Tomato Plant: Growing, Planting Types of Tomatoes, Troubleshooting, Care, Yield

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | April 1, 2024

Woman with clippers looking at a healthy tomato plant after reading a gardening guide about how to grow types of tomatoes, planting tomatoes, preventing tomato diseases like bottom rot (blossom rot), and other vegetable planting tips.

Thinking of growing a Tomato plant on your back porch, green house or garden?

This beloved garden staple is popular for a number of reasons, and there are so many varieties that you can go for, whether hybrids, heirlooms, bite-sized cherries, or massive beefsteaks; the options are limitless.

Moreover, growing your own tomatoes is a great way to start preserving your own food. Tomatoes are easy to can using the water bath method, and the money you’ll save and the delicious taste (not to mention the reduced emissions) will provide yummy rewards.

This complete guide outlines how you can grow your own tomato plant at home, whether you live in the city or the country, because it outlines everything you need to know about this food staple, as well as how to grow healthy and delicious harvests.

History of Solanum lycopersicum: What Is the Tomato Origin?

What first comes to mind when you think about a Tomato Plant? A red savory berry that is a common item in the kitchen, right?

That’s true, and you will likely find it growing right in people’s kitchen gardens, but before exploring what it is all about or even finding out how to plant one, you have to know the Tomato origin; where did the Tomato come from?

It is widely believed that the Tomato (Solanum lycopersicumis) a species that originates from the southern parts of America, specifically in the region of the Andes Mountains, most likely in Ecuador and Peru.

What about the name? ‘Tomatl’ is a Nahuatl word that led to the ‘tomate’ in Spanish, and then the final translation to English became Tomato.

Tomato Plant

(Solanum lycopersicum)

Tomato Plant on an oval frame in a green background.
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Genus: Solanum
  • Leaf: Green, deeply separated, slightly fuzzy, measuring about 10 inches long and with a rich, lingering Tomato fruit-like aroma
  • Seed: Tan-colored, tiny and fuzzy
  • Blossoms: Tiny, yellow-colored full of pollen inside
  • Native Habitat: Southern America
  • Height: 1-3 meters long
  • Type: Perennial but can be grown as an annual
  • Native Growing Zone: USDA zones 5-10

Image Credit: kie-ker50

They also say that indigenous Mexicans were the very first to domesticate the Tomato Plant, but later on, it was introduced to Europe in the 16th century, and interestingly, it is there that it was officially adopted as food.

But before that, it was purely planted for ornamental reasons, with many believing that it was poisonous, maybe because it looked so similar to the belladonna, which is poisonous.

How To Identify Tomato Plant

You can spot a Tomato Plant effortlessly,14 even if you are not really sure about its type or variety; you will certainly know that it is a Tomato Plant.

Graphic of Tomato Plant identification showing images of Tomato leaf, Tomato flower, Tomato seeds, and Tomato stem, alongside a map highlighting its native habitat in South America and a U.S. map indicating temperature-based growing zones.

Here are some of the things you need to understand when learning how to identify Tomato Plant:

Tomato Leaves

Taking a closer look at different types of Tomatoes, you will notice that they grow either vining or in a bush. The leaves emerge with their light green color, looking a little fuzzy and with kind of deep separations.

They are also able to grow long, sometimes reaching 10 inches, and when you touch or rub them, you will find them soft, and they will leave a lingering Tomato-like smell.

Tomato Flower

Many types of bees are naturally drawn to the beautiful Tomato flowers, and it is easy to see why.

Even though they are a little bit smaller than other flowers, they have a bright yellow color and five petals, making them pretty easy to spot.

Tomato Fruit

It doesn’t take that much to identify a Tomato fruit. Even though it comes in so many colors and varieties, you will easily tell the berry apart from other fruits.

While red is the most common color and the one that you will more than likely come across being sold in stores, there are also varieties in yellow, white, green, and purple. They also have unique shapes, ranging from spherical to pear-shaped, elongated, and oblong.13

Tomato Seeds

You will most likely see a lot of Tomato seeds when you split open a fruit.

These tiny numerous seeds range in color from tan to white and look fuzzy, usually covered in a filmy, pulpy substance.

How To Grow Tomatoes

You are already aware of the fact that there are so many varieties of Tomatoes, and if you are interested in planting one, you probably want to know what to expect.

Graphic of Tomato Plant growth chart showing Tomato seedlings at 2-4 inches during 4-8 weeks and reaching 48-72 inches in height at 5-8 months.

Before getting down to particular common cultivars and how to grow Tomatoes and care for each and every one of them, here is a brief breakdown of how you are supposed to plant a Tomato Plant in general.

What Is the Tomato Growth Rate?

The Tomato Plant growth rate is impressive, and that is why gardeners love planting it because at least they are sure that they won’t have to wait too long to harvest their fruits.

The plant will most likely take a week or two to germinate from a seed, then start growing as a young seedling for the next 20-35 days, after which there is going to be very rapid vegetative growth for the coming 30 more days, leading to flowering, pollination, and fruit formation and ripening over the next 50-70 days.

Growing a Tomato Plant From a Seed: How To Plant Tomato Seeds

For seasoned gardeners, knowing how to plant Tomato seeds might come as second nature, and growing a Tomato Plant from a seed poses no challenge. But if you are a beginner, you will learn that it takes quite a lot of patience to get it all right.

So when should you plant? Start sowing the seeds at least 6 weeks before the last frost date, and this should, of course, be indoors.

Take small trays with wet potting mix and bury the seeds maybe ½ an inch deep, then cover the pots with a clear plastic sheet to help preserve the level of humidity. Keep looking out for new growth, at least until there is germination.

Do you have to start growing the plants indoors?

Not always. Because there are gardeners who directly sow the seeds into the ground, but they have to make sure that the soil has achieved the ideal warm temperatures.

Growing a Tomato Plant From a Cutting

The thing about growing a tomato plant from a cutting is that you can get a new Tomato for absolutely free. The best time is when you are pruning because at least you will be putting the snips to good use.

When you take the cuttings,15 you will remove the leaves growing near the base and place the part in a clear jar of water, placing it maybe under a well-lit window.

The longer you wait, the more the shoots start showing up in like 3-4 weeks, and that should be your sign to transplant.

Take a spacious container with potting mix and place your cuttings inside, all in a bid to help the roots take form and establish themselves for growth, and that’s about it; you can now start caring for your new plant.

