Ask a Question forum: No growth tip on tomato plant.

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Holly ridge nc (Zone 8a)
May 23, 2017 7:23 AM CST
This might be dumb question but I'm confused about the growth of my beefsteak tomato plant. It has a few tomatoes and a bunch of flowers and looks like it has separated into 2 main stems. I don't see a growth tip though. It just looks like branches and I don't see where it will continue to grow higher. I will include pictures but I'm wondering if this is normal or something stopped it from having a growth point.
Holly ridge nc (Zone 8a)
May 23, 2017 7:28 AM CST

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Holly ridge nc (Zone 8a)
May 23, 2017 7:29 AM CST
Not the greatest pictures but hopefully someone will see what I mean.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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May 23, 2017 8:00 AM CST
Tomatoes do grow in a branching way, not necessarily straight on from each big growth. In nature they are branching vines that sprawl on the ground.

That being said, your plant isn't big enough yet to have stopped, although sometimes a spell of really hot weather (we had some last week?) can cause them to stop.

Are you watering every morning, deeply? Tomato roots go down fairly deep. How about fertilizer? These are fast growing, hungry, thirsty plants that need constant moisture and a consistent supply of nutrients. As the plants get bigger you need to gradually increase the amount of fertilizer, as well. A big plant uses more nutrients than a smaller one, right?

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Holly ridge nc (Zone 8a)
May 23, 2017 8:27 AM CST
Hmmm no I certainly have not been watering everyday or anything close to that. I regularly check the soil moisture and water about once per week while trying to hold out for rain. We have had a few big storms that have delivered multiple inches of rain each time. I was under the impression that over watering is a concern and in a costal area with good rain doesn't need as frequent waterings.
I've only fertilized once using a modest 4 4 4 formula. Again under the impression that too much fertilizer would reduce fruiting but I do plan to fertilize again soon.
Anyway my on my other beefsteak and my cherry tomato plants I can clearly see the growth tip, not just branches like the one in question. I've been able to see this growth point since they started growing so I was wondering if at some point its normal to just see branches and more branches grow off the current ones?
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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May 23, 2017 10:08 AM CST
Your tomato plant looks pretty normal. Don't worry, it will continue to grow and flower.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
May 23, 2017 10:25 AM CST
Your tomato looks normal to me too. If your soil is staying damp, all is okay. Your plant doesn't look water stressed.

One of those tips started life as a branch but its hard to say which. You can encourage upward growth by snapping off the little side branches as they form (it looks like you are doing that), sending more energy into fruit production and less energy into plant growth. Use a balanced fertilizer (4-4-4 or 10-10-10) or one with a higher middle number. I would be fertilizing every week.

I suspect your plant just took some time off - you have lots of flowers.

Edited to add: there are multiple growth tips on plants - the top, the ends of branches, leaf nodes, roots.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

[Last edited by DaisyI - May 23, 2017 10:27 AM (+)]
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
May 23, 2017 8:56 PM CST
Consider yourself blessed! Maybe it won't get 12 ft. tall and be bushier. Hilarious!

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