Tomato Cuttings Rooting in Water

susanlynne48(OKC7a)October 7, 2006

I'm new to this forum. Usually, you can find me at the Butterfly forum or the Oklahoma forum. However, there's little activity on the Oklahoma forum anymore, so I thought I would post here. I know Greenelbows from many other posts and forums.

I was amazed this summer when I broke off cuttings of my tomato plants to feed my sphinx moth cats. Several of them rooted in about a week, with roots about 1.5" long! I didn't know you could root them, and if so, can they be planted out to grow? I know it's too late to do that now, but I was so surprised. These were the yellow pear tomatos BTW.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Tomatoes root all along their stems very readily, not just at the nodes as most plants do. That's why you can plant a too tall tomato several inches deep....or lay one on its side in a trench.

For planting purposes, it is always better (from the plant's point of view) to root plants in a solid medium, rather than water. Though it's rewarding to watch the new little roots growing, those are not the kind of roots that plants need to function normally in soil, and they will have to go through a rooting process once again once planted.

Water-borne roots work to take dissolved oxygen out of water. Soil roots have to support the plant, exchange gases (oxygen and CO2), and absorb water and dissolved elements.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 3:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You're absolutely correct, Rhizo, that water is not a good medium for growing cuttings. However, I had just intended for it to stay "fresh" for awhile to feed my manduca sexta. I had no idea it would root. Never tried it before.

A lot of people think it's okay to use water as a rooting medium, but those water roots are so delicate, and not inclined to transplant well, if at all.

I always use an equal ratio of perlite and peat moss to root my cuttings, and I always plant my tomatoes much deeper that they are in the pot.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Oh, I thought you asked if the tomatoes could be planted out to grow. ;-)

Aren't you lucky that tomato plants are so easy to keep alive and healthy for your caterpillars? Not too many plants are that adaptable.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 4:41PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Fine garden April issue, no southeast pics
Why not? Steve aitken Why no southeast pics?
privacy screen HELP!
My lovely country/cottage garden style yard and porch...
Retail Garden Center Dall./Ft.Worth area??
Hi all. I'm new to this area of the site and I hope...
Crepe Myrtle in the ICU
Hi folks, This crepe myrtle came from the builder when...
Leland Cypress screen planting?
I want to plant a Leland Cypress privacy screen. There...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™