Tomato Splitting and Cracking


Cracking is the splitting of the epidermis around the calyx or stem scar.

There are two types; Concentric and Radial.

Concentric cracking: is the splitting of the epidermis in circular patterns around the stem scar.

Radial cracking: the splitting of the epidermis is from the stem scar towards the blossom end.


This cracking / splitting is caused by a sudden burst in growth as fluctuating temperature or moisture levels change.

The extent of the cracking / splitting is down to the ability of the epidermis and its cells to stretch and cope with these sudden changes.

The problem generally occurs as the tomato nears maturity,however, some varieties will crack in the mature green stage.

The problem is usually most severe on the lower trusses and early cracking usually results in deeper and longer cracks.

Split /Cracked tomatoes are generally only an aesthetic problem, however, bacteria and fungus can sometimes be introduced into the fruit thus causing them to rot prematurely.

As with most physiologial problems, proper feeding, watering, light, ventilation and temperature control is paramount, particularly with containerised plants.

Because some varieties react differently, one should consider this when selecting varieties to grow.

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