Growing a Tomato Plant From a Seedling

You are looking at delicate Tomato seedlings, and you can’t help but wonder, how are you going to get these fragile twigs to grow into strong, healthy, and, of course, productive plants?

The trick in growing a Tomato Plant from a seedling is very simple, just plant at the perfect time, probably when there is no frost anymore, and before that, you want to make sure that you at least harden off the seedling.

This means making it get used to the outdoors slowly, even while still growing indoors.

Close up of Tomato seedlings with its hairy stems and green leaves on a container.

(Image: keziaschen34)

You also want to make sure that the hole is way deeper than the size of the container.

Indeed, when planting seedlings, the rule is that you should bury the Tomato plant up to its ‘neck.’ In other words, only leave a couple of inches above ground.

Because, this way, you can make sure that the roots are bigger and stronger.9 You will also have to learn how to cage or stake your tree because the stems tend to grow rather weak and will definitely need some extra support.

How To Grow a Tomato Plant in Pot

Is space a bit of an issue for you, or do you just want to grow your Tomato Plant in pot somewhere on your deck? Whatever the case, you will be happy to learn that they will still survive even inside a container.

All you have to do is to make sure that the pot is at least the right size and has got proper drainage.

In a planter with potting mix, dig a hole that will accommodate ⅔ of the Tomato’s entire length, and place the seedling inside.

Refill the soil and add a cage or stake while watering and caring for your plant as usual, and if you can get forgetful when it comes to the watering, you can always go for efficient self watering planters to help.

Best Growing Conditions for Tomatoes and Planting Tips

Any avid gardener will tell you that the Tomato is able to survive even when the prevailing conditions are not exactly optimal. But you need more than that.

To ensure your plant flourishes and reaches its maximum productivity, it’s essential to provide the best growing conditions for Tomato Plant.

How Much Sunlight Does Tomato Plant Need Each Day?

The simple answer to the question “how much sunlight does Tomato Plant need each day?” is that your Tomato will love it when there is 6-8 hours of sunlight each day.

But what happens when it is extremely hot? It wouldn’t mind at all surviving under minimal sunshine and some shade.

Watering Needs for Tomato Plants: How Much Water Does a Tomato Plant Need?

If your area receives less than an inch of rain in a week, understanding how much water does a Tomato Plant needs is crucial and you’ll need to adjust the watering needs for Tomato Plants.

This might mean watering them three times a week or more, ensuring the soil remains sufficiently moist without drying out too much.

What Is the Best Soil Type for a Tomato Plant?

There are but a few rules when it comes to the best type of soil for your Tomato Plant. It has got to be well-draining and with sufficient moisture, and you will get this right with time because the last thing you want is soil waterlogging and causing diseases.

For the best results, try growing Tomatoes in fertile sandy loam soil with a pH of maybe 6.2-6.8.16

There are still some pressing concerns in matters of planting the Tomato.

A Tomato farm with plants growing in soil covered in tarp with stakes tied next to each plant.

(Image: LAWJR35)

These are some planting tips for Tomato Plant that you will more than likely find handy in your gardening journey:

How Far Apart To Plant Tomatoes

The Tomato actually needs a lot of room to grow independently, and that is why you should always check that there is at least 2-3 feet of distance in between plantings.

This spacing ensures each plant gets adequate sunlight and airflow.

How Long It Takes To Grow Tomato Plants

From the time you transplant your Tomato seedlings to their permanent growing location, understanding how long it takes to grow tomato plant is crucial.

Typically, they will take anything between 50 to 100 days before they mature and you are able to harvest the fruits.

When To Plant Tomatoes for the Best Yield

Trust that you don’t want your plant to suffer in the chilly outdoor weather. It could possibly mean that growth will be stunted or seized altogether.

It goes a long way to explain why gardeners get a head start by planting their seeds and seedlings indoors some 6 or so weeks before the last frost date and then transplanting them outside when the weather is more conducive.

This strategy helps determine when to plant Tomato Plant for the best yield.

Tomato Plant Care (How To Care for Tomato Plants)

Now you have all the general tips on how to grow your Tomato Plant. There is one more thing, learning how to care for Tomato Plants to ensures that they thrive and yield the best possible results.

The following Tomato Plant care tips will really come in handy:


There is nothing that the Tomato Plant loves more than fertile soil simply because it gives them ample time to thrive. This is one of the reasons why adding Tomato Plant fertilizer, particularly a balanced one like 5-5-5, to the soil is absolutely important; maybe do that twice in a single growing season, say immediately after planting and right before you see the fruits appear.10

Tomato Stakes and Cages

Are you aware of how to stake a tree? You probably should now if you don’t know how to yet because it is practically mandatory when growing a Tomato Plant.

But why is Tomato Plant stakes necessary? The Tomato Plant grows to need some extra support especially since they usually grow weak stems.

Different varieties of Tomato plants flourishing in a field, supported by wooden stakes.

(Image: VIVIANE627636)

Doing this sort of helps them get off the ground and be able to support the extra weight when the fruits start showing up. The perfect time to do it is when they are like 10-12 inches tall, and you can opt for a Tomato Plant cage if you have it growing in a planter or maybe a stake with ties when planting in the ground.

How To Prune a Tomato Plant

One more maintenance that you will have to conduct on your Tomato Plant is understanding how to prune a Tomato Plant. You are probably wondering why it is even necessary, but there are so many reasons why you should do it.

First and foremost, when you get rid of the old leaves, you will be able to reduce the chances of your plant contracting some fungal diseases that seem to target only the old leaves.

The pathogens in the soil are also huge fans of the leaves that are closer to the ground, and that is why you have to prune them. For the best results, you want to prune when the plant is around 2-3 feet high.17

Removing Tomato Plant Suckers

Tomato Plant suckers are the parts that start showing up in the middle of branches. Since they don’t really benefit the plant and don’t bear any fruits, you want to make sure that you limit their number to kind of redirect the energy solely toward the growing of the fruits.

You can opt to remove them when they grow to, say, a maximum of 3 inches, and there is a silver lining to this because these suckers can also root in water and grow into literally new Tomato Plants.

How To Buy a Tomato Seedling

Many first-timers are not very keen on their Tomato Plant seedling selection when finding one to plant. And that is a huge problem because a wrong choice could basically mean that you will have so many issues going forward.

