Rooting Tomato Cuttings

Propagating plants in the garden is easy, and a cheap way to get free plants for your garden. Most of us only propagate ornamental plants, but edible plants, like tomatoes, can easily be rooted to make more plants. Rooting tomato cuttings is easy, and you’re employing parts of your tomato plant that you would just toss if you are in the habit of pruning tomato plants.

How to root tomato cuttings

Propagate Tomato Sucker Cuttings

Here’s a video of I made of rooting tomato cuttings that you can watch that will contain the same information as the post below.

Pruning tomato suckers

You may have heard of tomato pruning, or at least have read that it is recommended to prune tomato “suckers.” Suckers are stems and branches that develop from the “crotch” of your tomato plants that’s formed by the main stem and branches. You can see a little tomato sucker forming in the photo above. At this stage it’s really easy to just snip off the sucker with your fingers. Suckers are removed so that the tomato can focus on producing fruits on select branches. If you let your sucker continue to develop it too will produce blooms and fruits.

Tomato cuttings

When a sucker gets to be about as thick as pencil you can cut it off with a clean knife or pair of pruning shears. After a few minutes of making your cut, your tomato cutting may start to wilt. Don’t worry about it, it’s sulking because it has been cut from it’s water supply.

rooting tomato cuttings in water

Take your tomato cuttings and place them in a jar of water to root. Keep these cuttings somewhere bright, but out of direct sunlight. A windowsill works fine, as does a shady spot of your garden.

Tomato roots

After about a day you may notice that any tomato cuttings that were sulking have perked up. A week later you will start to notice roots developing and when the roots get longer than they are in this picture, it’s time to plant your cuttings in the garden or in containers.

growing tomato cuttings

Here’s a tomato cutting that began to produce fruits after I rooted the cuttings. If you’ve ever wanted to grow hydroponic tomatoes, taking and rooting cuttings from your tomato plants is a frugal way to get started because you don’t have to buy tomatoes from your hydroponic supply store.

You may be wondering why you want to take tomato cuttings and root them. Well, they’re free tomato plants, and they’re grown from a part of the tomato you would normally toss and compost if you are the kind of gardener that likes to prune tomatoes. If you’re a frugal gardener, you can make several tomato plants from just one plant you buy at the beginning of the season and have backups. Gardeners in Zones that allow them to grow tomatoes year-round can extend the life of their plant by taking cuttings early in the season and planting their second crop of tomatoes from plant they know did well in their garden.

Rooting tomato cuttings couldn’t be any easier. Give it a try in your own edible garden. Do you propagate your own tomatoes from cuttings?

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