Learn all about growing hanging tomato plants and harvest your own flavor-packed fruit.
Hanging baskets overflowing with colorful blossoms are common summer sight, but how about a hanging pot with tresses of just-ripe tomatoes? Indeed, it is possible! Tomatoes can grow and ripen in hanging pots and are best suited for gardens with little or no inground garden plots or patio container space. Requiring significantly more care than both inground and container-grown counterparts, hanging tomato plants are a labor of love with a sweet, juicy reward for the extra watering and strong support they require. Follow these hanging tomato plant growing techniques and you’ll be well on your way to a wonderful crop.
Choose the Right Pot
Tomatoes grow well in both classic hanging baskets and upside-down tomato pots. While unique, upside-down hanging pots pose several practical obstacles for tomato cultivation. Plants are naturally inclined to grow upward toward the light. When planted upside down in a special container, the tomato stems bend and form a U shape as they attempt to grow toward the light. The twisted stems are brittle and can shatter under the weight of fruit or in strong winds. Upside-down pots also have the potential to partially shade the developing plant. For the optimum fruit output, choose a site with enough of direct sunshine.
The finest upside-down hanging tomato pots are constructed of strong buckets; popular thin, permeable plastic planters dry out much too rapidly to be useful. Breathable plastic planters demand more frequent watering during hot and dry weather. Select a light-colored planting bucket; dark-colored pots might cause the plant’s roots to overheat during the summer heat.
When selecting a conventional hanging basket or upside-down pot for a tomato, size matters. Choose a pot with a diameter of 12 to 24 inches and a capacity of at least 5 gallons of soil. Tomatoes have deep root systems. These root systems not only feed the plant’s top development, but they also keep the plant in the container. A healthy plant requires a lot of dirt.
Focus on Light
To grow and fruit properly, all tomatoes need 8 hours of direct sunshine. Look for a site for your hanging basket tomato plants that is not shadowed by a neighboring structure, roof, or trees. Porch roofs, which are frequent sites for a hanging plant, should be avoided since they tend to throw too much shadow on tomato plants.
The greatest tomato hanging basket site is most usually on a building’s south side. In Zones 7 and above, a hanging spot that receives a few hours of shade from the intense afternoon sun is preferred, while Zones 6 and below can tolerate a full day of sun.
Invest in Ultra-Strong Support
A mature hanging basket tomato plant in damp soil may weigh up to 50 pounds. When wind is combined with the weight of the container, it is clear to understand why strong support is required. To support the hanging tomato plant, go to a local hardware store and purchase wall anchors and hanging gear.
Go for Tiny Tomatoes
Cherry and grape tomatoes are the finest tomato plants for hanging. These small-fruited plants hold up to container growing much better than large slicing tomatoes and their long, ropey vines trail over container edges. These are 5 excellent tomato plants for hanging baskets.
- ‘Midnight Snack’ hybrid is an indigo-type cherry tomato that ripens to red with glossy black-purple coloring where it is exposed to sunlight. It has huge fruit clusters.
- ‘Napa Grape’ hybrid has a high sugar content and is quite sweet. The 1-inch long fruits are produced in abundance on vigorous vines.
- ‘Tiny Tim’ has 1-inch, cherry-red tomatoes on small, tidy plants. It is disease resistant and has a delicious taste.
- ‘Tumbler’ hybrid is a brilliant red cherry tomato that grows well in hanging pots. Its compact vines produce as much as 6 lbs. of fruit in a season.
- ‘Tumbling Tom’ A yellow fruiting hybrid pours over the edge of a classic hanging basket, yielding an abundance of delicious, yellow tomatoes 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
How to Grow Hanging Tomato Plants
Tomatoes planted in traditional hanging baskets are planted in very much the same way you plant a pot of annual flowers. Fill the container halfway with good potting soil. Apply a slow-release fertilizer—a fertilizer designed for food crops is ideal. Next put the tomato plant and thoroughly water it. Water your tomato hanging basket at least once a day, and up to twice a day in hot, dry weather.
How many cherry tomato plants can you put in a hanging basket?
You can grow two to three tomato plants per hanging basket if they are small plants. But, bigger tomatoes may be grown with just one plant per container.
What type of tomatoes grow in hanging baskets?
8 Best Tomato Varieties to Grow in Hanging Baskets
- Tomatoes for Little Tim. Tiny Tims grow only about 18 inches tall and can survive a 6-inch pot. …
- Tom Tomatoes Falling. These are excellent for hanging baskets because of their 18-inch-long cascading habit. …
- Red Robin Tomato. …
- Early Resilience Hybrid Tomato.
Can all tomatoes grow in hanging baskets?
Ordinary tomatoes such as Gardener’s Delight are typically staked and will need support as they grow upwards, meaning they are not suited to growing in hanging baskets. Tumbling Tom, Hundreds & Thousands, Garden Pearl, and other varieties are ideal for hanging baskets.
What is the best container to grow cherry tomatoes in?
Choosing a container
Select a planter with enough space for growth. Look for 3 to 5 gallon containers, they are perfect for cherry tomatoes and will have enough room for any support the plants may need. Make sure your container includes drain holes, just like any other gardening pot.