Hot Tomato! 4 Heat-Tolerant, Heirloom Tomato Varieties

By on July 23, 2012

The popular indeterminate tomato 'Cherokee Purple' does well in humid climates.

If you live in a humid, hot part of the world, we have four heat-tolerant, heirloom tomatoes that will keep you fruitful company in the summertime.

Sure, tomatoes need heat, but not all of them fruit well in high humidity.

Academics at the University of Florida studied the topic (there is no reported data about how many tomato sandwiches they ate during their research).

These four tomatoes made their list of the best performing heirlooms for Florida.

Use these heirloom tomatoes wherever you have hot and steamy summers.

  Pink Brandywine  This tomato grows fruits that can be as large as 2 pounds a piece. Pink Brandywine is famous for its excellent flavor, creamy texture, and exceptional quality. This pink is the original Brandywine tomato, from which the others were developed.

cherokee purple tomato  Cherokee Purple  Legend has it that this tomato was grown by the Cherokee tribe. The tomatoes have a flattened shape with a distinctive purple-pink-brown color, on relatively short vines. Sweet, rich flavor is another reason this tomato is so beloved. Grow ‘Cherokee Purple’ yourself, since the thin skin and soft flesh make the tomatoes hard to transport.

prudens purple tomato  Prudens Purple  This rediscovered early-producing vine bears fruits up to 1 pound each, with dark-pink skin and crimson flesh. The tomatoes have delicious flavor, firm flesh, and few seeds. The vines, with leaves similar to a potato, are vigorous and productive.

san marzano tomato  San Marzano  The large, indeterminate vines produce elongated fruit. The fruits grow to about 4” long and 2” in diameter and are borne in clusters. They are crack resistant and hold well on the vine or in storage. A processor favorite due to high solids, this is the standard Italian pear tomato, aka the Italian Canner. Use it also for tomato paste or puree.

Have more tomato questions? We have videos and articles about:

Tomato Pruning and Tomato Diseases
Vertical Gardening with Tomatoes

  Comments (6)


Unfortunately, I tried the Pruden’s Purple and the Cherokee Purple this year in my Gulf Coast garden and they just couldn’t take it!  Granted, we had a much wetter summer than is normal for these parts but they performed very poorly for our area.  :(  On the other hand, I have heard that the San Marzano is excellent for the Gulf Coast!

Posted by Becca on Oct. 13, 2012 at 7:12:20 PM

Becca, Thanks for the feedback from your garden!

Posted by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 11:19:39 PM


hi, i was wondering if these tomato plants set fruits on june july and august, when we have maximum temps at 40C or 104F. monthly high average temp for august is 30.2 and minimum is 21.4, and humidity 58% ??? and can i keep seeds from the plant for the next year??

Posted by tony on Apr. 03, 2013 at 1:51:39 AM

Tony, Yes, you can save the seed from these tomatoes for future years if stored properly.

In hot areas, temperature is going to compromise your ability to sustain flowers.  During periods when daytime temperatures fall below 90F degrees and night time temps fall below 70F, the plant can sustain the flowers long enough to be pollinated and create fruits.  Optimal night ranges will be between 59F-68F degrees with reasonable humidity.

If you plant early, and keep the plant strong through the hot periods, you may be able to have a reasonable harvest over a long growing season.  Do not overfeed nitrogen, thinking you are helping the tomato to grow further - this in itself can cause flowers to drop.  Giving them drinks or foliar feeds of kelp can help them get through stressful periods.  Follow directions for the amendments that you are using.  You could also try adding a shade fabric.

Posted by on Apr. 04, 2013 at 10:35:28 AM


I’m in Tallahassee,
I tried theCherokee purples this past year, they did great till all the rain in July hit but prior to that they started producing about mid April (sprouted the plants in January, planted near end of February) and gave good yield until about mid July.
Big tomatoes, great flavor.

Posted by Adam on Jan. 06, 2014 at 11:56:40 AM


Tomatoe season in south florida is twice per year from late fall till frost if any (Sept or Oct until Jan approx.)  then again after frosts (Feb till heat takes them usually by late May).  If there is no freeze plants will get new growth flushes as warer weather comes.
  Hopes this helps happy gardening!

Posted by Jon on Aug. 16, 2015 at 10:14:21 AM

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