Gardening hacks are everywhere on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube if the algorithms know you’re into gardening. Some of these tips and tutorials really work, while others are either fake or have a limited potential to succeed.
One video that reappears year after year is one where the gardener grows a tomato plant from a leftover sliced-up tomato. Have you ever wondered if you could grow a tomato plant from a slice of tomato? Turns out you absolutely can, but your results may vary.
Growing plants from tomato slices are a great way to utilise food scraps, and it’s also fun to experiment with gardening. So, if you’re feeling curious (or just adventurous), read on for instructions on how to plant a sliced tomato and end up with a thriving tomato plant.
What you need to grow tomato plants from a sliced tomato
If you want to follow the recommended steps for the tomato slice planting method, here’s what you’ll need:
- At least one tomato slice. Depending on how large the container you’re growing in is, you can add more slices of tomato if you have them available.
- A pot or container to sprout your tomato slices in.
- Some potting mix or garden soil.
- Water and a watering can, hose, or watering tool.
How to plant the sliced tomato?
- After you’ve gathered the supplies, fill your container with soil and carefully and thinly slice your tomato(s).
- Then, add the tomato slices to the surface of the container and cover the slices with a thin layer of soil, about 1/2 inch.
- Water the container thoroughly, ensuring the soil is damp but not saturated.
- Wait for your seeds to sprout. This should take roughly 3-8 days. If seedlings haven’t appeared within two weeks, try again with new slices.
The care and feeding of your new tomato plant
So, you planted your tomato slice and now have a baby tomato plant. Congratulations – you’re in for a treat. Not only are homegrown tomatoes delicious, but they’re also relatively easy to care for. Here are a few tips to get you started.
First, your tomato plant will need a lot of sun. Place it in a spot with at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. If you live in a hot climate, you may need to provide some afternoon shade to prevent the leaves from burning.
Next, water your plant deeply and regularly, making sure the soil is always moist but not soggy. Plants should be watered about once a week, but more often in hot weather. When watering, be sure to avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can encourage fungal diseases.
Finally, give your plant some TLC by feeding it a high-quality tomato fertiliser and mulching around the base of the plant to help retain moisture. You can also remove any yellow or brown leaves and any suckers (side shoots) that develop on the main stem.
Once your plant is established, you can move it outside if you’d like. Just be sure to acclimate it slowly to its new environment by placing it in a shady spot for a week or so before moving it into full sun. If you’d rather keep your plant indoors, that’s fine too – just be aware that it may not produce as much fruit as an outdoor plant.
What kind of tomato should you grow from a slice?
For the best chance of success at growing tomatoes from slices, I’d recommend using small tomatoes rather than bigger ones, like beefsteak tomatoes. This is because the more petite tomatoes are more likely to have a high concentration of seeds near the surface, which is where you’ll be planting them.
You’ll also get less chance of the tomato rotting and damaging the seeds when there is less tomato flesh around the seeds. Another tip is to choose tomatoes that are slightly under ripe, as these will also have a higher concentration of seeds near the surface.
Finally, try to avoid using tomatoes treated with chemicals or past their prime, as these may not sprout at all.
With some patience and TLC, you can turn a sliced tomato into a healthy, productive tomato plant. What’s the harm in giving it a try? You may just end up with a delicious crop of homegrown tomatoes come summertime.
You didn’t waste much time or effort if it doesn’t work. Take a look at the tips below for what to do if you plant a sliced tomato and it doesn’t work out.
What if it doesn't work?
Don’t be discouraged if you’ve tried to plant a sliced tomato that didn’t sprout. Growing plants can be complicated, and sometimes it can be challenging to grow plants from store-bought tomatoes.
You can try several other things to end up with a homegrown tomato seedling from the tomatoes you already have. Here are some options for your next attempt:
- Scoop the tomato seeds out of the tomato slice before planting them. Sometimes, adding a whole slice of tomato to a pot will result in rotten tomato slices and no seedlings.
- Take the seeds out of the tomato, add them to a fine mesh strainer, wash them off, and dry them on a paper towel for several days. If the tomato slice or the seeds directly from the tomato don’t work, this is another route to try.
FAQs about growing tomatoes from slices
Can you grow tomatoes from tomato slices?
Yes, you can grow tomatoes from tomato slices. All you need is some soil, water, and sunshine, and you’ll be on your way to homegrown tomatoes in no time.
What’s the best way to plant a sliced tomato?
The best way to plant a sliced tomato is to plant it in a pot or container with some potting mix or garden soil. Be sure to water the plant thoroughly and place it in a spot with at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.
Can you grow any type of tomato from a slice?
For the best chance of success, try to use small organic tomatoes that are ripe or slightly under ripe. Avoid using tomatoes treated with chemicals or that are past their prime.
How do you start a tomato from a slice?
To start a tomato from a slice, plant the slice in a pot or container with some potting mix or garden soil. Water the plant thoroughly and place it in a spot with at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Give the plant some TLC by feeding it high-quality fertiliser and mulching around the base.
Can you grow tomatoes from supermarket tomatoes?
You can grow tomatoes from supermarket tomatoes, but your success may vary. For the best chance of success, try to use small tomatoes that are slightly under ripe. Avoid using tomatoes treated with chemicals or that are overripe.
Do tomato seeds need to be dried before planting?
No, tomato seeds do not need to be dried before planting, though you may find that the germination rates aren’t as high.
Can I plant seeds straight from a tomato?
Yes, you can plant seeds straight from a tomato. Just be aware that the germination rates may not be as high as if you were to dry the seeds first.
Can I grow tomatoes from a fresh tomato?
Yes, you can grow tomatoes from a fresh tomato. All you need is some soil, water, and sunshine, and you’ll be on your way to homegrown tomatoes in no time.
Should you soak tomato seeds in water before planting?
No, you don’t need to soak tomato seeds in water before planting. However, if you find that the germination rates are low, soaking the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting may help.
Should tomato seeds be covered with soil?
Yes, tomato seeds should be covered with soil. Just press them lightly into the surface of the soil and water well.
What is the best temperature for germinating tomato seeds?
The ideal temperature for germinating tomato seeds is around 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re starting your seeds indoors, you can use a heat mat to help maintain the ideal temperature.
In this blog post, we discussed how you can plant a sliced tomato and grow a tomato plant from it. All you need is some dirt, some water, and a sunny spot in your home. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll enjoy homegrown tomatoes in no time.
If it doesn’t go the way you planned, it’s not your fault. Sometimes the tutorials you see in viral videos won’t work out, but with some experimentation and multiple attempts, you’ll likely end up with your own tomato plant.