Roots on stems?

by Laura
(Southern Alabama)

Q. I guess this is not really a problem but just curious. I have what looks like hundreds of tiny roots growing on some of the thicker stems of my tomato plant. What are they? I have never seen this condition before. The plant is potted. I grew it from seed. Unfortunately, I forget the variety.

A. Bumps on tomato stems start as hundreds of tiny hairs up and down the stalk. Hairs can turn into roots when buried underground. Above ground, they form tiny nubs or nodules, also called root initials, adventitious roots, or tomato stem primordial. They are the earliest stage of development of a tomato’s roots and they are not harmful to plants.

If bumps are on the lower part of the plant, you can mound topsoil or mulch around the stem, allowing more roots to develop and strengthening the plant.

You can learn more about root initials, what causes them, and how to treat them.

Good luck and happy gardening!
Your friends at Tomato Dirt

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