Troubleshooting Tomato Plant Leaves Pointing Up: Expert Tips

Quick answer: Tomato plant leaves pointing up typically indicate a lack of water or excessive heat. Proper watering and creating a suitable environment are key to preventing this issue and ensuring healthy tomato plants.

Hey there fellow garden enthusiasts! Have you ever noticed your tomato plant leaves mysteriously pointing upwards? If you have, you’re not alone! This peculiar phenomenon often leaves gardeners scratching their heads, wondering what on earth is happening to their beloved tomato plants. Well, worry no more, because we’re here to guide you through this leafy mystery! In this blog article, we’ll uncover the common reasons behind tomato plant leaves pointing up and provide you with practical solutions to tackle this issue head-on. So grab your gardening gloves, put on your detective hat, and let’s dive into the fascinating world of tomato plant leaf behavior!

Troubleshooting Tomato Plant Leaves Pointing Up: Expert Tips

Tomato Plant Leaves Pointing Up: Causes and Solutions

Tomato plants are a popular choice among gardeners due to their delicious fruits and ease of cultivation. However, when tomato plant leaves start pointing upwards, it can be a cause for concern. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons why tomato plant leaves point up and provide effective solutions to help you maintain healthy tomato plants.

Understanding the Natural Leaf Orientation of Tomato Plants

Before delving into the reasons behind tomato plant leaves pointing up, it’s important to understand the natural leaf orientation of these plants. Tomato leaves typically exhibit a gentle downward angle, allowing them to capture sunlight efficiently. When the leaves begin to point upwards, it indicates that something may be disrupting their natural growth pattern.

Overwatering and Underwatering

One of the most common causes of tomato plant leaves pointing up is improper watering. Both overwatering and underwatering can result in leaf wilting and abnormal growth patterns. Here’s how each of these watering issues can affect your tomato plants:

  1. Overwatering: When tomato plants receive excessive water, their roots become waterlogged, leading to oxygen deprivation. This causes the leaves to curl upwards as a survival mechanism, reducing the surface area exposed to direct sunlight. Overwatered plants may also exhibit other symptoms like yellowing leaves, root rot, and stunted growth.
  2. Underwatering: Conversely, insufficient water supply can cause tomato plant leaves to point up as well. When plants don’t receive enough water, they respond by conserving moisture, resulting in upward leaf curling. The leaves become stiff and prone to damage. Underwatered tomato plants may show signs of wilting, dry soil, and reduced fruit production.


  • Watering Practices: To prevent overwatering or underwatering, it’s crucial to maintain a consistent watering schedule. Water your tomato plants deeply and infrequently, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. Monitor the soil moisture regularly and adjust the frequency accordingly.
  • Proper Drainage: Ensure that your tomato plants are growing in well-draining soil or containers. This prevents water from accumulating around the roots, reducing the risk of overwatering. If your garden soil has poor drainage, consider adding organic matter or creating raised beds to improve it.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Tomato plants require a balanced supply of essential nutrients to thrive. Deficiencies in certain nutrients can affect their growth and leaf orientation, causing them to point upwards. Here are a few key nutrients that play a crucial role in tomato plant health:

  1. Nitrogen: Nitrogen deficiency in tomato plants often leads to upward leaf curling along with pale green or yellow leaves. Nitrogen is essential for the production of chlorophyll, which gives leaves their green color and helps with photosynthesis.
  2. Calcium: Insufficient calcium uptake can result in a disorder called blossom end rot, characterized by the blackening of the blossom end of fruits. Alongside blossom end rot, calcium deficiency can also cause leaf curling.
  3. Potassium: Low potassium levels in tomato plants can lead to upward leaf curling, leaf drying, and reduced fruit quality. Potassium is vital for overall plant growth, nutrient uptake, and disease resistance.


  • Soil Testing: Conduct a soil test to identify any nutrient deficiencies. Based on the results, amend the soil with organic fertilizers or apply specific nutrient supplements to address the lacking elements. Follow the recommended application rates to prevent nutrient imbalances.
  • Fertilizer Application: Use a balanced fertilizer or one specifically formulated for tomatoes to ensure a steady supply of essential nutrients. Apply the fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions, avoiding excessive use that can lead to nutrient burn.

Temperature and Environmental Factors

Extreme temperatures and environmental factors can also impact tomato plant growth and leaf orientation. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Heat Stress: High temperatures, especially above 90°F (32°C), can cause tomato plant leaves to curl upwards. Heat stress can inhibit water uptake and interfere with normal leaf development.
  2. Wind Exposure: Strong winds can desiccate the leaves and cause them to curl upwards as a defense mechanism against excessive moisture loss.
  3. Sunburn: Intense sunlight, especially during hot summer months, can scorch tomato leaves and cause them to curl upwards. This is particularly common in plants that are not acclimated to direct sunlight.


