By David Marks

This is one of a series of pages helping you to identify what problem, pest or disease, which is causing problems with your tomato plant. If you want to start at the beginning click here. This particular page will hep you identify and treat problems which are affecting the roots of your tomato plant. The most common problems are listed first.


Tomato plants are normally attacked by wireworms when they are young emerging plants. The symptoms are plants which are initially healthy and then within a matter of days they wilt and die suddenly.

In the case of tomatoes the wireworms eat the most tender roots and then burrow up the stem to eat that as well. You may even see them on the top of the soil surface eating out from the main stem. Click here for our exhaustive article on identifying and treating wireworms as well as their lifecycle and the use of wireworm baits.


Tomato plant roots are sometimes attacked although it is normally potatoes that suffer. The symptoms of this pest on tomatoes is that the foliage will first become discoloured, turning yellow and brown. The plant then wilts and eventually dies. To positively identify this pest have a look at the roots and you will see a mix of tiny yellow, cream and brown spots on them.

Potato eelworm

 Click here for our exhaustive article on identifying and treating tomato eelworm which is the same pest as the potato eelworm.