What will be your reaction to my salad that contains purple to blue marbles?
Don’t get me wrong. These marble-shaped fruits are Purple Tomatoes that long last with an acidic taste.
Sometimes purple tomatoes are mistaken for eggplant as they have such a deep purple skin, but they are different.
In general, there are more than 63 varieties of Purple Tomatoes, including the originals or the hybrids and the lab ones that are genetically modified. Some popular varieties include Purple Calabash, Brad’s Black Heart, and Purple Russian.
With an alluring shade, Purple tomatoes offer more flavor to dishes than red tomatoes enriching them with a sweet and unique taste.
So, let’s directly dig into the Purple tomato varieties and learn how you can grow them.
Table of Contents Show
- What Kind of Varieties of Tomatoes is Purple?
- 10+ Purple Tomato Varieties You Need to Grow
- Some More Purple Tomato Varieties
- Tips for Growing Purple Tomato Varieties
What Kind of Varieties of Tomatoes is Purple?
It is a surprise to witness a tomato with a black to purple shade as if god has dipped them into purple ink.
But that is not the case.
Purple Tomatoes are either from the heirlooms like the Cherokee variety, hybrids, or genetically modified like the Indigo Rose variety.
These tomatoes are purplish in hue due to water-soluble biochemical color pigment, anthocyanins, present in each variety.
But the good thing is that tomatoes’ sweet and savory taste remains unchanged and is safe to eat, making a healthy ingredient for your salads and sandwiches.
Besides, these tomatoes contain anthocyanins possessing anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and blood pressure-reducing effects.
So, if you want to relish these health benefits, you must grow Purple Tomatoes first.
10+ Purple Tomato Varieties You Need to Grow
Purple Tomatoes have a green flesh gene that prevents the breaking of chlorophyll and instead forms pheophytin, a brown compound.
This makes a Purple Tomato unable to develop entirely into a red one.
Here, I have enlisted some popular Purple Tomato varieties that you can grow easily at your farm or garden.
1. Black Beauty
The natural cross between Pink Berkeley Tie-Die and Indigo Apple brought the darkest variety of Purple Tomato, Black beauty.
To grow, you can sow the seeds of Black Beauty 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date indoors.
These tomatoes reach maturity in 80- 85 days and attain the 3-4 feet height, giving the beefsteak type Black Beauty fruit weighing up to 3-7 ounces.
You can harvest them from early summer to early fall.
But before harvesting, touch the tomatoes with your hands as they become soft on ripening.
Pick these black fruits when they show reddish to green shade on the bottom with round, flattened, and discreetly ribbed shoulders.
2. Brad’s Black Heart
Brad’s Black Heart variety has pink and black color skin, making it appear purple.
The heart-shaped fruits with pointed tips have a very dense and meaty flesh giving an earthy sweet taste.
Brad’s black heart is a mid-season crop, so you can start sowing the seeds from early spring or four weeks before the last frost.
The plant attains maturity in 80 days and provides you the harvest from mid-summer till autumn frost.
The entire plant reaches 6 feet tall in maturity, with each mature fruit weighing around 3.5-7 oz.
The maximum recorded weight till now is 17.6 oz, similar to the beefsteak type.
3. Purple Boy
Another variety on the list is the Purple Boy, an heirloom-like hybrid variety that assimilates all the Cherokee features.
Purple Boy is an indeterminate variety that grows from the early spring and matures in 80 days.
These plants grow up to 4-6 feet on maturity.
They are even darker than the heirloom variety Cherokee and taste solid tangy, and sweet.
The inside-out part of the fruit is purplish, with the average weight of a single fruit ranging from 6-12 oz.
You can harvest these tomatoes from the late summer till fall.
One of the qualities that differentiate the Purple Boy from other varieties is its resistance to diseases like Tobacco Mosaic Virus and Root Knot Nematodes.
4. Rosella Tomato
The Rosella variety of Tomato originated from the cross between dwarf red fruit, Budai, and Stump of the World variety of Tomato.
These fruits resemble cherry tomatoes but not precisely as they have medium-large oblate fruit.
The optimum time to sow the seeds of Rosella is four weeks before the last frost date indoors.
The plants attain maturity in 70 days and obtain 6 feet in height.
They prepare the fruits to ripen within a few weeks, providing you with a mid-season harvest starting from the end of July and extending up to September.
A single mature Rosella weighs about 6-12 oz.
You can enjoy the tomatoes for their unique taste, similar to that of strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry, with a smoky flavor at last.
5. Purple Russian
The Purple Russian is an heirloom variety originally from Irma Henkel in Ukraine, also famous as Ukrainian Purple.
Each fruit of the Purple Russian weighs around 5-7 oz and is crack-resistant.
