Tomato Leaves Pointing Up + [Reasons Plus More Tips]

Tomato Leaves Pointing Up

For some reason, you notice your tomato leaves pointing up, and you wonder, is this normal or is it a potential problem lurking?

Your tomato leaves are facing upwards due to an environmental, biological, or chemical problem. At times, it can be all the leaves or the new growth with such symptoms. This abnormal growth starts gradually and then quickly extends to the fresh leaves if you’re not fast on preventive measures.

Tomato leaves always have something to say. When they grow green, strong, and open, you can be sure your tomato plant is healthy. But don’t take it easy if there’s any strange sign or growth.

This guide helps identify critical factors that cause tomato leaves to face upward. Keep reading.

Also Check: Green Goo In Tomatoes

Why Are Tomato Leaves Pointing Up?

Curling up of tomato leaves is due to irregular watering, harsh temperatures, and dry spells. Tomato leaves point up to conserve water, but they don’t look leathery. 

This most common form of tomato leaf curl happens mostly in summer and spring when the temperatures are high. If you want to be sure, look at the new growth.

Usually, mature leaves curl when the weather is hot and dry because they are big. On the other hand, new growth is still very tiny and doesn’t curl up to conserve energy.

Tomato leaves curling up is a protective mechanism from drought, though there’s adequate water in the soil. It’s a conflict between respiration and transpiration, a way of plant growth.

What does this mean?

Temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit are too high for tomato plants. So, the leaves curl upwards to reduce the surface area, decreasing the amount of water lost through transpiration.

Also, when transpiration occurs faster than respiration, upward leaf curl shrinks the surface area, allowing the plant to store more water which converts to energy.

But, this doesn’t mean that the plant requires more water. Instead, the tomato plant makes better use of the available moisture.

That said, ensure you check the moisture level in the soil because extreme heat dries the ground faster. Besides, tomatoes prefer moist to wet soil.

Why Do Plant Leaves Point Up At Night?

Plants that point up at night also open during the day to enhance their exposure to light for photosynthesis.

You can capture this response by closely observing your plants during the daytime and at night. You’ll notice how they slowly open up and close to adjust to the light levels.

This process, nyctinasty, is a naturally in-built indicator that shows the plant daytime or night-time is here.

One cause for this response is that it’s the best method of capturing and conserving water. So the leaves drop and open during the day to catch rain or moisture from water. When night-time comes, the plant folds inwards and upwards so that no droplet trickles down.

Another reason for pointing up at night is a survival tactic. Most plants curl upwards at night to hide or stay safe from predators. However, this reason doesn’t work all the time because some overhead birds can see leaves moving at night hence vulnerable to quick attack.

Moreover, a plant can curl upwards at night to regulate temperature and hinder insects and pests from feeding on foliage – all for survival.

There are phototropic that adjust their position in search of the sun, and they grow pretty differently. 

But in nyctinasty, these plants change positions according to the light intensity and not direction.

Can You Overwater Tomatoes?

Overwatering your tomato plants causes root rot, stressed plants, and split tomatoes, among other problems. A vital element of tomato success is to ensure the soil remains moist—not soaked but damp.

But how do you overwater tomatoes?

Check out the following symptoms in your tomatoes to tell if you’ve been overwatering them.

Leaf Roll

Though strange, it’s a common symptom of overwatered tomato plants. But, it’s very harmful and easy to correct.

When you overwater-developed tomatoes, the leaves curl upward and inward. Usually, the curling happens at night, and it shocks most gardeners who wake up to strange tomato leaves.

But, worry not. Even with rolled leaves, your tomato plant can still produce fruits at the right time.

Rotten Roots and Odors

Rotten roots are a significant sign that you’ve been overwatering your tomato plant. When you overwater your plants, the roots absorb excess water that the plant can hold.

The excess moisture then stagnates, making the roots decay and stop growing. Subsequently, the tomato plant becomes weaker and vulnerable to diseases.

But, it’s hard to identify rotten roots because you can’t see them. So, failure to prompt treatment allows the damage to grow more, affecting the rest of the plant.

However, you can know if your tomato has rotten roots. For instance;

  • Foul odor from the plant
  • New or old leaves start falling off
  • Plump stems

Yellow Leaves

This is another common sign of overwatering. Usually, a beginner gardener believes in constantly watering the tomatoes. As a result, the plant becomes overwatered and starts to yellow its leaves.

