Indigo Rose - More than just a novelty ? Taste ?

mewheeJune 8, 2012

Hi All -

Have been curious about the occasional threads re: the relatively new purple/blue Indigo Rose. In particular, was wondering if anyone has fully ripe tomatoes who can give us a report on taste.

Further, do you see it as a possible productive variety as compared to being just a novelty.

Tia for any feedback -

Will and the Fur Crew

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I have to say, I have been growing a blue this year and have read a lot about all the different blues being developed, and nope, I haven't heard even one person say they taste good. They are cool looking though.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Taste would vary from person to person, acid/tart flavour liked by one may not be liked by those who like sweet.

Yes, I read that taste is on the tart side, but health benefits outweigh taste. But I prefer sweet tomatoes.

Would love to see what folks say who actually grew it and tasted it.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 5:11PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I had one plant given to me this spring, we've been eating these little gems for a couple of week now. LOVE the flavor ( not a big fan of sweet in a tomato) and like that they are meaty and not too juicy, I've looked but haven't found any seeds in them so far. Is this one that doesn't make many?


    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 9:58AM
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I grew Indigo Rose this year and while the plant is beautiful and VERY productive the taste is blah. Such a shame as I must have picked over 100 3-4 ounce fruit. They did not go to waste I threw them in sauce. The sauce was awesome.
My Inigo was a stocky plant never getting over 5 feet. The fruit grew in long clusters with 8-12 tomatoes. The tomatoes really are the color of ripe Bing cherries. It had light to moderate leaf curl that I understand is common with this variety. It did better than expected as I grew it in a commuity garden where septoria and early blight are common. I did spray neem and copper on alternating weeks.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Hi: we're in NW Oregon where we've just had a week of sudden cold-wet weather & our Indigo Rose tomato looks like the leaf-curled examples in this thread (without fruit yet of course). We were quite surprised as it was developed here in Oregon; I found this note on another forum: "One of the most frequent causes of curled tomato plant leaves is long periods of cold, rainy weather. In these situations, the leaves of the plant curl upward and become thick and leathery." That's exactly what we've found today, whilst our other 15 tomatoes are cheerful little souls (we're growing in straw bales btw). Hope this helps - best of luck to you!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 10:24PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I have not and am not growing Indigo Rose, I am also in PNW, north of Seattle.
Curling leaves ( in tubular shape ) can also be specific to certain plants. I know this first hand. Last year I was growing Black Krim. Its leaves were like that all summer. I then searched and saw tons of picture in the net showing the same characteristic.

So it appears that IR is similar. OR it just cannot take your growing conditions.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 11:02PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

When I've grown Black Krim here, its leaves don't curl.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 11:24AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Posted by missingtheobvious Blue Ridge 7a (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 20, 14 at 11:24

When I've grown Black Krim here, its leaves don't curl.

Maybe it is climate sensitive. Or maybe there various strains of it.
Her a picture that I got grom internet. There are tens of it. This one is not as pronounced as mine was.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 12:20PM
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Very interesting about the leaf curl. I thought that my Indigo Rose plant was stressed last year because it did that a lot!

I found that the taste was rather odd and the fruit took forever to mature and was not worth waiting for. The fruit was only the size of a large cherry.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 1:02PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Hi Linda,

Obviously this feature is a sort of genetic characteristic like being wispy. The environment my have influence too.

Last year when I was talking about my BK, a lot of people was saying that i have stressed the plant by sever pruning, which obviously was not the case/cause.

About Indigo Rose, I have read a lot of not so good reviews as far as taste goes. But I wouldn't mind to have it for its color and ornamental effect, if I had space for it. I am growing something similar ; It is Japanese Trifele Black.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 1:46PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

There's only one Black Krim,no different strains. Leaves can curl for all kinds of different reasons related to environmental reasons as well as plants having a heavy fruit burden, which is a stress and can also do it.

About Indigo Rose.

I read and sometimes post at several different message sites and have done so for well over 30 years but the blue fad is much more recent than that.

Look at the seed catalogs of Jung's, Johnny's and more and you'll see lots of so called blues, not just Indigo Rose.

