Forum home Fruit & veg

Tomatoes lost their tip?


I’ve got some tomato plants of a few different varieties, most growing nicely.

A couple of plants have done something a bit odd. They’re at 12-18 inches and most have put out their first flower truss and kept going, two of them have made a single big flower and the growth tip seems to have gone.

I think the two are both Black Russian. Any ideas what they’re doing? My google searches haven’t come up with much.

I’ll let them grow a sucker and see if that takes over as main stem but any advice would be much appreciated.


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    You are doing the right thing by trying to promote sideshoots, if any form.  I'm a bit doubtful that the one with a single flower and no growing points will come to much unless sideshoots appear though.  Heritage varieties can produce mutations in their offspring like these.  I've also seen Black Russian do similar and sometimes new growing points form at the end of the flower trusses.  Some even produced trusses from the leaf stems.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • ShepsSheps Posts: 2,227
    All you can do is what you have already suggested, let a side shoot take over and go from there.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,896
    Yes, I've known Black Russian and some other heritage varieties do this ... as has been said, with any luck a side shoot will take over so don't pick all the side shoots out, leave a strong looking one near the top and train it upwards as it grows.   :)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • The single large flower is probably what's called a 'megabloom' and it's more common with some varieties, including Black Russian.

    I've had a similar growth habit to what you describe when I've grown Black Russian. They're usually described as a Cordon/Indeterminate, but in practice I think it's better to think of them as a Semi-determinate and not pinch out all the side shoots.
  • Womble54Womble54 Posts: 348
    Thanks everyone. Glad it’s not just me. Had a closer look, there’s a couple of side shoots coming through, but on some, there’s a normal leaf coming from the position you’d expect a side shoot. I’ll leave it be for a bit and not pinch out side shoots and see what happens.

    I’ve cloned/rooted a few suckers so have some back up plants in pots if needed.
  • Womble54Womble54 Posts: 348
    Little update on my weird Black Russian tomatoes.

    Two of them have got good side shoots that have taken over from the main stem and have got a couple more flower trusses and are forming some
    good looking fruit.

    The other one didn’t have any side shoots but has a new leader coming out of the end of a leaf with a couple of flowers coming off it.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,896
    Thought I'd add to this thread as the other day I discovered one of my Marmandes has forked and done this. I've removed one of the forks and an training the other one into a leading shoot. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,080
    Oh that's interesting Dove, one of my Marmandes is looking this way inclined, too. 
    Gardening on the edge of Exmoor, in Devon

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,896
    I think there were a few posts a couple of weeks ago about bifurcated  Marmandes  ;)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

Sign In or Register to comment.