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I have one Black Opal tomato plant, which I've not had previously. Are they particularly tricky to grow - do they need special care?  The whole plant has a blueish tinge to it. Although it has produced 3 clusters of flowers no fruit set on the 1st cluster, there seem to be just 2 fruits on the second and I think 2 on the third (still tiny).  It is in a pot standing outside beside the 3 x moneymaker and 3 x sungold and 1 x peardrop.  All these are happily producing fruit.  Has anyone any explanation for the poor performance by the Black Opal?  Should I just throw the thing away - although I was looking forward to tasting 'black' tomatoes. I don't have a greenhouse to move it to!   Thankyou, Mags



I think it will be fine - it might just be later to get to it's fruiting stage - none of my 27 varied tomatoes in pots outside have any fruit set yet.  

I wouldn't worry about the colour of the foliage - it's quite usual for plants that have strongly coloured flowers or fruit, to have slightly similar foliage.  If you think of some deep red roses they can have quite dark foliage. 

Some interesting info about Black Opal here 

Fingers crossed my Black Opal will come ok then.

That was an interesting link, dovefromabove = thanks.   Mags

do black opal tomatoes need the side shoots taking out

Mr Fothergill's info says:

Indeterminate – needs support, stake or tie and pinch out side shoots

I was wondering the same thing!


Amy Kelly

Mine has suddenly taken a turn for the worst... Drooping leaves and flower buds dropping off. Any suggestions? All other tomatoes have been treated the same way but are flourishing. I am at a loss.

I had Black Opal last year. 

SIDE SHOOTS:  I left 2 on, which both went on to produce fruit on them as well as the main stem. 

DROOPY LEAVES and DISCOLOURED LEAVES:  Mine did that. It seems to be the way they are.

In all, the plant didn't grow much and didn't produce much fruit. Not that it mattered because I didn't like them much. I preferred them roasted to raw.

Good luck everyone!  Hope you all get better results and like them better than I did.


Had the same worry till now. Got 5 plants plus Blackm Opal. The B O Is the least vigorous though it does have a couple of sprays of flowers. Having read this column I am not worrying. Thanks contributors!

I have a Black Opal. A week or so ago, the wind decapitated it and it is now about a foot tall. Just noticed a side shoot I hadn't taken off and it has now grown a little above the main stem of the plant. I'm not sure if I should leave it or take it off. Think I might leave it Staffsmags seeing as yours produced fruit.

Whatched a video recently demonstrating removal of side shoots. The gardener demonstrating mentioned that if you removed a side shoot it was possible to stick it in compost below the level of the hairs that protrude from the shoot (and all tomato plants as you will have observed) and the shoot will 'shoot'. Trying it just now for the sake of them experiment.
Hope yet for your Black Opal forget-me-not.

Oh thanks Delfrost. Will give that a go.

Mark 499

I grew Black Opal last year, the leaves curled & darkened but there was a good crop, but they took ages to ripen & where very bland tasting, won't be growing it again.

...don't think I will be going for the more exotic sounding toms next year. The best of this year are the standards: Gardeners Delight and Tom Thumb tumbler. Got a Sungold that seems to be doing well though and two Marmnder though they have a very 'corrugated' apearence so time will tell whether I chose well. This is my first year with a real green house (plastic till now) and I am fussing in it like a mother hen. Anyone else like that?
My tomatoes are all doing well except for a cherry that got Whitefly. Dumped that. Had the first of the very sweet Black Opal and they have lots of fruit on.

My problem: I have loads of large toms on the vines ripening slowly but also loads of non-fruiting 'branches'. Other than taking off any below the first trusses should I remove or cut back this foliage or is it too early. Your advice please experts.
Further to my post about replanting removed shoots. I have two vigorous plants from replanting removed shoots. One has taken the place of a Plant that was scourged by white fly. See how they go.

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