What pot size do I need to grow a medium-sized tomato plant?

Tomatoes might be difficult to grow in pots, yet they remain one of the most popular summer vegetables. Because container gardening is also quite popular, especially in small spaces, determined gardeners have figured out ways to create container crops of healthy, delicious tomatoes.

These are five key recommendations for growing tomatoes in pots, as well as some extra suggestions to boost your potted tomato production.


5 Top Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Pots

  • Use Really Big Containers

    One of the most crucial things you can do to assure success is to choose a large enough container—the larger, the better—to ensure that your tomato plant gets enough of water and nutrients.

    A container of at least one square foot is required for one plant, but two square feet is preferable (5-gallon buckets are the perfect size). But, make sure the container has sufficient drainage so that the roots stay wet but not soggy. Drill holes in the bottom of a bucket to enable water to drain.

    Fill your container to approximately an inch from the top rim with high-quality potting soil.

  • Plant Tomatoes Deeply

    The majority of vegetable plant seedlings are planted at the same depth as their original containers, with the exception of tomatoes.

    When planting a tomato seedling, remove the lowest few sets of leaves and dig a hole deep enough to bury the majority of the plant. 1

    A tomato plant will establish a robust root system and stronger plants by producing roots along the submerged section of its stem.

  • Water Soil Consistently

    Water plants in the morning to keep them hydrated throughout the day and to allow moist leaves to dry throughout the day.

    Water the soil directly and avoid getting water on the foliage, which may promote blight and fungus. The soil should be moist but not soggy to avoid root rot.

    Plants may need to be watered twice a day during hot summer days or hot and windy days.

    If a tomato plant gets little water, it may wilt and weaken, and the tomatoes may suffer blossom end rot. If your plants are receiving inconsistent watering, tomato fruits can crack or split.

  • Feed Your Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are voracious feeders, and container-grown tomatoes need to be fed every two weeks. Make sure to feed your plants the primary nutrients they require—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

    Some potting soils already include fertilizers in them, so check the soil bag to see whether these necessary nutrients are present. 1 If the potting soil does not contain fertilizer, use an all-purpose slow-release fertilizer or a tomato-specific fertilizer to feed the plants.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.

  • Ensure Sun Exposure and Warmth

    Tomato plants need full light for at least 6 to 8 hours every day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    Put your pots in a spot that gets direct sunshine throughout the day, and if circumstances change throughout the growth season, relocate the pots to guarantee appropriate sun exposure.

    Tomato plants like warm weather. Bring the plants indoors or shield them from the cold if the temperature falls below 50 degrees. If the temperature rises beyond 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant will cease producing flowers and fruit.


    Although mature tomatoes thrive in full sun, excessive sunlight may damage or kill new plants that have not been hardened off or gradually adapted to outdoor growth circumstances.

Additional Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Pots

  • Determinate types Indeterminate tomatoes are more adapted to container cultivation than indeterminate tomatoes. Determinate kinds set their flowers and fruit in a single flush, as opposed to indeterminate forms, which space bloom and fruit output across the full growing season. Determined people flourish in tiny quarters.
  • Group pots together to keep the roots cool. Although vegetation requires a lot of sunlight, the root zone of tomatoes might become excessively hot if the containers are exposed to too much sunlight. You may offer shade for the roots by clustering them together.
  • Avoid black containers Black plastic may absorb and retain a lot of heat, causing roots to get overheated and stunted.
  • Use a fluffy, light potting mix A properly porosity potting mix enables roots to develop freely while also allowing moisture and air to permeate down to them.
  • Provide supports . Tomato plants are often surprised by their sheer size. Most sorts, including those marketed as patio variety, will benefit from placing a cage or at least some stakes in the pot to raise and tie off the stems.
  • Mulch the potting mix A 1-inch covering of straw, crushed bark, or chopped leaves can help keep the growth medium cool while also retaining moisture.

You may never need a typical garden if you’ve mastered growing tomatoes in pots. A great benefit to growing tomatoes in containers is portability; you can move the containers to take advantage of the best growing conditions.

Container gardens are very beneficial if you don’t have an in-ground garden. Pots may be used to decorate a balcony, porch, patio, driveway, or deck. You may enjoy growing tomatoes everywhere as long as you know the tips and strategies for keeping tomatoes happy.

To back up the information in our stories, The Spruce exclusively cites high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed research. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Tomatoes. University of Maryland Extension

Related Questions

  • Is a 30cm pot big enough for tomato plant?

    Each plant should have at least a 30cm (12in) pot, or be spaced 35-45cm (14-18in) apart in a deep windowbox or trough, or in a growth bag. They can look attractive in large hanging baskets too, but need frequent watering.

  • Is a 10 Litre pot big enough for a tomato plant?

    With proper growth techniques, a 10 litre pot may be used instead of a 15 litre pot. It’s possible to grow most varieties successfully in a 6 litre pot too.

  • What kind of pot is best for tomato plant?

    Tomatoes will grow in plastic, clay, stone, and even metal pots, but without drainage holes, the pot is worthless. Excess water may exit via drainage holes. Plant tomatoes only in containers with sufficient drainage.

  • What is the minimum size pot for tomatoes?

    The larger the pot, the better when it comes to tomatoes. What exactly is this? Determinate cultivars should be planted in at least 10-gallon pots, while indeterminate kinds need at least 20-gallon containers to flourish.

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