Introduction: Grow Cherry Tomatoes From Cuttings. a Newbie's Guide.

Picture of Grow Cherry Tomatoes From Cuttings. a Newbie's Guide.

GROWTH UPDATE April 17, 2014: Check Step 8 for cuttings growth.

Hello Citizens,

I do have a small terrace garden mostly filled with pothos and lots of hanging baskets with ornamental plants but with an exception of some edible plants like basil and cherry tomatoes.

I love to eat cherry tomatoes and it was difficult to find them in my city. I always wanted to grow them in containers, I tried with seeds after reading tons of online articles. I have had several failures but finally I succeeded. Before I got success with seeds one day I found a large cherry tomato plant in one of my relative's place. I was so desperate to have a cherry tomato plant that I asked them to give me a few cuttings which they were hesitant to give and told me that it is not possible to grow tomatoes like that. But I insisted like a child and they gave up. I cut few cuttings on my own (they kept an eye on me, because they spotted greed in my eyes LOL)

Honestly I was also not sure how I am going to grow those cuttings. But later on I did grow not just one but many plants. And this is the tutorial about what I did after I picked those cuttings.

IMHO growing tomatoes from seeds is fun and I have been growing it but I like this approach better especially if you have a container garden :).

This ible is for anyone who always thought of having a cherry tomato plant at home but never dared to grow one:)

Take my words it is easy.

Step 1: Stuff You Need

Picture of Stuff You Need

You would need

  1. A healthy cherry tomato plant or have someone who can give you some cuttings.
  2. A pruning tool or a sharp scissor.
  3. Some disposable mugs of depth 4". If you have bigger cuttings you may choose a bigger cup. You can also choose small bottles.
  4. Some water.
  5. Gardening soil and a container later to transplant.

Step 2: Selecting What to Cut

Picture of Selecting What to Cut

The most important part about growing cherry tomatoes from cuttings is to choose the right cutting which in my opinion is an easy job to do if you know the following:

You should have or have access to a healthy cherry tomato plant. Like the one (grown from cuttings :) ) in the picture above growing in my container garden in my terrace.

Before you grab your pruning tool and start cutting, I suggest you keep the following things in mind or educate yourself about it

  1. Always pick a healthy plant. In my case I usually select a plant which is past its prime but is healthy.
  2. Sometimes due to harsh wind, many tender branches in my plants gets broken. I use them too.
  3. Avoid cuttings which are flowering.

Usually it is best to cut a sucker. What is that ??? But you can pick any branch too (I have had no problems) , just follow the rules above.

SUCKER : The shoots that sprout in the “V” between a tomato plant's main stem and its branches. see the second picture above

If you are still not sure to prune your tomato plant, i suggest you read this very good article about pruning the tomato suckers.

Suckers are said to suck nutrients from plants and therefore hinders its growth, many professional gardners recommend pruning them but it is debatable. See this article for some insights.

Having equipped with the information above, prune your (or your neighbor's who is retired & a gardener :D) cherry tomato plant to 4"-8" cuttings. If you had to cut the ones with flowers, pinch the flowers.

Step 3: Put the Cuttings in Water

Picture of Put the Cuttings in Water

See images and follow:

  1. Pick those disposable cups.
  2. Fill them with 80% with water.
  3. Put your cuttings in it.
  4. Mark a date on each cup, this way you will know how much time it took to root.
  5. Place the arrangement is shade.
  6. Wait for a week or 10 days

While you are waiting, you need to do few things :

  1. Check daily for water levels.
  2. Change water every two days.
  3. If any of the leaves rot, remove them.

Step 4: Sweet Surprise. the Roots

Picture of Sweet Surprise. the Roots

After a week or 10 days (depending on climatic conditions in your area), you should be able see that cuttings are rooted.

Keep an eye on your cuttings for another week or so till the roots are at least an inch long. I went out of town for 3 days so I found the roots even bigger when I came back.

Your plants is ready to be transplanted in container. Unlike plants grown from seeds, the wait is much lesser here.

Step 5: Transplant

Picture of Transplant

You can easily grow 3-4 cherry tomato plants in a 10" container.

