Is the condition of this stem something to be concerned about? The plant seems healthy otherwise as well as the other tomato plants in the raised bed. Do I need to rip it out and destroy it? I've dealt with Septorium Leaf Spot in the past, hence the grass mulch. enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • This doesn't look very healthy Evil Elf but look at the rest of the plant. From what I can see your plants still are thriving. Really need a picture of the entire plant and all your maintenance procedures. Your stems are very compromised yet the leaves look healthy. Those that I am able to see. More info and more pictures, please!
    – stormy
    Jun 28, 2017 at 0:15
  • Photos added. There is some leaf curl, but only a touch on lower leaves.
    – Evil Elf
    Jun 28, 2017 at 0:46
  • That leaf curl actually makes me happy...whew. Those plants are severely compromised but my goodness what healthy tomato plants! Leave well enough alone. The wilting is of course because there is only so much h2o available to the plant and notice how it affects the terminal leaves and when the temperature climbs...weird but it would be nice to know what the heck has happened! Never seen such healthy tomato plants, sweetie. Need to have you do an autopsy after your harvest.
    – stormy
    Jun 28, 2017 at 1:00
  • I think I see a bit of powdery mildew beginning. So hard to tell from photographs...
    – stormy
    Jun 28, 2017 at 1:02
  • Both stem photos are from the one plant. Last year I put the grass mulch down too wet and too close to the stems. Fried a few. This year is great but for the one. I think I trimmed one lower leaf too close to the main stem and I fear fungus.
    – Evil Elf
    Jun 28, 2017 at 1:07

1 Answer 1


It looks like it started out (picture 4 from the top) as a borer attack. Evidently the borer egg was laid inside the stem, the grub burrowed down, developed into an adult and flew off, but the plant continued growing so healthily that it survived the visit. The borer would have been interested in the pith leaving the stem largely intact so the impact was minimal.

Borer attacks very often, in weaker plants, result in the plant breaking over at the point of entry, but clearly the care given this specimen prevented that.

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