How to Prune Cherry Tomato Plants

Overview

Cherry tomatoes are some of the smallest tomatoes grown and typically get used to add bite-sized flavor to salads or are pickled when green. While you can grow your own cherry tomato plants at home in your garden or indoors in a container, you can improve your chances of having a productive plant with proper pruning. Pruning cherry tomato plants is relatively easy and doing so will increase production.

Step 1

Place a tomato cage or stake next to your seedlings as soon after planting as possible to provide vertical support for the seedling as it grows. Growing cherry tomatoes vertically will make pruning easier and will help prevent fungal infections that can splash up from the soil during watering or rain.

Step 2

Clip off the branches from the main stem that grow along the bottom 10 inches of growth once the tomato plant reaches 3 feet tall. This will encourage the plant to grow a stronger stem.

Step 3

Look for shoots, called suckers, to form in the space between the main stem of your plant and the branches. Pinch off with your fingernails or cut with herb scissors any of these suckers at their base that grow along the main stem below the first set of flowers on the plant and discard.

Step 4

Train the growing stem using plant ties as needed to hold it and maintain vertical growth. When the top of the cherry tomato reaches the top of the cage or stake, pinch or cut off the end of the main stem just after a pair of leaves to stop it from getting any taller and to divert the plant energy to fruit production.

Things You'll Need

  • Tomato seedling
  • Tomato cage or garden stake
  • Herb scissors
  • Plant ties

References

  • "Vegetable Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide"; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
  • "Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening"; Carroll C. Calkins; 1993
  • Fine Gardening: Pruning Tomatoes

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois Extension: Tomato
Keywords: pruning cherry tomatoes, cherry tomato pruning, cherry tomato care

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for WidescreenWarrior.com as a contributor and podcast co-host.