Maybe you are wondering what are suckers on tomato plants and figuring out ways to deal with them. Tomato suckers are tiny shoots or leaves that appear from the junction of a tomato plant’s stem and branch.
Suckers, while relatively innocuous to the plant, serve little purpose. They can, however, divert energy away from the main stems, resulting in reduced tomato development, and this article will detail what needs to be done about them.
- What Are Suckers on Tomato Plants?
- How Should You Deal With Tomato Suckers?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Suckers on Tomato Plants?
Tomato suckers are tiny shoots or leaves that sprout from the middle section of the stem and branch of a tomato plant. Tomato plant suckers is a term that experienced gardeners may easily use, but it can leave novice gardeners scratching their heads.
If left alone, these little shoots will develop into full-sized branches, resulting in a bushier, more expansive tomato plant. As a result, many individuals will prefer removing tomato suckers from tomato plants. Yet, there are benefits and drawbacks to pruning tomato plant suckers, so do your homework before you begin removing tomato suckers from your plant.
Many plants contain these secondary stems, but most require the removal of the branch above the sucker before the sucker is prompted to develop by the plant. This is typical in herbs such as basil, where pruning the stem results in two suckers developing from the axils (points where the leaf or branch meets the stem) immediately below where the cut happened.
How Should You Deal With Tomato Suckers?
To deal with tomato suckers, you should prune them to start with. Please note that pruning determinate tomatoes and indeterminate tomatoes are different, so you should study the differences. After pruning, you can use the suckers to propagate new plants.
– Prune Them
There are several methods for pruning or removing tomato suckers. The best way is to remove tomato suckers from just below the initial cluster or remove just a few while leaving some suckers on the main stem.
Grab the sucker at the base with your fingers and snap it off the stem. Use clean, sharp pruning shears on more giant suckers to avoid harming the plant. You can prune them at any period of year. Remove lower, browning leaves while you’re at it to avoid disease. Bigger, leafier suckers should be removed from beneath the fruit cluster to avoid interfering with fruit growth.
Here is a different trick you need to do apart from regular pruning. Remove the leaves from the lower three quarters of the plant for a healthy tomato plant, and then take off any leaves beneath the tomato’s lowest cluster of flowers/fruit.
These leaves aren’t doing anything to aid the plant or the tomatoes that are growing on it, and they are simply sucking energy and raising the risk of illness. Tomato diseases like blight spread from the soil beneath the plant and when splashed onto the leaves.
By removing the lower leaves, you will help to solve the problem. Mulching with straw or wood chips beneath the tomato plant also helps.
– How to Prune Determinate Tomatoes
If you’re growing tomatoes vertically, tie them to their supports every seven to 10 days with fabric strips, twine, or another soft material, and then remove the unwanted leaves and stems. Tie them loosely, as this helps to keep the stems straight. There will be more stems, blooms, and fruits if more tomato plant suckers are in the growing season.
Suckers should be pruned when the first flower clusters begin to blossom. Identifying what to prune if suckers are clipped before creating the first bloom cluster is difficult. While plants are pruned too late until the suckers become large, removing suckers creates large lesions on the stem that facilitate pathogen infection.
Another significant concern is that the lesions should dry out as soon as possible to decrease the risk of infection. With this in perspective, the best time to prune the plants is on the morning of a sunny day. The best part of this way is that it improves airflow, which may aid in controlling foliar diseases. When determinate tomato shoots form a terminal bud, they stop growing.
– How to Prune Indeterminate Tomatoes
Here the pruning methodology is determined by how the vining tomato plants are assisted and whether the fruits are big or small. They are usually planted on solid one-by-two-by-seven-foot wood stakes and grown in a polytunnel.
Before you begin trimming, wait a few weeks after your plants have been in the ground and have put on new growth. When your tomato plants are wet, never work with them. If a sickness is present, you will spread it. Tomato plants are hardy and can withstand a lot of abuse. Just be cautious not to cut off the main stem or growing point (and even if you do, you’ll be fine).
– Propagate Them
Don’t throw away all of the tomato suckers after you’ve removed them! The adventitious roots of tomatoes are one of their best features, implying they can grow roots at any place along their stem. Once a sucker has been removed, it can be used as a cutting to grow more tomato plants. Who wouldn’t want some extra free tomatoes?
If the cuttings are longer than 6 inches, they can be replanted. Remove leaves from the stem before rooting the cutting in water or soil. Ensure no leaves are immersed, and the bottom section is submerged. Plant the stem in its pot of soil once a good root ball has formed.
Frequently Asked Questions
– How Frequently Should Tomato Suckers Be Removed?
Tomato suckers should be removed regularly – every seven to ten days. Luckily, the removal of sucker is not a difficult job. It is one that you may want to undertake frequently to ensure the health of their plants and their yield.
– What Should You Do With Pruned Tomato Suckers?
You should root suckers, although throwing them in the compost pile is the most obvious technique. Tomato suckers root quickly and can be used to propagate more plants. Also, if you do chuck them on the compost pile they may grow anyway.
– How To Get Rid of Tomato Plant Suckers?
Getting rid of tomato plant suckers is easy – you simply snap them off with your fingers while they’re little, about one to three inches long. We propose removing them with a clean pair of tomato pruners or garden snips once they’ve grown in size.
– When Should Tomato Suckers Be Removed?
Tomato suckers can be removed as soon as you see them. This is because pruning tomato suckers is a method of controlling and managing tomato plants growth. It is believed that tomato suckers deplete the plant’s energy and diverts it from important functions.
Tomato plant suckers, in the end, will not hurt your tomato plant. Some points to keep in mind are:
- You may make a more concclusive decision about whether or not to remove suckers from a tomato plant on your own.
- There are different ways to prune your tomato plant so that you can follow whatever works for your plants.
- Knowing your tomato plant’s varieties can help you make the right decision.
Now that you know what a sucker on a tomato plant is and how to detect suckers on a tomato plant, grow your plants the best way. These tips and tricks will take your tomatoes to the next level!
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