One of the parents of almos tALL of them is OSU ( Oregon State U) P20 and that one I did taste,Just awful for me/

And I have yet to find anyone, except the person above who likes the taste of Indigo Rose. And yes, it was developed with the hopes that the increased anthocyanins would prove to be a plus dietarily, but I have to see any documentation that that is true for humans.Saying humans since I know of no other mamals who eat them.LOL


    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:32PM
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Here's mine Athena,

I'm in Portland and apparently the tomato slacker in this group. I let the professionals grow my plants ( and this supports our small growers) and buy on Memorial day, since our weather can be tricky. I've learned that for me, it's simpler to avoid the EB that comes in my garden if I try earlier. My preference is not dealing with diseases and less time harvesting. For the two weeks difference ( neighbor and I compare over the years) it's just not worth it to me.

So bought on Memorial day, hardened off the next two weeks..which has a pain as I spent those two weeks watching the temp each night and going out to cover late when it was going under 50 degrees, which was all but one or two nights. Then I started planting out, but this little guy was happy and I got busy at work. Turned out he didn't get in the ground till about a week and a half ago.

Great little plant. Didn't miss a beat being transplanted and grew the next day. Really study compared to some of the others and growing a bit better. seems my leaves are curly the wrong way for the cold week we had. To top things off I discovered a little blue tomato when I took this picture. Opps...thought I removed all the blooms. Sure didn't hurt in this case.

This is my science experiment spot. My yard is all various amounts of dense shade ( inpatients won't bloom, it's too dark ) with spots here and there I try tomatoes. This spot I set up has concrete and brick underneath for heat, with those concrete chucks stashed behind. I know I can keep a container warmer and move it if it turns out my guess on sun was wrong. Those are awfully small tubs to my way of doing things, but what I had.

My reading told me of the three plants I put there, Indigo Rose can take the most shade of the bunch, so that's what it got. Until I am forced to tie off to the greenhouse frame, these can all be moved..not that I can think of a better spot.

I set the whole business inside a small greenhouse frame, thinking if this works, the frame gives me a place to tie the support frame work to, and later, by adding the greenhouse cover I may be able to extend the season or next year get a head start. Again, using what I have.

@ Carolyn,

I did read about the taste. I'm so curious because I'm what they call a super taster. Extra papillæ for bitter. :(

Gotta tell you folks. That little blue tomato is sure cute. LOL

This post was edited by plaidbird on Fri, Jun 20, 14 at 19:30

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 7:25PM
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I like the flavor and have grown them for 2 years. I gave a few to my sis and she commented that they had a good texture, too. Plus, they add interest to the salad when you mix several colors, such as red, orange and purple.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 12:17AM
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Indigo Rose is one of the poorer flavored tomatoes I've grown. Fortunately, Jim Myers is still working on them. I sampled his growing lines in August 2012 and found 2 that are significant improvements for flavor. Give it another year or two and they should hit the market.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 12:39AM
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moosemac(Z5 NH / Z3-4 ME)

Here's my 2 cents worth...
This is my 3rd year growing Indigo Rose (no fruit yet this year). I hated the flavor when I first harvested Indigo Rose. Flavor was acidic and just plain nasty.Then I went on vacation for a 10 days and came back thinking my tomatoes would be over ripe. The tomatoes were yielding to the touch but not mushy and the color was dark red with shades of brick and rust. The flavor balanced the acidity with an old time tomato flavor and a touch of floral notes. My family loved them in salads and sandwiches. I've grown them ever since. Bottom line, if you think they are ripe, leave them another week or so. I have tried ripening them off the vine but the flavor isn't the same. Also if you overwater them or store them for more than a day the flavor fades.

On a side note: I've had great success growing Indigo Rose in pots. It is prolific grown in pots and continued producing well into the fall.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 1:24PM
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Thank you Moosemac,

This is reassuring and very helpful.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 2:46PM
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Seysonn, I don't think JTB is similar to IR. I've grown it before and am growing it this year, and it's a black tomato not blue. And JTB has a really great flavor at least for me.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:16PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Thanks Sharonie, for clarification.
I am happy that JBT is a great tasting tomato. I am also growing Kumato and Cherokee purple in that category. I have grown CP before and liked it a lot.

moosemac, you may have unveiled a secret. Sometimes original color might not indicate ripeness.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 3:14AM
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girlbug2(z9/10, Sunset zone 24)

Growing Indigo Berries this summer, just started harvesting them last week.

They started out very dark purplish, but when fully ripe, are almost a rose color with little splotches of dark brownish coloring on the "shoulders". So they don't really stay indigo once they are ripe and at their best to consume :(. Seems to defeat the purpose, unless you like growing them ornamentally so that they can look pretty on the plant before they mature.

Flavor wise, they're okay. Not terribly sweet, but a good strong tomato flavor.

Overall, I wasn't impressed. Probably won't be growing them again.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:00PM
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