Black Cherry Tomato – The ONLY Guide You Need! [with photos]

In a previous post, we stopped our attention to the types of black tomato varieties (or almost black at least) that you can grow yourself.

In this post, I’ll stop our attention to one particular variety – the black cherry tomato. We’ll take a look at its profile, how to plant it, care for it, and harvest it.

Of course, I’ll try to answer as many questions as possible. Let’s get started.

Black Cherry Tomato Profile – Q&A

First, let’s take a look at some of the basic questions you might have. Anything that isn’t specific to growing, planting, diseases or harvesting. Just the basics to get this going.

What is a Black Cherry tomato?

Are black cherry tomatoes determinate or indeterminate?

The black cherry tomatoes are indeterminate.

Are Black Cherry tomatoes heirloom or hybrid?

This variety is an heirloom one.

What do Black Cherry tomatoes look like?

They have a very rich deep purple or burgundy color. A photo shows that much better than words do.

black cherry tomato

What is the Black Cherry tomato height? How tall does the tomato plant grows?

The fruit of black cherry tomatoes is usually around 1.5 inches in length (or around 3.8 cm). In terms of the size of the tomato plant – the height is up to 5 feet (155 cm) and 4 feet in width (122 cm).

Do Black tomatoes taste the same as red tomatoes?

Black tomatoes tend to be less acid than the red tomato varieties.

Do Black Cherry tomatoes turn red?

Based on my experience, I have observed that once the fruit on the plant turns red, it remains red even after it’s picked and does not turn black when it ripens. This is because the darker color of the fruit is due to the presence of chlorophyll in the plant.

black cherry tomato 2

What is the taste of Black Cherry tomato?

This is a common question – most people want to know if black cherry tomatoes are sweet or sour. Well, the answer is – sweet and rich complex flavor.

Black Cherry tomato days to maturity

Usually, it takes around 70 days until the plant reaches maturity.

Are Black Cherry tomatoes safe to eat?

Yes. Don’t get fooled by the dark color (although I find the color is the property that makes them very exquisite). Black cherry tomatoes are completely safe to eat.

Of course, if you took care of them properly.

What are black cherry tomatoes used for?

Black cherry tomatoes are typically used in the same ways as other tomato varieties. They are a smaller variety of tomatoes that are known for their sweet and tangy flavor, and their unique deep red to purple-black color. Some common uses for black cherry tomatoes include:

  1. Eating fresh
    Black cherry tomatoes can be eaten raw as a snack or in salads, and their sweet flavor makes them a popular choice for snacking.
  2. Cooking
    They are great for cooking and can be used in a variety of recipes, such as sauces, soups, stews, and casseroles. They also work well roasted or grilled.
  3. Garnish
    Due to their striking color, black cherry tomatoes can be used as a garnish for dishes, adding a pop of color and a burst of flavor.
  4. Preserving
    They can be preserved in various ways, such as canning, pickling, or drying, to be enjoyed later on.
black cherry tomato 1

Planting Black Cherry Tomato – Q&A

What soil mixture to use?

If you plan on growing them in containers, my advice would be to get an organic potting mix. You can find it in any big store or on Amazon.

If you plant to grow a lot of them, I suggest make your own potting mix (it’s a lot more budget-friendly). Just keep in mind that it needs to be well-drained, aerate, and nourish the plant.

A well-proven potting mix for me is :

  1. One part compost
  2. One part vermiculite (or perlite)
  3. One part peat moss

Make sure to mix them all of the parts together before you plant the tomato seedling.

Where to get black cherry tomato seeds?

These days you can get black cherry tomato seeds in most online stores or nurseries. It very much depends on your location. If you’re in the US – Renee’s garden is a great online store.

When to plant black cherry tomato seeds?

You need to start the plants indoors. Usually, around 6 to 8 weeks before the expected temperature outside is at least 55˚F (13˚C).

Use the soil mixture we mentioned above. Place each seed in a container, about 1/4 inch into the soil. You need to provide warm (80˚F / 27˚C). If you can’t provide heat, you can get a plant heating mat.

The other important requirement – water. Make sure the soil stays moist but not soggy. The last bit is patience 🙂

Growing Black Cherry tomato – Q&A

What is the best fertilizer for Black Cherry tomatoes?

I’d recommend any organic fertilizer, such as:

  • Epsom salt
  • Compost
  • Egg shells
  • Animal manure
  • Fish emulsion

Super Tip: Get yourself some seaweed and use it with your tomato plants. Seaweed provides nitrogen, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Seaweed helps all plants, not just tomatoes, to develop a healthy and strong root systems and fruits. It stimulates growth and makes the plants stronger.

How often to water?

Watering depends on the climate and whether or not the soil is dry. The general rule of thumb – stick your finger in the potting mix about 1 inch in and if you feel it’s dry, go ahead and water the plant.

watering can

Do not overwater the plants as this causes problems and might kill the plant.

ALWAYS water the plant at the base, not from above. Try not to splash water or soil into the leaves. This may lead to the spreading of viruses that may or may not be in the soil.

Sunlight Requirements

The sunlight requirement for the black cherry tomato is around 6+ hours per day. Be careful with strong sunlight. If you notice that the plant’s leaves are curling, the sun is probably too strong and you might have to get a shading net.

Temperature requirement

The ideal temperature is above 70˚F (21˚C).

Harvesting Black Cherry tomato – Q&A

When are Black Cherry tomatoes ripe? How to tell when black cherry tomatoes are ripe and ready to be picked?

To tell if Black Cherry tomatoes are ripe, you should look for the following signs:

  1. Color: The tomatoes should be a deep, dark red or black color. They may also have a slightly purple tint.
  2. Texture: Ripe Black Cherry tomatoes should be firm but not hard, and they should give slightly when pressed gently.
  3. Size: The tomatoes should be around 1 inch in diameter, although this can vary depending on growing conditions.
  4. Taste: The best way to tell if a Black Cherry tomato is ripe is to taste it. It should be sweet and juicy with a slightly acidic flavor.

When harvesting Black Cherry tomatoes, you can gently twist the tomato until it separates from the stem. If the stem does not easily come off, use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to cut it from the plant.

It’s important to avoid squeezing or pressing the tomato too hard during harvesting, as this can damage the fruit.

Black Cherry tomato – Diseases and Pests

The same diseases and pests that normal tomatoes get are also applicable to the black cherry variety. That includes (but is not limited to):


There you have it. A full comprehensive overview of Black Cherry tomato variety and how to grow them. I believe that once you harvest your crop, you’d be more than happy you’ve planted them.

They are delicious and you can’t go wrong with this variety. Cherry tomatoes seem to be quite pricy, so why not grow your own?

Photo of author
Emily Jones
My name is Emily Jones and I'm a vivid gardener and tomato lover for over 30 years. I've gained a lot of knowledge and tips related to growing and caring for tomatoes. Now I'm dedicated to help beginner tomato lovers grow their own tomato plants.