Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: Suckers on tomato plants

Hybrid View

  1. #1

    Default Suckers on tomato plants

    Anyone got an opinion on what to do with suckers? I was taught that they just drain energy and water from the plant that could be directed elsewhere, like towards the fruit and removing them makes for a stronger plant.

    This picture shows you what to look for for anyone that's unfamilar with them - the sucker is the middle one.

    You see, you have a branch attached to the main stem on the left in this case. The sucker grows in between that branch and the main stem.

    Now that's a big one, but I was taught to remove them while they were still tiny and throughout the plant's growth period from half a dozen inches high onwards. Apparently some let them grow bigger then snap them off and plant in potting soil to make a new plant.

    This is the first I'd heard of that and was wondering if anyone had done it with success?

  2. #2


    I was taught the same thing, to break off the sucker branch while it is small.

    There may be some truth to what you said about propagating the sucker branch after it is bigger. But, what about the nutrients it is stealing from the main plant while you let it grow? Here is my story about why I think you can propagate a new tomatoe plant from a branch:

    Last year, I was leaving the nursury after purchasing a new tomatoe plant. We had strong winds that day and I heard a snap from the plant. I was concerned I had broken my tomatoe plant at the base, but when I looked I could not see a break. The nursury owner said to make sure that I heaped plenty of dirty around the base when planting it and it would "heal." That makes me think they will root in dirt for propagation.

  3. #3


    Yes it is often advised to take out suckers when they are small. I suppose it all depends on how much space versus how much time you have. I have lots of space and little time so I just let them grow. I might get a slightly lower yield per plant, but I'm very satisfied with what I get nonetheless. I also find that the extra foliage shades the fruit, meaning that I don't have to worry about full sun.

  4. #4


    Yes, me too green-moo. I've heard that you are supposed to break off the suckers, but usually only do it in the beginning when the plant is small and I am still fussing over my garden. Once the plants are growing well, I rarely remember or bother to do this. I'm usually trying to keep up with picking and canning my tomatoes at that point.

  5. #5


    I have heard that you should break them off but I have never done it. But I always still seem to have an abundance of tomatoes still.

  6. #6


    I think we all learned to break the suckers off because they impact fruit yield. Over the years I've done both - break them off, other years haven't and I've really not noticed a huge difference in yield.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts