A few years ago I had a large”branch” of a tomato plant break off. It was loaded with unripened cherry tomatoes, and even though I knew I could try to ripen them on the counter, they just don’t seem to taste the same as vine ripened. On a whim. I decided to see if I could keep it alive long enough to get a few more tomatoes out of it. My family thought I was a little weird, but hey, they should be used to that by now. Little did I know that you could grow tomato plants in water! It’s an easy plant DIY!
Much to my surprise, not only did the cherry tomatoes turn a gorgeous shade of gold, but the stem in the vase sprouted roots! It was almost to the point where I was actually a little sick of tomatoes it ended up being such a good harvest!
I had no idea that a tomato plant roots in water, but since they do grow tomatoes with hydroponics, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. The best part is, you can transplant them in the ground or a pot, and they’ll happily take root! This is a great way to make tomato seedlings from a full grown plant especially heirloom tomatoes. If you take tomato cuttings or trim larger suckers, this is a great way to not feel so bad about just throwing them out! I found this out totally by accident! I had a branch break on one of my larger tomato plants and I put it in a vase in hopes of saving some of the fruit and forgot about it and discovered this monster root ball a few weeks later!
It’s always amazing to me the number of plants that can be grown/rooted in water. I’ve propagated coleus, basil,viburnum, raspberries,and even roses in sunny windows in bottles full of water, only to be able to plant them outside.
When propagating tomato plants in in water in direct sunlight,remove the lower leaves and use enough water ( a few inches of water) in a vase or jar to cover the base of the main stem and change the water every few days. Once the roots are about a quarter inch long, it’s time to plant it in soil in the garden, and keep them well-watered.
For maximum success, If they get any longer, they have a harder time acclimating the transition from water to soil. It’s almost better to trim the bottom and start over. Use a planting dirt with a food in it to give them a good chance, and make sure to water frequently as well. When you water tomato at the base of the plant. This helps to keep fungal diseases away. The best time to water is in the morning so the moisture has time to burn off in the sunlight during the day. Trim any foliage that looks sad so the plant doesn’t have to put any extra energy into it. Your vegetable garden will thank you all summer this way.
You can also stretch your tomatoes, by taking “branches” off at the end of the season, and putting them in a vase of water, changing the water frequently. The leaves will get a little crunchy near the end, but the tomatoes themselves will continue to ripen. We had them almost until Thanksgiving last year!!! You can also do this all growing season long!
Once the plant is planted in soil. Make sure not to over-water (this can cause blossom end rot on the fruit) And keep the soil moisture even. Add fertilizer and nutrition for the tomato plant as needed. Normally it will tell you when it needs to be fed by yellowing leaves. Compost is another good option as a way to add soil nutrients.
Before bringing in the tomato plants inside, make sure they are free of pests. Keep the water at room temperature and evenly watered. You can grow tomatoes even in February !
When you grow tomato plants in water, it’s a great way to start a new plant, before putting in soil. It becomes a little addicting too. Rooting indoor plants in water, is a great way to fill your home with lovely, and lush greenery.