Green shoulders of tomatoes – How to prevent green shoulders in tomatoes?


When the end of a tomato’s stem is still green or brown, it is called a “green shoulder.” This is different from tomatoes that haven’t fully ripened yet. When a plant has green shoulders, the part that is still green is much stronger or tougher than the part that is fully grown.

Bunch of Green tomatoes with green shoulders.

Anyone who has ever grown tomatoes knows that they can have a lot of different problems. That makes it even more frustrating when you grow a strong tomato plant with lots of tasty tomato products that show all the signs of being ready except that the part near the stalk won’t change color.

A Quick Guide to Green Shoulders

tomatoes with green shoulders, not ripped tomatoes.

When the end of a tomato’s stem is still green or brown, it is called a “green shoulder.” This is different from tomatoes that haven’t fully ripened yet.

When a plant has green shoulders tomatoes, the part that is still green is much stronger or tougher than the part that is fully grown. It can show up on tomatoes that stay green, like Aunt Ruby’s, but it is most obvious on tomatoes that go from green to another color, like red or yellow.

Even when a Cherokee Purple tomato is fully grown, the end of the stem may still be a little bit green.

If the end of the stem is the wrong color and feels hard, you can tell whether the shoulder is green or yellow. If you happen to bite into one, you’ll also notice that it doesn’t taste as sweet.

Causes and Effects of Green Shoulders on Tomatoes

Most of the time, the chlorophyll on a young tomato starts to break down at the bud end and moves up and around the fruit.

As the fruit ripens, it gets green shoulder tomatoes when the chlorophyll either doesn’t break down or breaks down too slowly. There are two reasons why this might happen that have to do with the weather.

First, shoulders that have been in the sun too much can turn green. It can also happen when the temperature stays high for a long time.

Yellow Shoulders

tomatoes with yellow shoulders.

Yellow shoulders are not caused by the same thing. The fact that the end of your tomato’s stalk is still a little gray means that the fruit wasn’t able to make lycopene, which gives tomatoes their red color and gives them their amazing health benefits.

When the temperature goes above about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the body makes less lycopene. So, the reason is like “green shoulders,” but the color to blame is different.

Eating tomatoes with that Are with Green or Yellow Shoulder

Even though the green or purple ribs are tough and unpleasant, the rest of the tomato should still taste good.

Just cut around the hard, raw tip, and you can start eating. It takes a lot of work to make a local tomato that can’t be eaten.

How to keep your shoulders from being green or yellow

Once the shoulders of your ripe tomatoes turn green or gold, it’s too late to make a change. Once the last sign appears, there is nothing that can be done, just like when a bloom ends, dies, or splits.

But there are a few things you can do to try to avoid shoulder problems in the first place.

Lessen how much you prune

prune the extra branches for better growth

Make sure your tomato plants have a lot of leaves to protect the seeds. The sun doesn’t have to shine directly on the fruits since tomato plants can handle a little heat and need a lot of light for their fruits to ripen.

If it gets really hot in the summer, the crops will get some shade. Don’t cut back your tomato plants too much.

Choose mixed plants over traditional ones

non traditional plantation - plants of different varieties

Choose tomato types that can handle the problem better. It looks like heirloom types are more likely to get green shoulder tomatoes than mixes. Don’t give up on tradition totally, because not everyone is sensitive to it.

Even though you can find words that say when a type is vulnerable to green or golden shoulders, tomatoes aren’t usually marked as being immune to them.

Picking tomatoes earlier

always pick tomatoes ealier to prevent green shoulders

If it’s a hot summer and all your tomatoes have shoulder problems, pick them when they’re just starting to turn red and move them out of the sun to finish ripening.

Unfortunately, doing this could ruin some of the flavors that have been developing on the plant, so it should only be done in extreme cases.

Provide cover or shade

Provide shades to plants to protect them from green shoulders.

Tomatoes love the sun, but it is also one of the main causes of the green or yellow shoulder. Shade tomato plants. This is one of the best ways to protect your tomatoes from the intense heat while still giving them the light they need.

With the right method, photosynthesis will go up while heat buildup is kept to a minimum. The tomato plant will be able to use all of its energy to grow bigger, redder tomatoes, which is good for the plant’s overall health.

One way to protect your tomatoes is to put them in places in your yard that are naturally shaded during the day. In hotter places, plant them next to an east-facing building so they get full light in the morning but are protected from the noon sun.

The most common way to protect tomatoes from short heat waves is to use a framework made of shade fabric that is held up by something.

This short-term fix meets the needs of everyone. Depending on the style and amount of cloth used and the needs of the plant, you can make more or less shadow.

Choose the correct type

Choose the best quality of tomatoes for not to have green shoulders.

Some types of tomatoes are more likely to have green shoulder tomatoes than others. Most of the time, native tomatoes are more likely to rot than mixed tomatoes.

Some gardeners say that dark purple or black types are more likely to have green shoulders than red, yellow, or orange kinds.

Keep an eye out for plants that are vulnerable when you buy seeds or young plants. On the seed box, it may also say that the plant is resistant to the disease and can grow in places with a lot of humidity.

Ripe off

Pick tomatoes just before they are fully ripped.

You might be able to avoid yellow and green shoulders on tomatoes if you pick them just before they are fully ready when they are no longer in the sun and heat.

You don’t want to lose the great taste of vine-ripened tomatoes, so only use this when you have to.


It’s best to choose tomatoes that look healthy and are just about to turn red, which is usually when a tiny bit of red shows through the green skin. If you leave them on the kitchen table, they will continue to make ethylene gas and grow, but it might take a while.

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