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Cloning Tomato Plants – Nifty Tips and Tricks

Cloning Tomato Plants – Nifty Tips and Tricks

Tomatoes are part of the list of the most popular plants and fruits in the world. They are beloved by many cultures, including in Spain where they have a whole festival dedicated to them!

They are easy to grow, regardless of how much experience you have. 

But, what if you could make infinite copies of your tomato plant, and get them all for free?

If expanding your crops is a challenge that you are up for, then read ahead to find out all you need to know about cloning a tomato plant!


Cloning tomato plants

To clone a tomato plant, also known as propagating, you first need to take a cutting from a stem. Then, prepare the cutting with a rooting hormone and place the cutting in water. Wait 2 weeks for the cutting to fully root, and then move your new plant into the soil.


Cloning a tomato plant

There are many different methods to cloning a tomato plant, but the method I’m about to show you is the one that I have had the most success with. 

To start with, you need to make sure that the tomato plant you will be making cuttings to clone from is both healthy and mature. 

The healthier your tomato plant is the more success you will have with it propagating it.

Also, a tomato plant that is more mature is likely to not be affected when you remove parts of it. 


What you will need

  • A healthy and mature tomato plant
  • A clean sharp knife
  • Small plastic containers
  • Rooting hormone powder or gel (optional)


Taking cuttings from your plant

Almost any part of your tomato plant could be used in the cloning process. Be sure to choose a brach that is of a good size that doesn’t have any blossoms or tomatoes growing on it.

Next, cut just below a node (or eye) of the stem to at least 3 inches. 

Many have had success by using branches that have fallen off their tomato plant, or have been pulled off by a child or pet, so you don’t need to put too much pressure on choosing the perfect stem. 

It is also very important that whatever you use to cut the branch is sterilized, whether it be simple kitchen scissors or a pair of professional pruning shears. 

Otherwise, you could risk spreading an infection to both your healthy tomato plant and the cutting you have taken from it.


Preparing the cutting

The next step is purely discretional, but I found that such a method increased the rate at which my tomato cuttings thrived. 

Using a rooting hormone when propagating from cuttings is said to have an impact on how long the cuttings take to root. 

The hormones in it also cause the roots to grow stronger meaning they are less likely to be affected by diseases during their early growth.

To start, I choose to lightly score the base of the stem with a pair of scissors or a blade. This will make the rooting hormone take to the stems much easily.

From here, dip the scored ends into the rooting powder or gel. 


Rooting the cuttings in water

Now it’s time to place the cuttings into the water so that they can begin to grow roots. 

Some choose to root their tomato plant cuttings in soil, but I think that rooting the cuttings in water is a much easier and quicker process.

Start by removing any bottom leaves from the cutting that could come into contact with the water.

Depending on the size of your cutting, fill your container with around 2-4 inches of tepid water, and place your cutting in the water stem first. 

You should then place the container on a windowsill, where it will receive lots of warm and indirect sunlight

Be sure to check the water levels daily and top it up if it is needed. If the water starts to look dirty, change it for fresh water. 


Planting the rooted tomato cuttings

After around a week, you should begin to see signs of root growth on your tomato plant cuttings. 

Within a total of 2 weeks, your tomato plant should be strong and ready to be transplanted into soil. 

I would suggest using a potting soil that has high draining qualities, such as a soil-gravel mix, or a loose soil like sandy loam. 

Fill a pot with drainage holes of around 15-20 inch diameter with the soil mix, leaving a small hole in the middle to place your cloned tomato plant. 

Finally, place your tomato plant into the pot and lightly pat excess soil around it. 

From here, you can start to harden off your tomato plant in preparation for moving it into your garden. 

During warmer periods of the day, take your tomato plant outside for a few hours and place it in indirect sunlight. 

After around 2 weeks of repeating this, your tomato plant should have adjusted well enough to grow outside with your other plants. 


Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Cloning Tomato Plants


How many times can you clone a tomato plant?

I would suggest not taking any more than 2-3 cuttings from each parent tomato plant, as this could result in damage being caused to your plant. 


Can you grow tomatoes from fruit seeds?

Though growing tomatoes from cuttings is much more convenient, it is possible to grow tomato plants from the seeds of their fruits. However, this process will not create a clone of your plant and is the same as buying packeted seeds from a store. 

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