Explore the Best Orange and Yellow Tomato Varieties!

Explore the Best Orange and Yellow Tomato Varieties!

As a tomato enthusiast, I’m always seeking out exciting new varieties beyond the typical red. And I’ve found orange and yellow types are a foolproof way to add sunshine and intrigue to your garden!

These vividly-colored tomatoes not only look beautiful slicing up on a platter, but they also offer amazingly sweet, fruity flavors. Bursts of tropical tastes to spice up any meal.

In this article, I’ll share my best tips and tricks for successfully cultivating delicious orange and yellow tomato varieties in your own garden. I’ll also recommend specific types that have thrived for me over the years.

So read on for an inside look at how this tomato-lover grows these special fruits!

What’s The Difference Between Orange and Yellow Tomatoes?

Orange and yellow tomatoes get their vivid colors from different combinations of pigments called carotenoids. These pigments are antioxidants that may offer health benefits like lowering the risk of certain cancers.

Orange tomatoes tend to be sweeter and have more beta-carotene and lycopene, giving them their reddish-orange hue. Lycopene has been linked to improved heart health.

Yellow tomatoes have more lutein, zeaxanthin, and other xanthophylls. These antioxidants promote eye and skin health. The only difference is in the mix of pigments, as both types offer similar benefits.

What Makes Orange and Yellow Tomatoes Unique?

Before diving into variety specifics, let’s look at what sets orange and yellow tomatoes apart from classic red.

The main driver of the color difference comes down to genetics. Orange and yellow tomatoes have mutations that limit the production of lycopene, which gives red tomatoes their distinctive hue. With less lycopene, other pigments like beta carotene (orange) and xanthophylls (yellow) become more prominent.

Beyond cosmetics, many gardeners and cooks find the flavors of orange/yellow tomatoes to be less acidic and sweeter than reds. Part of this perceived sweetness comes from higher sugar content. Orange and yellow tomatoes tend to have more fructose compared to red varieties.

Finally, orange and yellow tomatoes tend to be lower in acidity, with a pH of around 4.2-4.5 compared to 4.0-4.3 for most reds. This makes their flavor less tart.

Why Grow Orange and Yellow Tomatoes?

Before jumping into specific variety recommendations, let’s discuss why you should consider adding orange and yellow tomatoes to your garden or table.

A Welcome Splash of Color

Imagine a platter loaded with tomato slices – brilliant oranges, sunny yellows, and deep crimsons. Or a salad bowl bursting with multicolored cherry tomatoes. The vibrant variety is so inviting!

Red tomatoes may be classic, but orange and yellow cultivars provide appealing diversity. Their colorful presence on platters and plants offers excitement compared to all-red varieties.

Unique, Fruity Flavor Profiles

In addition to visual appeal, orange and yellow tomatoes deliver their own distinct flavor experience. While still recognizably “tomatoey,” they tend toward sweeter, more tropical flavors.

Yellow tomatoes in particular strike an ideal balance of sweetness and acidity. Orange varieties often tip the scales toward the sugary side, with intensely fruity flavors.

So if you find red-slicing tomatoes to be too acidic or want to experience new dimensions of tomato taste, branch out to oranges and yellows.

Excellent Source of Beta-Carotene

The pigments that give orange and yellow tomatoes their warm hues also offer health benefits. They contain high levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant precursor to vitamin A important for immune function and eyesight.

Compared to red tomatoes, yellow and orange varieties deliver much more beta-carotene ounce for ounce.

Ripen Earlier Outdoors

Finally, earlier harvests are one more advantage of growing orange and yellow types. Many heirloom tomatoes in these colors mature their fruits faster than red varieties, especially in cooler northern climates.

So if you’re an impatient gardener eager for homegrown tomatoes as early as possible, give the orange and yellows a try! Early cultivars like Taxi and Sungold will hasten your first harvest.

With so many benefits, isn’t it time to think beyond red and explore new tomato colors? Keep reading for descriptions of the tastiest orange and yellow varieties to grow.

Now let’s explore some of my personal favorite tomato picks…

My Top Orange Tomato Variety Picks

Over the years, I’ve trialed many notable orange tomatoes. These are the standout performers that I grow in my garden every summer:

Sungold – Candy-Like Sweetness in Abundance

If I had to choose one favorite tomato overall, it would be Sungold! These sunny orange cherry tomatoes deliver flavor like little bursts of sugar candy. I always plant extras just to keep up with how fast my family snacks on them.

Gardeners who offer Sungold tomatoes to friends and family often find themselves needing to grow extras just to have enough to share! The 1-2 ounce fruits burst with intense sweetness balanced by citrusy acidity.

Sungold is highly productive, though the thin skin makes them less suited for commercial sales. But for home growing and fresh eating, you can’t beat these little golden nuggets of flavor. Just be prepared to stake the vigorous vines.

Persimmon

For salads, sandwiches, and slicing needs, Persimmon is a reliable large orange tomato. These beefsteak-style beauties can weigh over 1 pound each!

Persimmon’s globe-shaped fruits have tender orange-red skin protecting the meaty, succulent flesh within. The rich taste mixes sweetness with complex tomato flavors.

As a semi-determinate variety, Persimmon reaches a compact 3-4 feet at maturity, making it a great option for small space gardens. It also has disease resistance. Sturdy cages are recommended to support these prolific fruits.

