Cherokee Purple Tomato
Introduced by North Carolina Seed Savers Exchange member Craig LeHoullier in 1991 from seed obtained from J. D. Green of Tennessee. Uniquely colored dusty rose-brown fruits weigh up to 12 ounces. Delicious sweet flesh.
- 75-90 days from transplant
- Indeterminate - Fruit ripens throughout the season
- Dusty rose-brown fruits grow to 12 ounces
- Sweet flavor
This variety works for:
- Fresh eating
Store your tomatoes at room temperature. The flavor and texture of tomatoes suffer when the fruit is chilled.
Heirloom tomatoes are bred for their flavor and simple preparation best allows that intense flavor to shine through. Tomatoes can be sliced and drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper or layer slices with basil and mozzarella for a Caprese salad.
Roasted tomatoes have a richer, concentrated flavor.
There are hundreds of salsa recipes to try and most are dramatically improved with the use of heirloom tomatoes. Tomatoes are also the main ingredient in Gazpacho, a cold soup that is perfect for summer.
Instructions - Sow seeds indoors ¼" deep. Tomatoes are sensitive to freezing temperatures, so wait to transplant outdoors until the soil is warm. Plant in full sun.
- Start Indoors: 6 weeks before last frost
- Germination: 7-14 Days
- Plant Outdoors: 24-36” Apart
- Support: Cage, stake, or trellis
Ratings & Reviews
My Favorite Tomato
Although it takes all season for the fruit-it's worth the wait. I find it doesn't do as well in pots as being in the ground. I do not get a lot of fruits per plant, so having enough in the ground is key. I also find this one to be more prone to splitting as well as blight than some of the other varieties I have tried in the past, but well worth the fight as it is the best steak style tomato I have ever tasted. Who needs ketchup when you have Cherokee Purple! A definite must have if you like tomato with your grilled meats. And yes-it is as sweet as they say. YUM!
Best slicing tomato available.
I grew these last season and they are simply amazing. They do split easily so try to water them every other day and not every day. They have the most intense tomato flavor I've ever experienced and they are huge. One slice will cover your sandwich.
Amazing flavor and easy to grow
by Megan Michelle
These tomatoes have done excellent here in Oklahoma City, zone 7a. The fluctuating weather has not stopped them. I am growing all my tomatoes in a fair amount of shade to try and get the indeterminate varieties to go the distance in the heat and get as much ripening on the vine as I can since we are above 75 degrees by 9am most days. It has really paid off and the Cherokees have been particularly happy. As soon as the color starts to change, I harvest the fruits and ripen indoors, and it takes them about 48 to 72 hours to have beautiful purple bottoms. The flavor is really excellent and they are just so juicy. An amazing tomato.
by R. Hawkins
Ordered 250 Cherokee Purple seeds. Started indoor and made beautiful plants and were full of fruits in no time. Excellent choice
This is the best tomato I have ever tasted!
This is the first time I have grown tomatoes from seed. I got a late start, planting them on the windowsill. But once they germinated, they grew rapidly. I planted most in the garden and one in a pot. Although the potted tomato plant did not do well, the garden-planted tomatoes have been exceptional. This is the best tomato I have ever tasted! Its indeterminate nature makes it challenging to support, but well worth the effort. I cannot say enough about this spectacular variety. I have little experience with vegetable growing, but this single tomato has converted me into a vegetable gardener! (I should also add, my garden gets a lot of shade but this variety is doing well in spite of the shade.)
Excellent tomatoes. High yield, delicious! One of my favorite!
It's the One!
Simply the best! Missouri 6b. Beautiful and bountiful fruit that have great texture, taste, and look! If I could only grow one, it would probably be this one. Reliable and everyone's favorite for a reason.
'Best In Class'
I have grown multiple varieties of tomatoes and these are my favorites by far. I will even make my tomato sauce from them. Delicious all around.
Didn't live up to reputation
Plants are not sturdy and don't seem anywhere near as vigorous as other heirlooms. Taste is good. It's hot and dry here, so maybe that?
Seed Savers Response: I’m sorry to hear this variety didn’t do well in your garden. Please reach out to our customer service team for variety and planting suggestions and tips.
Sweet and Flavorful!
by Lori Laliberte
Our favorite tomato. So sweet and flavorful. We had a challenging growing season last year in Georgia and this was the only of three full-sized tomato varieties that produced well. We have to have this every year.
Didn’t do so well in 9b
As tasty as these are, they unfortunately have not done so hot here in zone 9b. Took a long time to start producing but once they started, they took off. However, the fruits are no where near as big as I expected them to be and there’s lots of splitting. The plants are about 7-8 feet tall and seem to be pretty disease resistant though.
A great year for the Cherokee
I have grown Cherokee Purple over the years with various success. They are one of my favorite tomatoes when it comes to taste.
I live in zone 10b, so we really have no frost.
This year, 2023, I purchased my seedling from a local nursery. I put it in a 15 gallon container on March 9. We had crazy weather early this year in Southern California. It is now June 15, and I have a 6 foot vine with 40 fruits in different stages. My first is just now showing some darkening. Short of some virulent disease, this will clearly be the most successful plant I have ever grown.
The chipmunks and I fight over them.
by Lancelot of Lake Monona
They are best tomato for BLT's. The vines do not get as sprawling as other indeterminates and often they seem to succumb to blight before other heirlooms.