Tomato Cutting Continues to Grow

comments (8) July 30th, 2013

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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This Black Krim tomato cutting sprouted roots and enjoyed three seasons by the kitchen window.
The Black Krim tomato cutting was transplanted into the vegetable garden in June and is loaded with little yellow flowers.
Other tomato plants are about a foot taller than the transplanted cutting, but theres still time for it to catch up this summer.
This Black Krim tomato cutting sprouted roots and enjoyed three seasons by the kitchen window.Click To Enlarge

This Black Krim tomato cutting sprouted roots and enjoyed three seasons by the kitchen window.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

Last October, in a mad rush to pick the remaining tomatoes before bad weather settled in, I clipped the uppermost growing tip (terminal shoot) from one of my heirloom Black Krim plants. The plant was still beautiful and I couldn't stand the thought of what the approaching snowstorm would do to it.

I plunked the shoot in a jar of water and placed it by the kitchen sink, just so I could enjoy one final remnant of summer. That little bit of summer lasted through fall, winter and into spring. Now the plant is getting ready to produce fruit once again.

The cutting rooted in the jar of water and last month I planted it in the vegetable garden. Now the plant is over 3 feet tall and is loaded with little yellow flowers that mean tomatoes will soon be on their way.

I've saved heirloom tomato seeds from one season to plant the next, but this was the first time I've saved a part of the actual plant.

I kept the jar filled with clean water and every once in a while I'd feed it with some liquid fertilizer. The roots continued to grow and the plant remained green from month to month.

In early spring I carefully transplanted the cutting into a tall container filled with moist potting soil to alllow the roots room to grow. The plant was hardened off with the other tomato plants I had started from seed and then transplanted into the garden.

Even though it's a bit shorter than the Black Krim I started from seed, it's blooming right on schedule. I'll keep my fingers crossed this tomato plant, from last year's garden, will set fruit to enjoy this year.

I'll also try to take another cutting to see if I can keep that plant growing for another gardening season.

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Comments (8)

FranGalvin writes: It's really cool!!!!
Posted: 4:16 am on November 3rd
BokCoombs writes: Amazing
Posted: 5:47 am on November 2nd
danielevie writes: Interesting....
Posted: 5:14 am on October 27th
dayhut writes: You can also "clone" your tomatoes, turning them into everlasting versions of themselves.

Just allow a few suckers to remain on the branch nodes of your last tomato plants of the season. Let them get about 6" long and then grasp them firmly, rock them back and forth, and gently break them loose from the plant.

Once in hand, place the sucker in a pot with plenty of foot room and bring them in once the first hard frosts of winter arrive. to your growing area or greenhouse and treat them as any container grown tomato.

When spring arrives, plant the clone out as usual and you will have a Mini-Me version of last seasons favorite tomato!
Posted: 11:46 pm on May 10th
Sdseedco writes: This is super interesting and exciting! We are always looking for new ways to keep plants thriving. Since we are professional seed savers for our seed company - San Diego Seed Company, this will be a fun project to try with our next year tomatoes. Did you notice any issues with the plant the following year? Thank you for your gardening information and be sure to check us out at

Posted: 12:05 am on November 7th
Roc_Chic writes: Nice! I look forward to reading updates of your tomato adventures.
Posted: 5:55 pm on August 8th
WesternGardener writes: I'm planning on tracking the numbers from all my tomato experiments this season. I'm also growing grafted and nongrafted tomatoes.

Please stay tuned,
Posted: 12:33 pm on August 8th
fullmoonrizing writes: That is so cool. Be sure and post how many tomatoes you get and how well they taste. I'd love to try this.
Posted: 4:26 pm on August 3rd
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