  • Shade and Protection: Provide shade to your tomato plants during peak heat hours by using shade cloths, plant covers, or strategically placing them under taller plants or structures. This helps reduce the risk of sunburn and heat stress.
  • Windbreaks: Shield your tomato plants from strong winds by erecting windbreaks, such as fences or planting taller plants as a barrier. This minimizes moisture loss and prevents leaf desiccation.
  • Proper Plant Placement: Choose an appropriate location for your tomato plants, ensuring they receive adequate sunlight without being exposed to intense, direct sunlight throughout the day. Gradually introduce young plants to direct sunlight to help them acclimate.

Pests and Diseases

Certain pests and diseases can also contribute to tomato plant leaves pointing up. Common culprits include:

  1. Aphids: These tiny insects feed on plant sap, causing leaf curling, yellowing, and distorted growth. Aphid infestations can lead to the transmission of viral diseases as well.
  2. Whiteflies: Similar to aphids, whiteflies extract sap from tomato plants, causing leaves to curl and turn yellow. These pests can also transmit viruses that further damage the plants.
  3. Fungal and Bacterial Infections: Diseases like Fusarium wilt, bacterial canker, or early blight can affect tomato plants, leading to leaf curling, discoloration, and overall decline.


  • Pest Management: Regularly inspect your tomato plants for signs of pests. Use organic or chemical insecticides to control aphids, whiteflies, and other common pests. Follow the instructions carefully to avoid harming beneficial insects or pollinators.
  • Disease Prevention: Practice good garden hygiene by removing and disposing of infected plant debris. Rotate crops annually to prevent the buildup of soil-borne pathogens. If diseases persist, consider using disease-resistant tomato varieties.


When tomato plant leaves start pointing up, it’s essential to identify and address the underlying causes promptly. By understanding the factors that contribute to upward leaf curling, such as improper watering, nutrient deficiencies, temperature extremes, and pests or diseases, you can take appropriate measures to ensure the health and productivity of your tomato plants. Regular monitoring, proper care, and timely intervention are key to maintaining thriving tomato plants with leaves that beautifully angle towards the sun. So, keep an eye on your plants and provide them with the optimal conditions they need to flourish. Happy gardening!

TOMATO LEAF CURL – 3 Causes and What to Do When Your Tomato Leaves are Curling Up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my tomato plant leaves pointing up?

There could be a few reasons why your tomato plant leaves are pointing up:

– Tomato plants naturally orient their leaves towards the sun, so if your plants are located in a spot with strong sunlight, the leaves may naturally point upwards towards the light.

– Overwatering can also cause the leaves to point up. If the soil becomes saturated with water, it can disrupt the plant’s ability to take up oxygen, leading to wilting and leaf curling.

– Nutrient deficiencies, particularly in nitrogen, can cause tomato plant leaves to point upwards. It’s important to ensure your plants receive proper fertilization to maintain healthy foliage.

Should I be concerned if my tomato plant leaves are pointing up?

Not necessarily. In many cases, upward-facing leaves are a normal response to environmental factors, such as sunlight. However, if the leaves appear pale, yellow, or show other signs of distress, it may indicate an underlying problem that should be addressed.

How can I fix tomato plant leaves pointing up?

– If your tomato plant leaves are pointing up due to excessive sunlight, consider providing some shade during the hottest parts of the day. This can be achieved with shade cloth or by strategically placing the plants in partially shaded areas.

– If overwatering is the cause, adjust your watering schedule to ensure the soil remains moist but not waterlogged. Proper drainage is crucial for healthy tomato plants.

– If nutrient deficiencies are suspected, apply a balanced fertilizer or an appropriate nutrient amendment to provide your tomato plants with the necessary nutrients they need to thrive.

Are there any pests or diseases that can cause tomato plant leaves to point up?

While pests and diseases can affect tomato plants, leaf pointing upwards is not necessarily indicative of a specific pest or disease. However, it is always a good idea to regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests, such as aphids or leafhoppers, as well as common diseases like fungal infections.

If you notice additional symptoms, such as spots, discoloration, or unusual growth, it’s advisable to consult a local extension service or a garden professional for further diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Final Thoughts

Tomato plant leaves pointing up indicate a healthy and thriving plant. When the leaves of a tomato plant are upright, it signifies that the plant is receiving sufficient sunlight and is well-watered. This upward position allows the leaves to maximize their exposure to the sun, enabling them to efficiently produce energy through photosynthesis. Additionally, upright leaves indicate that the plant is properly absorbing nutrients from the soil, facilitating its growth and development. Therefore, observing tomato plant leaves pointing up is a positive sign that your plant is on the right track for a fruitful harvest.

Leave a Comment