Tomato Vivipary : Discover the seeds that germinate in a tomato

The tomato is one of the most popular fruits in the garden. They often produce such an abundance of fruit that gardeners may find it difficult to keep up with the harvest. Our countertops and window sills fill up quickly with ripe tomatoes and we rush to use, feed or store tomatoes properly before they reach maturity. It is usually easy to tell from the skin of the tomato whether the fruit is over-ripe. However, sometimes a tomato may look perfectly normal on the outside, while a particular sign of over-ripeness, called viviparasite, occurs on the inside. Read on to learn more about viviparasites in tomatoes.

Why are my tomato seeds sprouting?

It can be quite alarming to see a cut tomato and see small green or white doodles between the seeds. At first glance, many people think they are worms. However, usually, on closer inspection, these fibrous, scribbled formations become seeds that germinate inside the tomato fruit. This premature germination of seeds is known as viviparous, which means «live birth» in Latin.

Although viviparity is not very common in tomatoes, it seems to occur more regularly in certain types of tomatoes, such as grape tomatoes. Viviparity may also occur in other fruits such as peppers, apples, pears, melons, pumpkins, etc. Viviparism occurs when the hormones that keep the seeds in a dormant state are depleted or exhausted, either by the natural ripening of the fruit (over-ripeness) or by nutrient deficiencies.

The abundance of nitrogen can cause tomatoes to become lively or even a lack of potassium can be the culprit. The result is that seeds germinate prematurely in a tomato.

About Vivipary in Tomatoes

When tomatoes become over-ripe or another environmental factor causes tomato seeds to quickly emerge from their dormant state, the inside of a tomato fruit becomes a small, warm, moist greenhouse perfect for seed germination. If left unchecked, sprouts from the viviparous tomato can eventually pierce the tomato skin and new plants can begin to form on the vine or on the kitchen counter.

These seeds that germinate inside a tomato can be allowed to develop into new tomato plants. However, you must keep in mind that these sprouts will not produce an exact replica of the mother plant. It is also important to know that some people have become sick after eating tomatoes with live sprouts on them. Although most of the time they are perfectly edible, just to be sure (especially if the tomatoes are too ripe), fruits containing live tomatoes should be grown on new plants or discarded, not eaten.

To avoid the viviparity of tomatoes, fertilize the plants regularly with the recommended proportions of NPK and do not let the fruit ripen excessively. Note, however, that the tomato nursery, although infrequent, can be a natural event.

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