How To Prune Tomato Plants

Pruning is not totally necessary. However, if you want taller, stronger, plants and huge fruits you will need to prune excess vines that start to form where the leaf meets the main stem. Pruning tomato plants is a very important part of your tomato growing experience. It is something that must be done carefully. Pruning is done in order for the plant to use more energy on the fruit during the growing stage, rather than wasting it on the leaves and branches that are no longer beneficial. Pruning is a technique for gardeners to get rid of the unproductive and damaging leaves and branches. It also increases the yield of the tomato plant and helps to reduce diseases.
How To Prune Tomato Plants

Here are tips that can help you prune your tomato plants correctly:

  1. First, you need to water the tomato plant a night before to re-hydrate it. This will bring back the life of leaves that once looked dead. Pruning tomato plants can be done the following day, after the plant has been hydrated in order to find the dead leaves or flowers. If they are not re-hydrated, chances are flowers or leaves that looked dead but were actually not could be pruned out.
  2. Remove the non-flowering branches off of the stem known as the suckers by hand (Click here for a video on removing suckers). They either bear no fruit or take too much time to bear fruit. Pruning must be carefully done to prevent cutting off branches that have fruit or flower on them. The best way to prune is to start from the bottom and then move up slowly towards the top.
  3. The plants must be pruned once a week for indeterminate plants. Do not prune a ‘determinate’ type tomato plant. You want all the fruit you can get from these shorter plants. Do not allow the sucker stems to grow too big or it will become tough to pull them off while pruning. Pruning over one-third of the tomato plant in a single pruning session is not recommended.
  4. Overdoing pruning can debilitate photosynthesis and will cause unwanted stress on the plant. In addition, over pruning can also lead to a lack of shade essential to the fruit during the growing process, and could also result in diseases like sun scald caused by excessive sun exposure.
  5. After pruning, the plant may look a little ugly, but there is nothing to worry about because your efforts will be rewarded with bigger, stronger, and healthier plants.
Poor pruning or incorrect pruning can ruin the tomato growing experience. It is important to follow these tips for pruning tomato plants to grow them successfully and to have a plentiful harvest. When pruning the plants, it is best to use sharp and good quality cutters to make clean cuts and to ensure it won’t cause damage to the plant when pruning.