How to Care for Yellow Pear Tomatoes (Full Guide!)
I have to say that with their uniquely shaped, bright-colored fruits, yellow pear tomatoes are becoming among my favorite tomatoes! Even though it’s an indeterminate variety, you can actually grow yellow pear tomato plants in a good-sized pot. Have this mild-flavored salad tomato ready for harvest this season with our guide!
Grow yellow pear tomato plants with 1) 5–10 gal plastic pots, 2) rich loamy soil that drains well, 3) about 75–120 oz of water each week, 4) 6–8 hours of full sunlight, 5) temperatures at 60–90°F, 6) humidity levels between 40–70%, and 7) complete fertilizer application every 2–4 weeks once fruits are visible.
These open-pollinated heirloom tomatoes can produce more or less 100 pear-shaped yellow fruits per plant, but certain factors can inhibit and even prevent proper fruit set. Read on to learn how to avoid this from happening!
Yellow Pear Tomato Care Guide Table (Ready to Print!)
|Common Name||Yellow pear tomato|
|Scientific Name||Solanum lycopersicum ‘Yellow Pear’|
|Perennial/Annual||Perennial with warm weather|
Annual due to harsh winters
|Planter||5–10+ gallon plastic pot|
|Soil Composition||Well-draining rich loamy soil|
|Watering||75–120 oz of water per week|
Daily only for very hot & dry summer days
|Light||Full sun for 6–8 hours|
Grow light for 12–18 hours
|Fertilizer||Complete fertilizer 1–2 times a month|
(Spring to summer)
|Disease Name||Alternaria stem canker|
Septoria leaf spot
Tobacco mosaic virus
|Disease Resistance||Fusarium wilt|
As a large vining variety, yellow pear tomatoes grow best in 5–10 gallon pots. Though most planter materials are good, plastic containers are better for retaining moisture.
Now, of course, this doesn’t mean that you should use a big 10-gallon planter from the get-go—especially if your plant is still young. Established older tomato plants may need pots bigger than 10 gals.
Remember, planters that are much too big for young plants (yellow pear tomatoes included) are more prone to overwatering, which as you probably know lead to various issues.
It’s much better to start yellow pear tomatoes from small pots and just gradually upsize them, particularly if home gardeners are growing them from seed. You can use 2 planters. Move the plant to the second—much bigger—one when it is roughly 10 inches tall.
Doing so will allow you to maximize the little space you have, even if you live in an apartment with only a small balcony and no yard space at all.
Some use terra cotta pots when cultivating this variety of tomatoes. However, I find that plastic containers are better as my potting mix doesn’t dry up too fast when I use them.
Also, make sure to check that there are enough drainage holes at the base of your pot. Otherwise, your yellow pear tomato may die from getting waterlogged!
Find out how to add drainage holes to various planters without breaking them!
Transplanting Yellow Pear Tomatoes
When started indoors, yellow pear tomato seedlings should only be transplanted outdoors once the danger of frost has passed and it has relatively become warmer.
This applies regardless of whether the seedling will be transferred to a bigger container or directly in the ground outdoors.
Young tomato plants should be in great condition to ensure their survival despite the change in their growing environment.
I recommend transplanting young yellow pear tomatoes that have a rich green color and measure about 6–10 inches (15–25 cm) tall.
Plant them at least 1 inch deeper into the soil so that a more robust root system can develop from the buried portion of the stem. Just remember to remove the lower leaves before this.
Yellow pear tomatoes thrive in nutrient-rich, slightly acidic, loamy soil that can retain water well but also readily expel any excess. Soilless potting mixes also work great.
In case you’re planning to grow your yellow pear tomatoes in a raised bed or directly in garden soil, make sure to check it first!
If you are really curious you can get the soil analyzed by your local Extension office, as early as 1 year before planting your tomatoes. This will help you figure out what amendments you need to add to the soil to improve its quality and texture.
You can also buy easy-to-use at-home kits like this one from Amazon.
Pro Tip: Buy sacks of high-quality topsoil for a quicker, less bothersome way to start growing yellow pear tomatoes at home.
