Tomatoes are one of the most popularly grown plants on the planet. Tomato plants growing in your yard are an excellent addition as they bring life and lots of fresh fruit to your backyard. Homegrown tomatoes are low-maintenance and easy-to-grow plants. They’re the perfect plant, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gardener.
Since tomato plants die off, you may wonder if it is possible to keep them going. In our guide, you can learn more about the expected lifespan of tomato plant and how long do tomato plants last.
By the end, you’ll see the same plant could carry on producing fruit longer if all conditions are met. You’ll also see how experienced tomato growers lengthen tomato plant lifespan or answer the ultimate question: Can tomatoes live forever? (Read Tomato Hornworm Life Cycle)
Can You Keep A Tomato Plant Alive Forever?
So you’ve decided to grow tomatoes in your garden and wonder how long you’ll be able to reap the benefits of your labor.
Depending on the variety, tomatoes live for 6-8 months or 1-3 years depending on the variety. Indeterminate tomatoes have a lifespan of 1 to 3 years, whereas a determinate tomato plant live 6 to 8 months.
There’s more to it than that, as with most things.
How long for tomato plants to live
The classic tomato plant is a perennial crop, meaning it may grow all year and produce many fruits many times over its life cycle.
Most tomato plants do not live to see their first birthday, as they are killed by frost or diseases and harbor early blight fungi.
As a result, it is a fragile perennial that suffers quickly as the temperature drops.
The cultivar of the tomato plant and whether it is determinate or indeterminate determine the number of days it takes for your tomatoes to mature, deliver fresh tomatoes, and thus how long they can survive.
Determinate and Indeterminate Tomatoes
Determinate tomatoes, often known as “bush tomatoes,” reach a definite height and mature all their fruit quickly, around two weeks.
Once you harvest tomatoes here, you won’t see determinate tomato plants’ fruit again; instead, they will wither and eventually die.
As a result, determinate tomatoes grow from tomato seedlings to mature at around 40 days, and they may only last 6 to 8 months.
Indeterminate tomatoes, often known as “vine tomatoes,” grow from tomato seedlings and continue developing throughout the growing season. (Learn How To Harvest Dill Without Killing The Plant)
From here, the tomato vines continue to fruit and mature until you find out when do tomato plants die? Once the cold arrives, that will be the end of your semi-tropical plants.
However, you don’t have to start from tomato seedlings right away, as you can extend the life span by growing tomatoes indoors or in a greenhouse under LED grow lights.
Even though they ripen later than determinant tomatoes, indeterminate tomato plants offer a continual supply of tomatoes rather than one harvest.
Under ideal conditions, indeterminate tomatoes can live for 1-3 years.
The time it takes for your tomato to reach full maturity is influenced by the environment, climate, irrigation, and availability of critical nutrients.
Do Tomato Plants Regrow Every Year?
The tropical climate is the most natural environment for a tomato plant. The tomato plant can live for several years in this climate.
The tomato plant’s life expectancy is decreased to one growth season when cultivated in lower climes. The absence of sunlight and the frigid weather are primarily to blame.
Indeterminate tomato plants grow endlessly in their native habitat in the tropical parts of South America, akin to a sprawling vine.
Most tomato plants continue to grow after they have finished flowering.
Fertilization occurs when the tomato plant’s ripe blooms appear. The pollen passes via the pollen tube and into the flower’s ovary.
Throughout the growing season, indeterminate tomatoes continue to blossom and produce fruit.
Come the following growing season; you can spot a new tomato seedling sprout in the same garden bed or your compost pile.
Fresh tomatoes blooming out of nowhere may surprise you, but it’s a typical occurrence known as ‘volunteer’ tomatoes.
The germination of tomato seeds from the parent plant, which survived a clear-up in the garden, results in these volunteer tomatoes.
