How Much Do Tomato Plants Cost?
Tomatoes are known to be the most popular option in a home garden. Tomato plants come in many varieties and can be found at any local nursery.
How much does it cost?
- At Laurel’s Heirloom Tomato Plants, a Southern California source for a wide range of organically grown heirloom tomato plant varieties, prices can be anywhere from $5.50 to $6.95 for each tomato plant. The rare types are priced higher. Their price break starts at 60 plants.
- At GardenHarvestSupply.com, different types of heirloom tomato plants cost $3.99. Each of their pots contains one tomato plant. They also offer hybrid tomato plants that cost from $3.99 to $4.38. Hybrids are a mix of heirloom tomatoes and conventional commercial tomatoes, often having increased resistance to diseases and have regular shapes and smoother surfaces.
- Tasteful Garden offers a wide selection of heirloom and hybrid tomato plants all priced at $5.75 each.
- On average, plan on budgeting anywhere from $5 to $8 for a typical tomato plant. The cost will depend on the type of tomato plant, where it’s purchased and how many you buy at once.
What is going to be included?
- Suppliers may send the tomato plants in nursery pots with sizes depending on the age of the tomato plant ordered; these are usually sent in shipping cartons.
What are the extra costs?
- Buying tomato plants often necessitates buying garden products, fertilizers and gardening solutions. These include a soil test kit to determine the pH levels of the soil and see if it is fit for planting tomatoes, a liquid compost solution to help plants grow healthy and strong, as well as soil additives to enable healthy growth.
- Pots, tomato cages, tomato trays, plant protectors and garden tools are also essential when growing tomato plants.
- If you wish to obtain expert advice on growing tomatoes, you can pay for specialized consultation. Some expert growers charge $80 an hour for consultations over the phone.
- Containers in which the tomato plants will be shipped in have separate charges. Some tomato plant vendors charge $1.25 per plant in addition to the initial cost of the plant.
- Shipping is sometimes charged separately and is not always included in the price of the tomato plant. Actual shipping costs may vary depending on location of the buyer related to the location of the seller in addition to the size of the plants. The longer the distance and the bigger the package, the higher the shipping cost.
- You may need to pay for expedited shipping fees, which range from $30 and up depending on the number of tomato plants you order.
- With some tomato plant suppliers, all shipments will be charged $10.95 per total shipment, regardless of the number of plants bought.
Factors that influence the price:
- Variety. Some tomato plant varieties are more expensive than others. While many suppliers offer their plants at various price levels, there are other dealers that offer a single price for all the tomato plant varieties they sell, regardless if they are pure ones or hybrids.
- Availability. Some heirloom tomato plant types, such as the Purple Haze, are rarely available; when they are, they are in very limited supply. The rarer the variety is, the fewer the production. This typically results in higher prices of the less available tomato plant type.
- Organic qualities. Tomato plants that were grown from organic sources usually command higher prices because of their exceptional quality, better characteristics, and higher nutrition content compared with tomato plants grown commercially.
- Size and age. The size and age of the tomato plant can influence its price, depending on the supplier. It can especially influence the price of shipping or delivery.
Tips to know:
- Some tomato plant suppliers schedule their shipping period which normally begins when the plants are big and strong enough to withstand traveling. Shipping can be scheduled according to the suitability of the climate or when the weather is just right in the location where the plants will be sent.
- Expert tomato growers recommend that you follow the best time for your USDA planting zone.
- Some tomato plant suppliers have a prepayment policy in which they require you to pay your order as well as the shipping cost when you place your order or have the plants reserved in your name.
- Make sure you ask about the policy on order cancellation, returns, and refunds.
Questions to ask:
- When can I expect my tomato plants?
- What size are the plants you are selling?
- What is the suitable time for me to plant the tomatoes?
- How will the live plants be delivered to me safely?
- What is your minimum order?
- How much will my shipping costs be?
- How do you ship the tomato plants?
- Will you inform me when you have shipped out my order?
- Can I change my shipping date or review my order before it ships?
- Do you ship outside the continental US?
How can I save money?
- Buy tomato plants at a nursery. They usually offer less expensive prices – if not the same – for various types of tomato plants, and this will allow you to avoid shipping or delivery charges.
- Check for farms and growers that hold a plant sale every now and then.
- Many tomato plant suppliers offer volume discounts to customers who order or buy tomato plants in multiple quantities.
- Buy at suppliers offering a Rewards Points offer. Usually, every purchase will be added to your Rewards Points, which you can build up and use on future purchases for discounts.