A Hot-Set Tomato Hybrid for Hot Climates
We have a heat-hardy tomato plant that withstands summer’s harsh temperatures!
Those of us that live in the south are familiar with the woes of trying to grow tomatoes. When summer temperatures climb, our tomato plants begin to waiver.
When exposed to long bouts of heat, tomatoes inherently begin to lose momentum in producing fruit.
Blossoms fall off as they dry up because of the hot temperatures. You may have a lush green plant, but without blossoms, the plant will fail to yield tomatoes.
Let’s look at the ‘Phoenix’ tomato plant.
What is a ‘Phoenix’ Tomato?
Seminis Vegetable Seeds in Missouri created a hybrid tomato plant designed for hot climates. The ‘Phoenix’ tomato is the child of two different tomato species that were cross-pollinated.
The ‘Phoenix’ tomato plant is a cultivar (variety) capable of maintaining full foliage with a heavy yield of robust-sized red tomatoes.
Taxonomy Of The Phoenix Tomato
Caution: Tomato plant foliage is highly toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.
- Hybrid Perennial
- Summer/Fall producing
- Highly Resistant
Maturity: 92 days
Size of Fruit: 11oz
Ease of Care/Maintenance:
- Sun: Full sun
- Water: Med.
- Soil: well-drained, pH 6.2-6.8
- Disease: blight
- Pests: tomato hornworm, pill bugs, slugs
- Tolerates: drought conditions
Plant Size: Height: up to 3 ft.
Avoid Planting Near:
How to Grow ‘Phoenix’ Tomatoes
As a heat-set tomato, the ‘Phoenix’ prefers warm/hot climates. This tomato plant produces tomatoes throughout summer and fall.
You have the option of growing your tomato plants from seed or starter plants.
Seeds will take up to 12 weeks to be strong enough to plant outdoors.
You can purchase starter plants if you’d prefer to take the quickest route in growing your tomatoes.
Starting from Seeds
Pay close attention when ordering your ‘Phoenix’ tomato seeds. Various seed retailers give you the option to purchase 15-25 seeds to bulk packages of seeds.
Before ordering, plan on how many tomato plants you want and then order your seeds.
You’ll need 2-3 seeds for every tomato plant.
Seeds must be started indoors 10-12 weeks before transferring them outdoors.
Planting your Seeds
- Fill seed trays halfway with potting soil.
- Place 2-3 seeds in each container.
- Cover the seeds with more potting soil.
- Pat down lightly.
- Mist water over each container to moisten the soil.
- Cover the tray with plastic wrap.
- Place in a warm area.
- Mist daily as needed.
- Once the seeds have sprouted, remove the plastic covering.
- Place the tray in a sunny window.
- Mist daily.
- Once the seedlings have reached 10”, you can safely transplant them outdoors.
- Two weeks before planting outdoors, you’ll need to harden your seedlings. Place them outdoors in the shade during the day. Bring them indoors at night.
Planting Phoenix Tomatoes Outdoors
- Be sure to plant your tomato plants in an area where they will get 6-8 hours of full sun.
- Avoid areas for your garden where it floods or retains water.
- Avoid planting near dill, corn, kohlrabi, or potatoes.
Preparing the Soil
- Mix up to 4” of compost into the soil. Compost aids in retaining moisture for the plants.
- Tomato plants require nutrients from the soil to thrive. Mixing in a continuous-releasing fertilizer is recommended.
- Once you have worked the compost and fertilizer into your soil, you’ll then top it off with 2” of mulch to retain moisture.
Spacing and Planting
- 24” between plantings
- 36” between rows
- ½” deep
Seedlings or Starter Plants
- 24-36” between plantings
- 36” between rows
- Place ⅔ of the plant stem into the soil to encourage a more vigorous plant.
If you have a garden, you can safely plant your tomatoes near certain plants.
- Bee Balm
Phoenix Tomato Container Planting
For every tomato plant, you’ll need a 24” container/pot. Use a high-quality potting mix. Place ⅔ of your tomato plants stem into the soil and lightly pack the soil around the plant.
Mist or lightly water until the soil is moist. Place the container plant in an area where it will be exposed to 6 hours of full sun.
- Once you have your tomato plants planted, you’ll need to thoroughly water them being careful not to overwater.
- Water daily in the morning. Watering late in the day or evening leaves moisture on the leaves making the plant prone to disease.
- Water the base of the plant while avoiding getting the leaves and fruit wet.
- Never water from overhead. Overhead watering encourages the spread of disease.
It’s best to encourage an upright growth habit in tomatoes. This prevents the plant and fruit from coming into contact with the ground and pests.
As the plant begins to grow, place a tomato trellis or cage over the plant—anchor as needed with string.
Pruning and Trimming
You’ll need to examine your tomato plants daily for potential disease and pests. The ‘Phoenix’ tomato is disease/pest resistant. Remove and trim away dead/decaying plant debris.
Did you know…ONE TOMATO PLANT yielded 32,914 TOMATOES in one year!
Harvesting and Storage
The best part of growing tomatoes is getting to pick them and enjoy them! There’s nothing like a ripe, sweet, juicy tomato fresh from the garden.
- ‘Phoenix’ tomatoes are ready to be picked when they are bright red and firm to touch.
- Use a pair of clippers and snip the tomato from the stem or use a twisting motion.
Once you’ve picked your tomatoes, storing them correctly is vital to preserving their taste. Never put them in a refrigerator because cold temperatures impact the flavor.
Failure to Yield Fruit or Ripen
If you find that your tomato plant fails to produce tomatoes, there are a few things you can do. Pinching off the blossoms as well as cutting back on watering should encourage both lack of fruit as well as fruit that won’t ripen.
A Happy Hybrid
We hope that you enjoy growing a ‘Phoenix’ tomato. It’s fun to grow different cultivars/varieties.
When you do, you get to observe their varied growth habits. Best of all, you get to taste the sublime goodness that only comes from something you’ve grown yourself.