Gardening Tips

tree tomato cultivation

tree tomato cultivation

We are all used to the appearance and taste of most tomato varieties but, if we talk about tree tomatoes or tamarillos, some of you may not have heard so much about them.

The tamarillo, which is also known by many other names such as yucca tomato, Nordic mango or Andean tomato, is a type of tomato that grows on bushes up to 4 meters high. It is native to South America, although today it is much more widespread and its flavor is characteristic for its bitter and acid touch, being very popular the tree tomato cultivation in South America and increasingly in Europe.

In this EcologíaVerde article we are going to teach you how to grow organic tree tomatoes at homeso you can enjoy your own organic tomatoes without leaving your garden or orchard.

How to sow tree tomato seeds

You can directly plant the tamarillo or tomato seeds what you buy However, if you want to maximize its chances of germinating, it is best to plant it in the spring and follow these steps:

  1. Cut the whole tamarillo vertically, and separate each seed with some pulp next to it.
  2. Store the seeds and remaining pulp in a container for about three days. Stir the mixture twice a day.
  3. Wash the seeds and leave them separated and on a damp cloth or napkin, in the shade, until they begin to germinate.
  4. Prepare a deep pot with a well-draining substrate. It is advisable to use organic fertilizer or humus. Avoid clay soils.
  5. Sow the germinated seed at a depth of between 1 and 2 centimeters. Cover it with the mixture and water it. Leave the pot in a semi-shaded location, in an area with non-direct natural light.
Tree Tomato Cultivation - How To Sow Tree Tomato Seeds

Tree tomato cultivation: basic care

The tree tomato is not a particularly delicate bush, but it does have some enemies that you must be especially careful with. These are the basic care for tree tomato cultivation:


The tamarillo is a shrub that is very sensitive to frost and low temperatures. In fact, at temperatures below 10º C it is very likely that it will not survive, which is why it is best grown in temperate zones. Excess heat does not favor it either, and temperatures above 24ºC will also be detrimental to the plant.


Drought is the other great weak point of the tree tomato. Like most plants that require moisture, it is important that the substrate or soil of the tree tomato is always moist, but never flooded, as this will cause the roots to rot and the plant to get sick or be attacked by fungi and pests. .

Tree tomato fertilizer

It is recommended to fertilize the tamarillo annually, in autumn or spring. You can use organic fertilizers such as compost or humus for this, and thus keep your crop completely organic and ecological.

Tree tomato pruning

Pruning should be done once a year, either in early spring, before it begins to produce flowers, or in late fall, when it has finished bearing fruit. By cleaning the bush of unproductive or diseased branches we will help our plant to allocate its energy and nutrients to the most suitable parts.


This plant will appreciate an area where it receives light during the morning and the milder hours of the day, but not during the afternoon.

As a final detail, it should be added that sometimes the tamarillos may require tutoring, due to the great weight of their branches.

Tree tomato cultivation - Tree tomato cultivation: basic care

Transplanting a tomato plant from tree tomatoes: how and when to do it

When the seedling has been in the pot in which we planted it for about a month, it is a suitable time to transplant it to its final location, which can be either the garden or another larger pot, suitable for a shrub the size of the tree tomato. You can reach.

For tree tomato transplant follow these steps:

  1. Prepare a hole about 30 centimeters deep, either in soil or a large pot.
  2. Place the seedling in it, which you must extract together with the substrate close to its roots, and add some fertilizer to the mixture.
  3. Finally, cover the rest with soil, and water it.
  4. Remember that it is good to choose a location where it does not get direct sunlight all day.

Learn more in this other post about Transplanting a plant: when and how to do it correctly.

Common Tree Tomato Diseases and Pests

The tree tomato bush is quite susceptible to the attack of fungi due to excess watering or humidity. For this reason, you must be especially careful when watering it, and although it is important to keep its soil or substrate moist, never allow it to flood. If you have it planted in a pot, immediately remove the excess water from the plate after watering.

You may also suffer from anthracnose, a disease that makes its fruits darken and dry. It is convenient to remove the affected fruits and prune the attacked branches as soon as the symptoms are detected.

There are other pests and diseases that can affect this crop, but in general they can be combated with a suitable organic fertilizer and with the constant review of the state of our tamarillos.

Learn more with this other EcologíaVerde article on How to combat tomato pests ecologically.

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