You can start tomatoes from cuttings – here’s how!
We have a lovely salad tomato variety we started from seeds we got in an assortment of tomatoes from the grocery store.
That’s right – we bought a little clamshell pack of tomatoes, squirted some of the seeds out onto paper towels, then planted them in flats. It’s paid off, but all good things must come to an end. As the summer heat and rains beat down, we know these tomato plants are going to give up at some point. Yet all is not lost, because we can take tomato cuttings and root them so we can grow a whole new round of tasty fruits for the fall.
Let’s take cuttings and run!
Here are three ways to start tomatoes from cuttings and get fruit for a longer season.
1. The Granny Method
Rooting tomatoes in water is easy. Just take some tomato cuttings and remove the bottom leaves and any blooms or young fruit. Now pop them in water.
Wait a couple of weeks, then pot them up when they have roots.
Feed and put them in a little sun, getting them used to the sun day-by-day.
2. Ground Layering/Sticking Cuttings in the Ground
Do you have a sprawling tomato plant? You can root tomato branches in the ground by bending them down and covering a piece of the stem with soil.
Weigh it down with a brick if need be.
Alternately, if you have moist conditions and soil and the weather isn’t too hot, you can sometimes just take tomato cuttings and root them directly in the ground, like this:
That often works in wetter climates. It was super easy during the rainy season in the Caribbean. Here in Alabama where the soil drains fast and they days get hotter, well, we’ll see.
3. The Mini-Greenhouse Method
This method of rooting tomato cuttings is almost foolproof. Just take your cuttings and stick them in a pot of moist potting soil, then bag them up and put them in the shade to root.
The baggie will help the tomatoes root by keeping them from drying out. A few weeks after bagging, take off the bag and adjust the potted tomatoes to full sun, then you can plant them out. This also works with rooting other cuttings.
It’s easy and tomato cuttings produce fruit fast. Give it a try and see!
You can learn more about how to propagate almost anything in my book Free Plants for Everyone.