The yellow discoloration occurs because the plant lacks adequate oxygen due to overwatering or poorly draining soil.

Wilted and Wet Plant

How it looks is among the first signs to notice in an overwatered tomato plant. Usually, wilting leaves and wet-to-the-touch soil are early signs of overwatering. So, stop watering immediately!

An expert gardener knows what their tomato plants look like, so it becomes easy to tell what’s not normal and healthy.

Excess Foliage

Your overwatered tomato plant starts to grow excess foliage. While seeing the lush leafy growth may seem reasonable, it’s not.

Excess foliage makes the plant produce few tomatoes because the plant’s energy focuses on the foliage, not the fruits. So if your tomatoes seem to have surplus leaves and no fruits, overwatering is the problem.

The excellent news is tomato plants can recover from overwatering. But, prompt action is necessary depending on the level of damage to the plant. You should know that the longer the tomato plant remains in overwatered soil, it’s less likely to recover.

Why Are My Pepper Leaves Pointing Up?

Curling pepper leaves have several causes, whether indoors or outdoors. Primarily for indoor peppers away from pests and harsh temperatures, pointed-up leaves mean the soil is too wet.

Usually, peppers and tomatoes often experience new leaves curling upwards. Though this is not a significant problem, it becomes an issue with watering or lighting when the seedling matures.

Let’s go deeper to help you understand several causes why pepper leaves tend to point up.

Fast Growth

Pointed leaves can be a sign of growing plants. When well-fed plants are getting extreme light, they tend to shoot new growth faster than any other part of the plant.

So, if your pepper plant is simply green and healthy, it’s likely that fast growth makes the leaves curl up. Even though it happens quicker than the rest of the plant, plants eventually catch up in development.

Reaching Light

The work of the leaves is to absorb sunlight for photosynthesis. So, if the light is inadequate, the leaves tend to stretch, pointing up as much as possible, reaching for the light-photosynthesis is necessary for plant growth.

Seedlings also try to reach for an indirect light source. You can try moving your pepper seedlings close to the light to ensure they grow with leaves open and not pointed up.

Water Stress

Like light, insufficient water causes your pepper leaves to stretch upwards. This way, they develop a mechanism to conserve available moisture.

The leaves start narrowing, closing, and pointing upwards. So, the sun doesn’t evaporate the little available moisture, which causes the plant to dehydrate. Ensure you water your pepper plants as required-not, too much or too little.

What’s Wrong With My Tomato Leaves?

Tomato leaves communicate if something is wrong. So, when you start noticing weird changes, there’s a problem.

Let’s look at several issues.

Excess Light

When there’s excess natural or artificial light, tomato leaves start to curl up or discolor. Mostly, they curl upwards to protect themselves from the harsh lighting.

Also, when it starts to discolor and bleach out, there’s the likelihood of sunburn. It would be best to offer your plants some protection from sunlight. Better still, you can regulate the artificial light to something conducive.

Excess Heat

Though tomatoes love heat, too much of it is dangerous for their growth. The leaves start to curl up if the soil and room temperature are high.

Create a gap indoors or in the greenhouse to allow some heat to dissipate. Still, you can put a fan to help improve the air circulation for more robust stem growth.


When the tomato plant is thirsty, it curls its leaves inwards and upwards to retain moisture. Usually, overwatering has more damage to your tomato plant than underwatering. So, water your plants adequately if the soil feels dry to the touch.

Preferably, water in the morning before the sun hits the foliage to cause further damage. Plus, watering at the bottom prevents excess moisture on the damaged leaves.

Nutrient Deficiency

Feed your tomato plants properly using liquid fertilizer. When the nitrogen is inadequate, the tomato foliage tends to discolor to yellow.

Feed your tomato plants every two weeks to ensure the roots and leaves absorb adequate nutrients. You can also apply organic fertilizer like compost.


The above guide explains profoundly the reasons for your tomato leaves pointing up. Better still, there are tips and tricks to help you remedy the issue.

Usually, curling leaves is a matter of water, light, heat, environmental issues, or even disease outbreak.

Therefore, it’s essential to do due diligence to establish the specific issue with your tomato plant leaves. Ensure you start the remedy immediately to help save your plants.