If you follow gardening hacks online, you likely will have seen a number of videos claiming the possibility of growing tomato plants from slices. One famous example shows a slice of a regular store-bought tomato being planted into a pot full of potting soil, growing up to produce a full and healthy tomato harvest.

Unfortunately, as with many hacks on the internet, the process is not that simple. Store-bought tomatoes are usually hybrids that will not produce true to seed. That means the plant you grow – and the fruit you harvest – could be very different from what you initially planted. For fun experiments, this is no problem, but serious tomato growers are likely to be disappointed.

But that’s not the only concern. Store-bought seeds are not guaranteed to be viable after the extensive treatment and transportation processes they go through to get to your local grocery store. They are also more likely to encounter problems with disease in the early stages of growth. This can kill the entire plant before you ever see any fruits. And apart from these issues, it’s not good seed-starting practice to place so many seeds so close together anyway. You’ll need to do some dramatic thinning for any seeds that do germinate to avoid later overcrowding.

There’s no harm in trying to grow tomato plants this way. It does make a fun holiday experiment, especially for kids who are interested in gardening. But if you want a guaranteed harvest, you are far better off purchasing seeds from official growers for the best results.



A classic tomato sauce recipe