Plant Parenting: Tomatoes can be Planted Deep

June 15, 2020

Some seedlings can be planted deeper in the soil than they were growing. Look below. Can you see the fuzzy part of the tomato stem that has a purple tint? You can bury that portion of tomato stem under the soil, as it will develop new adventitious bracing roots from that part of the stem.

So, if you accidentally waited too long to transplant, or your seedlings stretched due to lack of light, you can get your seedling back on track by planting a little deeper.

Tomato plug ready to be potted up.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Once I've checked the root system of my tomato plug & found it large enough for bumping up I filled a 4" pot with loose potting mix, then used a dibber to make a plug-sized hole for the tomato seedling. I dropped it into the hole & then gently pressed soil about the root ball & covered any exposed root area with some additional potting mix.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

If you sniped this seedling off right at the soil line, you could also use it as a stem-tip cutting—the stem will grow new roots from the purple area.

Plant Parenting Book

Back to top

Tips in your inbox

E-Newsletter

Sign up for the E-Newsletter for my latest green industry updates for pros + plant and gardening tips for home hobbyists.