Cherry Tomatoes Won't Ripen

by Michelle
(South Africa)

Pic added by editor

Pic added by editor

We have a problem with Cherry Tomatoes. The tomatoes are big and doing very well but it has not ripened yet. What could possibly be the reason why it is not changing colour?

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Answer from Stella:

Hi Michelle,

Tomatoes usually fail to ripen for two reasons: improper temperature or not enough of the proper light.

The optimum temperature range for tomatoes to ripen is 68–77 deg. F. The further temperatures stray from that ideal range, the slower they will ripen. Also, when temps are outside the optimum range for extended periods, the plants may be so stressed that the ripening process actually stops. This is particularly true if the temp is above 85 degrees, or below 65. Tomatoes just do not like extreme temperatures.

So make sure you are in that optimum temp range.

The other major issue is proper light. Are you using HPS (high pressure sodium) lighting for your tomato plant? (Or are they outside in sunlight?) Fluorescents or MH (metal halide) do not provide the spectrum of light needed for proper fruiting of plants. For ripe tomatoes, you will need HPS or sunlight, at least 8-10 hours of it.

Some strains of tomatoes just take longer to mature and ripen. If the temp and lighting is right, and the plants themselves look vigorous and healthy, then give it more time.

As a last resort, if you have waited and waited with no success, you could try to save your crop by ripening them off the vine. Tomatoes that have reached at least the mature green stage can be ripened off the vine. Wait for the fruit color to change to at least a lighter green -- and a little bit of reddish blush is even better. (Those that are still immature dark green will never ripen). Harvest them and then ripen on a sunny window sill (not in the fridge).

Hope this helps!
Stella

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Comments for Cherry Tomatoes Won't Ripen

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Jul 22, 2011
or . . .
by: Anonymous

there are also some tomato varieties that DON'T turn green . . . maybe you got one of those? Like a Green Grape Tomato, or something??

Feb 28, 2014
Ripen tomatoes
by: Ted Dunn

My hydroponic tomatoes seemed as though they would never ripen. I stopped feeding them for a few days and zoooooom most ripened and are delicious. Now I am feeding again for the new fruit that is appearing.

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