Jaune Flamme

This French heirloom variety translates to “yellow flame,” accurate for its blazing color and moderately sweet flavor.

Expect medium-sized fruits around 4-6 ounces from Jaune Flamme’s vigorous indeterminate vines. The tomatoes ripen from green to brilliant tangerine-orange when mature.

Its meaty interior and radiant color make for outstanding fresh eating. Jaune Flamme is high-yielding when staked, even in cooler conditions.

Kellogg’s Breakfast

Named for the perfect tomato to enjoy with your eggs and toast, Kellogg’s Breakfast delivers outstanding flavor. These large beefsteak fruits often exceed 1 pound, with a deep orange-red color.

The taste provides a collision of sweetness, acidity, and rich umami – ideal for slicing onto sandwiches or burgers. This prolific heirloom wins frequent taste test awards!

You’ll need to stake the tall indeterminate vines. But the heavy yields of these prized fruits make it well worth the effort.

Best Yellow Tomato Varieties

Looking for tomatoes in sunny shades rather than orange? Here are excellent varieties for growing yellow tomatoes.

Lemon Boy

The most popular and widely available yellow tomato, Lemon Boy is a consistent performer. It produces globular, 6-7 ounce fruits heavily throughout the season.

Lemon Boy’s determinate bush growth works well for containers and small spaces. While delicious eaten fresh in salads, this variety also excels for cooking and canning.

The bright golden fruits balance tart and sweet flavors, living up to the name. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned gardener, it’s easy to succeed with Lemon Boy.

Taxi

Need an early harvest of yellow tomatoes? Taxi is your fast track to buttery gold fruits, often ripening before other varieties.

These 3-4 ounce tomatoes earn their name from the yellow color reminiscent of a taxi cab. They also have a red blush when fully ripe.

Taxi is known for productivity and a bold, fruity flavor. The medium-tall indeterminate vines require staking. But you’ll be rewarded with an abundant yield of early yellow tomatoes.

Yellow Brandywine

For heirloom tomato lovers, the yellow version of Brandywine is a must-grow. These giants can reach 2 pounds, with creamy gold skin and flesh.

Biting into a Yellow Brandywine reveals a rich, complex flavor with the perfect acid-sweet balance. The texture is incomparably silky and smooth.

You’ll need to stake the 6+ foot vines, but harvests of these golden beauties are well worth it. Brandywine ripens late – expect fruits by mid-summer and continue until frost.

Yellow Pear

Add a cheery look to salads and charcuterie boards with clusters of petite yellow pear tomatoes. Shaped just like little pears, they’re almost too cute to eat!

These small tomatoes offer a sweet flavor with a decent acid balance. Enjoy the whole-in snacks and meals, or pickled as appetizers.

The main downside to yellow pear is a thin skin that can crack. But for home growing and eating fresh, the heavy yields and fun appearance outweigh any flaws.

Golden Jubilee

This All-America Selections winner deserves a spot in every yellow tomato lover’s garden. Jubilee produces large, 1-pound golden-orange fruits with few seeds and a meaty texture.

The taste provides an intensely sweet tropical flavor, especially nice for eating fresh. Golden Jubilee is also heat tolerant and resistant to cracking.

Stake the tall indeterminate vines for maximum harvest of these gorgeous, flavored-packed tomatoes through the season until frost.

My Top Tips for Growing Orange and Yellow Tomatoes

Through years of trial and error, I’ve dialed in some reliable techniques for growing my very best orange and yellow tomatoes. Here are my top tips:

  • Stake or cage all your plants – even short determinate types. This prevents disease and supports heavy yields.
  • Go for smaller fruited varieties if your garden space is limited. Cherry-sized tomatoes produce heavily even with less room.
  • To encourage more flowers/fruits, prune off lower suckers and thin aging foliage to allow airflow.
  • Feed with a quality organic tomato fertilizer to keep plants vigorous and healthy. Strong roots = more tomatoes!
  • Pick fully ripe fruits gently to prevent splitting skins. Enjoy immediately for the sweetest flavor!

Follow this advice and you’ll be harvesting bucketloads of beautiful, juicy orange and yellow tomatoes in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do some orange and yellow tomatoes have green shoulders?

This is caused by uneven ripening and exposure to sunlight. The top of the tomato ripens first to orange/yellow. The areas under the foliage remain green longer due to less sun exposure. It’s cosmetic only and doesn’t affect flavor.

Why do the insides of my orange and yellow tomatoes look different than red ones?

The pigments that give orange/yellow tomatoes their color also accumulate inside the fruits. Reds contain the pigment lycopene, while oranges/yellows have more beta-carotene. This gives the flesh a darker, more orange/yellow tone compared to most red tomatoes. It’s completely normal!

Wrapping up

Hopefully, this tour through my favorite orange and yellow varieties has inspired you to expand beyond classic reds!

Tomato season is all about enjoying the garden-fresh flavor. Adding orange and yellow to the mix keeps that experience exciting, with new colors and flavors to discover.

Start with just one or two new varieties that catch your eye. Before you know it, you might find more color in your garden and kitchen than ever before.

Have a favorite orange or yellow tomato I missed? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Let’s get the conversation growing about these fun and flavorful tomatoes.


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Mohsin
By Mohsin

Hi, I’m Mohsin, creator of Tomato about website. I have over a two decade of gardening experience and I love helping others growing healthy tomatoes!


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