How to Propagate a Tomato Plant


Reproducing tomato plants by propagation is a way to get plants that are more mature than tiny seedlings when you put them in your garden. Propagate the plants three weeks before fall tomato plants are normally planted in your area. Choose only healthy plants for propagation, ones that are producing well and have plenty of blooms. Choose disease-free tomato plants that have no yellow leaves, which could indicate the presence of spider mites.

Step 1

Find a healthy tomato plant in the garden that is producing tomatoes and has blooms. Also, choose a plant with healthy lower limbs and no yellow in the leaves.

Step 2

Take a lower limb and carefully bend it toward the ground. If the stem is too stiff and you're afraid it might break off the main plant, you can pile up some garden soil in a mound until the stem has contact with the soil when you bend it. Remove the leaves where the stem has contact with the soil.

Step 3

Bend the 8-inch piece of stiff wire into a "U" shape. Pin the branch to the soil so it has contact with the soil. Dampen soil where branch has contact with the soil.

Step 4

Use the shovel or digging tool to cover the branch with two or three inches of garden soil where it makes contact with the soil. Dampen the soil and keep it moist for three weeks.

Step 5

Cut the stem away from the mother plant at the place where it meets the main stem. Cut the stem off the new seedling, leaving an inch of previous growth. Dig up the new tomato plant without disturbing the roots and plant it in a new location.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or digging tool
  • 8-inch piece of stiff wire


  • Fall Tomato Revival
  • Gardening Tips
Keywords: tomato plants, tomatoes, propagation

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.