Like most other fruits and vegetables in the garden, it’s best to maintain your soil’s pH value within the 5.8–6.8 pH range for robust growth and good yield.
It can take 3–6 months before soil amendments substantially adjust soil quality, especially in terms of pH value. Lime will raise pH, whereas sulfur will lower it.
But if you’re going for the route of container gardening, it’s best to use a quality potting mix that contains no soil. Some may even already have slow-release fertilizers mixed into them.
Add some compost if the potting mix doesn’t have any. Coco coir and peat moss can also lighten up heavy soils. Perlite can improve drainage.
Heck, you can even grow your yellow pear tomato plants completely indoors without any soil whatsoever using a simple hydroponic system!
In general, yellow pear tomato plants only need 75–120 oz of water each week. This includes rainfall. Deeply water them once the top 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) of the soil is dry. The best time of the day is early in the morning.
This, again, is not a hard-and-fast rule. Just treat it as a simple baseline guide. Container yellow pear tomatoes, for instance, need more frequent watering especially when they’re in small pots—in some cases as often as daily in really dry regions like Arizona and Colorado.
Weather can also impact how much and how often home gardeners should water their tomatoes. Sweltering hot summer days call for more water, while cold winters call for less.
Avoid watering from the top as that can unnecessarily raise the humidity around the tomato plant. Water it directly through the soil using a soaker hose like the one below from Amazon.
Keep yellow pear tomato’s soil consistently moist to have perfectly juicy fruits ready for harvest. Overly dry soil can cause blossom-end rot while sudden watering or heavy rain after a dry spell can result in cracking—which yellow pear tomatoes are prone to.
It would be smart to check your water source’s alkalinity as well, as using such water can raise soil pH over time. When possible, go for rainwater and filtered tap water instead.
Pro Tip: Mulching, especially during early summer, around June, help keep the soil of yellow pear tomatoes moist and cool, and also prevents weed growth.
Besides that, it’s important to keep in mind that yellow pear tomato plants become more drought-tolerant once they’re established. Still, never let them become completely bone-dry.
For optimal growth, yellow pear tomatoes need 6–8 hours of direct full sun exposure outdoors. Indoors, they can be grown under a full-spectrum grow light for 12–18 hours.
At the very least, your yellow pear tomato plant should get at least 4 hours of direct sun exposure in your gardens. That’s the absolute minimum for tasty and sizable fruits.
Growing tomatoes with very little light and too much shade will lead to leggy and weak growth and reduced yield.
If you do have them in containers though, you can move them around the garden to make sure they get as much sun as possible each day. Obviously, however, that’d be exhausting!
Overall, it’s best to plant yellow pear tomatoes—indoors or outdoors—in a bright and sunny southern or southwestern location at home.
Now, if that’s not an option for you, just get a full-spectrum LED grow light that has a power rating of at least 20 Watts.
Worried about electricity? Check how much it would cost to run a grow light at home!
Have the grow light at least 4–12 inches from the very top of your yellow pear tomato, and adjust the distance between them as your plant grows.
If grown outside, daytime temperatures of 75–90°F and nighttime temperatures of 60–75°F are ideal for successfully growing productive yellow pear tomato plants. Outdoors, they can be grown from zones 2 to 12.
As you’ve probably already heard, tomatoes can actually thrive as perennials in warm weather. However, they must be watered and kept moist in such a growing environment.
You see, yellow pear tomatoes are actually one of the more heat-tolerant varieties of —and yes they are classified as such despite their teardrop shape.
Discover more about growing cherry tomatoes from seed!
These warm-season plants will have stunted growth when the air temperature starts constantly dipping way below 55ºF (13ºC) and they can be killed by frost.
It’s unlikely for yellow pear tomato plants to produce flowers and fruits in such conditions as well.
So if you do want to try and see if you can keep it going for longer than one growing season, move it to a greenhouse or indoors before the first fall frost and long after the last spring frost.
Pro Tip: Harden your yellow pear tomatoes to ensure their survival.
