As red as it gets and as round as it gets, Campari Tomatoes are one of the cutest-looking tomato varieties.
These perfectly round tomatoes are colored a vibrant deep red and are delightfully delicious.
I won’t say this variety is a tough one to grow, but it’s got its specific needs like all other Tomato varieties.
The Campari is not an heirloom variety, but a hybrid specially developed to meet the demands of the food market in the 1900s.
The seeds of this variety are not commercially sold by Canadian seed processing firms and are shipped across the Americas from there.
Camparies are famous around the world because of their rich sweet taste, juiciness, and low acidity.
These tomatoes grow bigger than cherry tomatoes and are roughly the size of a golf ball, with the average fruit mass being 32 grams.
Campari Tomato Plant Care
Campari Tomatoes thrive in well-draining organic soil that is rich in nutrients. The recommended soil pH level for these plants is 6, and they require water in moderation. They can tolerate drought and high heat but require consistent soil moisture and temperatures between 60- 95 degrees Fahrenheit (18-35 degrees Celsius) for good fruit yield.
Campari Tomato Plant Care Guide
Although the aesthetic appeal and taste of Campari Tomatoes differentiate them from other tomatoes, it would be fair to say that the growing methods and care these plants need are almost the same as regular tomato plants.
These plants are not tough to care for. You can grow them from seeds bought commercially or even from seeds obtained from fresh ripened tomatoes.
With some effort, you can enjoy the vibrant red of Campari Tomatoes on your dining table.
When it comes to Campari Tomatoes, it is primarily the soil that means the difference between a bountiful yield of fruit or retarded growth of plants.
These plants like soil that is rich in organic matter, nutrients. However, you must note that the soil should not be heavy.
Tomato plants need to grow big within the growing season to provide the maximum amount of fruit, and this won’t be possible if the roots are not allowed to grow freely.
Light soil that can be penetrated easily is recommended so that the roots can grow fast and the Campari plant gets established as soon as possible.
Light soils also warm up quicker than heavier mixes, which is very beneficial for tomato plants.
Along with lightness and high-nutrient levels in the soil, good drainage is absolutely essential for this tomato variety. You don’t want water to hang about around the roots of your plants for too long.
Commercial mixes high in organic matter with good drainage are good.
Still, they can get cumbersome on the pocket when needed for grow beds or multiple planters.
Preparing your own mix is a cheaper solution. Here is the soil recipe you should use for Campari Tomatoes:
- 1/3 parts peat moss
- 1/3 parts sand
- 1/3 parts loam
Campari Tomatoes need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight throughout the day to perform well.
These plants start blossoming only when temperatures are high enough, and the sunlight is hot to warm the air and soil up.
Although direct sunlight is a must, you will need to be careful if you live in a climate with scorching summers. Camparies are an indeterminate vining variety that is prone to suffer from sunburn.
If you think the sun is too harsh around midday, choose a place for your tomatoes that receives morning or afternoon sunlight mostly.
You can also protect your Campari Tomatoes with a green shade that filters 50% sunlight when mid-summer arrives.
If you want to grow Campari Tomatoes even when winter is here, you can do so easily in a greenhouse.
But for those who don’t have their own greenhouses, Campari can also do well if brought indoors only if they are provided adequate sunlight.
If the indoor temperatures are comfortable and that there is enough sunlight, that is the window you place your Campari plants in front so it gets 6 hours of sunlight at least.
Provided these conditions are met, you can successfully grow Campari Tomatoes even during the winters.
6 hours of direct sunlight during the cooler part of the year is a luxury not available everywhere around the world.
You might live in an area which gets hardly 2-3 hours of the sun through the window. In that case, you can use LED grow lights to make up for light requirements.
LED grow lights are an excellent solution to grow Camparies indoors, given that you have space and affordability.
Tomatoes require 6-8 hours of light to produce fruit, and it’s not that you will have to keep the lights on for this long every day. Grow lights are only supposed to make up for the missing daylight.
Suppose your tomato plants receive 2-3 hours of sunlight through the window; you can make up for the rest 3-4 hours with grow lights.
Campari Tomatoes need water in moderation and are drought tolerant.
They are not one of the really thirsty tomato plants, but they need the soil to be constantly moist at all times for a good yield. Irregular watering practice is a big no.
This means that the soil you grow your tomatoes in needs to have really good water retention ability.
There should be water-soaking material in the soil that can soak up all the excess water like a sponge and then slowly release it back into the soil around the roots when the moisture begins to dry.
You can add pot break or other water soaking material such as perlite to keep the soil evenly moist. If you should avoid one thing, it is watering your Camparies unevenly.
Uneven watering refers to irregular watering practices, which may include overwatering, underwatering, or watering with dissimilar time gaps.
Uneven soil moisture will eventually lead to your tomatoes cracking up.
Campari Tomatoes are resistant to high heat. They are well-suited to hot temperatures and cannot tolerate cold at all.
