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Planting Leggy Tomato Plant

New Harmony, UT(Zone 5b)

I hope this question isn't too stupid......anyway here goes. I have a couple of purchased tomato plants
('sweet 100' cherry & 'early girl') that have gotten a bit leggy. The first pic is 'sweet 100 cherry'. The second
pic is the 'early girl'. I will be planting them in grow bags. Should I plant them "as is" or should I remove some of the branches and plant them deep? Any advice will be appreciated.

Thanks alot,

Thumbnail by lindaboom Thumbnail by lindaboom
Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Remove branches and plant deep. You can clip back to the top-most leaves, create a trench in the soil bag, lay the plant in the trench gently curving the top-knot up out of the soil. Roots will form along the stalk where you removed the branches. Use a sharp instument, making sure it's clean so no bacteria etc enters the 'wound'.

Good luck!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Linda that is not a stupid question but this might be. Mary, wont cutting off the branches leave an open wound for bacteria or fungus to enter? Im funny about pruning or anything that involves removing healthy tissue. Im always afraid it will leave a place for pathogens to enter.

Linda-Im not sure if you will be able to make a trench in a grow bag, but plant as deep as possible and you should be good. Ive seen alot leggier plants that produced tomatoes that were fine.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Most of the things that affect tomatoes don't gain entry from the removed branches, do use a sharp instrument and clip cleanly, plant as deep as possible, the trench means lay it on it's side and curve it up into and above the base of the soil, and good luck

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Ive always read that removing branches and pruning leaves an open wound for diseases to enter. How else do diseases enter plants excelpt trough open wounds? In commercial production they call it mechanical wounding, but I doubt if potting soil used in a grow bag would be much of a problem. I agree trenching is a great idea just not sure if its possible to do that in a grow bag with plants that big??? Id hate to see the stem get broken. Im not trying to argue I want to learn too. That is always one of the reasons Ive seen not to remove or prune plants. As it leaves an open wound. Anyway, Im always open to learning new information.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Since the plants are so tall I also was going to suggest trenching as well, but no can do in Grow-bags.

Diseases can get into /on tomato plants by fresh wounds, through the roots and also by insect vectors as well as open wounds by removing branches, but the latter is not the most common way IMO.

But I've never had a problem removing some side foliage when I plant vertically and when trenching I never remove branches b'c they rot and so no wounds b/c they heal over almost ASAP.


New Harmony, UT(Zone 5b)

Thanks it seems the concensus is to remove the side branches up to the 1st
set of leaves and set them into the growbag up to the 1st set of leaves. The grow bags are
10 gal. but I don't think it will be possible to trench the plants. Do I have it right?

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)


Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Just dig as deep as possible in the bag, then put the plant all the way in-

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Now can ask you a question? Where did you get your grow bags, I'm thinking of trying a few of those? Thanks!

You might even put the plant in the grow bag and then add the soil carefully around it. I never planted a plant that large vertically only by trenching. When I plant in the trench I never remove the branches bc, as Carolyn said, they come off all by themselves. I do have a Box Car Willie that I planted in a trench and now the branches are coming up along the buried stem but it's doing great. In the grow bag I think your only option is to plant deep vertically.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

If you withhold watering for awhile your defrocked plant should be limp and pliable enough that you could bend it enough to make an "L" in the trench, without breaking it. A 10-gallon bag will give you a little room to play with. As I recall, your growbag is wider than it is deep.

New Harmony, UT(Zone 5b)

Hi 1lisac - This is my first time using grow-bags so I can't give a review as to the quality
of these bags but the price was good. The website is

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Thank you, I'll check it out.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Could you post a direct link to the growbag page, please?

New Harmony, UT(Zone 5b)


New Harmony, UT(Zone 5b)

For some reason when I tried the link above I was sent to a Century Link search website.
However, I was able to get to Owlyn's website buy going to If you're looking
for 10 gallon grow-bags the 10-pack of 10 gallon grow-bags is out of stock but they do have
other sizes.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Linda.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

The problem with the first link is that it lacks the .com on it. The second link doesn't work for me. I end up going to, its problem is the period after the com. The correct link is

Sevierville, TN(Zone 7a)

My Dad taught us to put any tomato plant deep in the ground up to the first set of leaves, I still do that as it produces more roots and a sturdier plant ( also thirstier). PLANT ON!!

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