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How long do tomatoes live for under ideal conditions?

Do different varietals have vastly different lifespans?

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    Ideal conditions would require an absence of disease-spreading bugs (e.g. aphids and whiteflies). In some areas, that means indoors. They need plenty of light, plenty of soil, fertilizer, enough calcium and temperature regulation. I find that tomatoes are actually easier to grow indoors in the fall/winter/spring than in summer (it's too consistently hot indoors then, in my main growing environment, but they still do reasonably well in the kitchen windowsill). If you want a long-lived tomato, I recommend a strong indeterminate one. They should grow/fruit indefinitely. – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Jun 24 '15 at 18:36
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    Also, realize that you can take tomato cuttings. So, if it's really old and you want to keep the same plant going, that's one way to rejuvenate it, so-to-speak. – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Jun 24 '15 at 18:39
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    Hi @Shule Your comments are informative and actually look like a nice answer to me. If you'd like to write it up that way and add it, I think it would be helpful to the community! Thanks! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Jun 25 '15 at 2:58
  • Epcot had a tomato "tree" that reportedly lived for 13 months and made it into the Guiness Book of World Records for harvesting 32,000 tomatoes. Probably not the longest living, but notable – Jeff Lambert Jun 30 '15 at 16:06
  • I've read that those tomatoes (like the one Disney grew) are called Octopus tomatoes. Here's an article about the Disney tomato (it doesn't mention the Octopus name, however): housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/gardening/news/a7476/… I've also read that they take a very long time to bear fruit (like more than a season). – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Feb 12 '19 at 1:00
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Sue encouraged me to turn my comments into an answer. So, I'll try to make them meet the criteria.

I've only ever heard of tomatoes living a few to several years at the most. Ecnerwal's answer sounds pretty apt. However, I think it's possible for them to live much longer. That's me, though. Whatever the case, vigorous indeterminate tomatoes will probably live the longest. Determinate ones will probably die after they fruit unless you take cuttings of them or something. Indeterminate ones are supposed to grow and fruit indefinitely (until it frosts, if there is frost). Indefinitely is a long time, however. In reality, most indeterminate tomatoes will probably live until they get too diseased or run out of root room for too long, or run out of nutrients, or something. Pruning may or may not help. I'm not sure.

Ideal conditions would require an absence of disease-spreading bugs (e.g. aphids and whiteflies). In some areas, that means indoors. They need plenty of light, plenty of soil, fertilizer, enough calcium and temperature regulation. I find that tomatoes are actually easier to grow indoors in the fall/winter/spring than in summer (it's too consistently hot indoors then, in my main growing environment, but they still do reasonably well in the kitchen windowsill). Frost will kill tomatoes, normally, although some might survive a light frost.

Also, realize that you can take tomato cuttings. So, if it's really old and you want to keep the same plant going, that's one way to rejuvenate it, so-to-speak. It should work for both indeterminate and determinate tomatoes.

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Anecdotally, I met a "tomato tree" (not really a tree, just a vary large old tomato plant) that was reported to be 4-6 years old (likely started after the last serious hurricane) on an island in the tropics. The main trunk was over 4" in diameter.

I'd suspect that determinate/indeterminate makes a big difference here.

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One vine here in SoCal was protected from frost, and the owner had good crops for three years. Tomatoes will live until frost kills them.

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I have a cherry tomato which is 2 years old and still fruiting. I prune the dead leaves every week

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