How to Overwinter Any Tomato Plant

how to overwinter any tomato plant

You might be asking yourself what to do with your tomato plants in the winter!  Can you bring your tomato plant inside for the winter?   Do tomatoes regrow every year?  Well, I’ve got the answers for you!  Let me show you “How to Overwinter Any Tomato Plant”!

You can also do this in the Springtime by taking just one or two purchased plants and propagating all the new plants your heart desires!  You’ll save a lot of money this way!

While it would be quite impossible (and somewhat crazy!) to bring your entire plant inside, you can easily regrow that tomato plant with a few snips.  Did you know that tomatoes are actually considered to be perennials?  Yep, take a look at the little hairs that run up and down the stem – those are little roots!  With a little care, they will regrow for you again and again!

Consider which tomato plant/plants did the best for you this year.  Those will be the ones you want to take cuttings from and overwinter with!  You’ll want to do this before the plant begins to die for the season.

Here’s where to cut from your existing plant:

anatomy of tomato plant
Source: Bonnie Plants

Clip several “suckers” from your best tomato plants.

tomato sucker

Here’s one of my clippings, isn’t it easy to overwinter tomato plants?

tomato sucker

Cut away all of the little stems and if you haven’t already, make sure you have a nice clean cut on the bottom, preferably at a slant.

Heirloom Vegetable, Herb & Flower Seeds

tomato sucker

Continue to gently cut away excess leaves, which will place more stress on the cutting. 

We’re wanting the stem’s energy to go towards growing new roots, not supplying water to the leaves.

tomato sucker

Then place your tomato cuttings in a glass of water, covering at least the bottom third of the cuttings up to half.  Now we wait…..

indoor tomato plants

After a few weeks, you’ll see beautiful little roots coming out of the bottom of your cuttings!  Important tip:  Change the water at least once a week and keep a consistent water level.

tomato cuttings rooting

Now, it’s time to plant your tomato cuttings!!!  Use a good potting mix designed for cuttings (a local nursery would be a good place to buy from), and preferably in a clay pot.  Make sure the plant can drain, well!  Also, make sure that the hole you make is deep enough for the root system!

You’ll want to place your indoor tomato plant in a sunny spot for the colder winter months.  Make sure your overwintered tomato plant has support when needed, just like you would if it were outside.

How to Start Boxed Plants Inside

Your little indoor tomato plant will continue to grow, so trim it back.  However, without 75-80 degree temperatures, it won’t flower or bear fruit.  Can you believe all of the leaf growth in just a few weeks in water?

indoor tomato plants

Think about how simple it will be to just transplant your rooted cutting in the Springtime!  So much easier than starting from seed – and less expensive as well!  Don’t forget, you can trim off the suckers from these new plants and create more new tomato plants to your hearts content!!


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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Shari

    What’s next ater they get this big and its along tome till they can be planted??

    1. Kelly

      Hey Shari! You’ve got to keep them pruned back until Spring. They may need a support cage and a bigger pot, but think about how far ahead you’ll be! Great question!

  2. Connie S

    Great idea! Thanks so much for sharing this awesome tip!

    1. Kelly

      Hey there Connie! I hope this works for you and thanks for reading!

      1. Dee L

        Hi Kelly! I notice you have some tomato plant stems sitting in the water too. Will this work with stems without leaves too?

        Also, will this work with other plants in the nightshade family like eggplants and peppers?

        1. kmorris

          Hi Dee!

          Great questions! I keep a couple of leaves on for photosynthesis.

          Yes, you can propagate peppers and eggplant!

  3. anu

    Wow! Great idea. Hope in the North of Italy where temperatures drop below 0 deg C will not affect these plants even though indoors.

    1. Kelly

      Hi Anu! As long as they are indoors and you have a source of heat, they should be fine! Thanks for reading!

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