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Old April 25, 2018   #1
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
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Default Best way to save / salvage tomato plants

My uncle has several tomato plants that he has started from seeds that are bout 6-10" tall. He has the plants in styrofoam cups and he places them on a sill outside during the day. He lives in North Carolina. The other day it got very windy and several of the plants fell off and the stems broke. Several broke about half way up the plant and several a little lower on the stem. How can he save or salvage these plants as he was getting ready to transplant them in the ground in the near future? Can he tape them and plant them with the break below the ground? Thanks.

Last edited by robrpb; April 25, 2018 at 12:02 PM.
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Old April 25, 2018   #2
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You can root the broken tops in water, if they are still fresh.
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Old April 25, 2018   #3
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Yes. Root the tops in water. I'd make a clean cut at the bottom of the stem. If they are wilted, soaking the whole thing in water for an hour or so could revive them.

Try planting the bottoms and they may survive too. He'll have double the amount of plants then .

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Old April 25, 2018   #4
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Location: NC-Zone 7
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Transplant the broken stems in potting soil as deep as possible and water well.
Bring them in out of the weather/wind to recover.
Keep the soil moist, and don't let dry out.
In a week or so the plant will have sent out more roots and should recover in time to plant mid May or so....

Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is knowing not to put one in a fruit salad.

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Old April 25, 2018   #5
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as long as he has some leaf stems attached to the main stem, the plant will start new growth from the joints. the result of the mishap is your uncle will have bushier plants.
the plants may be set back a bit from producing tomatoes, but ultimately, they should be ok.
if some plants have just main stem with no joints where a leaf was attached to the plant, i would think those plants would not be able to generate new growth, and would remain just stem.
does that make sense?

if the parts that broke off are big enough, uncle could try rooting them.

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Old April 25, 2018   #6
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
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Thanks to everyone for your quick reply and helpful information. I will pass it on to my uncle.
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