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LYCOPERSICON esculentum 'Red Zebra'

Image of Lycopersicon esculentum 'Red Zebra'

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

LYCOPERSICON esculentum 'Red Zebra'

Plant Common Name

Red Zebra Tomato, Tomato

General Description

The blood-red, orange-streaked fruits of 'Red Zebra' are as showy as they are tasty. Harvest of the round, 2.5-inch (6 cm) fruits begins about 80 days after seedlings are planted out. Vigorous and fruitful, this open-pollinated, indeterminate variety grows true to type from saved seed. It originated as a seedling of 'Green Zebra' in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

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 'Red Zebra' 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'-8' / 1.2m - 2.4m

  • 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

    Red, Orange, Gold

  • Fruit Color Modifier

    Bicolor, Striped/Striated

  • 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