Holes in leaves in hydroponic system but no bugs

by paul
(kamloops canada)

My tomato plants are developing holes in the leaves and it looks like a bug has been chewing on them but there are no bugs. Also the leaf edges are curling upward as though they are trying to dissipate water but its hydroponic continuous feed in hydroclay.

The root system is nice and white and healthy and I have flushed the system 3 times and made new nutrient solutions.

The only thing I can think of is that I had fungus gnats so I used malathion as a spray on the leaves and in the medium cause you could see them running around in there. I battled them for a week and I think I won although the plants did get quite a dose of malathion.

Maybe a lot more flushing and time is needed?

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Holes in leaves in hydroponic system but no bugs

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Aug 26, 2010
Malathion Toxicity in Tomatoes?
by: Larry

The good news is that Malathion is deemed low in toxicity to humans. For plants, malathion toxicity has not been researched much because the poison mostly acts on an insect's nervous system or whatever passes for one in a bug so should not affect a plant.

This means that curly leaves may be a symptom of an infestation or disease. A fungal, viral or bacterial infection would most likely result in a partially rotted root system and yours are white and healthy so that is out.

It could be a form of 'wilt' passed on by a leaf hopper which is also eating your leaves but my guess is that an insect pest ate holes in your leaves and salt buildup from excessive malathion spraying is affecting your tomatoes causing the curly leaves.

Flush your plant roots and system with clean water and check that pH which also may be out-of-control. And keep a watch out for small bugs on your leaves or for eggs and spider mite webs.

I'd place money on the 'salt buildup' as the problem myself.

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