The Q&A Archives: Disease Resistant Tomatoes

Question: I have been trying to grow tomatoes in large containers and they always develop severe wilt and other problems. What you you suggest as a variety to weather the heat and mold of the Florida climate?

Answer: Assuming you are watering the container plants well but not keeping them too soggy, your tomatoes may be wilting from Verticillium wilt, Fusarium wilt, and/or nematodes. All are soil borne. This is why gardeners look for tomato varieties with the letters "VFN" after their name. VFN varieties are naturally resistant to these two fungal diseases and nematodes. It is a good idea to start with fresh, disease free growing media and containers each time you raise tomatoes in containers.

Examples of such varieties for Florida include: Celebrity, Better Boy, Flora-dade, and Champion. The first two are available from:

Burpee's,Burpee Seed Co.; 032763 Burpee Building; Warminster, PA 18974; 1-800-888-1447;
Catalogue requesting web site:

The second two are available from:
Tomato Grower's Supply; P.O. Box 2237; Ft. Myers, Florida 33902; (941) 768-1119.

Thanks for the question!

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