Tomatillo Leaves Turning Yellow: How to Fix and Prevent

Tomatillos are drought-tolerant annual herbs from the nightshade family. They look similar to unripe tomatoes, hence the name tomatillo, which means little tomatoes. Despite the name, tomatillos and tomatoes don’t have similar tastes and physical characteristics. Tomatillo fruit is usually wrapped in a protective husk; tomato fruit is not protected by a husk.

Tomatillos are an easy plant to grow. Naturally, many controllable and uncontrollable factors can affect plants during growth. Tomatillo is not an exception; some factors usually affect the plant, which may cause its leaves to turn yellowish.

 Do you have a tomatillo plant whose leaves suddenly began to turn yellow? This blog will explain the causes of the yellow leaves, how to restore the healthy nature of your plant, and how to prevent the future occurrence of yellow leaves in tomatillo 

Causes of Yellow Leaves in Tomatillo plants

Yellowing of tomatillo leaves is majorly cause by nutrient factor, sunlight factor, and watering. These physical factor can be catered fr, to ensure optimum growth.

Yellow leaves in tomatillos are not uncommon. Many factors are responsible for the yellowing of leaves in the plant. Know the factors responsible for the yellow leaves in your tomatillos before treating them. This will help you to provide the appropriate treatment. Below are the causes of yellow leaves in tomatillos.

1.     Nutrient deficiency

Generally, plants require large amounts of macronutrients and small amounts of micronutrients for normal growth and development. Plants needing a particular nutrient in small quantity doesn’t mean that the unavailability of such nutrient won’t affect it. The individual nutrient requirement varies across plants.

·        Nitrogen deficiency

a tomatillo covered with leaves

Nitrogen is a major essential nutrient that is needed by plants in large quantities. Plants need nitrogen to carry out metabolic and photosynthetic activities. A plant that can absorb a sufficient amount of nitrogen exhibits vigorous growth and development.

Tomatillo needs nitrogen during chlorophyll formation. Chlorophyll helps in the absorption of light to provide energy for photosynthesis in plants. Insufficient nitrogen will slow down the rate of photosynthesis in the plant. This may result in the leaves turning yellow.

2.     Sunlight

Sunlight is essential to plants. Plants make use of the energy derived from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide, water, and soil nutrients into foods. Many plants cannot achieve normal growth and development in the absence of light/ sunlight

·        Little sunlight

The photosynthetic rate of the tomatillo plants will be slow in the presence of insufficient sunlight. This can result in the yellowing of leaves, which is called chlorosis.

Ensure that your tomatillo plants are placed where they can have access to a sufficient amount of sunlight daily. Tomatillos are sun-loving herbs. They need about 5 hours of bright sunlight daily.

·        Excess sunlight

Too much of anything is harmful.

In the presence of prolonged sunlight, the tomatillo plant will absorb more energy than it needs. This excess energy absorbed can bleach the leaves, making them turn pale yellow.

3.     Watering

a person is walking in a field, using their hands to water the crops

Water helps in plant structure buildup by maintaining cell turgidity. It is also needed for photosynthesis and metabolic and chemical processes in plants. Most plant nutrients are dissolved in water for optimum uptake.

 Below is the effect of too much or too little water on your tomatillo plant.

·        Overwatering

When you overwater tomatillo plants, you kill them gradually. Plant`s root breath. Too much water in the soil will cut off the presence of oxygen. The obvious effect of overwatering on the stem of tomatillo plants is yellow leaves.

Tomatillos are drought-tolerant plants which means they can survive more on less water than too much water.

·        Underwatering

The growth rate of your tomatillo plant will be slow when you underwater it. This is because the rate of photosynthesis will be slow. Despite tomatillos being a drought-tolerant plant, it still needs an optimum amount of water to maintain growth and development. The first sign of underwatering in tomatillos is the yellowing of leaves. This is followed by the falling of leaves. The leaves in the lower part of the plant will become yellow.

What to do when tomatillo leaves turn yellow

Seeing a greenish-blooming plant suddenly turn yellow is not a good sight to behold. Yellow leave is generally a sign that a particular plant is dying. Failure to act fast in such a situation can result in the death of such a plant. Below are what you should do when you notice yellow leaves on your tomatillo plant.

·        Find the causes of the yellow leaves in your tomatillo

Since there are many causes of yellow leave in tomatillo, finding a specific cause will help you to resolve the issue faster.

Take a ball of earth from the soil surrounding the tomatillo plant; if water is dripping from the soil, you are over-watering the plant.

Check for underwatering by taking a ball of earth from the soil surrounding the tomatillo plant. When you underwater the plant, taking the ball of earth will be hard or impossible. This is because the surface of the soil will be extremely hard.

Note; Use this technique to check for overwatering three hours after watering, not immediately after you water the plant.

Tomatillo needs five hours of sunlight daily. Anything above it may be too much for the plant to handle.

·        Fertilizer application

Before you apply nitrogen fertilizer to your tomatillo plant, ensure that the yellow leaves are not caused by other factors listed above. When you are sure that the yellow leaves are caused by nitrogen nutrient deficiency, apply compost or nitrogen fertilizer to the soil.

·        Optimal watering

Water is important to plants while overwatering is deadly. Waterlogged soils provide little to no oxygen for plant roots to survive.

Your tomatillo plant`s root will struggle to stay alive in the absence of water; it can die off completely in the presence of excess water. In both cases, the tomatillo plant leaves may turn yellow.

Apply the soil excess water test explained above to be sure that your plant is over or underwatered. Apply or stop watering as needed.

·        Expose your tomatillo to optimum sunlight


Your tomatillo plant ideally needs five hours of sunlight per day. The effect of insufficient sunlight is yellow leaves in tomatillo plants.

In most cases, tomatillo plants are usually affected by less amount of sunlight than too much sunlight. Provide the optimum sunlight needed by the tomatillo plant.  The yellow leaves will gradually disappear.

How to prevent tomatillo leaves from turning yellowish

Preventing yellow leaves in tomatillos is equal to providing all the optimum requirements for the plant to grow.

You ensure that all the nutrient requirements of the tomatillo plant are met.

You expose your plant to 5-6 hours of daily sunlight. The tomatillo plant may be watered twice per week. Ensure that the soil of the tomatillo plant is well drained with a pH of 6.5-7. Tomatillo plant prefers neutral soil pH.


Tomatillo is a highly nutritious plant for the human being.

For normal growth, tomatillos need the following; optimum sunlight, nitrogen, and water.

Too much of anything is generally harmful. While you are providing the basic requirement to maximize the growth of your tomatillo plant, ensure that you provide everything moderately.

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