How long does It take for a tomato plant to bear fruit? Tomatoes are the most homegrown fruit on the planet.
If you want to start growing tomatoes, you might wonder how long your plant will take until harvest.
In this article, I’ll tell you what you need to know about the tomato plant harvest and how long it takes from seed or seedling until tomatoes bear fruit.
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How long does it take for a tomato plant to bear fruit?
The time it takes for a tomato plant to bear fruit depends on your growing variety. For some varieties, it can take as little as 50 days, but for others, it can take as long as 100 days. On average, you can expect your tomato plant to take 60 days to bear fruit.
The growth cycle of a tomato fruit
Some varieties of tomato plants take very little time to bear fruit. One example of this is the “Bloody Butcher” tomato.
This plant produces a tomato that is a little larger than a cherry and takes about 55 days to harvest, from the growth to the ripening stage.
Other varieties can take much longer. For example, the “Brandy Wine” tomato can take 90 days to mature.
When you start to see bright yellow blossoms on your tomato plant, it is nearing the time for your plant to start bearing fruit.
After your flowers have been pollinated naturally or by hand, they should turn into small green fruits within 2 to 3 weeks.
Read further for information on pollinating tomato flowers by hand.
Following this, they will become bigger and riper and eventually start to change color.
It can take about 20 to 30 days for the tomato to ripen from the vine.
Some chose to pick their tomatoes just as they started to change color and to ripen them off the plant instead.
This can often make your tomatoes ripen quicker, especially if you store them in a paper bag or with other ripening fruits.
Top tip – give your plants plenty of tomato food fertilizer during their fruit-bearing stages.
They especially need a balance of phosphorus and potassium to aid in ripening and growth.
Encouraging your tomato plant to grow fruit faster
Choose the right variety
There are multiple ways to encourage your tomato to bear fruit faster. Mostly, it all depends on choosing the right variety for the location that you live in.
For example, you could choose an early ripening variety such as the “Early Girl” tomato if you live in an area that experiences cooler summer months.
This will mean you won’t need to wait long for you to start enjoying the fruits of your tomato plant.
Similarly, if you live in a warmer climate, you could choose a variety suited to that, such as the “Cherry” tomato plant.
Providing your tomato plant with proper care and maintenance will also encourage it to grow faster, which could result in it bearing fruits earlier.
This means ensuring that your tomato plant gets enough sunlight, creating a sufficient watering schedule, and adjusting it as your plant’s needs change.
Tomatoes typically need 1 to 2 inches of water a week, but this can be altered depending on the temperate of your environment.
The soil should be slightly moist to the touch but not dry or saturated.
In the height of summer, your tomato plant may need to be watered as frequently as twice a day, but if the days are cooler, it may be as little as twice a week.
Many gardeners even add mulch or peat moss to the soil of their tomato plants to ensure that moisture is retained for longer.
Tomato plants also need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily, but your plant will thrive best with 8 hours or more.
If your plant does not receive adequate sunlight, it likely won’t flower or produce fruits.
You may need to move your tomato plant around your garden to ensure it gets the most light possible.
Aside from getting the light levels right, don’t forget to properly space your tomato plants to avoid competition among them.
Aiding with your tomato plant’s pollination may also help encourage the fruits to grow faster.
Although tomato plants are self-pollinating, the process can take longer if bumblebees and insects don’t often visit your garden.
The wait can especially be lengthened if you live in an area with little wind to circulate the pollen on your plant.
This process can be helped by simply shaking the branches of your tomato plant a few times a day, naturally increasing pollen circulation.
Additionally, some gardeners choose to cross-pollinate their tomato plants by hand. You can do this using a fine brush or a popsicle stick.
Place the brush or stick inside a blossom on your plant, and use that stick to touch a blossom on another plant.
Pollinating by hand is extremely useful if you grow your tomatoes in a greenhouse, where the movement of the air is relatively low.
It can also be much more successful than letting your tomato plant self-pollinate and can result in you yielding more than three times your usual tomato crop.
How long does it take for Cherry Tomatoes to grow?
Cherry tomatoes mostly take 60 to 65 days to grow. They are fast growers and can be harvested earlier than other tomatoes. If you want to harvest cherry tomatoes faster, buy seedlings instead of seeds.
Depending on the cultivar, the days till harvest might vary.
Here are three cherry tomato cultivars and their time to harvest according to Delaware University:
- Early Cherry (55 days)
- Sun Gold (57 days)
- Gardener’s Delight (65 days)
Frequently Asked Questions
How much fruit does a tomato plant produce?
On average, each tomato plant produces around 5 to 10 fruits. However, this is dependent on variety, as some may produce more.
How long is the typical lifespan of a tomato plant?
The lifespan of a tomato plant is around 6 months, although some newer varieties have been bred to last even longer.
Why don’t I see my tomato plants bearing fruit?
If your tomato plant isn’t producing fruit, likely, it isn’t getting the care it needs. Ensure that your plant gets the right amount of water and at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
Why is my tomato plant flowering but not producing fruit?
The most common reason for a tomato plant to flower but not produce fruit is that it is not pollinated. Outdoors, insects such as bees, and the wind will pollinate the plants. Indoors you have to pollinate by hand or using a ventilator. Other reasons for now fruits are environmental stress, such as heat and cold, as well as pest and diseases.
The time for tomatoes to bear fruit:
- It can take between 20 days to 50 days
- It depends on the variety
- Cherry tomatoes mostly take 60 to 65 days to grow
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.