The temperature range in which Campari Tomatoes can grow in is 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (18-35 degrees Celsius) and will start fruiting as soon as temperature cross 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).
The minimum soil temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit (18d egrees Celsius), and the plant will not grow or even suffer permanent damage if the roots sit for too long in cold soil.
The recommended USDA Hardiness Zones for Campari Tomatoes are 3-11.
Fertilizer is an absolute must if you’ve just plowed over the old soil and planted your Campari Tomatoes.
Fertilizing can be skipped if you put a lot of effort into preparing nutrient-rich grow beds for your tomatoes, but if that is not the case or if you’re growing tomatoes in containers, then you will need to fertilize every week or so.
Campari Tomatoes are heavy feeders. Soil reserves of Potassium and Phosphorous are crucial for these tomatoes to turn red and ripen.
Nitrogenous fertilizer is good when you’ve just transplanted the young plants.
As the plants grow, reduce the nitrogen doses as blossoms begin and increase Potassium and Phosphorous fertilizers.
Keep feeding your Campari Tomatoes for as long as they don’t stop fruiting.
Ensure that you give your plants a hearty drink of water before you add fertilizer around the base of the plants. Do this to ensure that the plants’ roots aren’t burned by the fertilizer.
The Campari is a hybrid, which means the seeds are commercially prepared to sell.
If you save the seeds from a genuine Campari Tomato, odds are you will not get the same tomato as the one you used the seeds from.
This is all about genetics and cross-pollination, so without going into the science of it, let’s just recognize the fact that if we want to grow true Camparis, we’ll need to buy but the specific seeds.
But if you still want to try, there is a method to get close to Campari tomatoes from a fresh ripened tomato.
Take one or few Campari Tomatoes and slice them evenly to make 4 discs.
The tiny white spots in the jelly-like pulp are the seeds. The seeds are coated in a gel that prevents germination.
Place the tomato slices on organic germination mix in a seed tray or a shallow well-draining pot.
Cover them up with a few handfuls of the same mix so that a half an inch thick layer is above the slices.
If it’s too cold to place the seed trays outside, place them indoors in front of a window or under grow lights.
If it’s still too cool indoors, try using a seedling heat mat to germinate your seeds in freezing weather. Add some water to make the mix slightly damp.
Be patient now because the seedling will take their time to sprout. You will see the seedlings coming through in a few weeks’ time, and there’ll be a whole army of them.
Let the young plants grow in the same conditions until they are at least 2-3 inches tall.
You can now start singling out the seedlings and transferring them to small pots with organic soil mix.
As you wait for the last frost date to transplant them outside, start hardening them off by introducing them to the outdoors for a few hours every day.
Transfer your Campari tomatoes to their homes for that season when the last date of frost has passed.
The Campari is an indeterminate tomato variety which means it grows as a vine and continues to grow and bear fruit for as long as the growing season lasts.
They take 70-90 days to maturity and can grow up to 5-8 feet tall.
These are tall vining plants and will require stakes or tomato cages to grow well.
If you plan on growing them in planters, you will need large-sized ones so that the roots can go at least 3 feet below the soil level.
Common Problems with Campari Tomatoes
Campari Tomatoes are a particularly disease-resistant variety.
They usually put up a good fight and win against common tomato diseases such as verticillium, fusarium, and late blight.
But they are not immune to all plant health-related problems.
Campari Tomatoes have delicate skin, and the fruit can easily crack because of uneven watering.
Water your tomatoes regularly and consistently to avoid getting cracked fruit.
Slugs and Snails
The delicious tomatoes are an attractive target for the numerous insects that appear in a humid environment.
You will need to keep an eye out for bug populations in your tomato patch, so even if a few little tomato-munching snails appear, you can get rid of them and nip it in the bud.
Blossom End Rot
This is more of a physiological plant health issue where brown leathery patches appear on the bottom end of your Campari Tomatoes.
Blossom end rot usually occurs due to a lack of Calcium and/or uneven watering practices.
Frequently Asked Questions About Campari Tomato Plant Care
Are Campari Tomatoes good for diet?
Campari Tomatoes have very few calories, so they are excellent for adding to salads and as a side. One Campari Tomato usually carries 16-18 calories, so they are ideal for losing weight.
Can Campari Tomatoes survive frost?
It is highly unlikely that the young plants will live on if they are exposed to frost. You can still take your chances and thaw the ice off of them by using water before the sun comes up.
When to harvest Campari Tomatoes?
It is usually time to harvest when the tomatoes turn deep red. They should be firm but not hard. Don’t let them overripe and harvest them by cutting them off the vine with a knife or a pruner.
Campari tomatoes are extra juicy and extra sweet and are perfect for salads and with meats because of the vibrant red they bring to the dining table.
These tomatoes are also suitable for cooking because of the sweet taste and lovely texture after being cooked.
It is for the same reason they are so popular for making sauces. You need to make a little effort to get this heavenly tomato variety growing in your garden.
Organic soil, consistent watering, and adequate sunlight is the recipe for a good yield of Campari!
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.