There are some pro tips that you really need to have at your fingertips. One, don’t always go for the big seedlings.

Visually, it means that the plant is doing well for itself, but if the leaves seem to be too far-spaced, it could be a clear indication that there were problems with sunlight absorption.

The simple trick is to pick a leafy plant, not necessarily a tall one, and make sure that it at least has a literal main stem, is not too ‘stocky,’ and maybe settle for one that is 6-8 inches tall.

Tomato Plant Growing Zones: Where To Grow for Best Yields

Imagine doing your level best to plant and care for your Tomatoes and find the growing zones for tomato plant (where to grow), but it still has issues.

This will more than likely happen if you don’t pay close attention to the importance of Tomato Plant growing zone, which determines the optimal planting zones for growing the Tomato.

Close up of a Tomato plant with its vibrant yellow flowers.

(Image: WFranz37)

Each plant has its needs, and lacking them would obviously lead to challenges.

You will notice that the Tomato loves it when it is warm, and that is why it doesn’t mind at all growing in USDA Hardiness zones 5-10,18 which provide some of the perfect temperatures and overall conditions.

Tomato Classification

As you noted earlier, there are so many different and fantastic types of Tomatoes that are growing right in the country and in various parts of the planet.

Luckily, scientists have come up with ways to group or classify them, and this is very important before delving into the planting of Tomato Plants according to the type.

  1. Determinate: There is a literal meaning to these types of Tomatoes. You see, when they grow, their blossoms are always at the tip end of the shoots, and this kind of ‘determines’ where their growth basically ends or how long they can get.
    They set fruit only once before declining, and in general, they tend to require much less pruning and staking.6
  2. Indeterminate: When planting these types of Tomatoes, you can be sure that you are in it for a long time. The difference is that their flowers sort of grow all along the vines,19 not necessarily at the tip ends, so that technically means that they don’t have a determinate point and only decline, say if the weather is too cold or you clip them.

Tomato Facts

Tomatoes are probably some of the most versatile ingredients that come in handy in various recipes, but apart from that, there are some really interesting Tomato facts that you should probably know:

  1. Considering the fact that the Tomato Plant is a member of the nightshade family, many in the 19th century regarded it as poisonous and only planted it for ornamental properties.3
  2. Fast forward to today, the Tomato is used in so many cooking recipes and is lauded for being packed with so many health benefits (it is a rich source of potassium, folate, and vitamins C and K). It also contains a chemical called lycopene, which is a very powerful antioxidant.
  3. Coming to the European countries in the 16th century, they looked tiny and golden in color, which is maybe the main reason why they were called the ‘golden apples’; the French also thought that they were sort of aphrodisiacs, hence the name ‘love apples.’
  4. There are more than 3,000 types of Tomatoes that are being grown in various parts of the world (only the heritage and heirloom varieties).
  5. The largest producer of Tomatoes in the entire world is probably China because it accounts for about ¼ of the world’s production, closely followed by the US, and then India.
  6. Although many people think that the Tomato is supposed to be red, there are so many varieties all over the world, coming in shades of yellow, white, pink, purple, and sometimes black.
  7. Technically, the Tomato is supposed to be a fruit. It is just that it is sometimes regarded as a vegetable due to how it is used.
    It is a berry, and it also makes sense because it is the edible part of the Tomato Plant that contains the seeds.

Uses of a Tomato Plant

Wondering why the Tomato is popular in virtually every part of the world? Here is why:

The Fruit

If you come to think of it, the Tomato Plant’s fruit has more uses than any other part, and it is likely the single reason why you would want to grow it in the first place.

  1. You can eat it in its most pure and raw form, either sliced or in a salad.
  2. It is one of the key ingredients that comes in handy in so many dishes, in both modern and traditional recipes.
  3. The green varieties can be pickled or used in making salsa.
  4. Did you know that the berry can be blended to make either Tomato juice or cocktails, like the Bloody Mary, for instance?
  5. In its most natural state, the Tomato is considered part of a vegan diet. If you are eco-conscious and very keen on the low carbon footprint of vegan diet, make sure you avoid the heavily processed Tomato products containing cream and meat.

The Seeds

The seeds of the Tomato are also packed with plenty of health benefits. As part of the fruit and being edible, they are a rich source of vitamins and fibers that are of great benefit to the skin, heart, and overall immunity.

The Leaves

In the kitchen and the garden, leaves offer a versatile range of uses, much like their fruity counterparts.

  1. Just in the same way that the fruits are used in various recipes, the leaves also contain a great aroma and are used in making a lot of dishes and beverages. They could be toppings when fried whole or can also be crushed to be used as seasoning.
  2. Farmers make use of the Tomato leaves as compost.
  3. These leaves are interestingly common ingredients in the making of natural insecticides to fight off aphids and other insects.

Planting Tomatoes of Different Kinds

While you already know the general tips for planting Tomatoes and caring for Tomato Plants, it is even more fascinating to delve deeper into the requirements of various common Tomato Plants, and that should also help you decide on what type you will eventually settle for.

1. Cherry Tomato

This is your first time planting a Tomato? Why don’t you start with the cherry?

It may just make you fall in love with gardening! The Cherry is a famous type of Tomato, not just because it has got an incredibly biteable and snacking size but because of its savory flavor.

Ripe red Cherry Tomatoes with their green stems intact.

(Image: Engin_Akyurt38)

Could you believe that there are more than 100 Cherry varieties to choose from?

How To Plant a Cherry Tomato

First of all, are you planting a determinate or indeterminate Cherry Tomato? Because, the first one could be planted in a container, while the other loves growing wild in the open.

Another consideration to make is whether you are starting to plant from seed because, in that case, you are safer doing it indoors and at least 6 weeks before the last frost.

If you want nothing but the highest yields from your Cherry Tomatoes, you want to make the holes really deep, like 10 inches; this is a foolproof way to make sure that the root grows strong and there is way better nutrient absorption.

Planting Tips for the Cherry Tomato

Here are the planting tips for Cherry Tomato:

  1. When planting the Cherry, you want to check that there is at least a 4-foot distance in between the rows.
  2. Although other Tomatoes are okay with staking and caging, the Cherry doesn’t really do well with that. You will have to go for something a little more different to help support growth, a trellis to be specific, since the plant, more often than not, grows clustered and goes ahead to outgrow the conventional stakes and cages.
  3. The Cherry is able to grow in USDA zones 3 and all the way to 10.

