Disease-Resistant Tomato Varieties: Choosing Tomatoes Resistant To Disease

Blue Bins Full Of Red Tomato Fruits
(Image credit: Ozge Emir)

Nothing is more depressing than losing an entire crop of tomatoes. Tobacco mosaic virus, verticillium wilt, and root-knot nematodes can damage and kill tomato plants. Crop rotation, garden hygiene measures, and sterilizing tools can only control these problems to a limited extent. When these problems are present, the key to reducing tomato crop loss lies in selecting disease-resistant tomato plants.

Choosing Tomatoes Resistant to Disease 

The production of disease-resistant tomato varieties is one of the main objectives of modern hybrid development programs. While this has been successful to some extent, no single hybrid plant has yet been developed which is resistant to all tomato diseases. Additionally, resistance does not mean total immunity.

Gardeners are urged to select disease-resistant tomatoes which are relevant for their gardens. If tobacco mosaic virus was an issue in past years, it only makes sense to select a variety resistant to this disease. To find disease-resistant tomato varieties, look on the plant label or seed packet for the following codes:

  • AB – Alternarium Blight
  • A or AS – Alternarium Stem Canker
  • CRR – Corky Root Rot
  • EB – Early Blight
  • F – Fusarium Wilt; FF – Fusarium races 1 & 2; FFF – races 1, 2, & 3
  • FOR – Fusarium Crown and Root Rot
  • GLS – Gray Leaf Spot
  • LB – Late Blight
  • LM – Leaf Mold
  • N – Nematodes
  • PM – Powdery Mildew
  • S – Stemphylium Gray Leaf Spot
  • T or TMV – Tobacco Mosaic Virus
  • ToMV – Tomato Mosaic Virus
  • TSWV – Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus
  • V – Verticillium Wilt Virus

Disease-Resistant Tomato Varieties

Finding disease-resistant tomatoes isn't difficult. Look for these popular hybrids, most of which are readily available:

Fusarium and Verticillium Resistant Hybrids

Fusarium, Verticillium and Nematode Resistant Hybrids

  • Better Boy
  • Better Bush
  • Burpee Supersteak
  • Italian Ice
  • Sweet Seedless

Fusarium, Verticillium, Nematode and Tobacco Mosaic Virus Resistant Hybrids

  • Big Beef
  • Bush Big Boy
  • Bush Early Girl
  • Celebrity
  • Fourth of July
  • Super Tasty
  • Sweet Tangerine
  • Umamin

Tomato Spot Wilted Virus Resistant Hybrids

  • Amelia
  • Crista
  • Primo Red
  • Red Defender
  • Southern Star
  • Talladega

Blight Resistant Hybrids

In recent years, newer varieties of disease-resistant tomato plants have been developed in conjunction with Cornell University. These hybrids have resistance to different stages of blight:

  • Iron Lady
  • Stellar
  • BrandyWise
  • Summer Sweetheart
  • Plum Perfect
Laura Miller

Laura Miller has been gardening all her life. Holding a degree in Biology, Nutrition, and Agriculture, Laura's area of expertise is vegetables, herbs, and all things edible. She lives in Ohio.