The Main Plant entry for Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Tomatoes.

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Vine
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 11 +4.4 °C (40 °F) to +7.2 °C (50 °F)
Plant Height: Varies greatly by species and cultivated variety.
Plant Spread: Varies greatly by species and cultivated variety.
Leaves: Other: Varies greatly by species and cultivated variety.
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Other: Varies greatly by species and cultivated variety.
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Other: Varies greatly by species and cultivated variety.
Uses: Vegetable
Suitable as Annual
Edible Parts: Fruit
Eating Methods: Raw
Resistances: Rabbit Resistant
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Other info: Direct sowing into the garden not recommended. Sow seeds into sterile seed starting mix, 1/8"-1/4" deep, indoors, 6-8 weeks prior to last expected frost date. Optimal germination occurs in 7-14 days with constant moisture and soil temperatures of 75-90F.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Self
Various insects
Containers: Preferred depth: Some tomato varieties, primarily dwarf and determinate varieties, are suitable for container gardening. Large, vining, indeterminate types can be grown in 5 gallon or larger containers but may require extra attention.

Common names
  • Tomato
Matching plants under this entry
  • Solanum lycopersicum
  • Solanum pimpinellifolium
  • Lycopersicon esculentum
  • Lycopersicon lycopersicum

Photo Gallery
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  • Posted by RickCorey (Everett WA 98204 - Zone 8a) on Oct 21, 2011 8:09 PM concerning plant:
    Here's a list of some tomato varieties said to ripen unusually early, and/or to have unusual cold tolerance.

    For example, in the PNW, 'Oregon Spring' can be planted four weeks before the last frost, and needs protection only when there's frost.

    These were compiled by reading and comparing descriptions, with frequent reference to the Territorial Seed Company catalog that ranks tomato performance in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

    Determinate varieties ("DET") spread laterally, may not need stakes or trellises, and ripen "all at once". Indeterminate varieties (INDET) grow vertically, need trellises, and ripen over the whole season.

    I'd appreciate corrections, additions and comments.


    'Glacier' - ultra-early, cold-tolerant, SEMI-DET
    'Stupice' - ultra-early, cold-tolerant, compact DET
    - - - Not a heavy fruit bearer, and the fruit splits for some
    'Northern Delight' - ultra-early, "for the Far North", 2' DET
    'Beaverlodge' series - ultra-early, compact DET, containers (not sure about cold tolerance)


    'Manitoba' - extra-early, cold-tolerant, 3'-4' DET, "Canadian for colder climates"
    'Matina' - extra-early, INDET, "dependable even in cold/wet summers"
    - - - early and flavorful and bore a lot of fruit over a long period.
    'Sub-Artic Plenty' - extra-early, "Canadian", DET
    'Oregon Spring' - extra-early, very cold-tolerant, "plant 4 wks before last frost
    - - - & protect only when there's frost"
    Sophie's Choice: Heirloom from Edmonton, Canada, by Carolyn Male in 1997.
    - - - Extra early, flavorful. 2' DET vines suited to containers.
    - - - 6-12 ounce globes red-orange outside and deep red flesh. Strong disease resistance.
    - - - Not heat-tolerant or drought-tolerant. Best production in cooler climates.


    'Early Wonder' - extra-early, 3'-4' SEMI-DET, med red globe
    'Siletz' - extra-early, reliable, DET, 4"-5" red
    'Ildi' - extra-early, yellow grape pear, 8'-10' INDET
    'Gold Nugget' - extra-early, 2-3' DET, bland yellow cherry
    'Sungold' F1 - extra-early, 4'-8' INDET, containers, orange cherry
    - - - tends to split for me


