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The Rosella Tomato

Cherry tomatoes are like candy that comes from your garden. They’re tiny, sweet, and so easy to pick off of the vine and pop straight into your mouth to savor their sweet, salty, and acidic flavors. The Rosella tomato is another delicious cherry tomato to add to your garden! Like their name suggests, they’re a unique deep-pink colored cherry tomato that is full of interesting flavor, unlike many other tomatoes out there.

Read on to learn everything you need to know to grow these tasty tomatoes at your home in your garden!

Dark pink cherry tomatoes on the vine.

History of the Rosella Tomato

The specific historical facts of the Rosella tomato are a little hazy, but most people think they probably originated in Russia where a lot of other dark cherry tomatoes hail from. One interesting tidbit is that there’s actually a company called Rosella that’s been making tomato sauce since 1895! You can still buy Rosella tomato sauce off of Amazon today!

Characteristics of the Rosella Tomato

Rosella tomatoes are a determinate tomato variety. Determinate tomato varieties grow to a certain mature size and all of the fruit ripens within weeks. Once the first fruit is fully ripened, the plant will begin to diminish and will grow little to no new fruit. The good news is that in those two weeks of ripened fruit, your Rosella tomato plants will be full of deep, pinkish-black cherry tomatoes in clusters of 15-20 fruits.

Dark pinkish-purple cherry tomatoes on a plant similar to the Rosella tomato.

Ripening Season

Your Rosella tomatoes will be ready to harvest midseason, typically starting by the end of July. That season could stretch out as far as September, depending on your weather and soil conditions.

Tomato Qualities

Rosella tomatoes are firm with a thin skin which means they *pop* when you pop them in your mouth fresh off the vine. They’ve also got a really unique, irresistible tomato flavour. They’re described as fruity—a mix of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, acidic, with the slightest smokey flavor at the end. It’s worth spending a few dollars on tomato seeds and committing a little space in your garden to grow them just so you can taste them and describe the flavor for yourself!

Tomato Size

This tomato variety is a cherry tomato. Cherry tomatoes are named because they’re literally the size of cherries! Perfect for eating fresh, tossing on salads, or topping a pizza.

Dark cherry tomatoes.

Planting Zones

These tomatoes are hardy and grow quickly, so they’ll work in zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11! You can get them started wherever you live by planting them inside before the last frost. Sow them .05 inches under the surface of the soil with a warming tray under it to speed up germination.

Size and Spacing

Rosella tomato plants can grow to be up to 6 feet tall and 1 1/2 feet wide, so they need to be planted 18 inches apart in order to account for the spread and growth of the mature plants.

This variety of tomatoes is also an excellent choice to be container tomatoes. They thrive in containers as well as in gardens.

Pollination

This variety of tomato is open-pollinated. That means that it’s naturally pollinated by birds, bees, butterflies, and other natural methods. If you’d really like to help it along, you can always use a toothbrush to move pollen around in the middle of the day when everything is nice and dry.

Plant Care

Knowing how to care for your plant is the most important part of growing your own tomatoes! Don’t be nervous about being a plant parent. We’ve got everything you need to successfully grow tomatoes.

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.

Cherry tomato plant with small unripe fruit.

Sunlight

Tomatoes need full light, at least 8 hours of direct light every day, to produce the best yield. Partial shade may be alright, but the harvest will probably not be as plentiful.

Soil

It’s important for the soil in which you plant your maturing tomato plants to be full of organic matter. You can experiment with composting your own matter at home, or you can buy it pre-made and mixed for you at a nursery.

Water

Keeping the plants watered is important, but be careful not to overwater the plants. It causes the fruits to split. If you’ve chosen to plant Rosella tomatoes in your container garden, be aware that the soil in containers will dry out quicker than the soil in your garden will.

Garden hose sprayer watering base of a tomato plant.

Fertilizer

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.

Pruning/Pinching

As counterintuitive as it may seem, pruning and pinching your tomato plants is critical to a healthy plant with great 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.

Person pinching a tomato plant.

Disease

The most common tomato disease is blight. You can avoid that by taking several simple precautions.

  • First, leave plenty of space between plants when planting to allow for airflow.
  • Then, water down next to the base, not though the whole plant, to leave the leaves and branches dry.
  • Lastly, be sure to not overwater your plants.

To learn how to detect, treat, and take steps to prevent diseases, read our tomato diseases guide.

Pests

Pests can be tricky and destory your tomato plants before you even get a chance to eat a fruit off of them! For information to help you spot, eliminate, and deter 15 different pests, visit our guide on common tomato pests.

When to Harvest Rosella Tomatoes

Rosella tomatoes are ready to harvest about 70 days after planting, typically in July. When the fruits are a deep pink color and firm, you know it’s the right time. Don’t wait too long to pick them because the fruits will begin to split.

Dark cherry tomatoes on the vine.

Common Uses For Rosella Tomatoes

What Does This Tomato Taste Like?

As mentioned earlier, the Rosella tomato has a very unique fruity, acidic, sweet and smokey flavor. They’re a great tomato to experiment with in your kitchen!

Basket of picked dark pinkish-purple cherry tomatoes.

Cooking

Rosella tomatoes make excellent tomato sauce. Remember, there’s an entire company named after them!

Eating Raw

These tomatoes really shine when they’re raw. Toss in them in a salad or use them as a topping on a pizza for an unexpected pop of color and flavor.

Dish of pasta with cherry tomatoes.

Canning / Freezing / Drying

The size and flavor of Rosella tomatoes also lend them well to canning, freezing, and drying. Tomato Dirt has an excellent article to help you decide which preservation method is best for you!

Recipe Ideas

Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta

Sweet Corn Frittata with Cherry Tomato Compote

Tomato Tart with Chickpea Crumble

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Rosella tomatoes, like most other tomatoes, are a great source of Vitamin C and Lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant.

Closeup of sliced tomato.

Where to Buy Rosella Tomato Plants or Seeds

Always check your local farmers’ market and garden nurseries first, but if you can’t find any plants locally, you can buy seeds at Annie’s Heirloom Seeds.

Where to Buy Rosella Tomatoes

Again, check your local markets for Rosella tomatoes, but the best, and most fun, way to get your hands on some is to grow them yourself!

Wrapping Up the Rosella Tomato

Closeup of two dark pinkish-purple cherry tomatoes on the vine.

This spunky little tomato is a great choice to try out this gardening season. Let us know in the comments if you decide to grow some! How would you describe the flavor? We can’t wait to hear!

To read about other tasty and interesting tomatoes to add to your spring tomato lineup, visit this link for our tomato blog posts.