Have you heard of the Millionaire Tomato? The lovely coral pink color and rich, sweet flavor of this tomato make it a great variety, plus it’s easy to grow! Many people from the Ozarks, MO area seek out this tomato because they remember it from when they were young in the 40’s and 50’s when many of the local farms grew this variety.
Keep reading to find out all about this delicious tomato, including how you can get some yourself!
History of the Millionaire Tomato
The Millionaire Tomato comes from the area of Ozark, MO. From the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries tomatoes were an important crop for farmers in the area. In the 1950’s tomatoes became less popular and many people thought the variety was lost.
Not to fear! A man named Ed Henson grew and saved Millionaire tomato seeds for many years. Eventually Canadian seed preserver Neil Gillard of Ontario received some seeds, and the company Baker Creek got some from him (though they no longer carry this variety). You’ll find out below how you can get some of these rare seeds yourself!
Characteristics of the Millionaire Tomato
The Millionaire Tomato is an indeterminate, heirloom variety. It’s easy to grow and produces high yields of lovely, medium-sized coral pink fruit that are juicy and sweet. The plants can grow quite large and need support.
The Millionaire is a mid-season tomato, taking 80-85 days to mature.
The Millionaire has a unique coral pink color that ranges from more pink to bright red. It’s juicy with a delicious sweet flavor. They’re a beefsteak shape, somewhat round and chubby with lots of ribbing.
These are medium sized tomatoes around 3-4 inches and weighing under one pound each.
Millionaire tomatoes grow well as an annual in zones 3-11. If your zone has a shorter growing season, start your seeds indoors to enjoy a quicker and longer harvest.
Size and Spacing
Plants grow between 6-8 feet tall. These large plants need to be supported. You can read about different ways to support tomato plants here.
When planting, place young plants or seeds 18-24 inches apart with 2-3 feet between rows. Millionaire tomatoes can be grown in containers but they need to be quite large.
Nature does all the work pollinating Millionaire tomatoes. The bees and other insects in your garden will take care of all the pollinating for you so hand pollinating is not necessary to receive a high yield!
The following sections will provide highlights about tomato care. For a complete guide on optimal tomato plant care, from planting to harvesting and storage, please check out our article on How To Grow Tomatoes: The Complete Guide For the Best Tomatoes.
Most Tomatoes do best in full sun and the millionaire tomato is no exception. Make sure your plants get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
The millionaire tomato likes soil that is well draining and slightly acidic (6.2-6.8 pH). All tomatoes do well in soil that’s high in organic matter. Adding compost before planting adds organic matter and helps your tomatoes thrive.
The millionaire tomato likes even, moderate watering of about 1-2 inches per week but can tolerate some dry conditions. If you’re not getting regular rain, water plants in the morning or evening for best results. Heavy rains or too much watering can cause fruit to split.
These plants are heavy feeders. Adding fertilizer when planting and throughout the growing season can help improve your yields. The best way to fertilize Millionaire tomatoes is slow and regular. You don’t feed them too much all at once as this can damage the plants or lead to them producing lots of foliage and less fruit. Fertilize when planting, then wait until the plant sets fruit. Once the fruit appears fertilize lightly every 1-2 weeks until the end of the growing season.
Tomatoes require specific nutrients (such as calcium) to produce their best crops of fruit. To learn how to determine what your tomatoes need and when they need it, consult our ultimate tomato fertilizer guide.
Properly pruning Millionaire tomatoes helps the plant put more energy into growing fruit and less energy into growing leaves which is exactly what we want for the best sized, tastiest fruit. But you need to know when to do this and what tomatoes need it. To help you with this, visit our pruning tomatoes guide.
There are several common diseases that can affect tomatoes including anthracnose and blossom end rot. The good news is the Millionaire tomato is resistant to disease which is part of what makes it so easy to grow! To learn how to detect, treat, and take steps to prevent diseases, read our tomato diseases guide.
Common pests for the millionaire tomato varies depending on where you live and may include aphids and hornworms. A good tip for dealing with hornworms is using a black light. These fat green caterpillars blend in with the leaves of your plants and can be hard to spot in the daytime. Go out at night with a black light to easily spot and remove them. Y
For information to help you spot, eliminate, and deter 15 different pests, visit our guide on common tomato pests.
When to Harvest Millionaire Tomatoes
Depending on when you planted, tomatoes should be ready around mid-July. Pick Millionaire tomatoes when they have reached their peak color. Gently pull and twist the tomatoes to remove them from the vine, they should release fairly easily. If they don’t, it means they aren’t ready yet.
Common Uses For Millionaire Tomatoes
Millionaire tomatoes are delicious when fresh. They’re great to add to things like salads and sandwiches. They also work really well for canning which is a great way to enjoy them long after the growing season has ended. If you haven’t canned tomatoes before, here is an article to get you started.
What Does This Tomato Taste Like?
Millionaire tomatoes have a rich, sweet, old fashioned beefsteak flavor.
Sauces, roasting, soups, and stews are just some of the many ways you can cook with Millionaire tomatoes.
Millionaires are delicious raw and work well on sandwiches, tacos, burgers, salads, or any other way you like to eat fresh raw tomatoes.
Canning / Freezing / Drying
These tomatoes work great for canning and can also be frozen or dried to enjoy later. There are many great options when it comes to preserving your harvest and the Millionaire tomato is easy to preserve in different ways.
Health Benefits of Millionaire Tomatoes
These tomatoes are high in fiber which helps aid digestion. All tomato varieties are high in lycopene which has many excellent health benefits such as slowing the breakdown of bone cells, lowering the risk of certain types of cancers, improving heart health, and sun protection for you skin. As you can see, Millionaire tomatoes are fantastic for your health!
Where to Buy Millionaire Tomato Plants or Seeds
Millionaire tomatoes are somewhat rare and can be hard to find. Check with your local nurseries and farmers to find plants or you can order seeds online through various retailers.
Where to Buy Millionaire Tomatoes
Because they are rare, it may be hard to find millionaire tomatoes in your local area. Your best bet is to check with local farmers and farmer’s markets to see if they offer this variety.
Wrapping up the Millionaire Tomato
You’ll love the rich flavor and beautiful color of these delicious tomatoes. If you can’t find it locally, try ordering some seeds online so you can grow them for yourself. With their delicious flavor, unique color, and easiness to grow, these are definitely a variety worth trying!
Have you tried the Millionaire tomato before? If so let us know in the comments below! We have lots of information about different tomato varieties on our website — click here for our other tomato blog posts.