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.

MyGarden 850

 

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.

MyGarden 852

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.

MyGarden 853

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).

MyGarden 854

In couple of weeks, you get a plant with roots like this..

MyGarden 1041

 

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

01

 

Cut it at the base of the shoot

02

 

Remove the bottom leaves

03

 

Insert into plugs made from “plastic Packaging foam”

04

 

Insert it directly into DFT hydroponic setup where the stem end is in the water or place it in water

05

 

Another clone that has spent about 4 days in the water

06

 

New white roots!!!

07

 

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.

In one of my previous posts, I wrote about Tomato seed saving procedure and Why you shouldn’t save the seeds from Hybrid seed grown tomato plants..

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. 🙂

 

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33 Responses

  1. Amazing stuff. This should be a great way for even plants like Chukka Koora (It is a sour tasting green leafy plant, not sure what it is called in English).

    I will try it with my Hydroponic tomatoes.

    • hey GG!

      im surprised that you guys just got to hear that!

      check out this site ,which has been producing tomatoes for ages in this manner .and it harvests in a matter of 10 to 30 days after transplant.
      http://www.biocontrols.com/aero6.html.

      couple of videos on cloning
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BBdA2z5pis
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T07–heDYHc&feature=related
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta_1zAAOGmo&feature=related

      well this can be further enhanced by cutting 1 inch of the outer layer of the bottom part of the stem(only one side).and applying rooting gel and insert into the nutrient solution with bubbler.roots will come in a day or two .

      ***note :if you dont have rooting gel it is fine ,just immerse in to the nutrient sol!it worked for me ( worth a try )

      anywaz going forward i think its really important we guys should all meet up and share our knowledge .i think everybody will benefit from that .comn guys think about it ! its high time we form community and meet up on regular basis .

      by the way i got mail from petbharo saying that pakistan has already started commercial hydroponics and they are suppling to dubai.
      http://www.farmersmarket.pk/aboutUs.html

      @gg
      im planning to purse higher studies on agricultural research ,i mailed acouple of univs !i got good response !but they said its important i present papers and write a journal .there is international conference comping up regarding medical plants and herbs .are u aware of any medicinal plants or herbs i can grow hydroponical? and can i use ur site as reference ?

      • Hi Mahesh,

        Thanks for the link. I use this technique since quite sometime , but got time to post it only now. Infact, I am harvesting tomatoes from a plant that was a clone given to me by Anil. When you wound the bottom of the stem , it helps form callus very quickly.
        AFAIK, Most of the herbs can be grown hydroponically.

        GG

  2. Hi GG:

    What a simple way to get new plants ! Thanks for sharing this . I never succeeded in raising seedlings from seeds, and this is a boon for me.

    Also, thanks for the time you and your wife spent with us when I visited your house. The GreenHouse looks great and it is reflected in the health of the plants too – lush green leaves and healthy yields. Thanks for the tomato seedlings you gave me. I have transplanted four of them, will do the remaining this week. The inputs you gave are very useful and the patience and generosity with which you handled our queries and doubts was very touching. It is indeed very motivating at a deep level.

    Thnaks to this blog entry, the next time we visit your house, It will be for cuttings and not for seeds or seedlings!!!!

    I will pass on the neem seed powder I got from Krishnagiri to you some time this week or next week…

    Regards
    Meena K

    • Hi Meena,

      Glad you had a great time. Pleasure was ours. All the best.. Keep me posted on what kind of tomato the tranplants are… Curious :-)..

      Take your time on neem seed powder…
      gg

  3. Hi gg,

    really envy the way you are going about your gardening…. great stuff ..propagating soft stemmed plants… have seen good results with hardy stemmed plants like hibiscus and oleander… will surely try to propagate tomato plants but for that i must first raise a single tomato plant from seed !!!!

    all the best for more such ventures.

    • Hello Arundati,

      Good to see your comment after really long time. How are you and how is your gardening coming along?. You are right on propagating hardy stemmed plants. Thanks for the wishes. and Let me know if you need some seeds.

      gg

  4. Hello GG,

    Great post. You are not geek.., r Genius man.

    By the way, this rooting technic.. sorry cloning technic without rooting hormone isn’t? amazing really.

