The Q&A Archives: Tree Tomato

Question: Did I stump you? I haven't heard fom you yet -
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: No, you didn't stump us. We sent an answer but the e-mail bounced. It's really important to proofread information you send to us, especially your e-mail address! The Tree Tomato you're growing is a tropical plant, native to Peru, with the potential to grow to 10 feet or more. These plants are grown under greenhouse conditions in our country, mainly as a curiosity. The plant prefers rich, moist soil and will develop orange-red oval fruit that's pulpy and pectin-rich. It's generally made into jelly, but is edible right off the shrub. The fruit will look a bit like a Roma tomato, but don't expect it to have that tomatoey taste. Your Tree Tomato will set fruit when it's mature, usually 1 1/2 to 2 years after planting. Give the plant lots of light, but not direct sunshine, and water about once a week.

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