Crazy Tomato Propagation Idea

applebuilder(North Orange County (SoCal))May 12, 2009

I thought of a crazy method to propagate tomato plants and wanted opinions as to whether it would work. I read that new suckers put in soil will wilt for a few days since it still needs to grow roots, but what if you packed some moist soil around the base of the sucker while it was still on the plant? From there you would let it root a little, break it off and plant. Only two problems I can think of is damaging the roots when you break it off and whether tomatoes will grow roots in areas that are still connected or far from a cut end. Opinions welcomed, thanks.

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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

Try it and report back. Use sphagnum moss in stead of soil.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 6:52PM
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I root suckers of tomato plants in water every summer to use for a late crop. I put them in before I leave on vacation, and when I come back, roots have started and I move them into soil. Never had any problems with doing it this way.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 4:09AM
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applebuilder(North Orange County (SoCal))

That's what I was going to do, but then I heard that water roots and soil roots were different. It'll fun experiment to try though.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 11:13PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

You are correct about roots formed in water. They are fragile and not well adapted to soil. Planting the cutting out soon after roots develop would be preferable to waiting a long time. Letting the cuttings develop a thick root system in water would not be advantageous.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:41AM
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From what I've read about air layering (which is, what I believe, is the correct term for what you're talking about)petzold is right about the sphagnum moss...soak it in water, ring it out, pack it around the base of the sucker, wrap with clear plastic and secure both ends, then watch the plastic for signs of roots. I'm very interested in hearing your success of this, keep us posted, please.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 1:54AM
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My neighbor & I have a garden together. We have 10 better boy tomatoe plants that we have to prune regularly. She took a cutting, pulled off the bottom 4 or 5 leaves, & planted it deeply in a small container. She let it "root" for about 3 weeks & then transplanted to a larger container. Everywhere a leaf had been pulled off the cutting developed roots. Once transplanted ( now about a month ago) it grew & bloomed & now has pearl sized baby tomatoes!! We are so psyched!! We hope this means we can have tomatoes all year propagated from the 1st 10 plants we bought.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 10:37AM
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