How to Remove Tomato Leaves to Produce More Fruit

Overview

Tomato plants benefit from growing season maintenance. Pruning leaves at specific stages of growth and will produce larger quantities of fruit. Tomatoes are available in two varieties: determinate and indeterminate. Determinate varieties produce fruit at one time for a single harvest while indeterminate produce fruit through a four to six week growing period. Both plant types respond well to removing leaves and excess growth as it strengthens the plant and redirects plant energy.

Step 1

Remove all blossom leaves on tomato plants that are less than 18 inches in height. These plants are still growing and. Preventing early blossom growth will force the plant to put energy toward growing strong instead of producing fruit. This will result in the tomato plant will producing larger quantities of fruit.

Step 2

Pinch to remove sucker leaves that grow under the first appearing cluster of blossoms. Suckers are small leaves that form in the joint between branches and grow into branches if not removed. Removing excess branches will increase the quantity and size of fruit produced.

Step 3

Remove the branch and leaf tips on the top of the tomato plant approximately 30 days prior the start of the first fall frost. Cutting off the growing sections of the plant will redirect stored energy into growing and ripening fruit that remains on the plant. The amount of fruit harvested is increased.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning clippers

References

  • Fine Gardening: Pruning Tomatoes
  • Cornell University: Plant Doctors
  • Mississippi State University: Staking and Training Tomatoes
Keywords: remove tomato leaves, prune tomato plants, tomato plant maintenance

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.