Overwinter Tomato Plants

Overwinter Tomato Plants

What do you do with your tomato plants at the end of the season?  Overwinter your tomato plants! 

Can tomato plants survive winter indoors? Can you bring your tomato plant inside for the winter?   Do tomatoes come back every year?  Yes, yes and YES!  By overwintering your tomato plants, your plants will survive the winter indoors and be ready for Spring once the snow melts.

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 tomato plants you want to overwinter.  Do this before the plant begins to die for the season.

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

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…..

growing tomatoes indoors

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!

When growing tomatoes indoors, they need 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.

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?

growing tomatoes indoors

Think about how simple it will be to just transplant your rooted tomato plant 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 heart’s content!!

Canning Tomatoes for Beginners

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This Post Has 19 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!

  4. BAMerrill

    thanks for the info….If I can remember to gather starts before my plants die from the frost I’ll be ahead of the game and save $ on seeds. Appreciate your sharing.

    1. Kelly

      Hi there BA! I can totally relate to trying to remember everything before winter! There’s so much to do! Thanks for commenting!

  5. Ethel

    I have at least 10 tomato plants that came up from seed after I cleaned out the bed for Fall. I will pot them up and try to keep them til Spring. Wish me luck! I am in zone 8b. S.W. Georgia.

    1. Kelly


      Wow, that’s amazing! You should be in good shape, give them lots of sun, which shouldn’t be too hard in Georgia!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Charlotte

    My seedlings are doing great. I dug up about 20 when I cleaned my garden bed. I put them under a grow light and they took off. They are huge now and I need to cut them back. My question is do I cut the tops off and regrow the cuttings. Thanks for your website. I’m in Georgia

    1. Kelly

      Hey Charlotte,

      That’s awesome about your tomato plants!

      You have a couple of options:

      1. You can re-pot your plants into larger pots and let them continue to grow.
      2. You can “top” them and either place the cuttings in water or straight into potting soil to root.

      Great problem to have!! Best of luck to you!

  7. Dragana

    Zdravo Kelli. Divno je ovo sto radiš. Hvala ❤️. Źelim da ove jeseni uradim ovo. Navijaj za mene i moj paradajz. Veliki pozdrav iz Srbije. 🌿🌿🌿

    1. Kelly

      Hello Kelli. Thank you ❤️.I want to do that this fall. Cheer for me and my tomato.A big greeting from Serbia. 🌿🌿🌿

      Hi Dragana! Great to hear from you and I wish you the best with your tomato plant!!! Let me know how you do!

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