Bumps on My Tomato Stems?

March 9, 2012

A scanned red tomato, along with leaves and fl...

Image via Wikipedia

For those of us who grow tomatoes, and that is just about everyone who has a vegetable garden, many have probably noticed that there are often little nodes toward the bottom of the main stem of the plant. ‘What are these?, we may have asked ourselves at some point.

They are the root primordia. The root primordia is the earliest stage of root development. If that primordia had been underground it most likely would have developed into a root. This is why, when I transplant my tomatoes I plant them 3-5 inches below where they were in the container. I know it is a little sad to watch your tomato plant shrink in size as soon as you put it in the ground, but, in the long run you will have a stronger healthier plant.

Occasionally the nodes can signal an overall health problem with the plant so keep an eye on it. But theĀ primordia are almost always harmless when above ground and beneficial when below ground.


2 Responses to “Bumps on My Tomato Stems?”

  1. transplantednorth Says:

    I agree with this. It’s best to not have leggy plants. In fact, my mom taught me to plant my tomatoes a bit horizontally,covering these nodes to promote more robust roots. And, I usually plant them with a ring of aluminum foil around the bottom of the stem to prevent cut worm damage.


    • Nicole Brait Says:

      That’s interesting. I’ve wondered before if it would be better to plant them at an angle. I’m going to try it.
      Thanks for the comment.


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