Tomato Fusarium Wilt

Fusarium oxysporum, a fungus

Fusarium wilt on tomato plant
Fusarium wilt on tomato plant [Credit: William M. Brown Jr.,]
Fusarium wilt on tomato plant
Fusarium wilt on tomato plant [Credit: Victor M. Vicente Selvas]

Host Plants:

On Crops: Tomatoes

Where Found:

Mostly in warm climates where the soil does not freeze in winter


Plants often grow normally until they begin to bloom and set fruit. At this point infected plants begin to droop, and a pronounced yellowing of foliage begins near the bottom leaves and spreads upward. Water may help the plant revive slightly, but the wilting and yellowing continues to intensify until the plants turn brown and die.


Soil-borne fusarium fungi strip away the plants' fine feeder roots, so they are no longer able to keep leaves and fruits supplied with moisture and nutrients. As the disease progresses, the fungi clog up the plant’s vascular system, so it is further handicapped in its struggle to stay alive.

Preventing Problems:

Grow resistant varieties if fusarium is known to be present in soils in your area. If you want to grow susceptible heirloom varieties, grow them in containers filled with bagged soil.

Managing Outbreaks:

Pull up affected plants discard them in the trash, or in a very active compost pile.

< Back