    'Yellow Plum' - early, productive even in cold, 4'-6' INDET, yellow cherry
    'Bloody Butcher' - early, cool climate, 4'-6'
    'Maskabec' - early, 18"-36" DET, 4-6 oz. red globe
    'Golden Rave' (hybrid) - early, gold Roma plum6'-8' INDET
    'Husky Cherry Red' - early, semi-DET or dwarf INDET
    'Sub Artic Cherry' - early, DET, pink, "developed in Alberta for short seasons"
    'Early Cascade' - (hybrid but seems pretty true) - early, short-summer, PNW,
    - - - "reliable: sets fruit in any climate", red-orange


    'Marmande' - semi-early, cool climate, med-large red beefsteak type, full flavor
    'Early Girl' (hybrid) - semi-early, med red globe, flavorful
    - - Early Girl isn't very flavorful nor does it produce over a long period of time
    'Santa Cherry' / 'Santa Sweets' - mid-season, tolerates cool summers, 4'-8' INDET
    'Morden Yellow' - mid-late, Canadian for colder climates, 2'-3' DET, med yellow globe

  • Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Sep 29, 2011 8:26 PM concerning plant:
    Solanum pimpinellifolium is a Florida native tomato. Native to south Florida & the Everglades, iIt will take the intense heat of Florida summers & still produce fruit. It is also more drought resistant than your average tomato. The fruit is tiny, about the size of a dime & just perfect for popping into your mouth or into salads whole. They are quite sugar sweet.
  • Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 23, 2013 11:27 PM concerning plant:
    "The tomato is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes and sauces, and in drinks. While it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes (as well as by the United States Supreme Court, see Nix v. Hedden), which has caused some confusion. The fruit is rich in lycopene, which may have beneficial health effects.

    Because of the long growing season needed for this heat-loving crop, several states in the US Sun Belt became major tomato-producers, particularly Florida and California. In California, tomatoes are grown under irrigation for both the fresh fruit market and for canning and processing. The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) became a major center for research on the tomato. The C.M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center at UC Davis is a gene bank of wild relatives, monogenic mutants and miscellaneous genetic stocks of tomato. The Center is named for the late Dr. Charles M. Rick, a pioneer in tomato genetics research. Research on processing tomatoes is also conducted by the California Tomato Research Institute in Escalon, California.

    In California, growers have used a method of cultivation called dry-farming, especially with Early Girl tomatoes. This technique encourages the plant to send roots deep to find existing moisture in soil that retains moisture, such as clayey soil.

    Tomatoes grow well with seven hours of sunlight a day. A fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 5-10-10 is often sold as tomato fertilizer or vegetable fertilizer, although manure and compost are also used."

    Taken from wikipedia's page at:

  • Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Sep 8, 2013 11:26 AM concerning plant:
    Nothing beats the taste of a home grown tomato fresh from your own vegetable patch. For this reason tomatoes are the number one vegetable grown by home gardeners. So many varieties to choose from. I grow my favorite cherry tomatoes, salad types and slicing tomatoes each year. My parents grew tomatoes when I was a child and I will always grow my own also.
Plant Events from our members
dragonfetti On February 1, 2015 Seeds germinated
One tray all 16 seeds sprouted; the other tray covered in mold.
dragonfetti On January 29, 2015 Seeds sown
American Seed 'Beefsteak' tomatoes two 8 cell jiffy pot trays, 2 seeds in each cell.
dragonfetti On November 21, 2014 Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)
The frost last week took out the 'Bib Boy' although it still had blossoms and green fruit. Harvested several tomatoes of the other two but today the vines are toasted. Still have blossoms and green tomatoes on them. Will make 'aphid tea' from the leaves and send the rest to the "Earth Machines".
dragonfetti On June 11, 2014 Obtained plant
Given three plants by neighbor; mini pear, cherry, and 'Big Boy.'
Georgegrowstomatoes On April 6, 2020 Plant emerged
Plants began emerging - first plant began to grow second leaves by week's end.
Georgegrowstomatoes On March 29, 2020 Seeds sown
Planted tomato plants in seed pots of 3.
WebTucker On April 4, 2022 Transplanted
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Tomato review 2021 by dnrevel Dec 4, 2021 11:51 AM 0

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