Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Lonely Little Un-Dead Tomato Plant

I was picking up plant donations to deliver to local schools when a sad little plant caught my eye. The poor thing was off by himself looking a bit pitiful. My mind ran through the list of culprits- sun scald, nitrogen deficiency, a virus- the leaves had white discoloration not yellow, so I mentioned that to the ladies helping me carry flats. They got a hearty laugh and I got a lesson.

This is a heirloom variegated tomato plant Opalka, whose leaves are broad and rather flat. Some leaves will retain their green color, while several lose pigment offering the variegated appearance. Purple hues develop at the stem tips and petioles. Fruits are smooth and round with medium flesh of average size.

Needless to say, the lonely un-dead tomato plant was offered to me as a learning experience to share with those I teach. It has been lovingly placed in the garden bed with plenty of compost and a sturdy support. Today there are several blossoms and a few new shoots branching out (which I am pinning down and propagating over for a second plant!).

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