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I’m a bit of a tomato plant
maniac fanatic. I always start way too many tomato seeds (click here to learn how to start tomato seeds) and grow way too many plants (click here to learn how to grow tomato plants).
When I learned that I could root the stems that I pruned from my plants to make even more plants, I was sold! It’s actually quite easy to do and it extends your tomato harvest through the whole growing season.
How to Root Tomato Plants for Extra Harvest
So, you have beautiful tomato plants growing and wish you had more? Well, I can tell you exactly how to get more for FREE!! I’m all about that free 99. Ok, in all seriousness, you really can grow tomato plants from your pruning and it’s super easy.
I start by pruning or as I refer to it, suckering, my tomato plants. A tomato sucker is the new growth that comes out of a tomatoes armpit. Yep, tomatoes have armpits…..that’s what I call them anyways. It is the new branch growth coming out from between an established branch and the main stem of the plant.
Prune your Sucker
As you can see in the above photo, I identified the sucker and gently broke it off. You can also cut it off to be sure you have a clean break. I would advise letting your sucker grow to 3″-6″ on the plant before removing. This will give you a much stronger and healthier start for your new plant.
Once you have your sucker or suckers, you simply place the stem in water. You want the water to fully cover the stem by a couple of inches. I usually do mine in a small jelly mason jar so I can see the roots as they grow.
It’s a good idea to label your jar with the variety of tomato you’re rooting. I’ve been known to forget and end up with mystery plants util they start producing. If you like surprises, skip the labels.
Put it in Water
Within a few days to a week you should start seeing little white bumps or nubs sticking out on the stem. That is the beginning of the root growth! It’s a cause for celebration in my opinion.
Your tomato rooting should be nice and “hairy” with roots and ready to plant within 2-3 weeks. Once it is ready to go, you simply plant it right in the ground. It’s a good idea to keep them well watered as the roots take hold in the soil. You should have a happy and healthy tomato plant!
Plant it in the Ground
That was super easy and fun! Now, all you have to do is tend to your plant as it grows and before you know it, you’ll have an extra tomato harvest from your tomato sucker!
I personally enjoy growing heirloom tomatoes. The flavor and variety just can’t be matched as far as I’m concerned. You can get heirloom seeds from this awesome family owned company: