General Question

timothykinney's avatar

What are the growths on my tomato plant?

Asked by timothykinney (2743points) November 10th, 2008

So, I have three tomato plants in pots. They started out strong, with smooth, green stems. But after being stressed by storms and heat they began to grow greenish-brown “beards” up the stems. These are dense in some regions and not in others. They are firm to the touch but can be broken off. They are more dense towards the base and seem to sometimes accompany new shoots. What are these growths? I can provide a picture if necessary.

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7 Answers

asmonet's avatar

I’d like to see the picture. :)

laureth's avatar

If my guess is correct, those are rooting places. Are they more on the underside of a stem, where appropriate?

Tomatoes can root very easily if part of their stem is covered by dirt, especially near a leaf node. Even when they’re not covered by dirt, it’s like they still really want to root out.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I’m sorry, did you say” your” tomato plants? When we bought them they were ”our” tomato plants. And now you’re asking fluther about them before me?

gailcalled's avatar

NO one or nothing likes being stressed by storms and heat. Perhaps you (both) could find a more protected spot with better circulation. Tomato plants, even the happiest ones, always grow suckers.

timothykinney's avatar

@La_chica_gomela, sorry to claim ownership of our tomato plants. It’s just that I’m the only one who waters them, or even notices that they exist. =P Plus, they’re in my backyard, and you know…possession, fractional law, and all that.

@laureth, I think you may be on to something with the root initials. Searching for images of that in Google, I found an image that looks like what is on my plants. It’s out of focus, but clearly the same feature.

Also, I found this exposition :

“Tomato stem primordia may develop all along any tomato stem regardless of its proximity to the ground. Often it is a response to high humidity levels in the air or to excessive watering/rain around the roots. The plant attempts to compensate for the excess moisture around its soil roots by developing more roots. But the root initials themselves are not harmful to the plant. They are normal.

If you have a section of the garden that is showing a greater number of primordia and is also having wilt problems then it is likely that it is too wet there for some reason – poor drainage, too much watering or rain, etc. Diseases are more likely to develop there too.

Remember that roots need air as much as they need water and excessively wet soil deprives them of that needed air. More plants are killed by overwatering than by underwatering so when in doubt – don’t water and pray for less rain. ;) ”

Houston is very humid during the summer and I was watering the pots heavily to help the tomatoes through the summer. This is about the time the bumps developed.

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