I bought this small tomato plant at a grocery store. I'm considering moving it to our rooftop.

On the rooftop, it will receive shade during sunrise and sunset (there are buildings on both sides), and obviously at night. It will receive direct sun for about 8 hours, and since we're in the Caribbean it will also be very hot (over 90°F). We're also close to the ocean, so the air's salty.

With frequent watering, will the plant thrive or will it die from the heat and the sun? I also tend to rinse the leaves with a hose every few days to remove any salt.

Btw, it's in a 6" pot. Also, it was always under shade and in a cooler environment at the supermarket. I'm mentioning this since it could be a factor.

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  • What are your night-time temperatures (your daily lows)? How much humidity is there? Oct 1, 2019 at 5:18

1 Answer 1


There's no reason why your tomato plant would not give you much pleasure for a while. Assuming the grower chose a variety suitable for elevated temperature the existing trusses will likely go on to produce good fruit. However, there will be problems or the threat of problems. Many gardeners stop trying to grow tomatoes in the hot summers of the island lowland tropics; tomatoes do much better in the November to April time period, so they focus on the true hot weather crops such as pineapple, banana, avocado and similar for the summer.

One of the constraints is hot nights. High overnight temperatures either kill pollen or prevent pollination, so even though you have new flowers appearing there will be no new fruit beyond what you have right now. Another constraint is hot days which stress the plants; they demand a lot of water particularly when exposed to wind. Elevanted temperatures also raise the risk of various fungal diseases, so again you hope the grower chose the right resistant variety.

So .... for your plant the pot is rather too small to act as a water reservoir. Get a bigger pot, some good general purpose potting soil and move the plant up into its larger house. Since salt on the leaves is a likely problem make up some sort of slotted board to cover the soil surface when you wash down the leaves so that the runoff carries the salt away from the roots. Raise the pot up a bit so that salty runoff does not get at the roots. Tilt the plant somewhat when you spray wash. And keep a weather eye open for anything that appears to threaten your project.

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