How Do You Prune A Cherry Tomato Plant Hydroponically?

Pruning is an essential aspect of hydroponic gardening that can significantly improve the yield and quality of your harvest. In our blog post on How Do You Prune a Cherry Tomato Plant Hydroponically?, we provide step-by-step guide on how to prune cherry tomato plants in a hydroponic system to maximize fruit production.

For those looking to expand their hydroponic setup, our post on How Do You Build a Hydroponic Cloner? Easy Fix provides a comprehensive guide to building your own cloner, allowing you to propagate your plants with ease.

Key Takeaways
Pruning is an important technique for promoting the health and productivity of tomato plants.
Regular pruning helps to improve air circulation, prevent diseases, and encourage the plant to focus its energy on producing fruit.
It is recommended to start pruning tomato plants when they reach 12-18 inches tall with 3-4 sets of true leaves.
When pruning tomato plants, remove any unnecessary branches or suckers, as well as any branches growing lower than the first fruit cluster.
Pruning can actually improve a tomato plant’s overall yield by directing its energy towards producing larger and higher-quality fruit.

Our experts at Unified Garden are here to help you become a hydroponic gardening pro, so don’t hesitate to explore our blog and take your gardening skills to the next level.

The Main Stem Is Called A Leader

The main stem is called a leader. This is the main stem that will have the most fruit, leaves and height.

The leader will be the tallest stem on your cherry tomato plant. It can be as tall as 6 feet or more in some cases.

The leader will also have more leaves at its top than any other branch on your cherry tomato plant because it splits into multiple branches when it grows taller than 4 feet (1.2 meters).

Pruning Indoor Hydroponic Tomato Plants?

Prune Suckers From The Main Stem

A sucker is a shoot that grows directly off the main stem, rather than from a leaf node. If you want your cherry tomato plant to grow more compactly, remove these suckers right away by cutting them with a sharp knife.

The reason to prune suckers is twofold: they tend to be weaker than branches that grow from leaf nodes, and they can divert energy away from the fruit production at their base if left unchecked.

“Properly using hydroponic nutrients is essential for maximizing plant growth and yield. Our guide on how to use hydroponic nutrients explains the importance of nutrient balance and how to adjust nutrient levels to meet your plants’ needs.”

Prune The Tops Of The Plants

The tops of cherry tomato plants can be pruned for a few reasons.

You want to encourage new stems to grow, so you cut off the top of the plant.

You need to clear space for other plants or add more air circulation. The pruned leaves will act as mulch, which will help keep humidity levels at an optimal level and prevent disease from spreading throughout your garden.

Prune The Low Branches

The lower branches of cherry tomatoes can be pruned in order to keep the plant growing upward. Prune branches that are growing horizontally or downward, as well as those that are growing away from the main stem. This will help ensure a strong central leader and prevent overcrowding in your hydroponic system.

Cut Away Any Dead Or Diseased Leaves And Branches

Cut away any dead or diseased leaves and branches. Dead leaves are easy to identify; simply examine each leaf for signs of decay, such as brown or black spots, moldy patches, or holes in the tissue. 

Diseased leaves may be harder to spot due to their appearance   they can look like healthy ones, but will display signs of disease on closer inspection. 

If you observe any of these symptoms during your inspection process, cut away the diseased branch and dispose of it safely (get rid of it!).

“Healthy roots are the foundation of a thriving hydroponic garden. Learn how to promote root growth in hydroponics with our expert tips on oxygenation, pH balance, and other important factors.”

Don’t Prune Your Plants Too Late In Their Growing Season

Don’t prune too much at once. You can’t just cut off a branch and expect it to grow back or put out new fruit. It will take some time for your plant to recover from the trauma of losing its entire cherry tomato harvest in one fell swoop. 

Most plants need at least two weeks after pruning before they will produce new fruit again, so if you want to get your harvest underway as soon as possible, don’t cut off all the fruit-bearing branches at once. 

Instead, remove one branch at a time until all of them are gone or wait until next season when more are ready for picking!

Prune too late in the season and you risk killing your cherry tomato plant entirely – no tomatoes for anyone! 

If you prune too late in their growing season, you may not have enough time for them to produce another crop before winter arrives (which would be tragic).

Remove Any Vines That, If Left On The Plant, Will Compete For Nutrients With Your Maturing Fruit

Remove any vines that, if left on the plant, will compete for nutrients with your maturing fruit. If you don’t remove them, they will steal nutrients from the fruit.

If you leave these vines on and they grow too large, they can create a shadow over your maturing cherry tomatoes and prevent them from getting enough light to ripen properly. 

If this happens, it may be necessary to cut back those vines after a few weeks of growth in order to provide sufficient sunlight for your cherry tomato plants and fruit.

“Lighting is a critical element in hydroponic gardening, but determining the right amount of light can be challenging. Our guide on how many lumens you need for hydroponics provides helpful information on the best lighting options and how to calculate your specific needs.”

