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Why Are My Tomatoes White – Disease, Fungus & Other Causes

We usually think of tomatoes being a vibrant red color. Well, that’s how they should be, right? Sometimes, while walking in your garden, you may see some tomatoes with white splotches or turning all white! Although it is an everyday occurrence, your tomatoes could have a disease. So, to answer your question of why are my tomatoes turning white?

When your tomatoes are turning white, they may be suffering from sun-scald. They could also be suffering a nutrient deficiency, or you may have a bug problem on your hands. Cold temperatures, and even the tomato variety can cause white spots.

In this article, we will take a look at all the reasons why your tomatoes are turning white and how to solve your problem.

Why Are My Tomatoes White on the Inside?

You may pick the perfect red tomato only to find that it’s white on the inside. There are a few reasons why this could be happening, both with the weather. A tomato that is white on the inside has a disorder called internal white tissue.

Perhaps the sun was beating down too hard on the tomato, causing the outside to ripen faster than the inside. The other problem was that it was simply too hot! Tomatoes do best in temperatures no hotter than 85. If it is going to be that hot, shade your tomatoes, or make sure they have a healthy dose of water. 

It is perfectly okay to eat these tomatoes that are white inside. However, the texture may be a little off. The majority of people will just cut out the white parts. 

7 Top Reasons Your Tomatoes are White

Here is a list of every reason why your tomatoes are white. 

Too much sunlight (sun-scald)

  • Sun-scald is what occurs when your tomatoes plants get too much direct sunlight throughout the day, especially if it’s above 85 degrees. 

Too cold

  • White spots due to the cold weather happen because the cold causes the tomatoes cells to close up.

Fungal Disease 

  • Overwatering is a key component of fungus.

Nutrient Deficiency 

  • When tomatoes lack calcium, nitrogen, magnesium, or phosphorus, the plant won’t have what it needs to turn your tomatoes red.

Pest Damage 

  • When bugs eat away at a plant, it can turn the spot they are eating white. Stinkbugs are a common pest tomato plants face.

Variety

Bacterial Canker

  • Bacterial canker is a bacterial disease that attacks the stems and the leaves. It will also leave the plant’s fruit with many white spots all over. You will notice it if your plant isn’t growing correctly, or the leaves begin to wilt or look brown/yellow. Some branches from the plant may also fall off and die. 

Solutions

Now that we have seen all the reasons for our whitening tomatoes let’s look at how to solve these issues! 

ProblemSolution
Sun-ScaldUnfortunately, since sun-scald is 
not a disease, it can not be reversed. 
You can add shade cloth, or mulch around 
your plant for added protection to help prevent
any more damage. In the future, keep weather 
and location in mind.
Cold WeatherCold weather spots are also irreversible. If it is a
colder season, keep your tomato plants indoors, 
or in a greenhouse. If a sudden frost is coming on, 
cover your plants with a light sheet.
Fungal DiseaseWell-drained soil is key to keeping fungus out of 
your plants. Remember to only water your plant 
when it needs water, if the soil is moist, its okay to 
leave it. There are some fungicides you can spray
on your plants to stop the fungus from growing.
Nutrient Deficiency Prior to planting your tomatoes, get a mix of fertilizer
that is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium and 
potassium. The key to spotting a nutrient deficiency 
is in the leaves. Look for yellowing or browning leaves,
or leaves that look burnt or scorched. You can always
feed your plants these nutrients with a liquid feed later
on. 
PestsPests are the easiest problem to spot. Usually the bugs
are visible to the naked eye. If not, you’ll see holes in the
tomato and the leaves. You can hand-pick these bugs off 
or make a homemade pest repellent. Mineral oil and water 
works wonderfully. You can also put Diatomaceous Earth around
your plant as well. 
VarietyTake a close look at the types of seeds you get when buying 
tomato seeds! There are so many different breeds of tomato
and you could just have a white breed tomato in the mix. 
Bacterial CankerBacterial Canker spreads very quickly and can 
quickly kill your whole tomato plant. The easiest thing to do
is to cut off the branches that seem effected. Unfortunately, 
there are no known sprays that can kill bacterial canker, so your
best bet is to catch it quickly. Tomatoes affected by bacterial canker
are still safe to eat.
Table showing solutions to cure white tomato diseases

Can you Eat White Tomatoes? 

No matter the issue, white tomatoes are perfectly fine for eating. If you are concerned about bugs, cut into the part with the white spot first. Remember that tomatoes with white spots will spoil faster once they’re picked. 

Should I Use Fungicide Spray on my Tomatoes?

If you have a pesticide or fungal problem, an easy out is to use spray on your plants. However, a lot of this spray on the market is full of chemicals that we don’t necessarily want in our bodies. A great alternative is to make a mixture of baking soda, warm water, and a drop of liquid dish soap. You can use this combination to try and combat both fungal issues and pests. It’s also a great all-natural alternative. 

Now that we have looked at every reason why your tomato is turning white, I hope you can identify your issue as quickly as possible. From bugs to disease to simply an heirloom variety, it isn’t the end of the world if your tomatoes have white spots. Look on the bright side; whatever the problem is, you can still enjoy your delicious juicy tomatoes!