Discover the Deliciously Sweet Orange Icicle Tomato

Discover the Deliciously Sweet Orange Icicle Tomato

Summer is prime tomato season. While red tomatoes are certainly iconic, there’s a whole rainbow of distinctive heirloom varieties beyond the standard red. One of my personal favorites is the luminously orange Orange Icicle Tomato, an unusually oblong, pointed tomato with a sunny color and a honey-like flavor.

If you’re looking to add vibrant variety to your home garden—and plate—keep reading to learn all about growing and enjoying this unique heirloom slicer. With its eye-catching hue, heavy yields, and rich, fruity sweetness, the Orange Icicle is sure to be a new favorite.

A Brief History of the Cheerful Orange Icicle Tomato

The juicy Orange Icicle tomato can trace its roots all the way back to the 1800s when it was first cultivated near the Black Sea in the former Soviet Union. This vivid variety likely originated from crossing the bright orange OSU Buckeye tomato with the classic red Icicle tomato, a long slender variety popular in Russia at the time. The result was a uniquely oblong orange tomato with exceptional sweetness – perfect for both your fresh eating and cooking.

Orange Icicle seeds first made their way from Russia to the United States sometime around 1990. Ever since then, it’s been a beloved backyard garden variety across North America. As an heirloom variety, Orange Icicle seeds breed true generation after generation, so you can easily save seeds from your healthiest plants for free future harvests.

Quick Facts

  • Color: Vivid orange skin with orange flesh
  • Size: 2-5 inches long
  • Shape: Oblong and pointed
  • Texture: Tender, juicy, meaty
  • Flavor: Sweet, low acidity
  • Plant Type: Indeterminate vines
  • Maturity: Ripens in 70 days
  • Yield: Up to 2 lbs per plant weekly
  • Hardiness: Withstands heat; grows in varied zones

What you like

  • Unique oblong shape and orange color
  • Excellent sweet, low-acid flavor
  • Smooth, meaty texture great for slicing
  • Early producer, ripens fruit quickly
  • Cold tolerant and does well in short seasons
  • Strong disease resistance
  • Prolific plants produce high yields
  • Good shelf life after picking

What you don’t like

  • Seeds can be difficult to source at local stores
  • Fruit bruises easily when ripe due to thin skins
  • Can develop hard core inside if overly mature
  • Not ideal for market sales or shipping

What Makes the Orange Icicle Tomato So Special?

The Orange Icicle stands out from typical red tomatoes in many ways:

With its elongated, horn-shaped fruits 2-5 inches long, Orange Icicle has an oblong pointed shape, unlike round tomatoes. The thin, supple skin slices easily without resistance. Inside, each juicy orange fruit fills with tender yet meaty flesh, not excessive seeds or gel.

Expect a mild, fruity sweet flavor with honey and melon tones, not extreme tartness. The plants yield heavily, producing up to 2 pounds per week at peak season! Plus, the variety ripens quickly just 70 days from transplanting. It even tolerates hot, humid summers.

For gardeners seeking something unique, Orange Icicle checks all the boxes. Let’s look at how to grow this heirloom at home.

The Flavor and Texture of Orange Icicle Tomato?

Orange Icicle delivers outstanding taste and texture. The flavor is sweet and tropical, with delicious fruity peach, apricot, and melon undertones. It has a nice balanced sweetness and acidity, not too tart.

Each tender orange tomato fills with abundantly juicy flesh. The texture is silky smooth with a firm bite. The thin skin means it slices easily without resistance. Unlike heavily seeded varieties, Orange Icicle has small seed cavities and minimal gel. You can enjoy more of the lush flesh in each bite!

The flavor and texture remain reliable and consistent in every ripe Icicle. You’ll know what fruity sweetness and tender bite to expect with each harvest. Beyond the visual appeal, Orange Icicle offers exceptional tropical sweetness and smooth texture ideal fresh or in recipes. It’s a tomato that must be tasted to appreciate!

Growing Orange Icicles in Your Garden

Undoubtedly, the extraordinarily sweet Orange Icicle tomato offers a wonderful burst of fruity flavor but it does require some special tending in the garden for optimal results.

