Ukrainian Purple Tomato
(aka Purple Russian) Original stock of this variety came from Irma Henkel in Ukraine. Plum-shaped fruits are 3-4" long and weigh 6 ounces, generally crack-free. Great flavor, sweet and meaty. Plants are very productive.
- ±11,800 seeds/oz
- Indeterminate - Fruit ripens throughout the season
- Plum-shaped fruits are purple-red
- Fruits grow to 3-4 inches long and 6 ounces
- Flavorful, sweet, meaty flesh
- Resistant to cracking
- Very productive
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
One of my favorite heirlooms
by Kazimir DeWolfe
I bought Ukrainian Purple seeds from Seed Savers 5 years ago, and I've grown them a few times and saved the seeds. Excellent producers of good size lovely purple paste tomatoes. They taste delicious both sliced fresh and cooked.
Ours are prone to leaf curl, but they go on to produce many heavy fruit even if they get stressed early in the season.
My kid loves growing and eating them.
Stressed and split
Zone 5b IL. I wanted to love this one! I planted about 7 plants of this variety. Every Ukrainian purple plant looked stressed (compared to the others in my garden) but did not seem to do better with more or less water. The fruits were all different shapes and sizes until late summer when most of them grew the shape as shown in the photo. Flavor is good, but all of the fruits split before ripening completely. Great for sauce and juice. Excellent germination rate but I will not be planting this one next year, maybe in other conditions.
Great flavor like a big Cherokee Purple, in a one-person size.
Zone 6-planted these for the first time last year and they were picture perfect and delicious-flavor was good as my Cherokee Purples, and for me they are a better size. Very productive in a raised bed that gets a lot of afternoon shade. I've already planted seeds again for this year.
wilts in heat
Set fruit earlier than I expected. Does NOT do well with direct sun or heat. I have set up a shade for this plant. Admittedly, I am in a new yard and did not realize how punishing the heat is there, this is an urban yard with a lot of reflected heat. I just learned that this variety withstands 40F temperatures, so I think it is meant to withstand cold, not heat. I am using a 20% shade cloth that is higher than the plants, not touching them.
I gave my neighbor a plant and theirs receives much more shade and is doing much better.
Update- Amazing taste
update to my earlier review-
This tomatoes from this plant were the most incredible tasting tomatoes I have ever had, and I have had a lot of amazing heirloom tomatoes.
The plant itself was a bit of diva and I did not get a bumper crop from the plant, but every time I ate one of these tomatoes I thought- yep, that's why people grow this tomato.
Seriously- the taste was incredible.
I might grow it again in a shady area to see if it does better there.
I wish they turned out better
Zone 9b. Plant originally grew well, but yield was poor and all tomatoes split. The ones that I was able to eat were very tasty, but maybe not the best for my zone
Listen to me. I've grown dozens & dozens of varieties over the years. This is by far the worst tomato I have ever grown. Grown in central Jersey. I grew a few in pots and a few in the garden soil. I even gave two to a friend in a pot in a different town. Every single plant had gangly branches with curled up leaves. Every fruit had a split ring around the top. I kept up with watering, and then scaled back watering to see if that helped. nothing worked. Every other tomato plant i grew flourished, except this one. Very puzzling.
Best Flavor Ever
Best tasting tomato I have ever had, and I usually try a couple different varieties every year. There is some splitting but the flavor is worth it.
I grew these last year and have to say that they are one of the best tasting tomatoes I have ever had. I did plant it where it got some afternoon shade and had no issues with growing.
The sweetest, juiciest tomato
The sweetest, juiciest tomato in my garden. They can split, but this was a household favorite!
Not a Good Experience
I was disappointed in this tomato. For my 2022 garden I grew Ukrainian Purple tomatoes, along with Cherokee Purple and Crimson Cushion Beefsteak tomatoes. All were planted and transplanted and grown next to each other in the garden. This variety had less seedling vigor in the same tray, grew slower in the garden and had an unhealthy grayish tinge in its leaves. The other tomatoes had healthy green leaves. I suspected it might be a fungal infection and sprayed the plants with a fungicide (something I have never done before). That seemed to help some in greening the leaves up. It seems amazing to me that SSE describes Ukrainian Purple tomatoes as crack resistant as I don't think I have ever grown a tomato that cracks as much. I don't think one of these tomatoes was crack-free. The only reason I give them 2 stars instead of 1 star is because they are delicious, despite the cracks. I may have gotten a bad batch of seed, so I've thrown the seed away and will not grow this variety in 2023.
We are sorry to hear about your experience with our Ukrainian Purple and hope that doesn't deter you from trying other varieties from us.
Underwhelming. Heat may have been a factor
These were rather underwhelming. I was pretty excited for them and I got two tomatoes off one plant. I’m in zone 7b and it gets hot and stays hot here. I love in the desert of NM, so I’m thinking the heat played a key role in this plants undoing. I AM going to give it another shot next year and plant it in a shaded area that is slightly cooler than where I had it planted this past year. The flavor was legit- Smokey purple tomato goodness, slightly sweet lower acid- so not sharp like others. Im curious to see how it does next year- will update review
8-16 per stem
by Cutnup 62
I had these seeds in the freezer from 2019 , took them out an let the pack stand for 24hrs room temp started from seed in trays December 29 2022put them out Feb 20, Zone9a Mississippi GulfCoast Pascagoula in a 7Gal Pot foxfarms OceanForest to my surprise the stem are full up to 8-16 side by side like sweet millions grow i can't wait until they turn.
Fussy fruit, rangy plants and FANTASTIC FLAVOR
Real talk: I have had a year when every single fruit split, sometimes lengthwise from top to bottom, in huge ruptures. Really weird. That was my fault though, pick them from the plant when they start to ripen, don't wait too long.
On years when nothing goes wrong, this is still a rangy and an unusual plant.
All that and you are thinking: 5 stars?
When Ukrainian Purple tomatoes are locked in, they are amazing. They have a depth and complexity that is hard to explain - but a tasting note I always recommend and it blows people's minds is: garlic vinaigrette.