Tomato from cuttings? Really?
Few of you might be surprised to hear this and few might call me insane. No I am not, My mom got me tested!..
Before we go into the details of How to take cuttings from tomato plant and root it ( will be referred as cloning from now on), we’ll see why one would do that. Cloning your tomato plants, is the quickest way to produce multiple plants from a single plant. You don’t have to bother sowing their seeds and waiting for them to germinate.. Also, you save time as you get your transplants very quickly. Say you go to friend’s place and find an amazing tomato variety, instead of waiting for seeds, you can just take ( ofcourse with permission ;). a cuttings and root it.
In this post, we are going to see how to clone a tomato plant. What special here is , you will see two types of cloning. Cloning in soil/cocopeat and Cloning in Water.
You can take cuttings from side shoots of a tomato plant. As a tomato plant grows it will give out lots of side shoots/suckers. In indeterminate plants, the suckers are simply pruned off. Instead of throwing them, you can clone them and multiply for your garden or share it with a friend.
Cloning using Soilless mix:
Take a cutting and remove its bottom leaves.
Prepare the medium. Here you see cocopeat+sand. You can use just cocopeat or just sand or both. It doesn’t really matter. Make sure it has good drainage.
Make an 2 inch deep hole and stick the cutting inside and press the medium around the cutting so that it does move. Water lightly.
Enclose the pot in a polythene bag and keep it in a bright location. Here in my case I used my mini propagation chamber( cool name for a wooden box).
In couple of weeks, you get a plant with roots like this..
Now comes the hydroponic way!.
The following pictures/comments are contributed by Anil Hande. Anil is a gardening/Hydroponic enthusiast and a good friend of mine. You can view this set of pictures in his album as well.
Find a 5″-10″ side shoot
Cut it at the base of the shoot
Remove the bottom leaves
Insert into plugs made from “plastic Packaging foam”
Insert it directly into DFT hydroponic setup where the stem end is in the water or place it in water
Another clone that has spent about 4 days in the water
New white roots!!!
Cool right?. Once you have rooted your cuttings, transplant them into a bigger pot where they can grow and start yielding you nice tomatoes.
If you root it in water and transplant it into soil, it might take a little longer to pickup since those roots will not have root hairs and will be little brittle.
Instead of worrying about the fact that you cannot save seeds from Hybrid plants, why not take a clone of them and keep enjoying the same traits that you loved. Wicked eh?
So..What are you waiting for.. Go clone!..
WARNING: This cloning is very addictive and you will soon end up with too many tomato plants. 🙂