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Help - Plant's top leaves turned into a mutated flower??!!

This happened a while ago, while I noticed my first mini rose flower was weird, the flower stem is much thicker than normal, and it struggled to bloom. It even had a darker than usual petal colour.
Last week, I potted up my 4 indeterminate tomato seedings in their permanent pots. 3 days ago they had first set of flowers. Today, I noticed that for 3 plants, there are no new leaves on top of the stem, instead, like the rose, they each turned to a mutated flower?! Again, much bigger than the usual ones, on a much thicker stem. 

What is going on?!! As silly as it sounds I am panicking. I don't want my tomatoes to die only after first set of flowers.

Please see photos. I would appreciate if anyone can share similar experience or know what this is. Thank you!


  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,947
    I had a indeterminate tomato self terminate on a few branches last year.  Don't worry about your plant though, I can see the suckers ready to grow in the pit of the lower leaves.  You can either pinch out that flower bunch and encourage a sucker as a new leader.. or you can wait until a sucker naturally emerges and use that as a new leader.  

    What variety of tomato?
    Utah, USA.
  • pippippippip Posts: 26

    It looks like ‘fasciation’ - it’s not harmful. I can’t see in the picture if yours has a typically flattened, fused stem.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,239
    I had something similar happen on 2 of my tomato plants this year.
    I grow 2 each of 4 varieties and it was just the 2 Stupice plants (seed a year out of date).
    For whatever reason both plants produced a terminal leaf at the top of the stem when they were about 6", so neither would grow any taller.
    When side shoots appeared I removed all but the strongest, and that is now the new leader.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    edited May 2021
    They are sometimes known as 'cristate' or 'king' flowers and are common on beefsteak types.  When the growing tip turns into one, you need to select a side shoot to become the new main stem as Pete.8 says.
    This is a bit scientific, but this article explains that it's a combination of 2 gene mutations which result in a terminal flower at the growth tip.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks all for the helpful information and great to know that they can be saved. I will go cut off the flower to let the suckers grow.  Much appreciated! It’s a strain of Cherokee purple really not suited for UK climate I guess. 
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