    Goodluck,

    V. Srinivasan

    • Hi Srinivasan,

      Thanks and I didn’t really invent this.. I am just passing it on 😉

      Rooting hormone is necessary only to hasten the process of root formation. Tomato roots very easily and hence not necessary.
      Thanks
      gg

  5. and for the first link i gave u need to scroll down and click on tomatoes using aeroponic!( sorry something wrong can paste the exact link )

  6. OK. Now a question. Does the plant have to be in vegetative state? Can I use my fruiting Tomato plants for cloning by just removing the flowers and fruits of the cut stem?

  7. Hi gg,
    I am an avid reader of your blog. In fact with over expectations, I would say. I log on to your blog almost everyday to see if you have posted anything new. You have been quite an inspiration to me to get into gardening. I started of following the organic methods only after reading your experiments and success stories. This prompted and pushed me into the preparation of Panchagavya, which other wise was not available here in Bangalore.
    I have been liberally sharing the URL to your blog with all my friends. The best part of this is that my Father in law who lives in Coimbatore, a retired bank official has now taken to gardening in a big way. He is also one of the regular visitors to your blog.

    Hats off to you !!, Keep the good work going. I would love to visit your green house. Hope it is possible on your convenient day.

    Thanks
    Saikiran

  8. That’s an interesting post, GG. You’re right about the addiction! I rooted my mums last year from cuttings and I ended up with more than five plants and I had to stuff two in a pot due to space constraint and same happened with my rose. Though only one rose survived among the lot.
    And where do you get the coco peat from? If it’s in B’lore, do they ship it to Chennai? ‘Coz I’m having problems with the soil I buy here – they’re infested with millipedes, lices, and ants and I had to take heavy measures to kill them, like pour a solution of Dichlorvos in a pot of that soil repeatedly for few days alternating with boiling hot water before planting!

    • Hi Chandramouli,

      Same here. I have around 16 croton cuttings all rooted and growing in small cups. Just have to sell them i guess ;-).

      Once I got cocopeat from BloomPeat Coir from Chennai. Check with them. bloompeat.co.in is their site I guess. I have gotten cocopeat from them long back..( infact my first cocopeat was from them :).
      gg

      • I checked with BloomPeat and unfortunately they no more sell in small quantities but only to exporters. But I checked with other two companies and there seems hope. I’ll post it here if I successfully get it from them so that other Chennaiites would benefit from it.

        • Hi,

          I too thought that getting cocopeat in Hyderabad is big deal. Later, I realized that almost all major fertilizer shops in Hyderabad sell cocopeat though at a premium. The first time I bought a 5kg block for Rs. 150. Now it is available for Rs. 100.

          My suggestion is that you hit the streets and look around major fertilizer shops. You should be able to get it in Chennai as many companies make cocopeat in TN.

          • Guys, I first got cocopeat from a shop in Natesan street, Chennai for Rs 20/kg. However, the cocopeat was wet inside, so the actual weight would be much less! Then, ordered 5kg blocks from shaa media pith, pollachi for Rs 6/kg + transportation charges to Chennai. Worked out much cheaper!

  9. hi gg,
    although I took some time to comment I have been following your posts quite regularly….

    about the hydroponic set-up , do you add any nutrients to the water ? I would really like to try the technique — thanks for the seed offer … i guess should make a trip to bengaluru for this!!!

    • Hi Arundati,

      Its aggregate based hydroponics. I use coco-peat as medium and water it daily with nutrients instead of plain water. For the seeds, Let me know your address, I can courier it to you. Although you are welcome anytime to visit my garden :)..
      gg

  10. Hi GG:

    I was wondering if we can use coconut fibre directly , rather than cocapeat that is steam pasteurised. Do yo have any experience on this?

    Regards
    Meena K

    • Hi Meena,

      By Coconut Fibre, you mean the coir fibre that we remove from the coconut at home?.. or the fibre alone that is sold separately? If you meant the former, the reason we go for washed (steam pasteurised ) cocopeat is mainly due to its salt content. Sometimes the cocopeat/pith contains considerable amount of salt content. A steam wash removes all this and any pathogens that may be present as well. Thats the reason. If you have lots of fiber left over, then you can use it after giving it a nice soak and draining the water off.

      keep us posted. 🙂
      gg

    • Hi Nagesh,

      Good to hear about your interest in hydroponics. Watch this space for more posts related to hydroponics.
      gg

  11. Just a note on how easily tomatoes will root: a storm broke one of the branches off one of my plants. I stuck the broken end into the dirt a few feet from the plant it broke off of and it rooted quite happily there and was soon producing at a rate similar to the other tomatoes in the garden.

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