See images and follow:

  1. Fill the pot with gravel (for excess water drainage) and then garden soil (must be well drained). You can buy soil or prepare yourself. I prepare my soil using 50% black grown soil, 40% cow dung manure, 10% sand. I also added a hand full of coco peat to promote better moisture retention because it gets really hot here in this season.
  2. Water the soil such that the soil it all wet. This is important because you do not want to water those tiny plants to prevent leaves from rotting.
  3. Wait for few minutes for the soil to set.
  4. Now using your finger or a wooden stick, dig 3 holes (I have 3 plants) of about 4"-5" depending on the length of cuttings.
  5. Place your rooted cuttings carefully, try to keep the roots free from getting coiled.
  6. Hold the plant with your one hand and put soil in the hole, keep pushing the soil gently.
  7. Water the pot a little in the middle, this will make the plant feels like home :).
  8. Keep it in shade for a day.
  9. If you notice the plant is in shock, keep in shade for another day.
  10. Then keep the container in a sunny area. Like tomatoes, cherry tomatoes also requires bright sunlight for at least 5-7 hours but I have had success with 4-5 hours too.

Step 6: My Recent Harvest

Picture of My Recent Harvest

The pictures above shows my recent harvest from the fully grown cherry tomato plants grown using the cuttings:)

I will update this ible with growth updates for pictures of the plants I used in this ible.

Step 7: Care and Final Thoughts

Picture of Care and Final Thoughts

Cherry tomato plants in containers do needs little care like all plants:

  1. I water them almost daily unless it is raining, because it is very hot in my city in India. I water alternate or every 2 days in winters (my city does not have snow or frost). I check with my finger if the soil on top is dried at least half an inch, I water them a little in winters.
  2. I use general purpose liquid plant nutrition which can be sprayed. I use it once a week.
  3. Every 15 days I spray my plants with neem oil mixed in water (Neemastra is a an excellent organic pesticide) to prevent any pests or diseases.
  4. I rarely do pruning unless I want to propagate more plants like I recently did.
  5. When the plants grow Tall , I either use jute rope to provide them support. This variety of cherry tomato which I have grows like 5-6 feet. Sometimes I also tie thin bamboo sticks around the pot for support.

Thank you for your time to read this ible. I hope you have found my experience with growing cherry tomatoes from cutting helpful. Should have any questions, feedback or suggestions, please put them in the comments below.

Please vote if you like.

You are awesome.

Stay tuned :).

Step 8: Growth Update April 17, 2014

Picture of Growth Update April 17, 2014

I planted 3 cuttings but sadly only one of them survived because I went out of town for 2 days and there was no one at home to water them in this hot weather. Out of 3 one surprisingly survived probably because that side of the container did not get enough direct sunlight (You can see in the picture that the cutting was planted in corner).

Now it stays in full sun and it has grown almost a feet tall and even started to flower. I am sure in a week or two I should be able to update with fruits.


rhondita (author)2017-04-09

I have done this for years. It works without a hitch. The upside is that you not only get new plants, you should only let 3 or 4 suckers live on the mother plant. It will grow much bigger with only a few left on. They call them "suckers" because they literally suck the life out of the mother plant. When you do plant, strip the leaves off the bottom, plant that stem as deep as you can. The stem will grow roots all the way up to the top of the soil. I live in the desert where growing vegi's can be a challenge. Thanks for sharing this so all garden friends can do it.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)rhondita2017-05-01

Thanks for the information and you're welcome :).

PS: sorry about delayed response.

BillS237 (author)2017-04-08

thanks, very useful

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)BillS2372017-05-01

You're welcome and Thanks you so much :)

SherylinRM (author)2016-09-21

I have never heard of this before.

Wondering if it works for roma tomatoes as well.

If so I will try it next year :)

Thanks for this :)

You are welcome. Thanks :)

Dennis43 (author)2016-07-10

I too never thought of growing tomatoes from cuttings, I have though thought of saving the seeds from tomatoes from plants that were very good producers. Unfortunately my last attempt at growing veges of any kind bombed badly. This year I'm not growing as we plan on moving from the N. coast of Oregon to the big city (Portland). Let us know if you try using this procedure with other veges.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)Dennis432016-09-30

Sure... Thanks

beamerpook (author)2015-05-25

Brilliant! It never occurred to me to make cuttings of tomatoes! I found this other Instructable that might be helpful to you. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks so much :)

Shubh V (author)2014-03-13

I love this concept of growing cherry tomatoes!!found it easy n amazing.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)Shubh V2015-05-12

I am so glad you liked it dear :)

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)Shubh V2014-03-13

Thank you dear :), I hope you will try :)

victorvector (author)2015-05-12

Thanks Tarun , I will try this when I move onto that little house boat I`m building

Awesome!! Please do share when you do :)

amanfitrullah (author)2015-04-03


Thank you so much :)

SophiesFoodieFiles (author)2015-03-10

Well done! Great job! Cool!

Many Thanks :)

lindarose92 (author)2014-06-10

Congratulations Tarun!! You rule the contests! :)

Thank you so much Linda :)

sunshiine (author)2014-06-10

Yay you made finalist!

