Major Reasons For Yellow Leaves On Tomato Plants In Containers

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Last Updated on April 18, 2022

Tomato plants are pretty easy to grow and you can even grow them in containers. But not everything tends to go rosy when it comes to growing plants generally. Yellow leaves on tomato plants in containers are one of those issues that any gardener can experience when it comes to growing tomatoes.

When it comes to growing tomato plants in containers, there are some things you need to do right so you can have a smooth and successful growth of your tomato plant. If you fail to properly take care of the tomato plant, it can stand the risk of giving rise to leaves that changes to yellow.

Different reasons can be responsible for why your tomato plant is turning yellow. Yellow leaves on tomato plants in containers may be a natural cause that doesn’t need too much worrying about. However, it may also mean something serious.

Whichever situation this plant may be, we will be looking into the reasons why your tomato plant may be turning yellow. We will also look into how to resolve the issues if possible.

Yellow Leaves On Tomato Plants In Containers: The Major Reasons

So, below are some of the major reasons why your tomato plants in containers may be turning yellow. We have also looked at how you can fix the situation.

1.    Overwatering

One common reason why your tomato potted leaves may be changing colors to yellow is if they have been overwatered.

Plants in pots have their limit to spreading their roots in the soil to draw moisture required by the plant. So, this may cause some growers to continue watering their tomato plant because tomato needs a good amount of water to thrive.

However, when the watering is in excess, it can drown the roots of the plant. This may cause oxygen, nutrient, as well as moisture to be limited in their movements from the soil through the roots of the plant.

Hence, this results in stunted growth and yellowing of leaves. So, when there is too much moisture in your potted tomato plant, it can cause humid conditions that usually attract fungal diseases. Then the tomato roots will begin to rot and begin to turn brown or brown then it can give a soggy texture.


It is important you avoid over-watering in the first place. So, when you want to water, ensure you check the moisture level to know if watering is needed. An easy test is to dip your finger into 1 to 2 inches of the soil then water only if your finger is dry. Also, ensure there are enough drainage holes for easy flow of water.

However, if you already have rotten rot from over-watering your tomato plant, it is necessary you take the plant out of the potting soil. Then trim the dead, soggy, and black roots and leave out the healthy white roots.

So, you should re-pot in a fresh batch of potting soil using a sterilized pot.

2.    Under-Watering – Yellow Leaves On Tomato Plants In Containers

Alternatively, under-watering your potted tomato can lead to the yellowing of leaves. This is because the plant isn’t receiving adequate water. Hence, the lack of water can result in a lack of nutrients and oxygen from the roots to the leaves.

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Yellow Leaves On Tomato Plants In Containers


Under-watering can be solved easily and what you need to do is simply water the plant as needed. You can make it a habit to check your container tomato plant every day in the morning to see if the soil is dry.

Do an easy moisture check by dipping your finger into 1 or 2 inches of the soil. Then if you see your finger looks dry, it is an indication that your potted tomato plant needs watering.

3.    Sunlight Deprivation

When your tomato plant isn’t receiving enough sunlight it can show signs of yellowing of leaves. The plant tomato requires full sunlight to thrive and a duration of around 6 to hours of daily sunlight is required.

Lack of sunlight can cause your potted tomato plant to struggle to produce nutrients through photosynthesis thereby turning the color of your leaves to yellow.


Ensure your potted plant isn’t growing near a shade or ensure there are no obstructions around your plant that can block sunlight. Also, when it is required you can adjust or move your container tomato to a spot it can receive adequate sunlight.

4.    Inadequate Nutrients Or Lack Of Nutrients

Just like other vegetable plants, tomatoes are also heavy feeders. Therefore, a sufficient amount of nutrients needs to be supplied to your plant. Else, the leaves can begin to turn yellow.

Inadequate Nutrients Or Lack Of Nutrients

Solution – Yellow Leaves On Tomato Plants In Containers

So, adding compost to your potting soil when you prepare it can be beneficial to your tomato plant. A slow-releasing fertilizer that is high in nitrogen can also be used. This fertilizer will release the required nutrients into your potting soil whenever you water your plant.

The nitrogen-rich fertilizer you have been supplying your tomato plant should then be reduced once the tomato plant has matured. If not, the nitrogen will keep encouraging leaves to grow and you have more leaves rather than tomato fruits.

Therefore, switch to a low nitrogen fertilizer once the plant has matured and use higher potassium. Doing this will help boost the container tomato plant to develop flowers that will end up producing tomato fruits.

Conclusion – Yellow Leaves On Tomato Plants In Containers

Yellow leaves on tomato plants in containers can be a result of different things and we have listed some of them from the above. We have also helped you figure out some possible solutions when you experience any of the listed effects on your tomatoes plant.


How to stop yellow leaves on tomato plants in containers

You can stop yellow leaves on your tomato plants in containers by first determining the cause of the yellowing of leaves. Then you can find the solution according to what you have figured out.

Why are my potted tomatoes leaves turning yellow?

Your potted tomato plants may be turning yellow due to different reasons. Some of these reasons can include over-watering, under-watering, lack of sunlight, inadequate nutrients, over-fertilization, or poor potting soil.

How do you fix yellow leaves on tomato plants?

The first thing to do when it comes to resolving or fixing the yellowing of tomato leaves is to figure out what the cause of the problem is. Once, you’ve determined the issue, you can proceed to fix your tomato plant by facing the problem they have.

Should I remove yellow leaves from tomato plant?

You can decide to remove the yellow leaves you may notice on your tomato plants. But generally, when the plant has attained a height of 12 to 18 inches, you can remove any yellow leaves.

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