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Tomato Cloning

 
Posts: 325
Location: South Central Kansas
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Experiment:
To see if you can clone a tomato plant while it is still attached to the parent plant and how effective such a cloning method might work.


The following tomato plant was cloned from a Purple Cherokee (Heirloom) tomato plant.
The stem of a side branch was not cut or nicked. Left as it was.

We used a plastic water bottle, bottom cut off and the side slit from end to end.

We wrapped the stalk with the bottle and taped the slit to maintain integrity of the shape.

It also helped to retain the brand name store bought organic potting soil we put in (ran out of plain peat moss). While the potting soil I used may or may not be organic as the bag claims, it is of little consequence when that is all I had to use at the time and will not impact the experiment. When in doubt, the soil can be hosed off if desired. But that is not what we did.

Tied the bottle with string to the tomato cage.

Watered as needed with collected rainwater.

Today, 3 weeks later we have an abundance of roots.

We also transplanted the 'cutting' today as well. It was transplanted in the yard dirt adjacent to some established garlic plants, not in the garden.

Theory has it that while the stem was growing roots, the remainder of the stem was fed by the main plant and it's roots thus obtaining energy & nutrients needed for root development and additional growth.

Assuming nature cooperates, the plant is expected to grow quite nicely and produce earlier than a traditional stem cut in water due to less transplant shock and a more established root system.

See below pictures:

Questions: What would happen if we rooted a stem in more dirt and left it attached to the plant? It would provide an additional root system for nutrient uptake and water as well. But would the plant as a whole benefit from such a condition? Or just that section?


Wrapped-with-bottle-and-dirt-no-inner-layers-exposed-in-the-process.JPG
[Thumbnail for Wrapped-with-bottle-and-dirt-no-inner-layers-exposed-in-the-process.JPG]
We simply wrapped the stem and did not alter the plant in any other way.
After-3-weeks.JPG
[Thumbnail for After-3-weeks.JPG]
Time to cut it off the plant anf transplant it.
Impressive-root-growth.JPG
[Thumbnail for Impressive-root-growth.JPG]
Roots seem better than a store bought plant. Or at least equal. For nearly free too. Cost: used water bottle, 3 handfuls of Miracle grow potting soil, some clear wide tape, and a piece of string.
 
pollinator
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Location: Mena ,Arkansas zone7
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never seen it done that way, I usually would clone from a side branch.
 
Kai Walker
Posts: 325
Location: South Central Kansas
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bernetta putnam wrote:never seen it done that way, I usually would clone from a side branch.



It was from a side branch - a big one (big as in twice the size of the bottle used roughly)

The side branch was one of those suckers if I remember. Waited until it grew big enough to do the experiment.


So far after a few days nothing wilting as you might get with a traditional cloning in another medium.

Going to take a few weeks to see how things go. Expecting the natural water faucet to shut off and the oven to turn on (less or no rain and HOT summer time temps as high as the mid 90's).
 
Kai Walker
Posts: 325
Location: South Central Kansas
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Here is the link from youtube regarding this experiment.



Yes apparently it does work well.

Had to try it myself to be sure and dispel any false claims.

Might try it again too with a different species of tomato plant.

Got 4 months or so till first frost
 
pollinator
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That it's very cool. I've never tried it. Thanks for posting pictures of it.
 
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