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Growing cherry tomato plant indoors

Please have the "grow2girl" answer these questions for me if possible.  Thank you..

I have attached some photographs of the plant I am trying to grow at work.  The plant has special

meaning to a lot of us at my place of employment and I am trying my hardest to do the best I can for it.  I have never grown vegetable plants outside or inside before.  I have the plant in a large clay pot with mircacle grow vegetable soil.  It keeps getting taller instead of filling out.  It is in front of a huge window where it gets lots of sunlight.  One of my stalks broke and I took the fallen piece and stuck it in the soil and it is growing now.  I wasn't sure if I had lost it or not.  When you look at the photo this stalk or stem is the one closest to the round wooden doll (sp).  I would like to know how I can get the plant to fill out and produce fruit.   I hope these photographs come out ok. Thank you for any assistance.





Wayne's Tomato Plant 003.jpgWayne's Tomato Plant 004.jpg   Wayne's Tomato Plant 004.jpg   Wayne's Tomato Plant 012.jpg   Wayne's Tomato Plant 002.jpg  Wayne's Tomato Plant 016.jpg

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Posted 2012-01-29T15:31:12+0000  by carol2 carol2


First I want to apologize for not getting back to you right away.  I also want to 'thank'  all of you for all the great suggestions on how to spoil my tomato plant and hopefully to make it fruitful. 

I now have the plant enclosed in the tomato cage and the plant light is hanging over it.  I also have taken the extra stalks and planted them in another pot (this was last week) and it seems to be growing - not wilting anyway.

My base plant is doing very well.  The one day we had close to 60 degree weather I put it outside for about 4 hours in a sunny spot that was protected from the wind. 

I have put my best efforts into this cherished plant and if it doesn't work out I am ok with that.

Again, thank you all very much!!!


Best Answer

Posted 2012-02-06T14:47:40+0000  by carol2

Hey carol2.


Grow2girl will not be in for a few days but she can give us some input as well when she gets in.


 In order for tomatoes to thrive, they need full sun. When a full sun plant is planted indoors, it will thin its self out in order to survive, reaching for the sun and it will often produce fewer, bigger leaf to be able to absorb more sun. Tomato plants need direct sunlight and even bright indirect light is not enough. Plants that produce fruit will also shut down fruit production as a defense mechanism to stay alive. Without enough sun photosynthesis can not properly take place.


Your best chance for growing tomatoes indoors would be to put the plant on the south side of the building, by the window, for this is the sunniest side. I would also recommend using a potting mix like Miracle Grow potting mix, for it is specifically designed to drain in a pot where as a planting mix will work better in the ground. Because the daylight hours are so much shorter in the fall and winter, you will have better results with your tomato plants in the spring and summer once daylight hours are longer.


Unfortunately there is no substitute for sunshine, therefore tomato plants will always do better when planted outside. I am Greengiant, thanks for the question. I will let grow2girl know about your question and ask for her input as well.

Posted 2012-01-29T16:55:39+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL

Thank you Greengiant.  I do have the plant on the south side of our building (this is where my office is) in front of a very large window that allows the sun in all day long.  I also have the plant in 'miracle grow vegetable soil'.    I just wanted to understand why it is so 'leggy' and not filling out.  It just keep getting taller.  I wanted to know if I have to cut it back where I cut the plant and if I can place those cuttings in the soil as well.  I did to one already and it is growing.  I will also wait for 'grow2girl' to give me more solutions.

Thank you


Posted 2012-01-31T13:24:15+0000  by carol2

Greetings Carol,

I work along side Grow2girl in the Boston Social Media Garden Team. Grow2girl spoke with me about your tomato concerns, we have looked at your pictures and also read Greengiants response. I just wanted to let you know, we all want you to have great success with your cherry tomato.


I do think that you should pinch back your plant, and I saw that you had success with that first broken stem, but I do think that a growing hormone would only insure strong new growth. Pinching back will allow the plant to fill out and get fuller.


Grow2girl told me it is in your office space, does the temperature go down over the weekend , do the lights go off??


You have to understand that there is no light like sun light, and no matter how much light you give indoor plants it can not really replicate the intensity of full spectrum outdoor sunlight!  It is just the way it is. Sorry. One plant is hard to watch,  it is like that "watched pot", and I do have concerns about the flowering and cross pollination. You have to have flowers to get fruit. 


