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LYCOPERSICON esculentum 'Plum Lemon'

Image of Lycopersicon esculentum 'Plum Lemon'

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

LYCOPERSICON esculentum 'Plum Lemon'

Plant Common Name

Plum Lemon Tomato, Tomato

General Description

This Russian heirloom tomato produces juicy, lemon-like tomatoes on vigorous, fruitful vines. Harvest of the oblong, bright yellow, white-fleshed fruits begins about 75 days after seedlings are planted out. They are good in salsas, sauces, and soups. Sometimes offered under the name 'Wonder Light' or 'Citron', 'Plum Lemon' was introduced to the United States in 1991 from seed purchased at Moscow's Bird Market. This open-pollinated variety grows true to type from saved seed.

Tomatoes are short-lived tender perennials that are usually grown as annuals. Their medium- to dark-green, hairy, compound leaves have a strong fragrance and are not to be eaten. Mature plants produce distinctive yellow flowers, which are bee pollinated. These are followed by succulent tomato fruits, which are technically berries.

Tomatoes require full sun and fertile, well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral soil. Seeds germinate poorly in cool soil, so plants are best started indoors several weeks before the last frost date. Harden off seedlings before transplanting them to the garden. Set them deeply in the ground for best establishment; the main stem will form roots beneath the soil’s surface. Indeterminate, vining types such as 'Plum Lemon' should be staked, trellised or grown in tomato cages to contain their rambling stems.

Tomatoes are heavy feeders, so it is important to provide them with regular water and nutrients. Be sure to choose a fertilizer specifically formulated for tomatoes. Overwatering can result in cracking of fruit and diminished flavor. Best production and flavor occurs when both days and nights are warm. Tomato fruits become tough and less flavorful when subjected to cooler temperatures, and should not be stored in the refrigerator for this reason. In warm, frost-free regions they may be grown as a winter crop.

For more detailed information about tomato pests and diseases, refer to the general entry for the species (Lycopersicon esculentum) in the Learn2Grow.com plant database.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    11 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    4'-7' / 1.2m - 2.1m

  • Width

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Lemon Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes