Introduction: Clone a Tomato Plant (and Fill Your Garden for FREE!)

For this instructable, I will show you how to increase the amount of produce you can grow at your home for free.

Cloning may sound like a very complicated scientific process, but for the at-home gardener it is a very simple thing that anyone can do.

Step 1: Materials Needed

The actual list of items needed to clone a plant is very short and anyone who gardens will have no problem at all locating these items around the house.

Absolute must haves:

A semi-mature tomato (Donor or mother plant) A plant with good growth and that has not been diseased or stressed.

A container or containers around 2 inches deep (I used one of my wife baking dishes, Ha ha)

Razor knife

Potting soil


Other optional items :

Rooting compound (can be found @ Wal-mart for 6 dollars[U.S.])

Humidity dome

Seed heat mat

I realize that most gardeners probably have the humidity dome and seed mat, but I was aiming this instructable for the weekend warrior gardener in hopes of expanding minds and showing how simple and cost effective this act of cloning can be. The optional items will greatly speed up the cloning process BUT are not required to complete this process.

Step 2: Your Mother Plant

The first step to cloning is to make sure the plant you are taking cuttings from is healthy and has not been affected by disease.

Now take a look at your plant where a large branch comes off of the main stem of the plant.
Where the branch comes off of the stem forming a "v" there will be new growth. This "start" or new growth is the target of our cutting.

This "start" if left on the plant will continue to grow and produce more branches. It has what is called "nodes" to start blossoms and new branches.

Important note: Selecting starts from the bottom stems of the plant have a better chance of producing roots because of increase in natural rooting hormone in the plant. ( I have had luck propagating starts from all areas of the plant though.)

Step 3: Cutting Your Mother Plant

Once you have identified your start, using a razor knife or blade, cut the start at its base on a 45 degree angle.

IMPORTANT : As soon as you cut your start you should dip it in some tepid water

Now for the optional part. I have read, at this point you can stick it straight into moistened soil and mist and wait. the following steps are purely optional but guarantee success .

After dipping my cutting into the tepid water I use my razor and scrape the bottom inch of the cutting stem.

Step 4: Optional Step

At this point in the option step. I lightly scrape the base of the stem with my razor at a ninety degree angle all of the way around the stem.

After scraping the stem I dip the cutting again in the tepid water and then dip directly into the rooting compound.

Step 5: Lets Get Dirty

Now insert your cutting into the potting soil and lightly mist the cutting with water.

These cutting should be put under some light but not in direct sunlight. I always mist my cuttings twice a day to ensure their chances of success.

After a week (usually 2) your cuttings will have developed a root system, and can be transplanted outside.

When transplanting your cutting outside, bury it as deep as possible and more roots will grow from the stem.

Step 6: The Results

Using this exact process I have increased the amount of tomatoes plants in my garden for free.
The first picture is my "MOTHER" plant , the second picture is semi mature cuttings almost ready to produce fruit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good Luck

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