The tree tomato, also known as tamarillo, is a woody, brittle, quick-growing tree that reaches 10 to 18 feet in height. A tomato tree's flowers are pink or lavender, and produce single pendant fruits. These fruits are purple, red, orange or yellow and taste like unripe tomatoes.
According to Purdue University, tomato trees are subtropical in nature and grow best in high altitudes of warm countries like Ecuador, Puerto Rico and India. The tree requires temperatures higher than 50 degrees for both growing and blooming.
Like many green plants, tomato trees enjoy full sun, which brings with it the warmth and energy the trees need to grow. In the garden, plant the trees in a place where they'll get six to eight hours of sun every day.
Tomato trees need light, fertile soil, and can't tolerate thick or compacted foundations. Good drainage and deep sites are ideal for the trees, which like to put out a relatively shallow, spreading root system.
Tomato trees do well with two applications of 5-6-6- fertilizer a year. Feed the tree once in spring and then again in summer for increased growth and fruiting.
Tomato trees do not require as much water as tomato plants, but do best with at least 2 inches of water a week. They do not tolerate drought or standing water at their roots, and require additional waterings during extended dry periods, to keep them from failing.
Tomato trees are very brittle, and require protection from winds and heavy weather. Temperatures below 28 degrees kill young tomato trees and new growth, though the woody stems may recover after a hard frost.