How long do tomato plants live? The average life expectancy of a tomato plant is between 6 – 8 months. Starting from seed to flowering, and then dying after the first frost.
However, there are a few ways you can prolong the lifespan of your tomato plants.
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- Best Soil for Hanging Basket Tomatoes
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- Planting Up your hanging Baskets
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- Pruning You Tomato Plants
The Lifespan of a Tomato Plant
Although tomatoes live for only around 6 months, they grow and grow very quickly.
They thrive and grow best during the spring and summer months, but can survive and bear fruit up until the first winter frost.
In some climates, where the temperature is always above 60 degrees Fahrenheit with no risk of frost, you could be able to grow your tomato plants to bear fruit for an extra season.
In most climates, however, growing a tomato plant until late fall or into the winter is extremely unlikely, with the exception of greenhouse-grown tomatoes.
No matter how warm your climate is, this is still quite uncommon.
Tomatoes can live much longer than the 6-month average, but they do need consistent warmth in order to thrive and produce fruit.
If you have a greenhouse, it can help you to extend the growing season so you don’t have to plant in spring, and you can harvest through the winter.
What Are The Causes Tomato Plant Death?
There are a number of possible causes that can result in the dealth of your tomato plants. including nutrient deficiencies, overwatering and improper watering, insect pests, disease, or environmental conditions.
The most common cause is overwatering. If you water your plants too much, especially during hot weather, they may develop blossom end rot or “bitter rot”, which causes the fruit to appear bitter and unappetizing. This is an unsightly condition, but it is not usually dangerous to consume.
In addition to helping you understand why your tomatoes are dying and how long a typical tomato should live, let’s take a look at a few ways you can extend the life of your tomato plant.
3 Ways to Extend Your Tomato Plant’s Life
You can extend the harvest of your tomatoes for a few weeks or maybe longer by taking these simple steps in late summer and early fall.
- Reduce watering. Reducing watering when fruit has reached or is near full size will speed up the ripening process. Plus, reducing watering will also keep the plant healthier and reduce the likelihood of a disease called “blossom-end rot”. This is when a tomato plant’s flowers begin to die and the fruit begins to shrivel.
- Pick excess fruit. As tomatoes mature, they turn yellow and red, but as they ripen, the leaves turn brown.
When temperatures cool in the fall, your fruit will need a lot more energy to ripen than if you have a smaller crop that is almost ready to harvest.
So, pick a few tomatoes when they’re just starting to turn yellow and green, then allow the rest to ripen on the vine. You can learn in more detail how to do this here
- Shift roots. Plant roots can be shifted by pulling slightly on the bottom.
It is then that the tomato knows it is time to let its fruit ripen and go to seed.
Propagating Your Tomato Plants
There are so many ways to increase the longevity of your plants. This is another one of those ways. Propagating a tomato plant from cuttings will create a copy of your original tomato plant.
Various methods are available for this that show you how to properly propagate your tomato plants, but this one seems to be the easiest.
The best time to take tomato plant cuttings is during May and June.
How Many Times Will a Tomato Plant Bear Fruit?
The amount of fruit your plants can produce depends on the variety of the plant.
Indeterminate tomato varieties produce more than one crop of tomatoes a year. Some can grow to a height of 10 feet or more, with the correct support.
Indeterminate tomatoes are preferable if you want to harvest multiple crops over a longer period of time.
Will My Tomato Plants Die After Fruiting?
The success of your tomato plant depends on the variety that you grow, not necessarily on when the harvest begins.
Some will grow for several months, while others might die after the final fruits mature.
Some will continue growing during the cold winter months, and others will need a different type of soil or fertilizer for them to thrive.
Do Tomato Plants Regrow Every Year?
Tomatoes are perennial, and not annuals, as many people think. They don’t regrow every year.
But they can survive the cold, and some do so by having a “winter” (underground) rest that consists of them surviving the frost.
In this case, the plant is dormant, but its vines and foliage keep growing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tomato Plants
Can Tomato Survive Winter?
Yes, You can grow tomato plants all winter if you keep them in a pot or other container that you can move inside. You don’t have to do anything special to grow tomatoes in this way.
Should I Compost a Dead Tomato Plant?
Composting is a great way to recycle organic material and help improve the soil. If you have a garden, you should keep an eye out for dead plants or plants that look sickly.
These can be composted, but you should be careful not to compost them if they have been affected by disease or pests.
Do Tomato Plants Die After Fruiting?
The variety of tomato plants you are growing will have an affect on this. Some may die after the final fruits mature, while others may continue growing until the season is over and cold.
How Many Tomatoes Will One Plant Produce In a Single Harvest?
It’s not unusual for your plants to produce anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds worth of tomatoes.
Depending on the size of the tomatoes grown, this can be roughly 10 to 90 tomatoes from a single plant’s harvest.