Tomatoes in peat pots

Rooting Tomato Cuttings In 3 Easy Steps

Rooting tomato cuttings is super easy and a great way to quickly add tomatoes to your garden, especially if you love a certain type of tomato in your garden and wish you had more of them. Taking a cutting and rooting is a clone of the original plant so it’s a great way to multiply plants that are doing well in your garden or are showing to be disease-resistant. Or if you want to share your favorite tomato plants with friends or family members.

Creating new plants from the parent plant is a super easy garden project that can be done again and again. The best part? More delicious tomatoes from free tomato plants. You don’t even need rooting hormone to propagate tomatoes.

Want to slip in some fresh plants to replace spent ones toward the end of the garden season? Root some cuttings from your already-established plants for new tomato seedlings! 

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How To Grow Tomatoes By Rooting Tomato Cuttings

Didn’t start enough tomato plants this spring? We’ve run into this problem also, but it doesn’t have to be a huge setback that makes you run to your local garden centers (not that that’s a bad thing) However you can increase your healthy plants with free plants directly from the ones you’ve already planted. 

We had an animal get into our garden a couple of years ago and eat a bunch of our tomato plants, we were able to take cuttings from our surviving plant (and a main stem from a few of the broken-off ones and reroot them to replace the ones we had lost. 

This is also a great option if you already planted and then are expecting a late frost try this and you’ll have backups available when and if you need them.

Before we teach you how to do it, we wanted to answer some often-asked questions about propagating tomatoes -don’t worry it is way easier than you think!-.

Can You Propagate Tomatoes By Cuttings?

Yes, you absolutely can propagate tomatoes by cuttings. Tomatoes naturally root when the branches come in contact with the soil making tomato plants very easy to propagate. 

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Tomato cuttings in pots | rooting tomato cuttings in 3 easy steps

Taking tomato cuttings when you are pruning lower branches, side shoots or tomato suckers is an easy way to propagate your favorite tomato plants in your garden to create clones of the original plant. This is a great way to add extra tomato plants without having to start from new seeds and it doesn’t hurt the original plant. 

Can You Replant A Broken Tomato Branch?

Yes! A broken branch on a tomato plant can be made into an entirely new plant by rooting the tomato branch in a glass of water to propagate it, when you see roots have formed place it in moist soil. This is a great way to save a limb accidentally broken off. Avoid placing it in full sun until it has time to get established. 

Will Tomato Cuttings Root In Water?

Yes, tomato cuttings will root in water, it’s a very easy method of propagation for tomato plants. In a flash it will be rooted and ready to go in a pot or out in the garden.

How Long Does It Take For Tomato Cuttings To Root In Water?

Rooting tomato cuttings takes about 1-2 weeks, you will see new roots coming out, and these newly propagated tomato plants are ready for transplanting into the garden, or in a pot. 

Rooting Tomato Cuttings Tutorial

Rooting tomato cuttings is quick and easy on your part (the hardest part is waiting for them to root), it can be fun to get the kids involved in or just because you really love tomatoes and want a few more. You can also do this if you’ve had storms damage your plants and break off limbs etc. 

To root tomato cuttings you’re going to need a few things:

Rooting Tomato Cuttings Step 1

Choose a large 6-8 inch sucker shoot on your tomato plant that doesn’t have blossoms on it, and gently prune it from the rest of the plant with a sharp pair of scissors or pruners

If you have to you can use your fingers to break it off, just be very careful. If you pick longer suckers and they do have flowers on them remove the flowers before rooting tomato cuttings. 

If you are doing multiple varieties make sure to keep track of which ones are which because this can quickly get confusing.

Rooting Tomato Cuttings Step 2

The next step in rooting tomato cuttings is to place your pruned suckers into a clean jar (I use a canning jar but you can use whatever you have on hand) filled with fresh water. 

You want enough to cover a good portion of the stem so that it will have a good root ball when it comes to potting your little tomato plants. 

Make sure you label the jar with the tomato variety of your stem cuttings, especially if you are rooting multiple types at a time… trust me you won’t remember- I’ve done this multiple times. 

Rooting Tomato Cuttings Step 3

The last step in rooting tomato cuttings is to leave them in the water jar and place them in a warm place that is sunny until roots appear. A good place to place them is a sunny window. 

Make sure you change out your water when needed and keep track of the water levels so it doesn’t run out.

Growing Tomatoes From Cuttings

Once your tomato cuttings have rooted well in the water and are off to a good start, transfer them to a pot with well-watered organic potting soil (you can put them directly in the garden but I have found it better to let the baby tomato plant get a little more established before moving them out. 

Keep the soil moist (but not to much water) as your new tomato plants establish themselves. When you are ready to get them out in the garden you can follow our tutorial for how to plant tomatoes.

 

Tips For Rooting Tomato Cuttings

Here are our best tips for rooting tomato cuttings:

  • Change the water out regularly in the jars to keep it from getting nasty.
  • Remove the lower leaves so the stem sits better in the water.
  • Keep the jar filled with water so the plants can root well.
  • Once they have a good amount of roots going move them into pots.
  • Keep them in a sheltered place while they get established. 

Rooting Tomato Cuttings For Your Garden

As addicted tomato growers, we plant roughly 70 plants every year, with dozens of varieties. However, depending on the year not all of them make it through the growing season, or even to planting in the garden due to accidents, weather, or pests. 

Being able to replace my plants for free without having to use tomato seeds whether it be my favorite indeterminate tomato plants or the random determinate gives me a head start on getting plants in before the summer heat really rolls in ensuring that my vegetable garden is filled with big fruit-producing plants for a bountiful harvest, to be canned for my family to use until next year when we do it all over again. 

Rooting tomato cuttings is super easy and a great way to quickly add tomatoes to your garden, especially if you really love a certain type of tomato in your garden and wish you had more of them. Taking a cutting and rooting is a clone of the original plant so it’s a great way to multiply plants that are doing really well in your garden or are showing to be disease-resistant. Or if you want to share your favorite tomato plants with friends or family members.

This is a great super easy garden project that can be done again and again. Want to slip in some fresh plants to replace spent ones toward the end of the garden season? Root some cuttings from your already-established plants!

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