Red ripe tomato on a twig with a split

Why Are Your Tomatoes Splitting?

The hot summer sun beating down on your juicy, red tomatoes is the taste of summer. But sometimes, that heat can cause your tomatoes to split open.

Here’s a look at why this happens and how you can prevent it in the future.

Tomato Splitting

Tomato splitting occurs when the fruit grows too quickly for the skin to keep up. The rapid growth is usually caused by fluctuations in temperature or watering. For example, if you water your plants inconsistently, the plants will experience stress as they try to adapt to the changing conditions.

This stress can cause the fruits to grow unevenly, which weakens the skin and makes splitting more likely.

Close-up of tomatoes splitting.
Tomatoes splitting

Heat is another common culprit. When temperatures spike, the water inside the fruit begins to expand. This expansion puts pressure on the skin, causing it to split. fluctuating temperatures are especially damaging because they can cause the fruit to alternately swell and shrink, weakening the skin even further.

Direct sunlight can also cause tomatoes to split, so it’s important to provide ample shade for your plants during hot weather.


Tomato splitting is a common problem that gardeners face during the summer months. However, by understanding what causes it and taking steps to prevent it, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of healthy, delicious tomatoes all season long.