How To Care for a Cherry Tomato

The following are the tips on how to care for a Cherry Tomato:

  1. Sunlight: The plant is okay growing either in full or partial sunlight, just as long as it accesses the sun for 6-8 hours every single day.
  2. Temperature: The Cherry absolutely enjoys it when the temperature ranges in between 70-85 degrees.
  3. Water: You would want to do the watering first thing in the morning every single day, that is, if you live in an extremely hot region, but for higher yields, maybe consider drip irrigation.
  4. Soil: You don’t really have to worry about your Tomatoes as long as the soil is loose, drains well, and is rich in compost.
Close up of small red Grape Tomatoes still connected to their green stem.

(Image: tristanaverythomas39)

2. Grape Tomato

It is pretty interesting how the Grape Tomato has only gained traction in recent years as cooks and farmers can’t help but easily take to it.

It is easy to see why they have become more popular because many don’t realize how tasty they truly are.

They are rather small in comparison to the Cherry Tomatoes, and from their name, you can tell that they look kind of like grapes.

How To Plant a Grape Tomato

You need to expect that the Grape Tomato will look a little smaller than usual,20 even when fully mature and ready for harvesting. You should give it a head start by planting seeds or seedlings indoors for at least 8 weeks, at least until the air gets warmer; this should establish them even before they are ready for transplanting.

But while doing this, you want to make sure that you gradually harden the plants first.

Planting Tips for a Grape Tomato

Here are the planting tips for a Grape Tomato:

  1. When you are planting your Tomato garden, you will have to check that there is about a 2-feet distance between plantings, both in the rows and columns.
  2. All you need is 70 days, and you will be able to see the vibrant red colors of the Grape Tomatoes.5
  3. You will know that they are ready for harvesting because the fruits kind of become loose and easier to pick.

How To Care for a Grape Tomato

The following are the tips on how to care for a Grape Tomato:

  1. Temperature: Before you can comfortably transplant the Grape Tomato to the outdoors, take a minute to make sure that the air is conducive, say around 70 degrees.
  2. Support: Staking or caging will really come in handy when planting because they are practically the only way to keep the plant upright.
  3. Fertilizer: A liquid fertilizer that is well diluted in the ratio of 1:20 will come in pretty handy and will not burn the plant at all.

3. Roma Tomato

The Roma Tomato is also called the Plum or Paste Tomato, and you can easily tell how perfect it is for making pastes and sauces.

It is one of the most commonly used given the fact that it has a sort of dense and succulent flesh, very low water content, and doesn’t really contain so many seeds, and it helps that it often features a bumper harvest.

Oblong-shaped Roma Tomatoes displaying a gradient of orange to red hues.

(Image: 2770740)

How To Plant a Roma Tomato

You can either plant a Plum Tomato from a seed or seedling, it’s all up to you, but the trick is to make sure that you start indoors a few weeks before the last frost date. Perhaps, when the seedlings start growing, you will want to place them under a well-lit window, or better yet, get an artificial light to serve as a perfect supplement.

Hardening, or slowly introducing your plants to the outdoors, should start when the seedling is like 5 inches tall or so.

Planting Tips for a Roma Tomato

Here are the planting tips for a Roma Tomato:

  1. Of course, you will want to know what to look out for when choosing the best seedlings to grow, and for the Roma, you will probably go for the shorter and stronger-looking varieties, not the ones that are a little more leggy or whose leaves are turning color.
  2. When trying to harden off your Tomatoes, this is what you do. You place them outside under a shaded spot every day while increasing the duration gradually before exposing them to full sunlight.

How To Care for a Roma Tomato

The following are the tips on how to care for a Roma Tomato:

  1. Soil: No matter what you do, just make sure that the soil that you use for your plant is well-draining, rich in nutrients, and maybe slightly acidic, at 6.0-6.5 pH.
  2. Temperature: You don’t want to compromise on the temperature levels because it could have some devastating results. The ideal temperature for your Roma Tomato is around 55-90 degrees.
  3. Fertilizer: One thing that you should probably know is the fact that the Plum Tomato is one heavy feeder, and that is exactly why you need to add in slow–releasing and low-nitrogen fertilizer, say once every 3 weeks.
Close-up view of a large, orange colored Beefsteak Tomato.

(Image: HBH-MEDIA-photography41)

4. Beefsteak Tomato

Research has it that the Beefsteak Tomato varieties are some of the largest of all Tomato Plants that you are ever going to come across.21

You can tell that that is true considering that it tends to grow to a whole 6 feet in height and sometimes the fruits could weigh as much as a pound.

But where does the name come from? Maybe it’s because when ripe, the fruit has got a meaty flavor and texture; you can imagine what an excellent addition it would be to salads and burgers.

How To Plant a Beefsteak Tomato

Obviously, these huge Tomatoes will take a while before they are ready for harvesting, and that is probably why you need to start them early on. For seeds, plant about half an inch in a growing medium and cover up with clear plastic, then place the planters under a well-lit place.

But when it comes to seedlings, you want to make sure that they are at least 4 cm tall before you have them transplanted, and make sure that the hole is maybe as deep as the planter.

Planting Tips for a Beefsteak Tomato

Here are the planting tips for a Beefsteak Tomato:

  1. The last thing that you want to do is to plant your Beefsteak Tomato under a shaded spot because it will most likely interfere with the fruiting process.
  2. A common mistake that many first-timers make is planting this Tomato near plants like kale and turnips. These are really aggressive competitors when it comes to the nutrients in the soil and will end up only hurting your plant.
  3. Since you are dealing with a Tomato that is a bit on the larger and heavier side, cages won’t do; you will have to go for trellises that will be able to handle the sheer size.

How To Care for a Beefsteak Tomato

The following are the tips on how to care for a Beefsteak Tomato:

  1. Temperature: You want nothing but the best yields, and that is why you should make sure that the prevailing temperatures are around 60 degrees or more.
  2. Water: Water is a basic need if you want the fruits to reach their full potential. You can consider offering around 2 inches every single week or even cutting straight to drip irrigation.
  3. Fertilizer: You cannot possibly ignore the fact that phosphorus and potassium are very important in the growth of your Tomato. When choosing the perfect NPK fertilizer, always make sure that nitrogen at least has a lower concentration than the other nutrients.1

5. Currant Tomato

If you can’t seem to get enough of the tiny Tomatoes like the cherry and grape, then you will definitely love the Currant variety.

