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All About the Tumbling Tom Tomato

If you’ve ever seen a cherry tomato plant that seems to fall over, it was probably the Tumbling Tom tomato. Yes, that’s actually its name!

The Tumbling Tom may be a bit clumsy, but we still love it. Let’s discuss what makes the Tumbling Tom unique and why you should plant one at your house.

Looking for Tumbling Tom seeds?  Check availability.

Cascading red cherry tomatoes.

History of the Tumbling Tom Tomato

No one knows precisely where this hybrid cherry tomato originated, but they’re believed to have begun growing in South America. They’ve since made their way up to Mexico, the United States, Canada, and even Europe.

The Tumbling Tom tomato is one of one hundred varieties of cherry tomatoes. It was given its name because the variety is known for eagerly spilling from its containers, pots, and raised beds.

Characteristics of the Tumbling Tom Tomato

Yellow Tumbing Tom tomatoes
Yellow Tumbling Toms.


It comes in red and yellow varieties.


The fresh, sweet taste will not disappoint you. They have a recognizable taste you’ll find similar to other cherry tomatoes.

Size and Traits

The fruit stalks reach 20 to 24 inches and produce 1-2 ounce fruit. These plants do not grow upright. They trail along the ground causing the fruit to tumble.

Many people find the Tumbling Tom tomato ornamental and too pretty to pick.

Specifics About the Tumbling Tom Tomato

Red cherry tomatoes.


This is a tempting fruit to eat right off the plant. After all, it’s already tumbling off the vine, so why not sneak a few or ten?

Tumbling Toms are great for salads and pair well with olive oil.

They’re also a favorite of kids because of their sweetness. Make a platter of cherry tomatoes with cheese or dressing for a healthy after-school snack, and your kids will be delighted.


A bowl of home made tomato sauce.
Homemade tomato sauce.

How to Make Tomato Sauce

Tomato Soup

Delicious and Easy Tomato Salsa

Tomato Bisque

Health Benefits

Tumbling Tom tomatoes are excellent sources of Vitamins A and C. Vitamin A is essential for growth and development in kids, plus promoting healthy vision, immune systems, and reproduction.

You probably know Vitamin C is great for preventing colds and it’s vital to your body’s healing process.

Tomatoes also contain lycopene. Research is being done on lycopene right now for its cancer-preventing elements.

Growing the Tumbling Tom Tomato at Home

Upside-down tomato planters.

You can grow your Tumbling Tom tomato in a container or a hanging basket. They’re also a terrific variety to plant in an upside-down tomato planter.

Start by reading How to Grow Tomatoes: The Complete Guide. Tumbling Toms are determinate plants, meaning they will stop growing and harvest all at once. This is why they perform so well in small spaces!

If you plan to try growing container tomatoes for the first time, read The Complete Guide to Container Tomatoes.

Because these are grown inside, they can be grown all year round. However, the soil should be at least 75 degrees. Bring your potting soil up from the basement or the garage before beginning the planting process.

Moisture-free mulch is crucial to a tomato’s success.

You can transplant your Tumbling Tom tomatoes from a pot to a raised bed after they reach three to four inches tall.

Red cherry tomato plants.

Tumbling tom tomatoes need at least six hours of natural sunlight every day. If you’re growing them during the colder months or live in an area that doesn’t get six hours of sun each day, you can provide them with 16 hours of artificial sunlight.

Pruning your Tumbling Tom will cause it to grow taller fast. If you’re short on space or growing your plant in a hanging basket, it’s best to avoid pruning it. Your fruit will take longer to produce, but you’ll have an easier time managing the plant.

If it does grow too tall and becomes unmanageable, you can top the plant. Topping involves cutting off the entire top of the tomato plant. Generally, determinate plants like Tumbling Toms should only be topped close to harvest because doing so can drastically reduce the harvest amount.

The Tumbling Tom is prone to the same diseases as other tomato plants, including tomato hornworm. Identifying tomato hornworms is crucial for ensuring your tomatoes stay healthy for harvest time. Look for the big green worms and pick them off by hand as soon as you see them.

Another issue these tomatoes face is splitting. Frequent water helps combat splitting tomatoes. If you’re growing your fruit in hanging baskets or containers that may be difficult to water by hand, try setting up a micro-irrigation system.

Around 70 to 80 days after planting, your tomatoes will be tumbling and ready to eat. If you keep them picked, they’ll continue to produce. Outdoors they can produce all summer.

Friendly warning: Kids and animals like to pick at this fruit, so make sure your containers are out of their reach.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Tumbling Tom Tomato

Closeup of red cherry tomatoes.

Do Tumbling Tom Tomatoes need support?

You may be wondering, since they tend to tumble, should you support them? For the most part, they do not. It’s natural for trailing vines to look pretty tumbling over the side of a container or hanging basket.

However, you should provide some support by tying the twine right at the bending point. Allow the plant to bend as much as it wants and avoid being overly harsh with it.

Are Tumbling Tom Tomatoes good for novice tomato growers?

Yes! They’re the perfect first-time tomato plant for gardeners new to growing tomatoes. They are easy to contain and don’t require additional work to support the vines.

What is the difference between yellow and red Tumbling Tom Tomatoes?

The yellow Tumbling Tom is much newer to the market. Yellow tomatoes grow slightly faster. They are also bigger and sweeter.

Red Tumbling Toms are tinier but more acidic.

Where to Buy the Tumbling Tom Tomato

Tomato seedlings.

Are you ready to add these colorful, cascading fruits to your garden?

You’re in luck because yellow and red Tumbling Tom seeds can be purchased on Amazon. Grow both for even more color in your salads and sauces!

If you’re less interested in growing tomatoes and all about eating them, Tumbling Toms are labeled as Cherry Tomatoes in stores and at Farmers’ Market. Read the fine print to find out if they’re tumbling!

Wrapping Up the Tumbling Tom Tomato

Red cherry tomatoes on a plant.

The Tumbling Tom Tomato is a fun fruit your whole family can enjoy. They’re a great choice for small gardens and you can even grow them in hanging pots on patios and balconies in urban settings. Why not give it a try?

Are you interested in learning more about other varieties of tomatoes? Check out our website’s Tomato Plants page for all our tomato blog posts.