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Can Roma Tomatoes Be Orange

Tomatoes are known for coming in all different colors, shapes, sizes, and flavors. The variety of tomatoes is extensive, making them fun to grow and explore. Roma tomatoes are a pretty popular variety of tomatoes. Within the Roma, the tomato family stems from many sub-varieties that all fall under Roma. Then colors are also quite different from one variety to the next. For example, can Roma tomatoes be orange?

Roma tomatoes can be orange. Either they are orange because they have been bred to be that way, and that is their final ripe color, or they are orange because they aren’t fully ripe yet and they have some deficiency. 

Let’s take a dive into the world of Roma tomatoes and why they sometimes appear to be orange. 

Varieties of Roma Tomatoes That Are Orange

There are only two varieties of Roma tomatoes that are orange. Here they are.

  1. Orange Roma Tomato- Very high yield, looks just like a Roma tomato, with the signature oval shape and smooth skin except for orange. 
  2. Sweet Orange Roma Tomato- No different than the orange Roma tomato, except it is a bit sweet. Better for sauces.

Why Are My Roma Tomatoes Orange?

If you aren’t growing the variety of orange Roma tomatoes, you may face a different problem. Normally, Roma tomatoes get this bright red when they are ready to be harvested. Sometimes, people have found their tomatoes to stay a pale orange for a while, and they never seem to get red. Let’s look at why that may be.

Heat

Tomatoes are a summertime crop and do love the heat and the sun; however, there is such a thing as too much sun. If the weather is over 90 degrees for more than three days, this will cause most plants, including tomatoes, to do some strange things. In this case, extreme heat can halt the ripening process for tomatoes, so they will appear to be more orange and not turn red.

Lack of Nutrition

Tomatoes are heavy feeders and need their core nutrients to stay healthy and have the energy to ripen their fruit. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for tomatoes; it supports their growth, keeps them strong, and helps in giving them their color. Without enough of it, your tomatoes may never get to be as red as expected. 

Not enough sun/too cold

On the opposite end of being too hot, tomatoes can also get too cold or not get enough sun. Tomatoes need full sun to get that juicy pigment that we think of when we think of tomatoes. Without full sun during the day, they may stay orange.

This also ties into getting too cold. If the weather is lower than 55 for multiple days, tomato cell structures will freeze, and their development will cease. 

Too Much nutrition 

Not many people consider this, but there is such a thing as too much food for plants. Think about how uncomfortable it is to be overfed or to keep eating on a full stomach. Plants get overfed, too, and it’s just as uncomfortable. They are unsure of what to do with all the extra nutrients and shut down. 

Too much water

It can be confusing to learn about tomatoes and what they need for water. When they grow, they need lots of water with no flowers yet. Water every day.

When they start to fruit, water can be cut back drastically to message the plant to send all its energy to the fruit it’s developing. Too much water will tell the plant to keep growing its branches and staying green and leave you with unripe and orange tomatoes.

How to Avoid Orange Roma Tomatoes

If you have figured out the problem, here are some solutions you can now think about to try and get those tomatoes ripened. 

Weather

There is no control over the weather, so you can do a few things to protect your plants against it. If there is heat coming through, you can place shade cloth around your tomatoes to create a little shade during the hottest parts of the day.

During this time, you also may want to water more. If there is cold coming through, you can try and put plastic over your plants to create a greenhouse effect, and you should also cover them at night with plastic, cloth, leaves, really anything to keep the heat in. 

Nutrition 

Tomatoes are heavy feeders, and they do appreciate a good fertilizer or compost soil to be planted into. Nitrogen, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, etc., are all important for the growth of a tomato plant, so make sure the fertilizer you are using has good amounts.

If your tomato plants are looking a little weak or not ripening, you can try a liquid feed once a week until things start looking better. Otherwise, tomatoes only need to be fed once a month. If you started to feed your tomato plants and they looked fine, and now they don’t, cut back on the feeding and let the soil do its job. 

Water

Like I said, watering tomatoes can be a little tricky. At the beginning of the plant’s life, it should be getting about 2 inches of water a week. As it starts to flower and fruit appears, it can do with as little as one inch. If your tomatoes aren’t ripening, cut back on the water for a few days to signal to the plant that it needs to start sending energy to these tomatoes. 

What To Do With Tomatoes That Aren’t Ripening

Sometimes tomatoes on the vine will stay orange or unripe forever. Sometimes they will never ripen simply because they’ve been forgotten about or the conditions aren’t right. There is no need to waste these tomatoes.

You can pick them and try leaving them on a sunny windowsill for a few days, and they can sun ripen. Tomatoes ripened on the vine are much better tasting. However, this is still a great way to ripen your tomatoes. 

You can also eat the unripe tomatoes, and they still taste fine. They are great for salads and stir-fries, and have you ever heard of fried green tomatoes? The same goes for fried orange tomatoes, and they are a delicious treat. 

Final Thoughts

Roma tomatoes are delicious tomatoes that can be used for so many things but are great in soups and sauces. Sometimes Roma tomatoes tend to look orange.

We’ve figured out that that’s either because it’s the variety of Roma tomato or because conditions for the plant aren’t good enough for the plant to finish ripening its tomatoes. Either way, don’t panic if you see orange tomatoes, they’re still delicious, and there is still a chance to ripen them if that is what’s happening. Happy gardening!