Most gardeners advise against letting these perennial tomato plants produce tomatoes come the next harvest season. (Read Are Coffee Grounds Good For Tomato Plants)
The reasons here are, there isn’t the same protection for these spontaneous seedlings. You can find they are susceptible to early blight and bacterial spot from bacteria and fungi growing in the soil, infected plant debris, rather than when you plant tomatoes in fresh potting soil that won’t contain such bacteria.
It’s vital to eliminate weeds and volunteer tomatoes, and rotate crops to keep your garden disease-free.It’s best if you can get rid of your volunteer tomatoes as soon as possible.
While there are hazards, some gardeners will save and nurture the volunteer tomato seedlings that appear in the summer around June.
Can Tomato Plants Survive Multiple Years?
You can find tomatoes inside a greenhouse; a tomato plant can have a life span of over three years. All you need are essential skills and the proper care. For example, all a tomato plant needs in a greenhouse is light sandy soils, heat, water, and to avoid freezing temperatures.
The following are advantages of using a greenhouse in tomato production:
You can produce tomato plants earlier than everyone else. Because they develop early in the fruiting season, early-grown tomato plants can produce for a long time.
Can tomato plants live through the frosty season? If temperatures remain warm, they can also, you can germinate tomato seeds in your greenhouse. Tomatoes can be grown all year. It’s not just early yielding; it’s yielding to bear fruit at any moment.
A tomato can be grown in a greenhouse at any time of year and season. In a greenhouse, if you ask how long can a tomato plant produce indoors, specific tomato cultivars can produce fruit for up to 5 years.
besides your large beefsteak tomatoes and a Tamarillo tomato tree, you have an exception that won’t take up too much space with a giant tree tomato. Cherry tomatoes are extremely easy to grow and provide a large harvest of tiny tomatoes at the end of the season.
In most home gardens, they’re cultivated as an annual and take 65 to 80 days to mature. Both determinate and indeterminate varieties are available.
The best time to pick cherry tomatoes is between July and September in the late summer. Indeterminate tomatoes produce until frost kills the plant, whereas determinate tomatoes’ fruits ripen simultaneously.
Pick the fruits every day once they ripen, where tomatoes regrow throughout the season. Harvesting your cherry tomato plants regularly encourages them to focus their efforts on producing new flowers.
The blossoms will eventually produce fruit, resulting in fruit production and many ripe tomatoes. Even indeterminate kinds stop flowering and fruiting as soon as the days shorten and the temperatures decrease.
In most summer vegetable gardens, tomato plants are the first to perish when the first frost arrives in the autumn or winter.
If tropical temperatures are maintained all year, cherry tomatoes can be overwintered. In reality, in tropical regions, a cherry tomato plant produce, while other types are commonly grown as perennials.
Tomatoes can be cultivated as tender perennials in other areas by growing them in greenhouses or indoors. The temperature must be kept at an appropriate level to keep them alive over the winter.
You may get them to sprout and set fruit throughout the next growing season by providing a warm environment and enough light.
It’s challenging to create the optimal circumstances for tomatoes to thrive year-round when they’re grown outside, especially in colder locations.
Because they’re fragile perennials with various limiting elements such as cold, pests, diseases, and nutrients, the number of years of viable output varies substantially across plants grown in different regions.
Often, after the second year of growth, the plant wears out, and the output declines.
In 4 to 5 years, the plants will have depleted all the nutrients in the soil, resulting in at the end of tomato production. (Read When To Harvest Spaghetti Squash)
The plants can continue to grow and produce in successive years if the proper supply of nutrients is maintained, temperatures are ideal, and pests and diseases are not present.
Is It Better To Plant Perennials Or Annuals?
While tomatoes can be grown as perennials, as you may have guessed from the preceding explanation, most gardeners choose to plant them as annuals.
It’s more work to provide the optimal circumstances for overwintering tomatoes to help them produce for many seasons than to plant new seeds each season.
It only takes 50 to 90 days for tomato plants to mature after you plant a new batch of seeds.
Not to mention the time and resources you’ll save by not needing to resurrect your last year’s tomato plants.