Signs of Too Much Fertilizer on My Tomato Plants

Pay attention to the type of fertilizer you are using on your tomato plants; organic or chemical fertilizers that are high in nitrogen can lead to tomato plants with no fruit or fruit with poor color, texture and flavor. Other signs of too much fertilizer on your tomato plants include blossom drop and leaf roll. Adjust the amount or type of fertilizer that you use to grow beautiful, healthy tomatoes.

No Fruit

If you apply too much high nitrogen fertilizer the tomato plant may stay in the vegetative state longer than normal. The tomato plant will continue to grow stems and leaves, but it may not produce fruit. Your garden may be filled with healthy stalks of strong tomato plants, but no tomatoes. Discontinue fertilizing the tomato plants and be patient and the plants may begin to bear fruit.

Poor Color, Texture and Flavor

If your tomatoes are turning red from the bottom up, or if they are remaining mostly green, this is one sign of too much fertilizer, specifically too much nitrogen in the fertilizer. The green parts will not turn red and they may also contain hard, brown vessels which negatively impact the flavor of the fruit. The brown vessels form while the tomato is still developing, before they are ready to change color from green to red. The brown vessels prevent the green pericarp, or fruit wall, from changing color and slow the normal ripening process. Tomatoes with poor coloring and added brown texture will also be smaller than normal sized fruit.

Leaf Roll

Another sign of too much fertilizer on your tomato plants is leaf roll. Leaf roll is when the lower leaves roll upward until the side edges touch. The leaf will then become thick and leathery. Excessive rain and pruning can also cause leaf roll. Your tomato plants will not have any serious consequences as a result of leaf roll; plant growth and yields are not significantly impacted.

Blossom Drop

If the blossoms are dropping from your tomato plants, your fertilizer may have too much nitrogen. Nutritional stress is a key reason that your tomato plants experience blossom drop. As with leaf roll and plants with no fruit, discontinue applying high nitrogen fertilizer to your plants and the blossoms should begin to stay on the vine.

Who Can Help

Keywords: nitrogen fertilizer, tomato plants, no fruit tomato plants

About this Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.