Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tomato
Lycopersicon lycopersicum 'Sunset's Red Horizon'

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lycopersicon (ly-koh-PER-see-kon) (Info)
Species: lycopersicum (ly-koh-PER-see-kum) (Info)
Cultivar: Sunset's Red Horizon
Additional cultivar information: (aka Rostovski, Rostova)

» View all varieties of Tomatoes

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Ferment seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Growing Habit:

Fruit Shape:

Fruit Size:
Medium (under one pound)
Large (over one pound)

Days to Maturity:
Mid (69-80 days)

Fruit Colors:

Seed Type:
Family heirlooms

Fresh, salad
Fresh, slicing

Disease Resistance:
Fusarium Wilt (F)
Verticillium Wilt (V)

Leaf Type:
Regular Leaf

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to view:

By aries44
Thumbnail #1 of Lycopersicon lycopersicum by aries44

By LilyLover_UT
Thumbnail #2 of Lycopersicon lycopersicum by LilyLover_UT


4 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive kevinitis On Feb 24, 2012, kevinitis from Ogden, UT wrote:

I grew this tomato in 2011. The plants were huge with wispy vines. No disease problems for me. They produced a modest crop of huge red oxheart shaped tomatos with excellent flavor. Prodcution was steady through the fall.

Positive SLO_Garden On Aug 6, 2009, SLO_Garden from San Luis Obispo, CA wrote:

I really like this tomato! SRH is a very large, red oxheart with a bold flavor and a meaty, creamy texture (with few seeds). The foliage is droopy, but perks up when it cools off in the evening. SRH produces a big crop of tomatoes. My plant got started much later than my others, so I can't speak to its earliness. I would definitely grow SRH again.

Positive cardshooter On Mar 2, 2009, cardshooter from Belmont, WV wrote:

I bought some seeds from Tomatofest last year and had a very good crop from them. They were early, a good producer, with large size, and good flavor.

Negative essier On Aug 1, 2007, essier from Germantown, TN wrote:

I planted 2 of these, one in the ground, the other in the Earth Box. I did not get 1 tomato, as they have all had BER. What a disappointment!

Positive anioleka On Aug 30, 2003, anioleka from Grants Pass, OR wrote:

The Rostova Tomato, also known now as "Sunset's Red Horizon" is known as “Rostovskaya Krasno Ispolin” in Russia. This Russian name literally translates to mean "Red Giant of Rostov".

Originally, Anioleka Vegetable Seeds Co. discovered this Russian heirloom tomato variety in 2000 in the backyard of Nikolai Peplenov who was a Russian immigrant who moved to Portland, Oregon in 1999. Nik, who was a friend of a friend, immigrated to Portland from the city of Rostov in Southern Russia together with his wife, daughter and a son.

When I met Nik for the first time, what I was confronted with a youthful man in his early 40's who had come to the U.S. speaking only one or two words of English and posessing only the clothes on his back and a few keepsakes, who had in a short year, through hard work, made something for himself and his family in Portland. Among the keepsakes that Nik had brought from Russia was a handful of tomato seeds of a variety that he and his wife had been growing in Rostov for some years. What I saw in Nik's backyard were several indeterminate plants with thick green foilage that were loaded with huge, globular red tomatoes. When I pointed these out to Nik and asked about them, he remarked that the fruits on the plants were still immature and would get much larger. he then held up his hands to indicate the size of the fruit would grow to a size which was about equal to a Persian melon.

By his hands, he indicated a tomato of a diameter of about 6 inches in girth! I told Nik that should he save any seed, I would be delighted to obtain some.

Months past, and lo and behold, one day I received a card from Nik in the mail. Inside, wrapped in a napkin were a precious few seeds from this huge Russian tomato.

In the winter of 2000, I was able to grow these tomatoes in hot boxes despite the weather. In 2001, I formally introduced the variety to the public, with Nik's blessings, under the name of "Rostova" after the city where he had lived for so many years and where this variety had originated.

That year, the handful of people who became familiar with the variety were very impressed with it. A few seeds were offered through which created a bidding frenzy. Bid wars ensued and prices skyrocketed! They were fought over and begged for. Several people payed very high prices for 10 seed packets on auction, with prices often jumping from our $5 per pack up to $25 per pack and even as high as $45 and $56 per packet!

One of the people who received the first Rostova seed on the market was Gary Ibsen who owns Tomatofest, who quickly announced that it was the best tomato variety that he had ever grown. Further, he said, that Sunset Magazine was interested in having their name attached to the variety and making the Rostova he official tomato variety of Sunset Magazine. He asked if I would agree to this since I was the one who discovered the variety in Nik's backyard. We agreed and Tomatofest re-named the variety as Sunset's Red Horizon with plans to offer it in the future.

The Rostova is an outstanding producer of an abundance of huge red to red-pink globular tomatoes that regularly exceed 2 and a half pounds in weight. The vine is Indeterminate and very thick, providing a great deal of cover. I presently maintain a breeding program of over 550 varieties of open pollinated and heirloom tomatoes and this is the BEST of them!

This year, I grew Rostovas in the bitter climate of very North Eastern Scotland. This area has an average temperature of only 58°F during the summer months. Despite these low temperatures, our Rostovas excelled and beat out most of the best cold climate tomato varieties this year.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Blytheville, Arkansas
Carmel, California
San Luis Obispo, California
Miami, Florida
Grants Pass, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
North Sioux City, South Dakota
University Place, Washington
Belmont, West Virginia

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