I've got a couple cherry tomato plants on my windowsill that have been growing like gangbusters -- there's even one little tomato that's JUST starting to turn red. But -- they're also dropping stems off the main plants at an alarming rate. What's happening, and how can I stop it?
Some of the stems that are dropping off look like they're drying up first, and some aren't -- it almost looks in a few cases like someone's come along and just broken the stems where they connect to the main plant, and then just left them there.
I checked online for common tomato diseases, and this description
sounds closest to what is happening -- but still not quite accurate; that kind of wilt sounds like a more gradually-spreading thing, and with my plants, the stems are just breaking off spontaneously. I'm even seeing new growth in a couple places where old stems broke off. The fruits are also coming in fine, and don't seem to be affected.
I did see some bugs crawling around on the fruit a few days ago -- it looked like something had started spinning a web around it, and tiny flies were crawling around in the webbing, but I hit it all with a shot of some pyrethium-based pest spray and that killed 'em all. The fruit looks just fine, and went on its merry way turning red again. I didn't recognize the bugs - they were the same size and shape as whiteflies, but...they were black instead of white.
Might those bugs be the cause? Or might this be over- or under-watering? Too small a pot? (I have three plants in a biggish tub -- I re-used the tub from a 20-pound tub of kitty litter, so it's about 2 feet tall, and 18x10 in length and width -- but because there's three of them in there I'm wondering if they're a little crowded.) Is the fact that there's new growth and the tomatoes are fine a good sign, and maybe this was just a temporary thing? Is my cat maybe poking around in there and snapping things?
All advice welcome. Thanks.