Early & Late Blight-Resistant Tomato Plants

Jan - 16

Early & Late Blight-Resistant Tomato Plants

Although few foods top the luscious taste of a vine-ripened tomato picked in your own garden, losing tomato fruits or entire plants to infection can be hugely disappointing. Selecting varieties of tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum) that are resistant to diseases known as “ancient blight” and “late blight” will help to make sure you harvest a lot of delicious, unblemished tomatoes in your home garden. Tomatoes are frost-tender plants that are grown as annuals in all U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones.

Blight Disorders

Blight is a fungal disease that develops during cool or wet weather, if conditions favor growth of the membrane. In strawberries, two separate diseases known as early blight and late blight may result in serious issues. Early blight is more common, usually developing just as the very first tiny fruits seem on a plant. Initially, it causes dark spots on leaves and finally leads to browning of fruits and stalks. Early blight ultimately can kill the entire plant. Late blight typically appears after in summertime while fruits are ripening. It triggers gray spots on leaves and wet, dark spots on tomatoes, which may create the tomatoes inedible. Like early blight, late blight also can result in an entire plant to perish.

Big Reds

Several tomato cultivars that produce large, red tomatoes have great resistance to early blight and late blight. The variety “Defiant” is an example, creating 6- to 8-ounce tomatoes together with what is deemed good taste and material. It is moderately resistant to early blight and incredibly resistant to late blight. Another variety, known as “Legend,” is a heavy producer that develops big tomatoes sometimes exceeding 1 pound in weight. It is fairly resistant to both early and late blight, and it does very well under cool, damp conditions. Both “Defiant” and “Legend” are determinate plants that set terminal buds and stop growing once vines reach about 3 feet in height.


Tomato varieties that developed naturally and are in existence for several years are known as heirlooms. Several of these plants have great to superior resistance to blight. The variety “Black Plum,” that is a mahogany-skinned, little oval or plum kind, has especially excellent resistance to both blight disorders. “Black Plum” is an indeterminate type of plant using vines that continue growing in length throughout the full season. Several other heirloom tomatoes have great to moderate resistance to early and late blight. These include “Black Krim,” which creates big, beefsteak-type tomatoes that are mahogany in colour, and “Aunt Ginny’s Purple,” that has big, purplish-skinned tomatoes that could achieve 1 pounds in weight. Both of these varieties can also be indeterminate in their growth habit.

Additional Tomatoes

Tomatoes are available in many shapes and sizes, such as small types known as grape or cherry tomatoes and odd-shaped strawberries that resemble pears. Several of these specialty kind varieties have good to excellent resistance to both early and late blight. Among the grape or cherry kinds, “Red Currant,” using 3/8-inch, sweet fruit, has great resistance while “Matt’s Wild Cherry, that creates clusters of 1-inch tomatoes, has exceptional resistance to both diseases. Two yellow tomatoes, a cherry-type known as “Yellow Currant” and one called “Yellow Pear” that has 1-ounce, pear-shaped fruits, also exhibit exceptional early and late blight resistance. All of these small-fruited varieties are indeterminate in their growth habit.

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