Tomatoes will appear 2 week after flowering if it was successfully pollinated. This can happen quicker in the summer when the weather is warm and there are lots of pollinating insects around. You will see a tiny tomato start to form in the center of the flower which will quickly grow into a full size tomato.
A tomato can take up to 4 weeks to form and fully ripen after the flower has been pollinated. This happens slowly at first in early spring and then can happen in as little as 2 weeks in the middle of summer.
I have seen flowers appear in early spring on a cherry tomato plant that I had grown over winter. These flowers have taken around 2 weeks to set fruit which are growing slowly into cherry tomatoes.
These tomatoes get a lot of shade in the afternoon and our spring has started off cool so they are taking over 3 weeks to form.
How long after flowering to tomatoes appear in summer
Summer is the peak time for growing tomatoes from the bright yellow flowers that form on the bush. By summer you should have a full size tomato plant which will burst out with hands of flowers which will eventually be pollinated and form fruit.
Determinant tomatoes like cherry tomatoes and Roma will reach close to their full size before they send out flowers and fruit. This means that the plant will be fully established and will grow a lot of tomatoes at the same time.
Indeterminant tomatoes will grow long tall vines like Grosse lisse and Beefsteak. These tall vine tomatoes will start to grow flowers early on the lower parts of the vine and will continue to grow flowers up the stem as it grows longer.
How to get flowers to grow earlier on tomatoes
Here are some tips that can help you to get flowers on your tomatoes quicker and therefore to get tomatoes earlier in the season.
Plant during winter
Raising seeds during late winter and raising seedlings in a protected area can help you to have larger plants ready to grow in spring. The earlier a tomato is grown in spring, the earlier it will produce flowers.
Tomatoes are easily damaged by frosts so tomatoes will need protection if they are planted out in frost prone areas. Raise seedlings in a greenhouse or protect them in the ground with a plastic cover.
I have planted mine near a masonry wall which helps to protect against frost. I also am growing mine in a sub-tropical climate which means that I am able to establish my plants earlier than those in cooler climates.
Buy larger seedlings
The next trick to get earlier flowering tomatoes is to buy larger, established seedlings. Growing an established seedling that is 8 inches tall when you plant it out will mean you can get flowers as quickly as 3 weeks after planting.
I bought larger seedlings this year to fill out my raised garden beds and I these plants are already growing flowers and are about to set fruit. This happened in less than 3 weeks and it is only half way through spring.
Planting into good soil
Preparing the soil before planting out your tomatoes will help them to grow quickly. All they need is light soil with added organic matter. Compost and aged cow manure make the perfect combination to encourage quick growth for tomatoes without overloading them with nitrogen.
This will encourage the tomatoes to quickly grow tall stems and leaves ready for the tomatoes to start to form. Water the plants regularly and you will have flowers within a few weeks.
How to grow more tomatoes from your flowers
Once you have successfully grown a lot of flowers on your tomato, the next step is to help your plant to move to setting and growing fruit. Here are my top tips for successfully growing lots of tomatoes from your flowers.
Encouraging pollinating insects is an important step to grow more tomatoes. Flowers need insects to help them to move the pollen from the male anthers to the female stigma. This process pollinates the flower and the fruit will set.
A successfully pollinated flower will start to form a small tomato fruit in the center of the flower. You will still see the petals of the flower while the tiny fruit is forming. Eventually the flower petals will wilt and the tomato will grow larger and larger.
Once the tomato has reached full size, it will turn orange and then red (if you are growing red tomatoes). The ripening process can be finished indoors, just wait for the tomato to turn orange first to help it happen quicker.
Fruit promoting fertilizer
Adding fruit promoting fertilizer in late spring can encourage the plant to set more flowers and fruit in summer. These fertilizers increase the ratio of potassium and phosphorus compared to nitrogen which encourages flower growth and fruit set.
This will give you more flowers, more tomatoes and larger fruit.
Why does my tomato plant have flowers but no fruit?
Tomato plants that flower but have no fruit are often suffering from poor pollination rates. Planting tomatoes in a sunny spot will help the flowers to open and for insects to come and pollinate them.
Planting insect attracting flowering plants nearby is also a fantastic idea to bring the bees to your garden. Try marigolds, petunias or a wildflower mix to encourage insects into your yard.
Do tomato flowers turn into tomatoes?
Tomato flowers will turn into tomatoes if they flower is successfully pollinated. Pollination is generally more successful in the warmer weather as there are more insects around and a higher number of flowers on your tomato plant to pollinate.
How long after flowering do cherry tomatoes grow?
Cherry tomatoes will form anywhere for 2-4 weeks after flowering. You will notice a tiny tomato forming in the center of the flower after it has been pollinated which will grow into a larger fruit. Fruit will form quicker if the weather is warmer, the plant is watered well and it is getting plenty of sun.
How long after flowering do tomatoes appear? | Summary
Tomatoes will usually appear around 2 weeks after the flower has formed. I have found this can happen even quicker in the middle of summer with a flower appearing, being pollinated and fruit forming within a few days.
Encourage bees to your garden to pollinate your flowers by planting flowering shrubs and annual flowers nearby. Some of my favorite flowering companions include African daisies, violas, pansies, senetti and citrus trees.
These don’t have to share the same garden bed as your tomatoes but if they are within your garden space your tomatoes are more likely to be pollinated as bees pass by.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.