Have you ever wondered how to grow tomatoes from cuttings? I have! Lately I’ve been reading a lot about propagation and growing tomatoes and other plants from cuttings. I’ve been doing some experimenting, and have successfully rooted three tomato cuttings!! I was pretty excited about it so I wanted to share what worked for me.
How To Propagate Tomatoes from Cuttings
You already know that you can grow tomato plants from seeds, but did you know you can clone them? When you grow a plant from a cutting, you are making a clone of the mother plant. Pretty cool eh!? The tomatoes that I grew from cuttings were sungold cherry tomatoes and roma tomatoes, and both varieties did really well.
The first thing you need to do is find your cutting. Typically everyone says to choose a stem 6-8 inches long with a couple leaves on it. I found that it worked best to take cuttings from the “suckers” that people typically cut off the plant to prevent new growth. Make sure you use clean scissors or pruning shears to prevent disease. The picture above shows you where to cut.
There are two methods you can use to grow tomatoes from cuttings. The first method is to just stick your cutting in a little glass of water and place it in the window sill for a couple weeks until it grows roots, then transplant it into a pot. This method is fun because you can actually see the roots when they grow, and it’s super easy! I planted mine as soon as I started to see roots, but some people wait until the roots get a bit bigger.
The second method simply skips the water glass step and goes straight for the planting. You prepare a little pot with some potting soil, get it nice and wet, poke a hole in the soil, and stick your cutting in the hole. Some people use a rooting hormone, but I opted not to.
When using this method, I put a mason jar on top of the cutting to give it a greenhouse effect, and I placed it under a grow light. This seemed to really help! Make sure to keep the soil nice and moist during the rooting process. I could tell when the cutting grew roots because it was noticeably bigger and started getting some new growth. Once it was rooted, I set it out on my front porch to make room for other propagation projects under my grow light.
When you move your tomato plant outside, be sure to gradually introduce it to full sun. Your little plant is still fragile! I keep mine on our mostly shaded porch, and they seem to really like it there. Occasionally I’ll stick them in full sun to see how they do. They typically begin to wilt after a while, and I give them a little water and bring them back into the shade to recover. My guess is that this will get better as they get bigger and stronger.
That’s all there is to it! Growing tomatoes from cuttings is super easy, and I’m so excited to have tomato plants ready for next year that I grew all by myself! There is something SO satisfying about self sufficiency ????
Update: September 2019
Here are my tomato plants now! They’re huge, and one of my sungold cherries even has some flowers!