It is not just about the taste or how delightful the fruits look, but growing one means that you should be very ready for heavy fruiting, every gardener’s dream.

Close up of red-orange Currant Tomatoes with its green stems and leaves in a field.

(Image: sarangib42)

Just a single plant should be able to serve an entire household.

How To Plant a Currant Tomato

You may be an expert gardener who wants to start from seeds, and in that case, you can start indoors, making sure that there is at least an inch of cover on top of the planting medium and that there is enough light in the room.

When it comes to the seedling, or the more your seeds germinate, you will also have to consider transplanting in larger and more accommodating containers, and it is only when you are very sure that the plant is established that you can transfer it permanently to the outdoors.22

Planting Tips for a Currant Tomato

Here are the planting tips for a Currant Tomato:

  1. The only time that it would be safe to plant your seeds or seedlings outdoors is when there is absolutely no danger of frost.
  2. When spacing your plants, remember to give them a 3-4 feet distance in between, and don’t forget the cages around the growing plant.
  3. Since the Currant Tomato is pea-sized, even smaller than the cherry variety, you want to grow them far away from other bigger plants, or they will likely get ‘eaten.’

How To Care for a Currant Tomato

The following are the tips on how to care for a Currant Tomato:

  1. Soil: There is absolutely no way you want to go wrong with the soil because it is literally the thin line between succeeding and failing; that is why you need to make sure that your soil is slightly acidic with a pH of 6.0-7.0.
  2. Water: You can always water your plant a couple of times a week, but while at it, please ensure that you do that at the base, not overhead, and avoid splashing because there is no easier way to leave your plant susceptible to diseases.

6. Early Girl Tomato

Who wouldn’t want to grow a plant that produces so many tasty fruits early on in the season, way faster than other plants?

The Early Girl is quite a popular indeterminate Tomato that has got a beautiful tennis-like shape and size and is preferred for its ability to grow really fast,23 which any new gardener would appreciate.

How To Plant an Early Girl Tomato

You would think that the early girl Tomato variety is very demanding in order to produce fruits early on in the season, but that is not always the case. Your plant will be fine growing in a container or a raised bed.

You can start with either seeds, cuttings, or seedlings, whichever seems more convenient for you, just as long as your plant has its basic needs, it should be fine.

Planting Tips for an Early Girl Tomato

Here are the planting tips for a Early Girl Tomato:

  1. The early girl is known for its rather rapid growth, and that is why you want to make sure that the container you use is at least 18 inches in terms of diameter.
  2. Also, check that the planters have got drainage holes in them to help reduce excess moisture.
  3. If you have any plans of overwintering your Tomato Plant to increase its productivity, you want to go for pure container planting.

How To Care for an Early Girl Tomato

The following are the tips on how to care for an Early Girl Tomato:

  1. Sunlight: It goes without saying that the early girl loves it when it’s shining bright. When planting, whether in a container or in the ground, make sure that you pick a well-lit, unshaded spot, and you will see how vibrant your plant is going to be.
  2. Soil: Again, considering the fact that the early girl grows really fast, it is important that the soil is rich in nutrients, maybe organic matter like compost.
  3. Support: Given that the vines are able to grow to as high as 6 feet, you will need to have either cages or stakes to give them extra support.12

7. Gardener’s Delight Tomato

Many will swear by the fact that the Gardener’s Delight is probably the most savory variety of Tomatoes around, and maybe by growing it, you will be able to understand why.

It also helps a great deal because beginner Tomato gardeners attest to the fact that it is also very effortless to grow and not really that demanding.24

How To Plant a Gardener’s Delight Tomato

The Gardener’s Delight is able to germinate in about a week or two and is one of the indeterminate Tomato varieties that farmers love. As long as you start off weeks before the frost date and plant 2-3 seeds in a single pot about ¼ inches deep, you should be fine.

The more the seedlings establish themselves, they should be very ready for transplanting, maybe when you spot like 3 sets of leaves.

Planting Tips for a Gardener’s Delight Tomato

Here are the planting tips for a Gardener’s Delight Tomato:

  1. You will love the fact that the Gardener’s Delight is quite a flexible plant to grow because you are able to have it as a bush Tomato or trained vine.
  2. If you want the fruits to show up early and bigger for that matter, you might want to consider regular pruning and training.
  3. Sometimes, the main stem of the Tomato Plant grows rather sturdy, and that is why some gardeners grow it in large containers even without support systems.

How To Care for a Gardener’s Delight Tomato

The following are the tips on how to care for a Gardener’s Delight Tomato:

  1. Water: Good news for you. The Gardener’s Delight has adapted to become drought resistant, and interestingly, excessive water can actually make the fruits crack.
  2. Pruning: This is one of the mandatory maintenance techniques that will make your plant grow faster and, of course, more productive.

8. Campari Tomatoes

If you are a huge fan of indeterminate Tomatoes that will keep bearing fruits for you all through the season, then you will absolutely take to the Campari.25 This is a delicious sweet dark red variety that matures in like 75 days and has so many uses in the kitchen, and it also helps that it is also easy to grow.

A display of harvested Red Campari Tomatoes.

(Image: Hans43)

How To Plant a Campari Tomato

Again, with this type of Tomato, you have the option of starting either as a seedling or seed. As usual, the best time to plant seeds is 6 or so weeks before the last frost date, and in the case of seedlings, perhaps you need to plant them outside when the danger of frost has long passed.

Just pick a sunny unshaded spot and care for your plant as usual.

Planting Tips for a Campari Tomato

Here are the planting tips for a Campari Tomato:

  1. When it comes to the seeds, you should probably plant them ½ inches deep in the ground, and as for spacing, 2-3 feet apart will do.
  2. If you want to keep your plants comfortable, consider mulching around the ground because this way, you will be preserving the level of moisture and, at the same time, preventing the growth of weeds.

How To Care for a Campari Tomato

The following are the tips on how to care for a Campari Tomato:

  1. Soil: The soil is one of the single most important factors to consider when growing a Tomato, and as for the Campari, you want to go for a well-draining and fertile soil that has a pH of at least 6.0-6.8.
  2. Pruning: If you want to make sure that your Campari grows healthy and happy, you want to make pruning a habit, chopping off the old and dead leaves as regularly as possible.

