Friday, July 16, 2010

Cloning Your Tomato Plant

Inspired by the Urban Organic Gardener, and continuing in the mad gardenist vein, I'm cloning a tomato plant! MWUAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I'd forgotten you can root tomato suckers, preferably the strong ones that you've missed pruning for a few weeks. This is also a way to get a FREE tomato plant and extend your harvest :) Here I'm rooting a Yellow Pear sucker... I think.... I'm pretty sure... I should've labelled the darn thing :/

To root suckers: pick a good one :9 One that looks fairly thick and strong, growing good looking leaves. Cut it from the parent plant as long as possible, removed the lower 2 or 3 leaf branches (NOT all of them, it will still need to photosynthesize). If it's already got flower/fruit clusters on it, snip them off so they don't divert energy from growing a root system. Place the sucker in water as deep as you can, without getting any leaves underwater. The stem will begin sprouting roots within a few days, it's cool to look at. make sure to keep the water as fresh as you can, change it every couple of days at least so it doesn't stagnate. After it's grown several new roots a couple inches long it can be transplanted. Put it as deep as you can into it's new soil, removing more leaf branches if they're going to be below the soil level. Any extra stem that is buried will also grow roots and create a stronger root system. Keep the soil moist of course, be prepared to baby the plant a few days until it's acclimated to its new home.

I've been told you can also dip suckers in rooting serum which is a hormone to super-stimulate new root growth and often used for woody cuttings like herbs, it will give the plant an extra boost to sprout roots more quickly. Never tried it myself, tomato suckers root well enough on their own that I don't feel like spending the $$ on it.


  1. Did you get yours to root? I had 4 going and the all died eventually. Boo!

  2. No, they've been catching some other wilt on the leaves though :/

  3. Did you get yours to root? I had 4 going and the all died eventually. Boo!


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