When choosing a plant to grow for the summer, many gardeners look towards cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are beloved by many gardeners because they are easy to care for, easy to grow in small spaces, and often reap plenty of delicious fruit. But do cherry tomatoes regrow after picking them?
Cherry tomatoes don’t directly regrow on a truss after picking them. Although cherry tomato flowers cannot produce more fruit once they have grown and released a tomato, a cherry tomato plant can continue to develop new fruits as the plant grows.
This article will explain why cherry tomato plants can continue yielding a harvest after being picked throughout the growing season, as well as some of the potential reasons why a cherry tomato might stop producing fruit regularly. Lastly, it will advise the best growing techniques to ensure a bountiful harvest of tomatoes all summer long.
The Cherry Tomato Regrowth Process
Cherry tomatoes are unique from some other varieties of tomato in that they can continue developing fruit over and over during the summer season.
The term “regrow” might be a bit misleading, as cherry tomato plants cannot grow new fruit from flowers that have already blossomed into a tomato. Once a bud has done its job of giving life to a tomato, it typically will fall off of the plant to save energy for new flowers to grow.
The Difference Between Determinate and Indeterminate Plants
This is where the ability to regrow tomatoes after picking them comes into play. Cherry tomatoes are considered indeterminate plants, which means they have a longer lifespan than other types of tomatoes that fall into the determinate category.
Determinate plants will spend a lot of time preparing to grow and yield only one large harvest during the season. Indeterminate plants will continue to reap fruit or vegetables as long as they are taken care of and left in the right conditions.
The lifespan of an indeterminate plant, on the other hand, is so long that the fruits and vegetables it has spent time producing will keep growing even after the plant has reached full maturity.
Because cherry tomatoes are indeterminate, the plant will continue to thrive and produce even after the initial fruit has been harvested. New cherry tomatoes will not grow from the existing blossoms that already led to fruit once. Instead, the plant will continue to sprout new shoots that will become flowers and eventually turn into a fresh batch of tomatoes.
This is how cherry tomatoes can regrow after being picked. Rather than growing additional tomatoes in the same spot where some already grew, the plant itself will be able to develop new fruit.
How Long Do Cherry Tomato Plants Grow?
Cherry tomatoes take a bit of time to get started from the beginning, but they will be hard to stop once they are producing fruit!
Cherry tomato plants often grow until temperatures start to reach below freezing, or 32 ºF (0 ºC). A typical growing season for cherry tomato plants lasts approximately 6-8 months.
After the seedlings have sprouted and are transplanted into their permanent growing space, it will take between five and seven weeks for the flowers to begin blooming. Shortly afterward, the plants will start to grow the first batches of ripe, red tomatoes.
Assuming that all of the growing conditions are in the plants’ favor, cherry tomatoes should continue developing and producing new fresh fruit until the cold weather makes it impossible for them to keep growing.
Factors That Cause Cherry Tomatoes to Stop Growing
One would assume that because of how tough cherry tomato plants are, they would be strong enough to withstand any problems that could arise during their growing period. Unfortunately, there are a few outside factors that can negatively affect the cherry tomatoes and force them to stop growing:
- Cold weather
- Plant diseases
- Basic needs are left unfulfilled
Below I will discuss each of these factors in greater detail.
The biggest culprit that causes cherry tomato plants to die is the time of year that the outdoor temperatures begin dropping. If the weather becomes too cold or even too damp, the plants will not be able to properly self-pollinate and will stop growing.
Cool temperatures also often mean that frost will begin to freeze over the ground in the early mornings. If anything is going to stop a cherry tomato plant in its tracks, it is frost covering the soil it is planted in and freezing its stems, leaves, and fruit.
Another reason that cherry tomato plants might end their harvest prematurely is if a disease sweeps over them and begins to kill off the new flowers that are blooming.
One of the biggest problems that can arise when growing any variety of tomatoes is a disease called blossom end rot. Blossom end rot occurs when the tissue of the blossoms breaks down and causes the fruit to rot from its stem. This kind of outbreak will reduce the plants’ yield by a large margin.
Thankfully, cherry tomatoes are a type of tomato that is not often susceptible to blossom end rot. However, they can suffer from other plant diseases that spread throughout the garden. If a cherry tomato plant is attacked by any sort of disease, it will not be able to grow any more fruit and will be finished for that season.
Basic Needs Are Left Unfulfilled
Sometimes cherry tomatoes simply stop repeatedly yielding fruit because they are not cared for well enough.
If the plants are not receiving the amount of water they need every day, the soil they are growing out of will not be able to give them the moisture required to keep producing fruit.
The soil itself can also be a problem for the plants. If the ground does not contain the nutrients the tomatoes need to thrive, they will not be able to continue blooming, and their growth will be stunted.
How to Grow Strong and Sweet Cherry Tomatoes
There are a couple of tasks that are relatively easy to complete to help cherry tomatoes grow abundantly.
Maintain Adequate Soil pH
When transplanting cherry tomato seedlings from their initial home to their permanent growing place, the soil they are grounded in must have a good pH balance. This is because a well-balanced soil will be able to give the cherry tomatoes the nutrients they need to yield multiple harvests.
Avoid Overwatering and Underwatering
Ensuring the earth the plants are in is being watered the correct amount is also imperative. If the soil is too dry, the tomato plants will slow down or even stop growing and begin to wither. If it is too wet, the plants could grow mold or attract other fungi that would harm them and keep them from growing properly.
Use a Stake or Cage
Because cherry tomatoes are indeterminate plants, the vines will continue to grow during the warm season. However, instead of growing up toward the sky, they will most likely spread out and continue their growth along the ground.
The plants growing horizontally can lead to the tomatoes ripping apart and becoming damaged and inedible when lying on the ground. That can be avoided by putting a stake or cage in the ground to let the tomatoes hold onto while growing.
After the first cherry tomatoes are picked off the vine, the plant can be wrapped around the stake or cage to keep it growing upwards rather than outwards. This will help the plant grow consistently stronger while producing a hearty crop.
Pick the Fruit Every Day
Even if the cherry tomatoes are not picked every single day, they should be removed from the plant every other day. When they are ripe, you should be able to pluck them off with ease.
Picking off the cherry tomatoes every day is crucial to the success of the tomato plant growing continuously throughout the whole summer. Once the ripe fruit has been removed, the plant will not have to focus its energy on those tomatoes any further. Instead, it will be able to turn toward forming new blooms, which will eventually replenish the supply of fruit.
Cherry tomato plants will provide a bountiful harvest all growing season as long as they are cared for properly. Ensuring that they have enough of everything they need is the key to a cherry tomato plant growing and replenishing fruit throughout the whole summer.