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Tomato Diseases | Tomato Pith Necrosis Fact Sheets

Tomato Pith Necrosis



  • Yellowing of young leaves and leaflets
  • Wilting of shoots on the upper portion of the plant (top wilting)
  • Split or collapsed stems that are associated with dry brownish-gray lesions
  • Stems are often hollow, black in color or have a ladder appearance when they are split open length wise
  • Stems can appear swollen and contain large numbers of adventitious roots


  • Greasy water-soaked blackened region on the blossom end of the fruit.

IMG_5334-2jt90i9 TOMATO PITH 50 QUALITY  pithNecrosis05

Favorable Environmental Conditions

  • Cool night time temperatures (low to mid 60s °F)
  • High relative humidity
  • Prolonged periods of cloud cover

Often Confused With


Scouting Notes

  • The pathogen is most active when the plant is growing too rapidly due to excessive soil nitrogen levels.
  • Foliar symptoms of pith necrosis are similar to early bacterial canker symptoms.
  • Symptoms first develop when the first fruit cluster reaches the mature green stage.
  • Fruit symptoms can be observed on the blossom end of the fruit but are rare.
  • Plants should be monitored weekly for early symptoms and suspect plants should be sampled and submitted for plant disease diagnosis.