9. Celebrity Tomatoes

The Celebrity Tomato kind of levels up to its name,26 and it is no wonder it is an award-winning variety. There are so many stellar qualities of this plant that will make you want to plant it as soon as now.

Imagine a plant that is one of the most disease-resistant and one that so easily adapts to its environment, those are the qualities of the Celebrity Tomato.

How To Plant a Celebrity Tomato

For those who prefer planting from the seed, you should know that you need to plant them about ¼ an inch deep in the potting mix that you make sure is moist. Under the right conditions and after planting under a sunny window, the seedlings should be able to show in a week or two.

Later on, when the seedlings start showing promise, you can go ahead and plant in bigger pots, say 4 inches wide.

Planting Tips for a Celebrity Tomato

Here are the planting tips for a Celebrity Tomato:

  1. If you have a feeling that the light is not enough for your plant, you can go ahead to supplement that with an artificial plant light, maybe place it like 3-4 inches on top of the seedling for like 16 hours every day.11
  2. One way to make sure that there is certainly no danger of diseases is to avoid planting your Tomatoes in the same spot where you planted other Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, or eggplants in the previous season.

How To Care for a Celebrity Tomato

The following are the tips on how to care for a Celebrity Tomato:

  1. Soil: Of course, you want to make sure that your Celebrity Tomato is growing in the perfect conditions, and that is why you should check that the soil test shows that the pH level is around 6.2-6.8.
  2. Temperature: you already know by now just how vulnerable Tomatoes can be when it comes to chilly conditions, and that explains why you should never expose your celebrity Tomatoes to temperatures that are below 55 degrees.

10. Blue Tomatoes

Wrapping it all up is this rare heirloom that you will be shocked that it even exists. You will barely find it being sold in markets, except in special places and, of course, at an exorbitantly high price.

To avoid all that, you will be excited to learn that you can just grow it right in your home, and it is not even that hard.

Blue Tomatoes with their green leaves, supported by a wooden stake within a pot.

(Image: utroja044)

How To Plant a Blue Tomato

Many gardeners opt to plant the Blue Tomato in containers or hanging planters. That makes the Blue Tomato look really great, and it is able to serve its intended ornamental properties.

Besides, it gets way easier to transfer the plant indoors or outdoors when necessary. Whatever container you go for, just make sure that it is at least 8 or so inches deep and it has got drainage holes because otherwise, you will have to deal with root rot.

Planting Tips for a Blue Tomato

Here are the planting tips for a Blue Tomato:

  1. There is one thing that you should note about the Blue Tomato, the fact that it could possibly take about 2 years before it is able to bear fruits, so you may have to be very patient.2
  2. You can use the Blue Tomato specifically for ornamental or decorative reasons, purely because of its unique fruity color.

How To Care for a Blue Tomato

The following are the tips on how to care for a Blue Tomato:

  1. Water: The perfect time for you to water your plant is in the late afternoon when at least the sun is not too harsh on the leaves. And the water is also supposed to be non-chlorinated because that could possibly make the leaves start yellowing.
  2. Sunlight: The last thing that you want is for your Blue Tomatoes to start getting burned under the scorching sun.27 That explains why you have to be very careful to place them under shade when the sun gets unbearable.

Picking the Right Type of Tomato Plant To Grow

With so many different types of Tomato Plants that are available, picking one may need some thought.

Focused shot of Tomatoes arranged in various containers on display in a store.

(Image: Cheerfully_lost45)

It may even be overwhelming for you to settle for a single one, and that is why this guide will come in handy, helping you narrow it all down based on a few factors.

Fruit Size and Use

Probably the very first question that you are going to ask is, what do you want to do with your Tomatoes? Do you want to make sauces with them?

Are you looking for a plant that you can use for decorative reasons? Or do you want to add it to your salads?

These questions are important because there are particular Tomato varieties that are grown for such particular reasons.

Take the beefsteak Tomato, for instance, with its massive size and thick flesh, this one will be perfect for adding to your burgers.

But what if you want a bite-size Tomato with a savory flavor? Then you will more than likely go for the cherry or currant Tomatoes.

The Size of the Plant

Of course, you are aware that each Tomato Plant is unique and that each one grows to a certain size. That should also be part of your considerations because what if you don’t have enough room to accommodate a plant that grows massive?

On the other hand, you may also be very keen on planting a small Tomato that fits in a portable container, and in such cases, the massive varieties will not be on your list.

How Does the Fruit Develop?

There are two main types of Tomato Plants, the determinate and indeterminate, and how they bear fruit should also be your concern. You need to ask yourself whether you are more interested in a plant that bears fruits all at a go or want the supply to be more steady.

Also remember that the indeterminates, more often than not, grow larger and take up more space.

Companion Plants for Growing Tomato Plant

Any gardener will tell you that one skill that they had to master is companion planting. It is quite vital, in fact, because a wrong move could have some devastating effects on your Tomato Plants.

Close-up view of a Tomato plant bearing red-orange fruits, with dark green leaves, supported by wooden stakes.

(Image: Foto-Rabe46)

So, you only need to invest your time and money in growing the plants that you are sure will only be of benefit to your Tomatoes. Consider the companion plants for growing Tomato Plant to enhance their environment.

  1. Chives: Not only are chives edible plants that you can use in your home,32 but the advantage is the fact that they greatly benefit the Tomatoes. They help repel pests and, when they flower, are perfect pollinator attractors.
  2. Radishes: You should also consider growing this vegetable alongside your Tomatoes because they will surely be a win-win for you. Not only are radishes able to trap beetles that aim for your Tomato,33 but they also have no competition with your Tomatoes, given that their roots grow rather shallow.
  3. Sage: Who doesn’t know that the sage is one of the best companion plants for your vegetables and flower gardens?28 Forget how stunning it looks and how it will compliment your Tomatoes; it is also a top choice for pest repellent, all thanks to its strong scent.
  4. French Marigold: The Marigold Flowers are worth mentioning among the most vibrant flowers that you can even plant in your garden. Apart from that, the French Marigold also has the advantage of being able to help prevent aphid attacks.4
  5. Oregano: What is better than planting two vegetables that you can use in your recipes? The Tomato pairs so well with oregano not only in meals but also in the garden because the herb attracts pollinators and predatory insects that feed on Tomato pests.
  6. Lavender: Literally every flower lover will tell you how much the lavender stands out no matter where you plant it. Apart from its great looks, the plant also has the advantage of being able to heavily attract bees and other pollinators that will, of course, drop by your Tomatoes.

