I am growing green tomatillo (a mexican variety of tomato) but one of my plants is looking very sad and I need help to understand what could be the problem.

About the problem: Two days ago I noticed one of them developed a few light spots on two leaves on the top. Yesterday more light spots appeared, but the plant looked good. Today there are approx. the same number of spots, but one of the leaves has started curling its edges a little, and the other leaves are just hanging, they are not rigid anymore. I don't know what could be the problem. I have 10 plants in individual pots close together, and this is the only one that is having this issue.

About my setup: I'm an absolute newbie to gardening, so my setup is pretty rudimentary. I don't know anything about nutrients, ph, etc... My plants are 4 weeks old, I transplanted them from a propagator to individual pots at age 2 weeks, and I keep them in a conservatory. Temperature, humidity, etc. are not regulated. Temperature dropped below 10°C a few days ago, so that might be a factor (although the other plants are unaffected).

What I have discarded: I have checked for insects and eggs around and under the leaves, and there is nothing to be found. Also none of the neighbor plants are affected. I read it could be related to water "burning" the leaves, however I didn't water the plants yesterday, and yet more spots appeared. The compost I used I bought it from the store, as in a sealed bag, so I guess the soil is sterile.

I'm attaching a picture of how it looked today. Notice the leaves on the foreground and the background are affected, but not the one in the middle, nor the small ones down the stem.

Is this something I should worry about? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


I've had the same problem a few weeks ago. Check this question

bright spots on tomato leaves - illness or just to much watering?

if that is what you observe on your leaves, than you should be fine. I did nothing special with the plants after discovering this spots. The new growth was spotless and the plants after 3 weeks are healthy as heck.

  • The insect a fly probably, died as there is just a small window of egg laying and a very short life span. Way cool Sanjihan!
    – stormy
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 18:21

Very interesting and well colored problem. Those spots mean an insect to me. A female with a proboscis to deposit her eggs between epidermal cells to incubate and hatch...

Your pots, soil look great. Plants healthy. As far as young starts are concerned. They need a balanced fertilizer. Plants need these chemicals to produce food via PHOTOSYNTHESIS. Your plants are thin and starting to show an anemic green. Plants that are fighting some problem; whether a fungus, insect, too much or too little chemistry for health or subjected to more than one dehydration event...or over watered event...will be susceptible to any invader.

Pluck the leaves with the spots off your plants right down to the main stem. Dispose or decompose, totally normal sucking insect that has planted eggs in the leaves of your plants.

Very cool that only one of your plants show these symptoms. The invader is probably a fly type insect. They've gone hoping their eggs will mature and multiply their species.

Pluck the leaves off. Be vigilant as you have BEEN! One fly might have caused this bit of damage but really this is no big deal. Most people aren't this observant.

  • Thank you for your reply. I took the plant inside the house for the night last night, as I thought low temperature might be affecting it. This morning it's the same, but I noticed the leaf that was previously ok now has a few small spots as well. Is it likely it will survive if I pluck the leaves off? It's still very young as you can see. Also, you mentioned they are looking a little pale. Would you suggest to apply some fertilizer or plant food? I read potassium is good once tomatoes start growing; would I use the same at this stage? Thank you!
    – gmedina-v
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 12:49
  • You need a well balanced fertilizer, not just potassium. The safest fertilizer I always recommend is Osmocote. 14-14-14. Extended release. Whatever you use, make sure that first number indicates the percentage within that product of Nitrogen; the second is phosphorous and the third is potassium. There is another Osmocote that starts with 15 - 5 -10 I think. DO NOT use that. Too high percentage in relation to P and K will promote vegetative growth, not flowers and fruit! I have to pounce on you because this is important; fertilizer is NOT food! Plants make their own food. Grins.
    – stormy
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 18:28

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