long as they are aged well. But the spray will be a quicker fix, even soaked for a couple of days before spraying if the plants are desperate.

    cheers Jarn


    A fantastic. Thankyou!

    I’m really relieved actually and am busting keen to get some potassium into these guys.

    Also now I can see why perhaps, as this lot of toms didn’t get nearly the diversity in the soil prep that the other lot we had, did. I’m still learning on the soil front and even just putting ‘lots of good stuff’ in there isn’t enough it seems sometimes. I’ll keep working on it.

    Thanks again, both of you for taking the time to reply 🙂


    No worries, just a quick note don’t over do the cow and chook poo as this will also give a big nitrogen boost,”great” tomatoes love nitrogen but too much will give you really nice looking leaves but at the expense of the fruit. would also be a good idea to remove the old dead leaves to promote good air flow. The best over all soil conditioner is a good compost, once you have a good turnover of compost it will give you every thing you need for your plants. as far as soil goes this takes some time to achieve the correct micro-organisms, structure and condition into your soil, but you sound like your on the right track, can’t really go wrong with a continual addition of organic waste, the worms love it.. anyway good luck with the tomatoes

    cheers Jarn


    Jarn we’re getting a good flow of worm wee and ‘sludge’ from our worm farm at the moment… I am thinking that will only help but I don’t know what the potassium value is in it?

    I got the book ‘gardening in hard times’ and that was quite interesting re soil – I just haven’t quite worked it out here yet and to be honest haven’t actually put as much time into it as I should I think.

    Thanks re not overdoing it and yep I was hoping to go out and prune the dead leaves when it cools down today. Thankyou 🙂


    NO worries, worm wee is great I love the stuff but you will not get the potassium load near what chook poo will give you, for potassium the chook poo will be the way to go. A great resource regarding nutrient and soils for horticulture is Gardening Down Under -A guide to healthier soils and plants by Kevin Handreck. Kevin formally worked for the CSIRO, the book is used as a text for Horticulture students, its very user friendly to read, and a valuable text. You can pick it up on line or I would think any good book store. 🙂

    cheers Jarn

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.