Cocktail tomatoes are the smallest tomatoes. They are also called party, cherry, mini or cherry tomatoes. There are many varieties and new ones are added every year. The fruit is popular and because it is easy to grow, demand is high. The culture is not very different from that of other tomato species. There are many similarities, both in care and diseases. Tomatoes have to be “mothered” a bit so that they thrive satisfactorily and deliver a plentiful harvest. In the following text you can read about what needs to be considered when planting and caring for them.


  • There are about 2,500 tomato varieties
  • Cocktail tomatoes are small tomatoes that are mostly used as a snack vegetable
  • Usually very aromatic taste
  • Often a bit sweeter than other tomatoes
  • Often vine tomatoes on sale
  • Often early or semi-early varieties
  • Weight per fruit – maximum 40 g
  • Most fruits are red
  • Now also green, yellow, orange, lilac-blue and even striped varieties
  • Therefore hardly susceptible to late blight or velvet spot disease


Many new varieties have come onto the market in recent years. However, very old varieties are also on the rise again. Many buyers are looking for original and unaltered varieties. Not everyone likes genetic engineering.

  • ‘Amish Cherry’ – orange cocktail tomato, lots of fruit, very juicy, sweet and spicy taste, tall plant, historical variety from Oklahoma
  • ‘Angora super sweet’ – red vine tomato, sweet and aromatic taste, fruits are slightly hairy, quite hardy and good growth
  • ‘Benarys Gartenfreude’ – red cocktail tomato, good taste, very sweet, cherry-sized fruits, very productive
  • ‘Better’ – burst-resistant cocktail tomato, lots of fruit, very sweet and very juicy, very early harvest, fungus-tolerant, suitable for outdoor use, unlimited growth, old German variety, very healthy variety
  • ‘Black Cherry’ – black-red cocktail tomato, lots of fruit, very spicy and yet sweet, fungus-tolerant, suitable outdoors, espalier tomato, bursting resistant
  • ‘Corbarino’ – red cocktail tomato, very tasty and spicy, lots of fruit, unlimited growth, historic variety from Naples
  • ‘Early Yellow Striped’ – pink and yellow striped cocktail tomato, sweet and spicy taste, lots of fruit, unlimited growth, very eye-catching colouring
  • ‘England Orange’ – orange cocktail tomato, sweet and spicy taste, small fruits, bountiful harvest, good for greenhouses but also outdoors
  • ‘Glossy rose blue’ – dark red, slightly bluish cocktail tomato, fruit about the size of a cherry, becomes darker and darker depending on the sunlight, very good taste
  • ‘Gold Nugget’ – golden yellow cocktail tomato, sweet and fruity taste, contains almost no seeds, many fruits, grows very bushy, ideal for tubs and window boxes
  • ‘Green Grapes’ – green-yellow cocktail tomato, very soft, very juicy, extremely thin skin, many fruits, needs a shelter outdoors
  • ‘Katinka’ – orange cocktail tomato, extremely sweet, excellent taste, many fruits, fungus tolerant, one of the best varieties
  • ‘Lady Birdy’ – red cocktail tomato, very sweet taste, lots of fruit until frost, very thin skin, grows to over 4 m high, but can be shortened
  • ‘Kleine Thai’ – very small red cocktail tomato, lots of fruit until frost, tolerant to fungi, ideal for tubs and hanging baskets
  • ‘Lollipop’ – light yellow cocktail tomato, very sweet, little tomato, lots of fruit until frost
  • ‘Mirabell’ – yellow cocktail tomato, lots of fruit, resistant to bursting but firm skin, low and compact growing variety
  • ‘Orange Ping Pong’ – orange, small fruits, restrained sweet taste, long clusters with many fruits, very high yield
  • ‘Prune Jaune’ – pear-shaped yellow cocktail tomato, very mild and sweet taste, lots of fruit, very healthy variety, harvest until frost
  • ‘Red Grape’ – pink-red cocktail tomato, very intense tomato aroma and very spicy, wild variety, fungus-tolerant, lots of fruit
  • ‘Reinhards Goldkirsche’ – yellow cocktail tomato, very sweet and aromatic taste, fungus tolerant, many fruits until frost
  • ‘Sungold Select’ – golden-yellow cocktail tomato, uniquely fruity taste, very juicy, lots of small fruits
  • ‘Tigerella’ – green and yellow striped cocktail tomato, mild and slightly sour taste, not quite bursting, good yield
  • ‘Tiny Tiger’ – red and yellow striped cocktail tomato, very spicy and aromatic taste, low-growing variety, ideal for containers and balconies