They are meaty, plum-shaped, purple-red fruits rich with a flavorful sweet taste and perfect for your salads, sauces, and sandwiches.
To bring Purple Russian into your garden, start sowing indoors two months before the last frost date.
Later you need to transfer them outdoors in the early spring.
After 80 days of maturity, you can enjoy the harvest from mid-summer to late fall. Purple Russian tomatoes attain a total length of 6-8 feet on maturity.
As an indeterminate, they can provide you with a season-long harvest. So you can enjoy the seasonal fruit as much as you want.
6. Cherokee Purple Tomato
Cherokee originality dates back to the 1990s, from Sevierville, Tennessee, as an old heirloom variety.
The fruits of Cherokee have beautiful, deep purple-red skin with irregular three to five body lobes with light green shoulders.
To get the fruits, sow the seeds indoors eight weeks before the last frost date.
Cherokee purple takes at least 80-90 days for maturation and reaches up to 9 feet in height. After completing 3-4 months, you can harvest ripened fruits from the mid-summer till frost.
Each fruit weighs about 10-12 oz offering tangy, savory, and sweet.
7. Black Krim
Black Krim, or Black Crimea, is a native of Russia and an heirloom of the Purple Tomato variety originating from the Crimean Peninsula.
The variety provides a dark-maroon lobed fruit with a greenish-brown shoulder that appears black without sufficient light.
This beefsteak type variety is indeterminate for its vining foliage that requires support for growth.
On maturity, the plant vines can reach up to 6 feet long.
You can sow Black Krim seeds indoors six weeks before the last frost date.
When the frost ends, transplant them outdoors and wait for 70 days to allow the plants to ripen the fruits.
After getting ripened, Black Krim offers the harvest in August, extending up to September.
You can expect a single fruit weighing 10-16 oz from this purple tomato variety.
8. Chef’s Choice Black
Another addition to the hybrid variety is the Chef’s Choice Black Tomato.
The fruits of this variety have a flattened globe structure with smooth thin skin and colors ranging from dark green to brown and black hue.
The seed sowing time of Chef’s Choice Black is similar to other varieties during the early spring. The plants require at least 75 days from the transplant to mature for harvest during early fall.
The tomato plants can reach up to 5 feet long on maturity under proper care.
The fruits are rich in flavors with a slight taste of salt and weigh 8-12 oz each, similar to the beefsteak type.
Meanwhile, it is also an indeterminate vining variety resistant to diseases like Tobacco Mosaic and Fusarium.
9. Evan’s Purple Pear
Another variety of the Wild Boar series is Evan’s Purple Pear, a hybrid of Pruden’s Purple and another small red fruit.
This sweet and earthy flavored fruit is in the shape of a pear, justifying its name.
The expected growing season of the variety is in the early spring, with a total maturity time of 75 days.
As an indeterminate variety, Evan’s purple pear gives harvests multiple times in the fall.
On maturity, the plant gains trailing vines and reaches a maximum length of 8 feet. The fruit has smooth thin skin, weighing around 2-3 oz.
10. Black Cherry
True to its type from generation, the Black Cherry tomato is an heirloom plant evolving from the original Red Cherry tomato.
The fruits of Black Cherry are round and shiny with a dusky purple-brown shade similar to grapes and cherries.
Eventually, Black Cherry prefers early spring for growing and germinating seeds.
The variety is a fast grower initiating the harvest within 65 days of transplanting and continues throughout the fall from the mid-summer.
The Black Cherry tomato is smaller than other varieties weighing 0.7-1.5 oz per fruit. The fruit has a sweet juicy flavor.
Surprisingly, given the fruit size, the entire plant can still attain a height of 5 feet till maturity.
11. The Wine Ju
The Wine Jug is a crack-resistant containing thick-skinned fruit rich in sweetness with a slightly tart flavor.
You can start Wine Jug seeds indoors eight weeks before the last frost date to enjoy the harvest from early summer.
The variety takes about 80-90 days from transplanting to maturity and extends up to 6 feet.
Meanwhile, the fruits give wine color shade with bronze splashes, with each fruit weighing 3.5-8 oz.
12. Chocolate Cherry
The Chocolate Cherry variety is round and relatively small, resembling the cherry variety except for the skin color.
Fruits of Chocolate Cherry have rich brick red to chocolaty shades weighing only about 0.5-1 oz each.
The Chocolate Cherry variety originates from the Andes’ mountainous region as an heirloom plant.
You can start sowing your chocolate cherry indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date.
After 70 days from transplant, the plants attain maturity with a maximum height of 6 feet long under the support of sticks and stand as an indeterminate variety.
And you can enjoy the mid-season harvest.
13. Paul Robeson Tomato
The name holds a great history, but the vital part of understanding is that Paul Robeson is an heirloom plant from Siberia, Russia.
