overwatered tomato plants with wilting leaves.

How to Revive Overwatered Tomato Plants: A Complete Guide

Learn how to identify, fix, and prevent overwatered tomato plants with our expert guide. Follow these tips to grow healthy and tasty tomatoes.

Tomatoes are one of the most popular and rewarding crops to grow in your garden. They are versatile, delicious, and nutritious. However, they can also be quite sensitive to water stress, especially if they receive too much water. Giving tomato plants too much water can lead to issues like droopy leaves, root rot, and fewer fruits of lower quality. 

If you have overwatered your tomato plants, don’t panic. Some steps you can take to revive them and prevent further damage.

This guide will show you how to identify signs of overwatering in tomato plants. It will also teach you how to correct overwatering issues and avoid them in the future. Let’s get started!

Signs of Overwatering Tomato Plants

The first step to reviving overwatered tomato plants is to recognize the symptoms of overwatering. Here are some common signs of overwatering tomato plants:

  • Wilting leaves may seem counterintuitive, but overwatered tomato plants often have wilted or droopy leaves. Too much water in the soil stops roots from getting oxygen and nutrients, making them suffocate and rot. As a result, the plant cannot transport water and nutrients to the leaves, and they start wilting and dying. 
Tomato plant with wilting leaves

Image: https://www.bhg.com/

  • Yellowing leaves: Another sign of overwatering is yellowing or browning of the leaves, especially the lower ones. Overwatering causes nutrient deficiency by washing away essential minerals from the soil, making them unavailable to the plant. Excessive water can cause fungal diseases such as early blight or septoria leaf spot. These diseases result in yellow or brown spots appearing on the leaves. 

A tomato plant with lower leaves that have turned yellow, while the upper leaves may still be green.

  • Swollen or cracked fruits: Overwatered tomato plants may also produce swollen, cracked, or split fruits. This is because the plant absorbs too much water and cannot regulate the pressure inside the fruits, causing them to burst. Overwatering fruits can also reduce their flavor and sweetness, as it dilutes them with water and deprives them of nutrients. 
Tomato Fruit Cracking Problem

Symptoms of Tomato Fruit Cracking. Image: SAU

  • Stunted growth: Overwatering can also affect the overall growth and development of the tomato plant. Overwatered tomato plants may have smaller and fewer fruits as they divert their energy to survival rather than reproduction. They may also have shorter and weaker stems, as they cannot support the weight of the fruits and leaves. 

How to Fix Overwatered Tomato Plants

If you notice any signs of overwatering in your tomato plants, you need to act quickly to save them. Here are some steps you can take to fix overwatered tomato plants:

  • Stop watering: The first and most obvious step is to stop watering your tomato plants until the soil is dry. You can check the soil’s moisture level by inserting your finger about two inches deep. If the soil feels moist or wet, do not water. If the soil feels dry, you can water lightly, but avoid the base of the plant and the leaves. 
  • Improve drainage: The next step is to improve the soil’s drainage so that excess water can drain away and prevent root rot. You can do this by adding organic matter, such as compost or manure, to the soil or by mixing in some sand or perlite. If you are growing tomatoes in containers, you can also create drainage holes in the bottom of the pots. Alternatively, you can transplant your tomato plants to a raised bed or a well-drained spot in your garden. 

someone gardening, adding compost to the soil around the base of a tomato plant to improve drainage.

  • Prune the plant: Another step to fix overwatered tomato plants is to prune the plant and remove any damaged or diseased parts. This will help the plant to focus its energy on the healthy parts and recover faster. You can prune the lower leaves that are yellowing or wilting, as well as any cracked or split fruits. You can also thin out some branches to improve air circulation and reduce the risk of fungal infections. 

someone carefully pruning an overwatered tomato plant, removing damaged or diseased leaves and branches.

  • Fertilize the plant: The last step to fix overwatered tomato plants is to fertilize the plant and replenish the nutrients lost due to overwatering. Use a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 or tomato-specific fertilizer like 5-10-10, following the label instructions for best results. You can use natural fertilizers like fish emulsion or seaweed extract to help plants stay healthy and strong against stress. However, do not over-fertilize the plant, as this can cause more harm than good. 

How to Avoid Overwatering Tomato Plants

The best way to avoid overwatering tomato plants is to water them properly and regularly. Here are some tips on how to water tomato plants correctly:

  • Water tomato plants deeply but not often. In hot, dry weather, water them once or twice a week with one to two inches of water each time. This will ensure that the water reaches the deep roots and encourages them to grow stronger and deeper. Avoid watering lightly and frequently, as this will only wet the soil surface and cause shallow roots and weak plants. 
  • Water in the morning: The best time to water tomato plants is in the morning when the temperature is cooler and the sun is not too strong. This will allow the water to soak into the soil, reach the roots, and give the plant enough time to dry off before night. Avoid watering in the evening or at night, as this will leave the plant wet and susceptible to fungal diseases
  • Water at the base of the plant: The best way to water tomato plants is to water them at the base of the plant, near the soil, and avoid wetting the leaves and the fruits. This will prevent water from splashing on the plant and spreading diseases like blight or leaf spot.
    • You can water the plant at the base. You can use a soaker hose, drip irrigation system, or watering can with a narrow spout.
    • Avoid using a sprinkler or a hose with a wide spray, as this will waste water and cause runoff and erosion. 

Drip irrigation system watering tomato plants at base.


Overwatering tomato plants can be a serious problem that can affect their health and productivity of your tomato plants. However, following the steps and tips in this guide, you can revive your overwatered tomato plants and prevent overwatering.

Remember, the key is to water your tomato plants deeply and infrequently in the morning and at the base of the plant.

Sources and References

  • : [How to Save Overwatered Tomato Plant (Step by Step Recovery)](https://www.gardeninglovy.com/how-to-save-overwatered-tomato-plant/)
  • : [How to Fix Overwatered Tomato Plants](https://www.gardeningchannel.com/how-to-fix-overwatered-tomato-plants/)
  • : [Overwatering Tomato Plants: Causes, Effects, and Solutions](https://www.tomatodirt.com/overwatering-tomato-plants.html)
  • : [How to Water Tomato Plants: A Comprehensive Guide](https://www.growveg.com/guides/how-to-water-tomato-plants-a-comprehensive-guide/)

I am Gaushoul Agam

𝐂𝐨-𝐅𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 & 𝐂𝐄𝐎

I am an experienced Horticulture Officer in the Department of Agricultural Extension in Bangladesh. I am committed to improving agriculture and farming.

I created ToAgriculture to address global food safety concerns. These concerns are caused by a growing population, diminishing farmland, and the impact of climate change on agriculture. I assist readers in learning modern farming techniques.

I also help them control pests and diseases. Additionally, I guide managing agriculture sustainably. All of this is aimed at creating a better and more successful future in farming.

I have experience in field crops and horticulture crops. I know about fruit and vegetable farming, managing pests and diseases, irrigation, and grafting. Come with me as I share my knowledge and experiences to help you create a better future.

One thought on “How to Revive Overwatered Tomato Plants: A Complete Guide

  1. Pingback: How Much Water Do Tomatoes Need? Home Gardener's Guide

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