The care of cocktail tomatoes

Cocktail tomatoes are ideal for containers and a location on a sheltered balcony or terrace. The care does not differ fundamentally from that of other tomatoes, only with these you don’t have to work with the pinching. They can be stretched, but they don’t have to be. You can just let them grow. There is a large selection of cocktail tomatoes on the market in spring. You can also easily grow them from seeds. The selection of seeds is large, there are significantly more varieties than in the nurseries and plant markets.

The right location is important. It must be warm, sunny and sheltered. The decisive factor for the plant substrate is that it is permeable and rich in nutrients. Cocktail tomatoes are best cultivated in containers. These can then be set up in a protected manner. The plants should not get wet, even when watering. All tomatoes are heavy feeders, so they need sufficient nutrients. However, one must not overdo it. A lot doesn’t help much. Over-fertilization does far more harm than good. A cut is unnecessary and so is stinging. There is usually no hibernation, although the plants are biennial or even perennial. The plants are propagated by sowing. Unfortunately, diseases are quite common, especially if the location and care are not ideal. They are the same diseases


The location of cocktail tomatoes is important that it is warm, sunny and sheltered. Container plants are easy to move around, so they are ideal. A roof should offer them protection when it rains, because the plants should not get wet.

  • Sun, also bright midday sun
  • Partial shade is rather unfavourable, shade is completely unsuitable
  • Protected against rain and wind
  • A covered location is ideal.
  • Potted plants do well under a roof.
  • In the bed, a foil works well as a roof.
  • There are also special protective tents and devices (tomato houses) for tomato plants that only need to be placed over the plants. It is important that the tarpaulins do not touch the plant.

plant substrate

The small tomatoes do not make any great demands on the plant substrate. It must be permeable and rich in nutrients, but also be able to store some water. Compost is ideal for increasing the nutrient content.

  • Normal garden or tub plant soil
  • Mix in expanded clay and/or gravel
  • Mix in mature compost
  • Alternative Horn buckle


There are a few things to consider when planting, starting with the type and size of the planter. In addition, the young tomatoes should always be planted at a slight angle. The planting distance is also important, as is the support, which is best always planted in the ground. Cocktail tomatoes can also grow remarkably high, up to 2 m is not a problem for some varieties.

  • Good in the bucket – make sure it is of sufficient size
  • Use a container of at least 40 liters for two plants
  • Only plant out after the ice saints or put the containers outside
  • Ideal for the greenhouse
  • Some varieties are also suitable for hanging baskets
  • Some varieties need protection from rain outdoors
  • Always plant plants at a slight angle and deeper into the tub (this way more side roots form)
  • Do not cover tomato leaves with soil
  • Planting distance 50 to 60 cm, depending on the variety
  • Stick the plant stick into the ground, which protects the shoots and stems from buckling due to the wind and their own weight
  • The tomato plant must be well attached to it
  • drainage in the planter
  • Cover the drain hole with potsherds
  • A pouring rim makes pouring easier
Note: Tip – In containers that are too small, the plants will not grow nearly as large and the yields will be significantly lower.

watering and fertilizing

Watering and fertilizing are two important factors for plants to thrive and produce lots of fruit. Water evaporates much faster in containers than in a bed, so it needs to be watered frequently, sometimes twice a day. The nutrient requirement is also quite high, but it is of no use to over-fertilize the plants. It does them more harm.

