How to Prune or Sucker Tomato Plants


The process of pruning (or suckering) tomatoes involves cutting back growing tomato vines to enable space for budding tomatoes to grow. Tomato suckers are smaller vines located between larger budding tomato vines. Pruning them will help reduce the risk of fungus or disease from forming on the plants. Pruning tomato plants is a simple process that does not require any specialized horticulture skills.

Step 1

Let your plant grow until it is filling out nicely and the vines are touching each other. It is important that you do not over-prune your tomato plant.

Step 2

Locate the "sucker" vines located on your tomato plant. These are the vines located in between larger vines which may contain budding tomatoes. If the tomato vines are jutting out from a larger vine, the sucker vine is smaller and in the center of the larger vines.

Step 3

Use your thumb and index finger to snap the sucker vine from the plant stem.

Step 4

Prune as often as necessary to remove sucker vines from your tomato plant.

Step 5

Find a use for your sucker vines by replanting them in small pots filled with potting soil to give as gifts or to plant additional tomato plants in your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Tomato plants
  • Pot
  • Potting soil


  • Tomato Pruning
  • Pruning Tomato Plants
Keywords: pruning tomato plants, pruning sucker plants on tomatoes, pruning tomato sucker vines

About this Author

Evan Burgess is an award-winning writer with 20+ years of experience, covering business, politics and government, the arts, public relations and marketing. His popular film blog can be seen at He received his bachelor's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master's degree from the University of Virgina.