Heirloom. Very easy to grow. This is not a tomato, but is a relative with a very tart, unique flavor that is the key ingredient in salsa verde. Tomatillo is a round, green fruit produced inside a papery husk, which also earns it the name husk tomato. The papery husk is removed before eating. The fruit is used while it is still a green color. If you open the husk and it has begun to turn yellow, it is actually past its prime. A popular Mexican and Southwestern ingredient for sauces and salads. You will need two or more tomatillo plants for the blooms to be pollinated and fruit to be produced..

  • Light Full sun
  • Fruit size 2 inches
  • Matures 60 to 75 days
  • Plant spacing 36 inches apart
  • Plant size 3 to 4 feet tall
  • Plant type Indeterminate

Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available in your local area, due to different variables in certain regions. Also, if any variety is a limited, regional variety it will be noted on the pertinent variety page.

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At a glance

Light requirements: Full sun for best yields.

Planting: Space 36 inches apart. Plant deeply, burying up to 2/3 of the stem, like a tomato.

Soil requirements: Tomatillo needs well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Amend soil with 3 to 5 inches of compost or other organic matter prior to planting.

Water requirements: Keep soil consistently moist throughout the growing season. Mulch soil to reduce water evaporation.

Frost-fighting plan: Established tomatillo plants tolerate light frost (28º F to 32º F). If a surprise late spring frost comes into the forecast, protect newly planted seedlings with a frost blanket.

Common issues: If you don’t clean up the garden well in fall, you’ll likely have tomatillo volunteers appear in subsequent years. Many gardeners report seedling crops for many years after planting only once. You need to plant two different tomatillo plants for cross-pollination and fruit set to occur. Pests to watch out for include flea beetles and slugs. When humid conditions prevail, plants can develop fungal diseases on foliage.

Harvesting: Pick when husks are papery and green-brown, but fruit is still green. This is the stage that yields the tartest flavor. If fruits are allowed to develop to yellow or even purple (most ripe), flavor changes to a sweeter tang. Fruits should pull easily from plants with a gentle tug.

Storage: Store tomatillos in their papery husks. If kept at a cool room temperature, use within 5 to 7 days. To refrigerate, tuck fruits into a paper bag. They’ll keep two to three weeks. Check them weekly. If you spot fungus on husks, remove and use affected fruits.

For more information, visit the Tomatillo page in our How to Grow section.