Simple Tip to Propagate Roses with Tomato

Propagation of roses is a fascinating aspect of gardening that allows enthusiasts to expand their garden without purchasing new plants. While traditional methods involve rooting hormone powders or gel, there’s a lesser-known but effective technique using a common kitchen item: the tomato. This method harnesses the natural rooting properties of tomatoes to encourage successful propagation of roses. In this article, we’ll delve into the step-by-step process of propagating roses with a tomato, exploring the science behind it and offering practical tips for gardeners of all skill levels.


Roses are prized for their beauty, fragrance, and versatility in gardens worldwide. Propagating roses from cuttings is a popular method among gardeners to replicate their favorite varieties or share plants with friends and family. Traditional propagation methods typically involve using rooting hormone products to stimulate root growth. However, the tomato method offers a natural alternative that utilizes the tomato’s own hormone content to encourage rooting in rose cuttings.

Understanding the Science Behind It

Tomatoes naturally produce a hormone called auxin, specifically indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), which plays a crucial role in plant growth and development. Auxins promote cell elongation and are involved in root initiation and growth. When a tomato is sliced and rose cuttings are inserted between the slices, the auxin-rich environment created by the tomato can stimulate the formation of roots on the cuttings. This technique mimics the process of using synthetic rooting hormones but in a more organic and accessible manner.

Step-by-Step Guide to Propagating Roses with Tomato

Follow these simple steps to propagate roses using a tomato:

  1. Selecting Materials:
  • Choose a ripe tomato from your kitchen. The tomato should be firm and fully ripe, as it will provide the best environment for rooting.
  • Prepare rose cuttings from a healthy rose plant. Select stems that are about 6-8 inches long and have at least one or two sets of leaves. Cut just below a leaf node at a 45-degree angle.
  1. Preparing the Tomato:
  • Slice the tomato horizontally into thick slices, each about half an inch to three-quarters of an inch thick. Ensure each slice is large enough to accommodate the base of a rose cutting.
  1. Inserting the Rose Cuttings:
  • Place the base of each rose cutting between the tomato slices, ensuring that the cut end of the stem is in contact with the tomato flesh.
  • You can insert multiple rose cuttings into one tomato, depending on the size of the tomato and the number of cuttings you have.
  1. Planting in Potting Mix:
  • Fill a pot with well-draining potting mix. Remove any leaves from the lower portion of each cutting to prevent them from rotting in the soil.
  • Plant the tomato with the inserted rose cuttings into the potting mix. Bury the tomato slices so that the rose cuttings are firmly supported and in contact with the soil.
  1. Caring for the Propagation:
  • Water the potting mix lightly to settle it around the tomato and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  • Place the pot in a warm, bright location but out of direct sunlight. You can cover the pot with a clear plastic bag to create a mini greenhouse effect, which helps maintain humidity around the cuttings.
  1. Monitoring and Transplanting:
  • Check regularly for signs of root development on the rose cuttings. This typically takes several weeks, depending on the rose variety and environmental conditions.
  • Once roots have formed and are well-established, carefully transplant each rose cutting into its own pot filled with potting mix or directly into the garden bed.

Benefits of Using the Tomato Method

The tomato method of propagating roses offers several advantages:

  • Natural and Organic: Utilizes the natural rooting hormone present in tomatoes, avoiding the use of synthetic chemicals.
  • Accessible: Tomatoes are readily available in most households and gardens, making this method convenient and cost-effective.
  • Effective: Many gardeners report successful root formation using this method, especially with softer-stemmed rose varieties.

Tips for Success

  • Choose Healthy Materials: Use ripe tomatoes and healthy rose cuttings for the best results.
  • Maintain Moisture: Keep the potting mix consistently moist but not soggy to promote root development.
  • Provide Indirect Light: Protect the cuttings from direct sunlight initially to prevent them from drying out.


Propagating roses with a tomato is a creative and effective method that showcases the natural processes of plant growth and hormone stimulation. By harnessing the benefits of tomatoes, gardeners can propagate their favorite roses with confidence and enjoy the satisfaction of watching new plants thrive. Whether you’re new to gardening or a seasoned enthusiast, experimenting with this technique can add a unique twist to your propagation repertoire. Have you tried propagating roses with a tomato? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below to inspire fellow gardeners on their propagation journeys. Happy gardening!

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