When starting Orange Icicle tomatoes from seed indoors, use a sterile seed starting mix and a heat mat to provide a bottom warmth of 75-80°F for germinating the seeds. The mild heat helps overcome the seeds’ stubbornness to sprout. The Jiffy Greenhouse is a suitable setup for starting the seeds 6-8 weeks prior to transplanting.

Once nighttime temps are reliably over 50°F, the Orange Icicle transplants can be moved to the garden. Give plants at least 24 inches spacing in full sunlight (minimum 6 hours). To support the vigorous climbing vines, install 5-6 foot tall tomato cages like the Oval Cage by VegTrug in place when transplanting.

Orange Icicle tomatoes need steady moisture, so add mulch and use drip irrigation. The Irrigation Kit by Orbit allows adjustable drip watering right to each plant’s roots. Avoid overhead watering.

As the plants grow, prune back leaves and shoots to open up the plant for proper airflow and sunlight exposure. Check for pests like stink bugs and treat organically with neem oil spray if found. Harvest ripe fruits when deep orange and slightly soft. So, With attentive care, each Orange Icicle plant can yield up to 10 pounds over the season. Enjoy this sweet tomato goodness while it lasts!

When and How to Harvest Orange Icicle Tomato?

Timing your harvests is crucial for enjoying Orange Icicles at peak flavor:

  • Allow fruits to fully ripen on the vine until a deep orange hue emerges with a slight give when gently squeezed.
  • Pick every few days once tomatoes start blushing orange. Always handle gently and avoid bruising.
  • Snip stems with clean pruners rather than tugging fruits off to prevent plant damage.
  • Don’t leave freshly picked oranges in direct sun – this can ruin even coloring and ripening for you.
  • Store at room temperature out of sunlight. Never refrigerate, as it destroys texture and flavor!
  • Enjoy ASAP for the best quality and taste. The thin skin means minimal storage capacity.

Saving Seeds from Orange Icicle Tomato Plants

As an heirloom variety, Orange Icicle tomato seeds breed true to type when saved properly:

  • Select only the healthiest, best-shaped fruits from your most vigorous plants for seed saving.
  • Scoop out the interior gel and seeds into a jar of water to ferment for 2-3 days. Viable seeds will sink to the bottom.
  • Rinse the seed mixture through a fine sieve. Spread seeds on a plate to dry completely.
  • Store thoroughly dried seeds in a sealed container in a cool, dark place. Orange Icicle seeds remain viable for 4+ years.

Saving seeds ensures a free supply of Orange Icicle plants for seasons to come! Check out my detailed article guide on saving and storing tomato seeds

How to Use Orange Icicle Tomatoes

The sunny color and mildly sweet flavor of Orange Icicle tomatoes make them ideal fresh eating varieties. Here are some serving ideas:

  • Make stunning tomato stacks alternating orange, yellow, and red slices.
  • Toss orange chunks into mixed green salads, pasta salads, or grain bowls.
  • Thread whole mini orange tomatoes onto skewers for grilling.
  • Use halved oranges instead of grape tomatoes in kebabs or shish kabobs.
  • Roast or slow roast halves drizzled with olive oil, balsamic, and herbs.
  • Blend into gazpachos and chilled summer soups.
  • Substitute for standard tomatoes in any salsa recipe for a color pop.
  • Turn into a vibrant homemade tomato sauce. Great on pizzas or pasta!

The mild sweetness pairs well with mozzarella, basil, balsamic reduction, greens, zucchini, and onions. For sandwiches, try using thin orange slices in place of conventional tomato slices.

Let those Orange Icicles shine!

Where to Buy Orange Icicle Tomato Seeds or Plants

You can purchase Orange Icicle seeds from reputable heirloom seed companies such as:

Check local garden centers for starters in spring, or purchase young plants from reputable nurseries online.

Wrapping up!

If you’re seeking something out of the ordinary for your garden, look no further than the cheerful Orange Icicle Tomato. Each elongated orange fruit delivers a burst of fruity sweetness perfect for slicing, salads, and snacking. With its early maturity, colossal yields, and disease resistance, Orange Icicle is easy and enjoyable to cultivate. Let this vibrant Russian heirloom add a sunny spark to your kitchen!


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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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