Fruit growing

Looking for an unusual tomato, ‘Black Cherry’ could be it

Last updated on January 26th, 2022

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Black Cherry Tomato

If you are looking for a new variety of tomato to grow this summer then ‘Black Cherry’ might just be what you are looking for. A true cherry tomato, yet also a highly unusual variety that has dark blackish-purple fruit that is only around 1inch wide. They have a rich, sweet juicy flavour and are perfect to have freshly picked with a salad.

Bred in Florida by a man named Vince Sapp, these tomatoes are easy to grow and are an indeterminate (cordon) type growing to around 6-8ft. They are perfect for growing in pots and containers on the patio in a sunny spot where you can enjoy watching the fruits ripen. They also grow well in a cold greenhouse. They are very vigorous and do require pruning as with all cordon varieties. This simply means removing any side shoots to form one central stem.

The fruits are early ripening and usually take around 60 days.

How to grow these fabulous tomatoes

These are sometimes available as plug plants, but they are very rare to see in garden centres, so ordering online is probably your best option. The seeds are available online as well and maybe an option if you want to try growing this unique tomato

Sowing seeds (skip this step if you have bought ready-grown plug plants)

Sow the seeds around March/April, some gardeners sow as early as February but we find March is just fine and sow them in a quality seed compost into a seed tray or large pot.

Spread seeds evenly, making sure they are also spaced evenly because this will make transplanting them easier when the seedlings are ready to be transplanted. Once you have sown the seeds cover them with a thin layer (2-3mm) of compost or perlite and water with a fine rose watering can.

Next place them in a plant propagator with the lid on. If you do not have a propagator, then put a piece of clear plastic over them to help keep the soil moist. A little tip here is to put a few small canes into the seed tray to hold the plastic off the soil and seedlings so they don’t touch the plastic when they germinate.

Place in a sunny position but not in direct sunlight as the seedlings can get scorched. The seedlings should germinate within about 10-14 days but this varies depending on how warm they are. If you grow them in a propagator with heating underneath they will germinate faster.

Once the seeds germinate, remove the plastic sheet or propagator cover and grow on until they have two sets of leaves fully open, strong stems and roots. They should be ready to pot on in around 3-4 weeks from germinating.

black cherry tomato

Seeds are available from Thompson & Morgan here


Once they are large enough, you can pot them on into small individual pots, 9cm pots are perfect. Mix quality potting compost with 20% perlite and mix in well as this helps with drainage.

Pot the tomatoes up making sure that you are holding them by their leaves to avoid damaging the stem. Grow them on until they are fully established in their new pots, making sure the temperature is a minimum of 15C (59F). Start to harden them off for a few weeks before planting outside. Tomatoes cannot be planted out until the risk of frost has passed, which in most parts of the UK, is usually around the end of May

Planting out

Black Cherry tomatoes are ideal for growing in pots on the patio. Pots with holes in will ensure stronger healthier plants and use good quality compost mixed with 20% perlite. You can purchase air pots for this reason or you can simply drill small holes into a pot yourself.

Watering and feeding Black Cherry tomatoes

Tomato plants need a constant supply of water and the aim is to keep the compost moist but not too wet. You will probably need to water once a day in summer once they are established. Begin to feed when flowers appear with a high in potash feed, you can buy tomato feed for this and feed as directed on the instructions. Too much water can rot the roots whilst inconsistent watering or dry soil can lead to ‘tomato blossom rot’ where the tomatoes turn black and the skins can crack.

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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