My favourite way how to take tomato cuttings is by removing shoots from bush varieties. One plant can give you several cuttings, each one a new tomato plant!
This can be done quite early in the season with bush varieties because they love to produce shoots.
Tall varieties also produce side shoots which make great cuttings, but it will probably be a little later in the season before they reach the size required.
The above video shows the process and how quickly cuttings develop a good root system – much sooner than placing them in water. The aeroponic section at the end isn’t required – the sponges can be planted directly into pots.
It’s best to use a propagator with lid to keep humidity high until the cutting has rooted. This method also uses “Root it” Sponges.
- Remove a 3 or 4 inch shoot with a sharp knife or razor blade
- Dip the stem in root gel about 1 cm deep
- Gently push the stem down into the hole of the sponge
- Mist the cutting with water
- Cover with a propagator lid
Keep in a warm place but not in direct sunlight otherwise the seedlings will wilt.
If wilting does happen, mist seedlings again and move into a place with less light.
Light makes leaves transpire (known as transpiration), which in human terms is similar to perspiration, so they lose moisture.
If they are kept in a cool place, it will take longer for the cuttings to root – room temperature is fine – between 15C to 20C during the day.
Cuttings can be very vigorous and produce tomatoes in a much shorter time than a plant grown from seed.
A tray of rooting sponges and gel may be found here. The tray is best placed in a propagator.
Propagators are also available filled with sponges for both cuttings and seeds.
The windowsill propagator above is ideal for seeds and cuttings. Keeping the seedlings in a light position after they have germinated or rooted is easy with a long shaped propagator.