How To Grow Tomato Plants From Cuttings In 1 Week

A short cut for anyone who loves to grow tomatoes: you can grow tomato plants from cuttings in as little as 1 week, ready to plant in the garden!  That’s much faster than starting from seeds, don’t you agree? 🙂

tomato plant cuttings taking roots in water

Check out this quick and easy way to tomato plants from cuttings of a bigger plant! And our favorite 5 secrets on how we grew 100 lbs of tomatoes in just 20 square feet!

We don’t need any fancy supplies here. All we need is water, and a healthy bigger tomato plant of the variety you love.

Step 1: where to prune the cuttings from a bigger tomato plant.

how to prune tomato cuttings

*Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

See photo above. A lot of gardeners recommend pruning these side shoots aka suckers to make the plant more vigorous, which is even better for us, because now we have the perfect cuttings to propagate.

In fact, we tested it in our 5 secrets on how we grew 100 lbs of tomatoes in just 20 square feet, and it works!

5 tried-and-true techniques we learned on how to grow tomatoes like an expert and get a big harvest: over 100 lbs in 20 square feet! - A Piece Of Rainbow

Sometimes these side shoots can grow quite big, a bigger cutting means a bigger tomato plant! The ideal size of a tomato plant cutting should be 5″ to 10″ tall.

Step 2: propagate the tomato cuttings in a jar filled with water.

Fill a clean glass jar with room temperature water and set it in a warm place such as a sunny window sill. Remove the bottom sets of leaves from the base of each cutting, leaving the top 4 to 6 leaves, and set it in the water.

grow tomato plant by placing cuttings in water

In about 1-2 weeks, you will see new roots coming out, and these newly propagated tomato plants are ready for transplanting into the garden, or in a pot.

Fast & FREE way to multiply tomato plants! How to grow tomato plants from cuttings in just one week! Great trick to jump start a garden & extend the season!

Helpful tips on how to grow tomato plants from cuttings:

For the first few days, give the plants extra water and a little protection from the sun using this simple trick. This tried and true (and FREE ) method will help the plant adjust from water to soil in the summer heat.

propagate-tomatoes-apieceofrainbowblog (1)
grow tomato plants in pot after cuttings are propagated

Tomato plants love heat, and when you grow tomato plants from cuttings, the roots will grow stronger with warm soil temperature. Here’s a tutorial on how we use black plastic bags to warm the soil and get super productive tomato plants!

diy tomato cages

Rooting new tomato plants also gives you an extended harvest season!

Here are a few additional resources on growing tomatoes you may like to explore:

Bonnie Plants guide to growing tomatoes in different climates, the Almanac’s guide on planting and harvesting tomatoes, how to build sturdy tomato cages via instructables, one of our favorite tomato seed source Baker Creek, and our collection of  20+ favorite DIY trellis ideas for your veggie garden!

21 beautiful and DIY friendly garden trellis and structures, such as cucumber trellis, bean teepees, grape tunnels, pergolas, screens, etc. Create productive and enchanting garden spaces with trellis planters, panels, and more! - A Piece Of Rainbow

20+ favorite DIY trellis ideas for your veggie garden!

If you have other great tips, feel free to share in comments or tag us on instagram @apieceofrainbow! Wish you a summer filled with juicy tomatoes!

propagate tomato cuttings in water

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  1. Do any of your Colorado readers know the best tomatoes for the Colorado Springs area?

    I have used some of these tips for many years – with great success. Until we moved to Colorado. Ours is a new construction and the soil is horrible! We now grow our garden in big horse troughs with much amended soil. Everything grows well except for a tomatoes and peppers.

    • hi Rae! i’m not an expert on Colorado gardening, but i find when we have trouble with tomato varieties, the cherry types like sungold, sweet 100, etc usually perform well 🙂

  2. Greetings from the UK! In fact you don’t even have to put them in water to root. Just pop them straight into a pot with compost, up to the first leaves. They’ll root and catch up with the parent plant in no time at all. Even easier!

  3. I am propagating some large tomato stems in water and see many roots beginning to grow along the stem. However water level is receding a lot and am wondering if I can just add water to what is already there or should I empty it out and replace with fresh water?

    • hi Janice! yes you can just add water. once roots grow, they tend to keep the water quite clean, and we don’t need to change water so much! 🙂

  4. I believe this works best with indeterminate tomatoes where they will continue to grow until killed by frost or other external factors. I’ve done this in the past with my indeterminate and grew stalks indoors during the winter seasons. I’ve not tried using determinate tomatoes.

  5. I’ve been told that the suckers would not produce flowers & fruit but I already have some flowers on some. Should I try to plant these suckers?

  6. Finally found information about this! Good thing to know that those little white tentacles are roots and not some creepy alien formation; now I know it’s time to re-plant and not ditch them out! Phew. Thanks for saving what I hope will become a fruitful tomato plant!

  7. What excellent advice! I am going to try this ASAP. Some experts say to pinch these sucker leaves off; others say leave them for the foliage. Now there is a GREAT reason for cutting some of them off! Basically, it’s free tomato plants, ready to set out about the time the first round starts to wilt and “fizzle” from production! Thank you for sharing this. WesTXGrl13

  8. As summer is approaching, this looks like the perfect project, all the more as we are all tomato lovers here 😉 The only thing that remains to be done is…spotting the right tomato plant to start with! Maybe my parents’ neighbor could help here…

    • I had squirrel problem with my tomatoes till I put chicken wire around the plants this did work to well it kept the squirrels but i cut my arms on the edges. So I tried plastic fencing at home depot right next to chicken wire. i used plastic forks facing out with the handle in the ground to keep the squirrels from borrowing under the fence. worked great and I ate the tomatoes not the squirrels.

      • Great article on tomato propagation, lot of good tips and very informative. I’m growing better boy tomatoes indoor and all organic. These are the very best tomatoes I have ever tasted. That is why I’m grateful for the info on propagation, Thank you!!

  9. I love tomatoes and was actually thinking about planting them this Spring! I love how your DIY made it look so simple! Growing the roots in one week? That’s awesome! I’ll give it a try and hopefully it works out for me. Thanks for sharing your helpful post!

  10. I am SO glad I found this article! We are starting our first garden this year and I have no idea what I am doing! What a great way to make your garden stretch even further! Thanks for the tips! Pinned!

  11. This is a great post, I insist on growing tomatoes every year but I just kind of plop them in the ground and hope they do ok :). Thanks for sharing

  12. What could be better than a home grown tomato? We didn’t plant any this year because the grandparents in our lives on both sides always grow way too many!

  13. My girls love tomatoes. I had no idea you could root tomato plants like this. I’m going to have to try it with my MIL’s tomato plant. My grandma used to root african violets for me with just a leaf. I always found it amazing she could do that.

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