Common Pests of the Tomato Plant

The same way that you love the delicious goodness of the Tomato is the same reason why pests just seem to get attracted to the Tomato Plant. There are those that suck the sap from the leaves and stalks, while others just can’t keep off the savory fruits.

Here are some of the most common pests of the Tomato Plant that you should always be on the lookout for:

  1. Tomato Pinworm: These yellow-gray larvae are expert borers, feasting on the leaves, buds, and fruits. What you are left with is only the disfigured and discolored leaves and fruits full of holes.
  2. Tomato Fruitworm: These ones you can easily spot, with their cream and yellowish bodies. They can’t seem to keep off the juicy fruits of the Tomato.
  3. Hornworms: Tomato farmers know the hornworms all too well, with their green and reddish bodies and markings on their sides. What these pests do is that they make the leaves fall off and occasionally feed on the berries leaving behind nasty scars.
  4. Aphids: One of the biggest enemies of any farmer is this tiny insect called the aphid that will always find its way up the Tomato Plant and suck the sap from the leaves, of course killing the parts in the process.
  5. Stink Bug: This brown or sometimes green insect has found a way to pierce itself into the fruits and growing parts, making them drop prematurely or get deformed.
  6. Cutworm: This one is another great enemy of any gardener, especially considering the fact that it has so perfectly mastered the art of hiding in the ground during the day and only coming up to the plant when it gets dark. It is basically a caterpillar, and you already know what that means for your Tomato Plant’s leaves and stems.
  7. Flea Beetles: Talk about some of the tiniest pests that you have ever come across. The flea beetle measures only 2.5-4.5 mm and has got a black body but don’t underestimate it because it is able to chew through the leaves and cause massive damage, especially when they attack as a group.

Natural Pest Control for Tomato Plant

You already know the kind of danger that your Tomato Plants are susceptible to, and that is why you need a foolproof method that you can use to either keep these insects at bay or at least get rid of them the second they attack. Obviously, you are already thinking about pesticides,29 which have, over time, proven to be very effective in dealing with such instances, but using chemicals should never be the very first option.

For a more environmentally friendly approach, consider methods that are organic and gentle on your plants. Utilizing natural pest control for Tomato Plant ensures they remain free from harmful chemicals while also being kinder to the environment.

Truthfully, the Tomato is susceptible to pests because they cannot resist the tasty fruits and leaves, and so, it is entirely upon you to make sure that you keep checking up on your plants each and every day to see whether you can spot anything new.

Tomato plants cultivated inside a greenhouse, held upright by supporting ropes.

(Image: ivabalk47)

In the case of tiny insects like the aphids that show up in the form of dark dots all over your plant, you can start off by simply spraying them off with a jet of water from a garden hose, and this will make them fall off the plant. In comparison, when you are dealing with more massive pests like caterpillars, hornworms, and the likes, you can always pick the insects up manually and drop them in a container with soap water.

When you are very certain that there are no longer any traces of pests, you can now go ahead and rub or spray an insecticidal soap on the plant. Neem oil also works wonders because it effectively blocks the air holes of the insects, suffocating them in the process.

Using a chemical method may not be a great idea unless it is the only last resort left, but even so, remember that you can actually end up off insects that are also beneficial.

Common Tomato Plant Diseases

Tomatoes are really fun to grow, especially when they produce bumper harvest for your use, but there is one more problem that you will also have to contend with, the fact that there are plenty of diseases that could attack your plant. This is why there is a lot of emphasis on hygiene, weeding your plants, and only watering them at ground level, not overhead.

These are but a few of the potential Tomato Plant diseases that you should watch out for:

  1. Early Blight: Immediately you see weird lesions or wounds forming on the leaves of your plant, you better get on it as soon as possible. Lesions accompanied by yellowing around the affected parts are more than likely the symptoms of early blight.
  2. Late Blight: This disease also confirms its presence when lesions start forming on the plant, but in this case, it is not just the leaves that are affected, but any part, is in danger. You may also be able to see whitish mold and dark spots on the fruits.
  3. Bacterial Wilt: This disease prefers attacking the Tomato stems and causing the plant to start wilting. When you look at the inside of the stems, you will see that they are brown or dark.
  4. Fusarium Wilt: This is another fungal disease that should really worry you. The moment it attacks, the leaves kind of start discoloring and then dry up before falling off dead, and you know that that technically means the end of your Tomato Plant.
  5. Tomato Mosaic Virus: What you will notice when this virus attacks is that the leaves will start deforming and then withering, which is a sign of danger for your plant.
  6. Powdery Mildew:30 Any gardener will tell you that this is at the very top of the list when it comes to diseases to watch out for. The fungal infection leaves whitish marks on the leaves and, unless checked, could end up becoming fatal.
  7. Anthracnose Fruit Rot: This fungal infection is the last thing that you would want for your plant. It immediately attacks the fruits making the centers blacken, and with time, the marks spread out to the rest of the Tomato and cause lesions to appear on the fruits.7

Tomato Plant Disease Prevention

Protecting your Tomatoes from fungal and viral ailments is most important. Understanding how to stop Tomato Plant disease is crucial, especially after dedicating time and effort to nurture them.

These diseases seem to attack from out of nowhere, and when they do, it becomes a race between you and time as you try to get your precious plant back on its feet.

Say that you are lucky enough to detect the attack during its early stages when only a few leaves or some small parts have been affected that becomes a bit easier for you to deal with. Immediately the signs start showing on a few leaves or buds, you have no other choice but to immediately chop off any part that shows abnormalities and dispose of it, not in the compost pile, but in a plastic bag and then possibly burn it.

Seems a little extreme, right? Not really, especially when you learn how fast these fungal diseases end up spreading.

They can transfer to the rest of the plant and the others in the garden through wind and water, and that means that they are deadly and have to be stopped completely. In the unfortunate case that you spot the signs too late, when most or the entire plant is already affected, then you will have absolutely no other option but to pull off the particular plant and get rid of it immediately.

You may also have to go for a fungicide as a treatment method to be sure that the rest of your plants are safe after disposing of the affected plants or parts.

But what about Tomato Plant disease prevention? Yes, that is the best way to go to at least make sure that the disease does not even attack in the first place.