This is a very difficult task you have undertaken, if you are unsuccessful it wont be because of lack of energy, effort or love on your part; it will because the circumstance and situation just have too many variables, I am sad to say.

If it were my plant, and I wanted to preserve a bit of this sentimentality that it holds, I would try to make a memento and press some leaves to put in a small frame, and then the plant would live on forever...


I know that Grow2 girl is working very hard and speaking with many resources to get you the best answer possible, so I just wanted to let you know we all commend your efforts..Sending good luck and success to you.


Posted 2012-01-31T14:30:17+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS

Hello Carol and welcome to the community.  You did a great job getting the photos uploaded and I was able to pass them on to a head grower at Bonnie Plant.  Unfortunately we do not have the best news.


It is not common for tomatoes to grow characteristically indoors and produce fruit.  In an office, it lacks what they need the most which is outdoor sunlight, heat from the sun, proper air temperature, oxygen and pollination from bees.   I’m not sure how old your plant is but a cherry tomato is post mature after 62 days old.  The tomato plant does not last forever.  Judging by the height of your plant, it is defiantly stretching for the sun and may perhaps be “stressed” because it is not getting what it needs to survive.  According to the Bonnie Plant grower, if the plant were healthy, the stalks would be at least 1” in diameter. 


Although the likelihood of your tomato producing flowers indoors is low, I asked him to give me the best possibly scenario to offer for you to try.

1.       Relocate it to a greenhouse, if you know someone with one.

2.       Cut 3’ of the bottom leaves off, tomatoes growth comes from the top and this might force it to produce side shuts.

3.       Cut the long leggy portions off the top of the plant, especially where you have a long stem and not leaves.  Make sure you cut at a “V”, where two stems join together.

4.       Try and re-root the cuttings and then grow outside in full sun, in the Spring.  You will have to gradually adapt the plant to the sun and the wind outdoors when the temperature is warmer, generally in May, in Rhode Island.

5.       If by chance you do see flowers indoors, you will have to aide in the pollination process.  This can be done manually by using a Q-tip.  You take the Q-tip and dab from one flower to the next to allow for pollination.


I’m very sorry that I did not have better news for you.  I know how much this plant means to you and how much time you are willing to put into it.  Please let us know if you have any other questions and we will certainly try our best to help you with this growing process.



Posted 2012-01-31T14:37:22+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS

Hey Carol, Just wanted to touch base and thankyou for the  up date. We, here at the community, hope that you continue to keep us in the loop with the progress of your cherry tomato plant! It truly is a well nurtured plant!!  I will look for you in the weeks to come...wishing lots of sunshine to you..

Posted 2012-02-07T13:22:03+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS



Hi everyone:

Just wanted to let you know how my tomato plant is doing.  The grow light is working wonderful as well as the cage!

I now have flower buds all over my plant and a couple are ready to open for me to pollinate.  I have cut back a couple of the taller stalks and one of those had some flower buds on it.  I repotted this one and it is doing great. 

I am absolutely thrilled!  Thank you all for the wonderful advice.  I will try to remember to bring my camera in to work and take a couple of pictures for you.

Thanks again.


Posted 2012-02-14T12:41:29+0000  by carol2

Hi Carol, 

That’s great!  I’m so happy to hear that you are getting flowers!  Let us know if you have any questions about the pollination process and send pictures when you can!

Posted 2012-02-14T13:29:52+0000  by Jen_HD_BOS

Hey Carol,

What a wonderful job you have done supplying everything that your plant needed to survive! Great job! I think all the heart and love you sowed into your plant is what is making it flourish!!! Happy Valentines Day to you! Thanks for keeping us posted!!

Posted 2012-02-14T13:31:08+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS

Hi everyone

I took some pictures of my plant this morning.  I hope they come out ok.  I wanted you to know I DO HAVE one little tomato growing and tried a close up but it is a little blurry.  I also obtained some Tomato plant food (Miracle-Gro) and mixed it up and will follow directions hoping to improve my plant.  There is a single photo of one flower and that is another plant shoot I stuck in another pot.  I have pollinated the flowers as suggested.  Thank you.  Carol

:tomato planttomato planttomato plant


tomato planttomato plant  This last photo is the stand alone plant.

Posted 2012-02-24T14:55:27+0000  by carol2
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