  • Lots of watering
  • The hotter it is, the more water is needed
  • In hot weather, it makes sense to water in the morning and evening
  • The vessels must not stand in water, waterlogging is deadly
  • Heavy consumers – need a lot of nutrients
  • Organic fertilizer or special tomato fertilizer
Note: It is important when watering that the leaves and fruits do not get wet. Wetness offers ideal breeding grounds for pathogens. Fungal diseases are pre-programmed.

To cut

Cutting in the sense is not necessary. Size can be contained with a trim, but this is rarely necessary. Also, cocktail tomatoes do not necessarily have to be pinched, as is the case with other tomato varieties, but if you want to harvest larger quantities of fruit, you won’t go wrong if you do so. The whole power of the plant goes into the fruit.

  • The growth in height is stimulated by the pinching.
  • Don’t forget to connect!
  • It doesn’t have to be exhausting, but it can
  • If you want a bushy growth and lots of small fruits, it’s better to leave it alone
  • That gives a lot of delicious little fruits, which you can often harvest until November if you can offer a suitable location.


As a rule, tomatoes are cultivated here as annual plants. This eliminates hibernation. However, tomatoes are biennials and there are more and more varieties that have an even longer lifespan. The plants are not hardy, but can be overwintered. In the following year, however, the harvest is much sparser.


Propagation is by seed, but this does not work for all varieties. Hybrids have no seeds and so cannot be propagated. Such varieties can only be purchased from the dealer. Cultivation from seeds is easy and can also be carried out by laypeople.

  • sowing
  • Sow between February and April
  • Cultivation trays and cultivation soil are ideal
  • Sow individually and cover about half a centimeter with soil
  • Moisten the substrate using a water sprayer
  • Keep the vessel warm and bright
  • Don’t let the soil dry out
  • Germination time – only 5 to 10 days
  • Prick out plants as soon as 3 leaves have grown
  • Place plants in approx. 8 cm large pots
  • Water sparingly, don’t let it dry out
  • As soon as there is no more threat of night frost, the plants can go outside
  • A sufficiently large container is important, unless the plants are to be planted out.
  • Sow the seeds in the greenhouse from March

diseases and pests

Unfortunately, all tomatoes are more or less susceptible to certain diseases and also to pests. Cocktail tomatoes are no exception. You always have to keep an eye on the plants and also on the fruits in order to be able to intervene quickly. Often, however, the fruits cannot be saved.

Late blight – is caused by a fungus and is quite common, especially in warm, humid weather, recognizable by the initially black-brown coloration on the leaves. If the disease is far advanced, this discoloration also appears on the fruit. A slight fungus fuzz may also form on the tomatoes. Discard affected plants, including the fruit. They are no longer suitable for consumption.

The following fungal diseases can also occur:

  • early blight
  • Stemphyllium leaf spot disease
  • Velvet and brown spot disease
  • Fusarium-Which
  • Verticillium-Which
  • Grauschimmel
  • Didymella-Stängelfäule
  • Bacterial infection
  • Bacterial spot disease
  • Bacterial tomato wilt
  • Virus infections
  • spider mites
  • white bow tie
  • aphid
  • caterpillars
  • Thripse
  • tomato mini motte

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do the seedlings shoot up and then just fall over?
This happens when the location is too dark. The young plants need a lot of light.

Are there resistant cocktail tomatoes, so that at least some diseases can be eliminated as far as possible?
There are. These are so-called F1 hybrids, which include, for example, the ‘Supersweet’ 100 and ‘Philovita’ cherry tomato varieties, as well as ‘Cherrola’ and the wild tomato ‘Red Corazon’. Opinions differ about the taste of the fruit. Some rave about it, others describe it as tasteless. You can only try it yourself. The fact is that hybrids have little or no seeds and therefore cannot be propagated. You always have to buy the plants or seeds. The seeds are expensive because there are so few.

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