Don’t Prune Too Much At Once. Start Light, Then Go A Little Heavier Next Time You Prune

Don’t prune too much at once. Start light, then go a little heavier next time you prune.

You’ll want to keep your cherry tomatoes healthy and productive, so it’s important to know when and how much to prune. 

In general, you should start with lighter cuts and increase as needed throughout the season. Don’t prune too late in the season because doing so can stress out your plants and reduce their overall yield for that year. 

You also shouldn’t prune too early in the year because this could make it harder for new growth and therefore fresh fruit to appear during the summer months. 

A good rule of thumb is not to cut more than one branch per month from an individual plant; otherwise, you might end up depleting its energy reserve before harvest time comes around!

Remember To Treat Your Tomato Plants Well Even When They’re Not Being Pruned

Remember to treat your tomato plants well even when they’re not being pruned.

Watering: Keep your tomatoes well-watered, but don’t over-water them. They’ll punish you for it by getting root disease and turning yellow and limp. 

Don’t let them get dried out either, because that will make them prone to leaf spot (a fungus infection) and cracking of their fruit skins.

Fertilizing: We recommend a balanced fertilizer like Dyna Gro Liquid Grow or Dyna-Gro’s All Purpose Plant Food as a general purpose formula which can be applied throughout the growing season once per week at half strength as needed.

Up until harvest time when you want to slow down growth in order to concentrate on making bigger fruits rather than more leaves and branches which need energy allocated towards fruit production instead!

Temperature: Tomatoes need warm weather all year round; if you live where winters are cold enough for frost then it might be better just leave them outside on your porch instead where they’ll still grow fine all winter long without needing any special care beyond keeping weeds off around their pots so they get plenty light exposure during daylight hours too!

“Choosing the right hydroponic nutrients is crucial for healthy plant growth and maximizing yield. Check out our list of good hydroponic nutrients to ensure that you are providing your plants with the essential nutrients they need to thrive.”

Check-In On Your Plants Daily After You’ve Done Some Pruning

After you’ve pruned your cherry tomatoes, it’s important to keep tabs on them. Here are some things to check for:

  • signs of disease
  • signs of insects
  • signs of stress and nutrient deficiency (leaves turning yellow)
  • over- or under-watering (watch out for wilting leaves)

Always Use Sharp Tools While Pruning Tomato Plants

You should always use sharp tools when pruning tomato plants. A clean, disinfected pruning shear is the best tool for cutting stems, and it does not have to be expensive. 

A sharp knife or blade can also work well for small-scale pruning jobs.

The most important thing is to avoid injuring your plant by using dull blades which will tear through the stem rather than cut it cleanly.

“Building a recirculating hydroponic system can seem daunting, but with the right tools and guidance, it can be a fun and rewarding project. Our guide on building a recirculating hydroponic system offers step-by-step instructions and tips to help you create a successful system.”


Pruning a cherry tomato plant is a great way to keep them healthy and productive. While there are several different ways to prune your cherry tomato plants, we recommend the LST method. 

This method will help you get more fruit from each plant, as well as increase the overall yield of your garden!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources you may find helpful for pruning tomato plants:

Pruning Hydroponic Crops: This fact sheet from Oklahoma State University provides detailed information on pruning techniques for hydroponic tomato plants.

How to Prune Tomatoes: Wikihow’s guide on pruning tomato plants offers step-by-step instructions and helpful visuals.

Pruning Tomatoes: This guide from Fine Gardening provides tips and techniques for pruning tomato plants in both traditional and container gardens.


What is pruning and why is it important for tomato plants?

Pruning is the process of selectively removing parts of a plant to improve its overall health and yield. For tomato plants, pruning helps to promote better air circulation, prevent diseases, and encourage the plant to focus its energy on producing fruit rather than foliage.

When should I start pruning my tomato plants?

It is generally recommended to start pruning tomato plants when they reach about 12-18 inches tall and have 3-4 sets of true leaves. This allows you to remove any unnecessary branches or suckers before they become too large and start to take away from the plant’s energy.

How many branches should I prune from my tomato plants?

The number of branches you should prune from your tomato plants depends on the type of tomato and the desired outcome. In general, it is recommended to remove any suckers that form in the crotch joint of two branches, as well as any branches that are growing lower than the first fruit cluster.

Will pruning my tomato plants reduce their overall yield?

While it is true that pruning can reduce the total number of branches and leaves on a tomato plant, it can actually improve the plant’s overall yield by directing its energy towards producing larger and higher-quality fruit.

Is pruning necessary for hydroponic tomato plants?

Pruning is important for all tomato plants, regardless of whether they are grown in soil or hydroponically. However, pruning techniques may vary slightly depending on the specific hydroponic system being used. It is important to research the appropriate pruning techniques for your specific system.