Indoor Tomato Plant Update.

I would like you all to put your thinking caps on right now. The cute ones. Not the ones that make you look weird that you got on vacation or at that craft festival where they looked so good on the girl selling them.

Think wayyyyyyy back to last September when I told you to take a little clipping from your tomato plants and root them.  Remember that?

Well take a gander at this …







Yes. It’s true. THIS is the very tomato plant I grew from that very rooted clipping.




I don’t blame you for not believing  me. I wouldn’t believe me either.   Other than the fact that it’s pretty scraggly … it’s a tomato plant. A tall one too.




I think the secret to my success was putting it under my grow lights.  Vegetable grow lights.  Not the other kind.  Even though I’m pretty sure the lights for that stuff is the same.  Anyhow, I don’t have a window that’s sunny enough in this house to sustain a tomato plant. It barely sustains me in the winter.  But grow lights were enough to turn this little tomato twig into a full blown plant.  The other tip is to grow a cherry tomato. You’re not gonna get a great big beefsteak type tomato through this method.




The very best part of this experiment? The tomatoes tasted good. How good? Fresh from the garden in the middle of summer good.




So today, in the middle of a blustery January, I stood, looking through my kitchen window at the wind and snow while eating a warm, sweet, cherry tomato from the garden.




The tomato was the size of a mouse’s enlarged  prostate so the satisfaction was short lived, but still … it was there.


  1. Marti says:

    Good job! I think I could grow tomatoes outside, in sunshine and dirt-dirt and not get that many. Why do I think that?

    Certainly that was the result last time I tried. In California. Where they say anything will grow… except when I touch it.


    • Karen says:

      Thank you. When my mother saw the plant she laughed her head off. Then I told her they were cherry tomatoes and *supposed* to be that small. Then she was suitably impressed although still snickering for some reason. ~ karen

  2. Violet says:

    It’s so perty, it deserves to have a fancier hair clip. Like an award. The Golden Hairclip award.

  3. Meg says:

    nice! i have orchids, i was researching lights to start to get more blooms. somehow it didn’t occur to me to try it with vegetables too… the upgrade to my lighting might have to include a few more plants under them! love it!

  4. jezz says:

    I didn’t see your original post–would you mind mentioning how you rooted the tomato cutting? Thanks, and congrats on your tomatoes!

  5. Ruth says:

    I got totally blind-sided by the hair clip, and the prostate comparison. LOL!

    Great job on the tomatoes. I planted cherry tomatoes here in the tropics (where else would I do it really?) and after a few months my plants (from seed) appear to be stuck at the baby stage. I’m starting to think they’re averse to rainfall, because my other tomatoes are doing just fine. :-/

    Will try again in the dry season… or maybe I should get me some pots and try growing them inside.

  6. Tanya H. says:

    I used to have scrawny indoor tomato plants like that. Someone told me to pinch off the new top growth (when it appears) to encourage a sturdier plant.

  7. Phyllis Kraemer says:

    Yup…I tried it….at the store in a lovely sunny window…ended up with swarmy mess…unlike your beauty!…Congrats!

  8. Ashley Taylor says:

    I’ve grown them inside before in containers. The only problem is to produce well and get bushy they need LOTS of fertilizer, like 3 times a week. It is fun to have tomatoes in winter though! I didn’t do it this year because I’m trying to finish up our sunroom so I can start an aquaponics system.

  9. Valerie says:

    That is awesome! I love hearing things like this! We just recently started some Romaine Lettuce indoors and after a week growing under our desk lamp, they are getting big! Perhaps one day I can pick some lettuce indoors! 🙂

  10. Jennifer says:

    I don’t want to burst your bubble, but that does seem like a lot of work for 4 cherry tomatoes! At least you perservered!!! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jennifer – Well, it really wasn’t any work at all. I just rooted the cutting for a few days, stuck it in dirt and ignored it. Also, you can’t see it well in the pictures, but there are 3 more clusters of flowers so there will be more tomatoes. At least … oh … another 15. That’s almost enough for a salad. Kind of. ~ karen

  11. erica says:

    Seeing those wee cherry tomatoes made me smile. With the balmy temps on the weekend it made me think of which veggies I’m going to grow this year. I consider them as garden candy!

  12. Marion says:

    yummy! I’m jealous.

  13. Dani says:

    The true beauty of it is that you will have a mature and ready plant when the weather warms up, just bury it as deep as you can, and she’ll produce all thru the summer. Take another clipping next September, and you’ll have a “forever” tomato plant!

  14. Terry Sears says:

    I saw the original post last summer on using the cutting from one of the garden plants. I was growing some in my garden and thought at the time that I must try it. Well I forgot to take a cutting. But now with your further post I will mark it down as a must do for next summer. funny thing is my garden plants look like you indoor plants but with more fruit. Just a question do you use chicken dropping to fertilize you indoor tomato plants. An earlier post indicated that they need feeding several times a week. Not sure but isn’t chicken dung high in Nitrogen. May not be the best. Glad you where successful. You make doing things so much fun. cheers

    • Karen says:

      Hi Terry – No, I don’t use chicken poop on my indoor tomato plant. You’re right it, *is* high in nitrogen. I compost it and use it in my garden though. I’m not sure I have any ready right now, but if I do … I might just try a bit of the composted stuff in my potted tomato. ~ karen!

