Problems With Potted Tomato Plants

Tomatoes are ideal addition to any garden, whether they are planted in planter pots or in the ground to flourish. Depending on your climate, potted tomato plants can be beneficial because you can protect them during severe weather, as well as control their growth better. There are three common problems with potted tomato plants that affect the fruit. It is important to be able to identify the problems, as well as the cause.

Blossom-end Rot

Blossom-end rot is identified when the tomato fruit begins to rot from where it is attached to the plant at the blossom. This is usually caused by a calcium deficiency in the potted tomato plant. This is an easy fix by upping the calcium levels in the soil, such as crushing up some eggshells and adding them to soil or fertilizing with a non-ammoniacal nitrogen fertilizer.


Sunscald is identified if your under-ripe tomatoes are getting to firm, or have light discolorations on the flesh that eventually sink into the fruit. The name, sunscald, explains it all. It is caused by too much direct bright sunlight hitting the potted tomato plants. To prevent this, try to keep the plants lush and thick by not pruning back a lot of the leaves so these can shade the fruit. You can also move the potted plant to a more shady area.

Growth Cracks

Growth cracks occur when your potted tomato plant grows too quickly, and the skin can't keep up so it cracks. This process is similar to stretch marks on humans. There are three kinds of growth cracks. Radial cracks begin at the stem and stretch outward. Concentric cracks are circular cracks around the stem, and russeting cracks that are tiny and scar all over the fruit, giving the fruit a rough appearance. To avoid cracking, make sure your tomatoes have a consistent, steady water supply and fertilization.

Keywords: potted tomato care, problems with tomato, growing potted tomatoes

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.