Thank you so much sunshiine :)

bricobart (author)2014-06-06

Congrats my friend, finalist again!!! Those tomatoes look lovely, by the way! ;)

Thank you so much my friend :), this was totally unexpected, pleasant surprise :).

I am just waiting for rains and then I will plant more and more :)

metqa (author)2014-05-15

I've got several new tomatoes in small
pots that I grew from taking off the runners. You can also do this
when you prune back peppers, it takes longer for the pepper than the
tomato cause the tomato vine has root nodules all along the vine whereas
the pepper doesn't. But after a couple of weeks in my water propagator
even my pepper trimmings are making new roots. New Plants for free. I
plant to succession plant cause GA has a long season and this will keep
me from having to buy/start seeds or buy new starts, I save at least $2
per new plant. I also propagate Basil, Sweet potato vine, all of the
mints, catnip, lemon balm. I'm working on Citronella Geranium, and
thyme, I've never tried it on eggplant, but trial and error is exciting.

metqa (author)metqa2014-05-15

I meant Suckers, not runners, Runners are strawberries and other low growing plants, but Yeah, I get more plants from them too!

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)metqa2014-05-15

It is actually fun to propagate cuttings in water, we just have to try :). Thank you for details :)

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2014-04-16

I am sorry to respond late I had been little busy lately. Thank you so much. I will surely check your project.

Captain MacTavish (author)2014-03-27

Great survival for survival stuff!

I am sorry, not sure how it relates to survival but thank you for your visit :D.

kslMiah (author)2014-04-13

Hi great tip,will be growing some this summer

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)kslMiah2014-04-16

Thank you :)

health_news (author)2014-03-27

Great post!It is applicable for all type of soil.

Thank you so much !! :). If you can grow tomato plants or seedling in the type of soil in your area, this method should work too.

l8nite (author)2014-03-14

I've always had good luck with tomato cuttings but I usually just stick them in the soil, bury a couple inches of the stem and leave just a few leaves at the very top

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)l8nite2014-03-15

You are right that works too but I I have not had great success, my bad.

BlueJinxie (author)2014-03-14

This is great, I'm trying this tomorrow ! (if I can convince my dad to give me cuttings from his own plants - he doesn't seem quite enthusiast)

Thank you :). I hope your dad allows :D

hunter999 (author)2014-03-13

Very nice bro. This is technically cloning cherry tomatoes rather than growing since all the tomatoes you make are clones since taking cuttings is a method of cloning using asexual reproduction (if that makes sense)

Voted, you did a good job on the documentation! :-)

Thank you bro :) you are very kind.

and Wow.. you know quite some biology :)..great...

No problem Tarun!

I do know quite a bit of biology - I'm always revising! Thanks as well, you too are very kind! :-)

hunter999 (author)hunter9992014-03-13

I just realised I use the word 'since' a lot! :p

Hah :), it is funny because these days I am using the hindi word "matlab" while talking a lot ha ha:)

Haha, yeah, I guess me and you have common mistakes in our own idiolect! :D I know one person that says the word 'like' way too many times. Once I recorded them and counted how many times they said 'like' in one sentence: the result was 16!

Misac-kun (author)2014-03-13

Could this technic be applied for other plants too? Also, how do I know that the plant is in shock after transplant?

I think you can give it a try. For non edible plants I have had success with pothos, jade and many more. For edible plants I have had success with Sweet Potatoes, Basil, Thyme, Rosemary. So go ahead and try.

A plant is in shock when it looks really sad, like withered (but not dry). See the photo (I have not taken this pic) to have an Idea.

Hmm... so that's a shocked plant! OK, gonna try it with other plants for this Autumn [Autumn is coming here at the South hemisphere].

Thiamine is a rooting hormone. I used to get a small bottle of thiamine pills at the pharmacy, crush one of the pills, and add the powder to the water I used for rooting. I didn't run a controlled study or anything, but the plants that I was rooting seemed to thrive and produced roots for me. You could try this on a cutting or two and see how these cuttings compare to the ones without the thiamine. As I recall, (it's been about 30 years) the pills were very inexpensive, but today???

McLovinGyver (author)2014-03-14

Nice! What do you mean by "them" at: if any of the leaves rot, remove them? The whole plant because it turned into a walker or just the one rotten laef?

And next question: is it possible to use branches with allready some blossoms? Because I was told to remove especially those when the plant has to many of them to strengthen the rest and so I don't need to throw them away.


About This Instructable




Bio: An artist by birth, a software architect by choice, a lamp maker by passion, a learner forever. Featured Author here:)
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