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Extension tips: Growing tomato plants from slices

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Ariel Eddings, CSU Extension Agent/Southeast Area

Growing Tomato Plants from Slices 

Spring is right around the corner, and many of us are planning our summer gardens! Home gardeners plant a variety of delicious and nutrient dense fruits and vegetables every year. The most popular fruit to grow in backyard gardens is tomatoes. Annually, 93% of households in America grow tomatoes! Tomatoes are a great crop to plant at home as they are not only delicious and versatile, but they are also easy to grow.  

This year, instead of purchasing a tomato plant or tomato seeds, start your tomato plant right at home with store bought tomatoes. This process is easy and something everyone in the family can be a part of!  


  • Pot or container (whatever you have at home)
  • Soil
  • Tomatoes (romas, beefsteaks, or even cherry tomatoes) - this is also great for tomatoes that you already have at home that might be getting too soft to use. Tomatoes from our grocery stores are typically hybrids and may be sterile. This would allow your plant to grow, but it might not produce fruit.
  • Spray bottle


  • To start, fill your pot or container with potting soil. The pot should be filled just about to the top.
  • Slice your tomato into ¼ inch slices (if using cherry tomatoes slice in half). If you’re using a smaller container use one to two slices, and three to four slices if you’re using something closer to gallon size.
  • Next, lay the tomato slices down in a circle around the pot. Evenly cover the tomato slices with a bit more soil. Once you have your tomatoes and soil all ready, mist the top with water. It is better to use a spray bottle to wet down the top of the soil, so it doesn’t run off the tomato slice.
  • Make sure to keep the top of the soil moist during the entire process.
  • After 7-14 days the seeds should start to germinate. Don’t be worried if you see mold during this stage!
  • You should end up with 30-50 tomato seedlings! Choose the strongest ones and transplant them into larger pots.

Now you have successfully grown your own tomato plants!