If you have a greenhouse, start sowing in early May, but if your plan is for outdoors, start from mid-May to enjoy the harvests during mid-August.
The variety has trailing vines extending up to 6 feet as an indeterminate variety, providing a season-long harvest with 70-80 days of maturity.
Paul Robeson is famous for its beefsteak type fruit weighing about 7-10 oz per fruit, giving a sweet and smoky flavor.
And the fruits are about 3-4 inches in diameter and have a brick red shade with dark green shoulders.
14. Dwarf Purple Heart
Dwarf Purple Heart resulted from the ‘Dwarf tomato project’ by the cross between ‘Dwarf Wild Fred’ and ‘Brad’s Black Heart.’
It is great to start sowing the seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost and wait for the cold to end for transplanting.
If you finish sowing the seeds in the spring, you can enjoy the mid-season harvest throughout the fall.
Dwarf Purple Heart has a maturity time of 75 days, and the plant extends up to 4 feet on maturity.
I love this tomato variety for its heart shape, fruit, and rich dusky rose-purple shade expecting a cherry-sized tomato.
The fruit has beefsteak size, weighing 6-16 oz per fruit.
Besides, it has a well-balanced sweet flavor when put in salads and sandwiches.
15. Purple Calabash Tomato Varieties
Purple Calabash, the most purplish variety of tomatoes, dates back to pre-Columbian Mexico for its originality as an heirloom plant.
The main feature of the Calabash lies in its taste which is acidic but uniquely rich in wine flavor with a citrus finish.
The fruits have ribbed and scalloped shapes with chocolate-brown to deep-purple skin.
To bring the variety into your garden, you can start sowing the seed indoors four to six weeks before the last frost date.
And you can enjoy the mid-season harvest that starts in August with a maturity period of 80-85 days.
On maturity, the plant attains a length of 5-7 feet with a single fruit weighing 6-12 oz.
Some More Purple Tomato Varieties
Besides the list mentioned earlier, you can also consider the varieties below for reference and choose the best one.
|Varieties||Maturity time(After transplanting)||Features|
|Black Zebra Cherry (Prunus nigra)||75 days||Indeterminate variety with height of 6-8 feet
Perfectly round fruits with red burgundy exterior and few splashes of green
|Sunshine Blue||100-120 days||Determinate variety with a height of 4-5 feet
Round, flattened fruit with a dark blue skin
|Purple Reign||70-80 days||Determinate with a height of 3 feet
Heart shaped fruit with purple and dark red skin
|Indigo Ruby||75 days||Determinate variety with a height of 5-7 feet
Plum shaped fruit with dark pinkish red-purple skin
|Purple Bumble Bee||60-70 days||Indeterminate variety with a height of 4-6 feet
Perfectly round fruit with dusky purple red skin with green stripes
|Marizol Purple||80 days||Indeterminate variety with a height of 4-6 feet
More or less ribbed, chubby shoulders with deep pink skin having purple tint
|Owen's Purple||75-90 days||Indeterminate variety with a height of 6-8 feet.
Beautiful round fruits with reddish purple skin
Tips for Growing Purple Tomato Varieties
Tomatoes need a warm environment, so you should plant and keep them indoors until the temperature reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are a newbie to gardening, get the quick guide below!
- Provide the Purple tomatoes with at least 8 hours of direct sunlight as shade affects the skin color.
- Tomatoes demand at least 65-85% humidity as a tropical crop.
- Maintain the lowest temperature of 50ºF during planting and not more than 90ºF during the growing season.
- Tomatoes demand regular watering during the growing season and an average of an inch of water per week for the grown-up plant.
- Similarly, the soil should be acidic to neutral, well-draining, and have a pH of 6.5-7.5.
- The soil should be organic-rich, but you can use a 5-10-5 N-P-K fertilizer to amend the soil nutrient at four to six weeks intervals.
- Determinate variety rarely requires pruning, but you can prune the trailing plants with side-extending branches before the flowering.
- Purple tomato varieties do not require repotting after transplanting the seedlings.
- Disease attacking the plant is anthracnose, black mold, and early blight that you can cure by crop rotation, avoiding water sprinkling in the leaves and fruits.
- Also, protect your crop from aphids, beet armyworms, beetle, and cutworms that you can treat by applying neem oil and insecticidal soap.
The Black or Purple Tomato can be a colorful addition to your garden and dinner for its acidic taste and antioxidant properties.
To grow these tomatoes, you need to sow the seeds indoors and transplant the seedlings after they form 2-3 leaves.
Within four months, the plants mature and can produce 20 fruits on average per plant.
If you are a novice in harvesting tomatoes, read about how to pick tomatoes.