Your tomato seedlings are finally starting to show some signs of life. After weeks of carefully nurturing them, it’s gratifying to see the first green shoots poking through the soil. With proper care and planted at the right time, your tomato crop will soon be on its way. One of the most common questions that arise during the seedling stage is why tomato seedling leaves are pointing up at night. Is this something that you should be worried about?
Tomato Seedlings Pointing Up at Night: Is There Something Wrong?
As seedlings, these tomato plants are pretty delicate. They need just the right amount of water and sunlight to thrive. This is the time when these plants require more care than usual, and even the slightest change in their behavior may cause panic in some growers.
At their most delicate growing stage, it’s understandable that you might feel worried if you’ve noticed that your tomato seedlings show unusual signs and behavior. The most common is when the leaves are pointing up at night. However, in most cases, this is nothing to worry about.
In fact, this is perfectly normal behavior for these plants. These seedlings would point straight up sometimes, or they may even curve a little bit, depending on the temperature and the amount of light they’re getting.
Peppers and tomato seedlings are usually the ones that are most common to do this. While the behavior alone isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the plant matures, it would correct itself. However, it might also mean that the plant has some minimal watering or light issue.
Tomato Plants: Watering and Sunlight Needs
Tomato plants are quite delicate, and they need just the right amount of water and sunlight to thrive.
Too much light, or too little light, can cause the plant to stretch. This is what causes the tomato plant to point upwards in search of more sunlight. The same thing happens when the plant isn’t getting enough water.
If you notice your seedlings pointing up at night, partnered with yellowing leaves, it’s an indication that the plant isn’t getting enough water. Check to see if the soil is dry or if the plant is getting enough sunlight.
Purple Stems and Underleaves
Some of you might even notice that your tomato seedlings would have a purple stem or underleaves. Again, this is a normal occurrence and is nothing to worry about.
When both the night and day temperatures have become ideal for these tomato seedlings, the purple color should start to disappear.
As delicate as they are, tomato plants also have specific temperature requirements. They prefer warm weather and would do best in temperatures ranging from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why some growers prefer to start their tomato seedlings indoors, where they can better control the temperature.
If you’re growing your tomatoes outdoors, make sure that the nighttime temperatures don’t drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If it does, your plants might start to experience some stress.
Some Things to Watch Out For
Even though most of the time, tomato seedlings pointing up at night is nothing to worry about, there are still some things that you should watch out for. Here are some:
If the pointed leaves are partnered with the yellowing of leaves, the plant may be either overwatered or underwatered. It might also be getting too much or too little sunlight.
A bit of curling might not be too serious and should resolve on its own. However, if your seedlings are showing signs of wilting, it might be a sign of too much heat or not enough water.
The seedlings curl their leaves to help retain moisture. This is the seedling’s self-defense mechanism to prevent themselves from dying due to lack of water.
Holes in Leaves
It’s not uncommon to see small holes in the leaves of your tomato seedlings. This is usually caused by pests, such as aphids, thrips, or whiteflies. Vegetable gardens and crops are often a target for these pests.
You might be able to get rid of them by manually removing them by hand. Considering that it’s not a large infestation, removing them by hand should be easy enough.
Tomato Seedling Leaves Pointing up at Night: Final Thoughts
Leaves pointing up at night is the last thing that you should be worried about in terms of your tomato seedling’s behavior. Don’t let this be a source of your stress or panic. As long as there are no other issues present, such as yellowing leaves or curling, your seedlings should be just fine.