The Q&A Archives: Tomato Tree

Question: I have this Plant that is called a Tree Tomato plant (Cyphomandra betacea) it is 4 ft. tall now and enjoying the hot Chicago summer. I know to take it in long before a frost, but does it produce fruit at a given time or interval? What steps should I take to keep it healthy?

Answer: Cyphomandra is native to tropical regions but can be grown here under greenhouse conditions for its edible fruit. It's more of a curiosity than anything else - the fruit resembles tomato, but is very seedy and high in pectin (generally used for jelly rather than eaten raw). Your plant can grow to 10 feet or more and will begin to bear fruit in 1 1/2 to 2 years. It grows best in deep, fertile soil, and should be watered regularly throughout the year.

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