Broken Tomato Plant

Question:

I am growing a cherry tomato plant in a container on my driveway and I think maybe a basketball may have hit my plant. It appears that something has broken off some of the plant, and the main stem appears to be damaged. Is there a way to save it? I was just getting tomatoes and my kids are so excited.


Answer:

The good news is, you most likely will be able to save the plant.

One of the first things I would do (and your kids probably won't like it), is pinch off any blooms or fruit. This will keep the plant from sending much needed nutrients (especially in it's wounded stage) to those blossoms and/or fruit.

The next thing depends upon where the damage is. I'll try to give you a few scenarios to cover all the bases.

First, if the stem is broken into two pieces or at least close to it, what you'll need to do is put the top portion of the plant not the part that has the roots on it) into damp potting soil. Literally just push the plant into the potting mix a few inches down and it should re-root itself. Your fruit of course will be delayed now. And the plant will most likely wilt for a few days, but with watering to keep the soil moist, it should bounce back.

Secondly, if the stem is only damaged but not really broken in two and if the damage is low enough toward the base of the plant, you could possibly just re-pot the plant so that the damaged section is below the soil surface. Tomato plants are amazing in their ability to root themselves from wounded areas.

Lastly, one year I encountered an "almost-broken-into-two-pieces" secondary stem on one of my container tomato plants. I simply applied tape around the wounded area which gave the stem some sturdiness and time to heal. There was not much weight on that particular stem, so this idea perhaps would not work for you.

With these things said, even if the plant is broken in half, you most likely can get it to re-root itself just by plunging it into wet potting soil (you could use rooting hormone as well) and keeping it moist until the new roots have developed.

Hope this helps and gives some hope to the kids. If you need some more help, please write back and let us know. We would be more than glad to help out.

Brad





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Hospital tape NEW
by: Kathi

I tried some of that white stretchy hospital tape, it worked for me.

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