One, avoid planting your Tomatoes in the same place each and every year because there are chances that the diseases could be lurking in the soil waiting for a new host. Secondly, you should try to be very religious when it comes to weeding because these plants are perfect breeding grounds for diseases.

And lastly, when watering your plant, make sure that you do it at ground level, not from above because diseases easily spread that way.

How To Troubleshoot Common Tomato Problems

Apart from pests and diseases, there are other weird problems that you may end up seeing on your Tomato Plants.

You will immediately realize that something is definitely wrong, but you cannot exactly put a finger on it.

Close up of Tomato plant leaves curling, turning brown alongside its fruits.

(Image: AMAR-TR48)

Take a look at the following to help you make out what could be going on with your plant:

Tomato Plant Leaves Curling

This could happen to your plant, and you may see the Tomato Plant leaves curling while the rest of the plant is looking fine.31 One problem may be water scarcity, meaning that your plant lacks sufficient moisture.

It is one trick that the plant uses to help it conserve some water. It could also be caused by excessive use of herbicides or some strains in the environment, like excessive sunlight that causes it to dehydrate rather faster.

Tomato Plant Leaves Turning Yellow

There are a couple of reasons explaining why your Tomato Plant leaves turning yellow. The most common one is that there are issues with nutrient deficiency, particularly magnesium and iron.

Chlorosis could also come about as a result of damage due to excessive use of herbicides and other chemicals. One more logical explanation could be that your plant has been infected by a fungal or viral disease.

Tomato Plant Wilting

Tomato Plant wilting is not common and is actually supposed to be a cause for alarm. It is more often than not an indication that the plant is stressed, and you have to address that as soon as possible.

Perhaps it is a lack of moisture or too much heat because excessive temperatures coupled with water scarcity that could easily dehydrate the plant.

Bad news. Wilting could also mean that the plant is dealing with some fungal diseases like blight and bacterial wilt.8

Bottom Rot (Blossom End Rot)

Bottom rot can occur from many reasons, but mulching can help.

Moreover, the soil composition plays a huge factor, and you may need to add lime to the soil, which can provide an immediate help.

How To Harvest and Store Tomatoes

Now that you know just about everything that concerns the growth and care of Tomatoes, there’s one more thing, how do you even go about harvesting your Tomatoes? How can you tell when they are ripe?

And when you have already harvested them, how do you store them and keep them safe for consumption? It is really simple, just harvest your Tomatoes when they are firm and red, no matter how big or small they look.

But what about the varieties that are naturally yellow, purple, or any other color? You will know that they are ripe when they attain their intended color and are firm.

Close-up view showcasing different varieties of freshly harvested ripe tomatoes in shades of yellow and orange.

(Image: hansbenn49)

You should also know that the Tomatoes usually ripen depending on when you actually planted them. Those that were planted earlier on in the season are able to mature equally early, maybe in 40-70 days, but on the other hand, the late-season varieties could ripen even 80-100 days after you have planted them.

Some gardeners also use this trick to check for ripening; if the Tomato is hard to pull off the stalk, then it may not be ready for harvesting. It has got to come off easily from the plant.

However, you don’t always have to wait for the fruits to ripen fully because they could be in danger of pests and disease attacks. Some farmers wait until there are some color changes and harvest their Tomatoes, letting them ripen on their own either when covered in a plastic bag or right on the counter.

If the Tomatoes are fully ripe, you can always store them in your kitchen for as much as a week or in your fridge for a few days. Room temperature will do for the green and partially ripe Tomatoes because they will not really ripen further when stored in the fridge.

There is just one thing, many people attest to the fact that Tomatoes stored in the fridge don’t really taste as good as the ones that are kept at room temperature.

Virtually everybody uses a Tomato every single day. It could be in a food recipe, a salad, a filling or topping in some food, as part of a sauce, and so many other ways.

That is why the Tomato is supposed to be at the very top of your list when you are looking for the best plant for your kitchen garden because you are obviously going to use it at some point.

The great news? The fact that there are so many Tomato varieties at your disposal.

They come in so many different shapes, sizes, and colors, all for your choosing, and you can go for anyone that you like, just as long as you can take good care of it. The Tomato Plant is probably the most rewarding fruit (or vegetable, if you will) that you can plant because you will be sure of a bumper harvest.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tomato Plant

Is Tomato a Fruit?

Botanically, the Tomato is actually a fruit, a berry for that matter, based on how it grows and iven that it contains a seed and grows from the pollinated flower, then it is technically a fruit. Maybe the only reason why some refer to it as a vegetable is because of how it is used when cooking.

What’s the Difference Between Tomato Vines vs Tomato Bush?

When you come to think about it, the Tomato Plants are not particularly vine plants, and there is no specific Tomato bush. However, Tomato Plants have different growing habits that make them either grow in a vine or a bush, and this is what scientists call determinate (bush) and indeterminate (vining) Tomato varieties.

When Is It Tomato Season?

There is no specific Tomato season because it usually varies based on your region or where you live and the prevailing conditions. For instance, say the best time to plant your Tomatoes in accordance with where you live is in January, then it basically means that the Tomatoes in your region are going to be in season from April and all through May, but still, there are some places where the Tomato season is generally longer, lasting from May all the way to October.

What Is the Best Way To Grow Tomatoes?

If you are looking for the best way to grow Tomatoes, all you need to know is what are the best growing conditions. Apart from providing the basic needs, like sunlight, water, and fertilizer and caring for your plant by regularly pruning and weeding, you should also know when is the best time, and that is 6 or more weeks before the last frost date, that is when you are going to start planting indoors.

How Do You Grow an Upside Down Tomato Plant?

An upside down Tomato Plant is an unconventional yet intriguing method adopted by some gardeners, who claim it helps in warding off pests and diseases. To achieve this, one drills a 2-inch hole in a bucket’s bottom, wraps the Tomato seedling in paper, places it through the hole, fills with soil, and hangs the container upside down.

What Are the Signs of an Over Watered Tomato Plant?

An over watered Tomato Plant shows clear signs of distress, such as standing water at its base, soil with a foul smell, wilted or drooping leaves, and atypical coloration on various parts of the plant due to excessive moisture.


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48Photo by AMAR-TR. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

49Photo by hansbenn. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

50Tomatoes Vines Water Droplets Wet Photo by kie-ker. (2016, August 3) / Pixabay Content License. Cropped and added text, shape, and background elements. Pixabay. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <>