Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - April 24, 2005

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Edible Plants, Poisonous Plants, Deer Resistant
Title: Smarty Plants on Texas cherry tomato
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We just bought 2 Texas cherry tomato plants at the plant sale. We have to container garden in a walled courtyard due to deer. (Would deer be attracted to the plants in a garden with herbs and high deer resistant plants?) The courtyard gets plenty of morning and early afternoon sun, direct and indirect. Nothing in the database helped as to size of container, soil type, watering, & feeding. I had another more basic question about these Texas cherry tomato plants. Are these plants culinary, edible tomatoes? I would greatly appreciate your guidance. Thanks.

ANSWER:

First of all, the deer are not likely to eat the tomato plants. The foliage has a very strong odor and flavor; and, in fact, the foliage is poisonous. The Texas cherry tomato (Solanum lycopersicum var, cerasiforme) is a member of the Family Solanaceae (nightshade family) which does have many members that are noted for their toxicity. The berries on the Texas cherry tomato are not poisonous, but the foliage and roots are.

Your plants should do well in a 3- or 4- gallon clay pot in potting soil on your patio. These Texas natives do well in sun or part shade. You can read about growing container tomatoes from the National Gardening Association.

I hope your tomato plants flourish and produce a beautiful crop of berries for you, but in case you have problems you can find out about tomato disorders from TAMU Aggie Horticulture.

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Failure to thrive of potted blue-green cypress
July 26, 2008 - I received a small 14" potted blue-green cypress for Christmas 2007. Kept it in a bright window, not direct sun. It was doing great until two weeks ago when it started turning brown from the center. ...
view the full question and answer

Growing Texas mountain laurel in a pot
March 07, 2016 - I have a really good friend who Mom pass away just recently and they were the best of friends. She loved her mother dearly and did tons of stuff together. Recently I posted a picture of a Mountain L...
view the full question and answer

Replanting a blue agave in Rio Rancho NM
January 11, 2010 - I have acquired a Blue Agave, approximately 4-5 ft high. It still appears quite healthy. It was used over the holiday season for display purposes in a liquor store. Unfortunately, the root ball has be...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for containers on patio in Houston
January 30, 2010 - What native plants in Texas (I live in Houston) will do well in pots on my patio- they get about 1/2 day sunlight. Is there anything shrub-like that will live from year to year? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Need a source of mature horsetail plants in Memphis, TN.
May 06, 2012 - Where can I find mature horsetail plants in Memphis,Tn.? Need enough to fill a 6 foot long by one foot wide planter Need for it to look like it's been there forever.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.