      • Violet says:

        Oooh, speaking of compost… I’ve been wanting to try composting, but I’ve read that in cold climates the compost can freeze making it difficult to turn (whether in a pile or kept in a spinner; I’d use a spinner). Does yours ever freeze, and if so, what do you do about it?

        • Karen says:

          Violet – It hasn’t frozen yet, but it hasn’t been that cold out. Mine tends to stay moderately warm because I’m constantly adding straw and chicken poop to it from the coop. ~ karen!

        • Violet says:

          Oh, good, yay! Sounds like I should be okay. Even when it snows here, the temp doesn’t usually dip below upper 20s. Now that I’m finally living in the country after having lived in the city (with no yard) for so many years, I’d really like to compost my bunnies’ and guinea pigs’ poop/hay/bedding rather than continuing to send it to the landfill in plastic bags. It would also be great not to have to drag a trash bin that weighs a ton out to the curb every week. Thanks! Composting, here I come!

        • Karen says:

          You’re welcome Violet. Don’t forget too … the bigger your compost pile the more likely it is to heat up. So big, BIG, B I G as you can make it. ~ karen

  15. mayr says:

    Your photos are sheer gorgeosity. Just seeing them made me feel all summery.

  16. I missed the advice on the rooting of the tomato plant but your plant is so cute. Seeing the little tomatoes growing makes me smile. With below zero temps here, it’s great to see the green. I’m going to plant some lettuce and peppers under grow lights as soon as I get the Christmas decorations down. Thank you!

  17. Tracy says:

    Awesome! I’ll have to give this a try. On a side note, your grout looks mighty fine, too.

  18. Jill says:

    Hey, Karen, how about an update on those tomatoes that you stored in a cool room (the picked and papered ones)?? I tried with mine, but I don’t have a good ‘cool’ room that doesn’t freeze, so it didn’t work. 🙁 I’m curious to know how it worked out for you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jill – It did work for me. I have 3 tomatoes left in the basement right now. But I’m not sure I’d go to the bother again next year. The tomatoes don’t taste nearly as good as when they’re from the plant. I’d save a few maybe, but not as many as I did this year. ~ karen

  19. Don’t have a cute thinking cap Karen, maybe that could be you next project because I bet you do!

    P.S. One which actually helps the process of thinking rather than the illusion of it please.

  20. Brenda J. M says:

    Nice job. I’d love to be able to grow a lime tree. Not even sure how to start.

  21. gloria says:

    Every fall I dig up whatever garden veggie that’s still kicking, stick it in a pot, and bring it in the house. This year it was lemon thyme, feverfew, and basil. I also rooted two cuttings from my grape tomato plants on your suggestion. Here are the standings. Lemon thyme, feverfew and tomatoes = doing great. Basil = deader’n a doornail. The tomato cuttings are doing so well in fact, they need to be repotted into bigger accommodations. Hoping for real tomatoes soon. We are so sun-deprived here in western NY, and I’m using only what comes in my south-facing window. Even if I get nothing, I still have two hardy plants for next summer.

  22. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Now I wish I would have tried this..I miss my cherry tomatoes so much..I would be happy to be able to taste any amount of them right now..

  23. Barbie says:

    Great idea….especially for planting in your garden outside when that time arrives! I am going to try this ….thx for the great idea!

  24. Sandy says:

    I take my cuttings in the summer and just stick them in dirt and keep tomato plants growing all through summer and early fall without sticking them in water first. I have never tried to grow one in winter. I am impressed!! Maybe we should crown you Tomato Queen of Canada. lol.

  25. sera says:

    ooooooh, grow lights. So what you’re saying is that if I update my electrical and stick a grow light in my basement, I can start tomatoes and possibly make a salad. Do you think if I lay under the lamp next to the tomatoes, I’ll feel like I went to Mexico?

  26. Pilar says:

    Who cares about the amount or how many tomatos you yearn? YOU ATE CHERRY TOMATOS -FRESH FROM THE PLANT- WHILE YOUR GARDEN IS FROZEN!- Ladies: this is the art of doing stuff!
    Karen you rock!

  27. Krista says:

    I came across an experiment that I thought you might be interested in trying out. Some “interesting” people don’t use microwaves because apparently they make our food toxic or whatnot. The experiment goes like this- you have two potted plants and you water one with water that has been microwaved and cooled, and the other one with normal water. Supposedly the microwave watered plant will die.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Krista – That’s actually a myth exacerbated by some video on-line. Not to worry. Your microwave is not going to kill you or your plants. 🙂 Unless someone throws it at your head. ~ karen

  28. Shelley says:

    Wow now there’s a reason to get a grow light! I assume you grew this inside your house at room temp, not in a greenhouse?

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