Warm temperatures over 75°F (24°C) during the day help young green fruits mature into bright yellow pear-shaped tomatoes. However, it’s best to keep your tomato plants in the shade on extremely hot days to protect them from the intense heat.
The ideal humidity levels for growing yellow pear tomato plants range from 40% to 70%. When it is too low, fruits may shrivel. But if it’s too high, yield will be reduced.
One thing to keep in mind here is that we can’t really take humidity on its own when it comes to cultivating yellow pear tomatoes—or any other plants, for that matter.
Humidity and temperature come hand in hand in this instance. To be more specific, excessively high temperatures along with very low humidity prevent fruit set in tomatoes. Such factors initially hinder proper flowering, which—in turn—results in failure of pollination.
Conversely, super humid and cool conditions can cause bacteria and fungi to fester. White mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) is one such thing to look out for.
Early signs of infection include droopy yellow pear tomato leaves. As the condition progresses, the fruits start rotting and the stems die and turn bone-white.
For storage, make sure that your picked yellow pear tomatoes are not exposed to humidity levels over 90% for long periods so that they can stay fresh and delicious for up to 3 weeks!
You can also choose to freeze or can them to prolong their shelf life so that you can enjoy them even when they’re no longer in season.
Start applying water-soluble fertilizer rich in phosphorus and potassium once the yellow pear tomato plant starts setting fruits. Don’t apply any during winter.
Do keep in mind that starter fertilizers have likely been already applied to young yellow pear tomato plants you buy from nurseries. So wait at least 2–4 weeks before adding any more.
It’s best to avoid applying too much nitrogen as well because doing so leads to the overgrowth of tomato foliage. However, this happens at the expense of flowering and fruiting.
So, yes—you will get a bushy tomato plant. But you may not have any ripe fruits to harvest!
Nonetheless, tomato plants are heavy feeders so you need to fertilize them 1–2 times every month as it’s actively growing and putting out cute pear-shaped tomatoes.
Make sure to carefully read the application instructions for your complete fertilizer of choice. Those with NPKs of 8-32-16, 6-24-24, 6-24-24, 6-12-18, and 8-16-16 are ideal.
Choose liquid or water-soluble fertilizers over dry ones to avoid killing your yellow pear tomatoes from improper application as those are incredibly concentrated.
Learn more about how liquid and granular fertilizers are different!
In contrast, the potency of diluted solutions can be lowered by simply watering the plant again. But no matter how diluted they are, it is generally not recommended to apply them in fall and winter when your plant is dormant.
How do you support yellow pear tomato plants?
Yellow pear tomato plants are an indeterminate variety that can reach heights of 8–12 ft. (2.4–3.6 m) so they must be supported with stakes, cages, or trellises. If maintaining great airflow is the gardener’s top priority, then staking is a great option. Regardless, such support structures must be placed as soon as possible to limit root disturbance.
Do you need to prune yellow pear tomato?
Regularly prune the side shoots or suckers of yellow pear tomato plants to improve yield and maintain good air circulation—which can also help control fungal diseases and pest problems. Ideally, only 1–3 main stems should be kept. Pruning can be done by pinching them off by hand or using small pruning shears to remove larger ones.
Summary of Care for Yellow Pear Tomato Plant
Cultivate a high-yielding yellow pear tomato plant with a large 5–10 gal plastic container with drainage holes and fill it with a rich potting soil mix that drains well. Give it about 75–120 oz of filtered tap water and/or fresh rainwater every week. Reduce or stop watering in winter.
Provide the yellow pear tomato with 6–8 hours of direct sunlight or 12–18 hours of full-spectrum grow light. Keep temperatures between 60–90°F and humidity levels between 40–70% to induce flowering and fruiting. Then, once fruits are growing, apply a complete water-soluble or liquid fertilizer once or twice a month for good yield.
- “Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden” by Gary Gao, Brad Bergefurd, and Bob Precheur in the Ohio State University Extension
- “Growing Tomatoes” by David Whiting, Carol O’Meara, and Carl Wilson in the Colorado State University Extension
- “Growing Home Garden Tomatoes” by David Trinklein in the University of Missouri Extension