Fusarium wilt: destroy immediately?
July 29, 2007 5:53 PM   Subscribe

So my tomato plants look a bit sick (yellow -> brown leaves on the bottom). If it has fusarium wilt, must I destroy it?

I'm not sure if it's fusarium wilt, and I'm not asking for a diagnosis here because I think it's hard to get a firm answer on that anyway. All that I've read online about FW says to destroy the plant if it has this disease. My question: why? If I let it die naturally (while still producing some food for me), is it so bad? Is the "destroy immediately" response to prevent further spread of the bacteria? Are the fruits still edible?

Thanks, Mefite gardeners!
posted by bread-eater to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
I think it's a matter of contagion. "The fungi of fusarium wilt live on organic matter in the soil and so can be spread by just about anything that comes in contact with any infected region of the garden." But if you've got healthly looking fruit, that may be a sign that you don't have FW: (from the same link) "Once fusarium wilt infects a tomato plant, it is likely that the infected tomato plants may not produce adequate fruit. Typically, when infection is present the tomato plants either do not produce fruit at all, or they produce fruit which is deformed or has little to no taste at all"
posted by gwint at 6:59 PM on July 29, 2007

the bottom leaves of most tomato plants die and fall off.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 7:02 PM on July 29, 2007

Seconding what monkeysaltednuts says. Think of tomato plants more as a vine. As they get longer the base becomes more woody and less green and leafy. As long as the ends are still green and leafy, you are in business.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:03 AM on July 30, 2007

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