How to Grow Tomatoes in a Hanging Basket


Fresh tomatoes are a tasty addition to any meal. Typically, they grow in gardens where they need staking, weeding and care. But tomatoes do not need a garden or a lot of space to grow, only a basket and a sturdy hook. You cannot just plant tomatoes in a basket and hang it up; the combined weight of the plant and wet potting soil can cause problems. Special consideration needs to go into choosing and creating the right hanging environment.

Step 1

Purchase a dwarf tomato variety such as Tiny Tim, Cherry Gold or Red Robin. Full-sized tomatoes will put too much weight on the hanging basket. Also check that the tomato plant is determinate so it does not outgrow its basket.

Step 2

Prepare the sphagnum moss, which serves as a lightweight growing medium with a high water-retaining capacity. Soak the moss, enough to fill your hanging basket, in a bucket of water for a few hours. In order to retain its shape, it must stay moist throughout the growing season.

Step 3

Line the bottom of your hanging basket with the moss. Fill it up to halfway full, depending on how large your plant is when transplanting. Place the tomato plant on top of the moss and fill the rest of the sphagnum moss in around the tomato root ball. Keeping filling in with moss until it is level with the top of the root ball.

Step 4

Hang your plant in full sun. Apply a slow-release complete fertilizer to the soil after planting. As you water the plant, the fertilizer will slowly dissolve, feeding your tomatoes evenly. Follow the directions on the package for application instructions.

Step 5

Water regularly, keeping the tomato evenly moist. As the plant grows, you will need to give it more water. Do not let the moss dry out around the tomato plant, but do not drown your plant either. If the leaves begin to yellow, this means the plant either has too much or too little water.

Things You'll Need

  • Tomato plant or seed
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Wire hanging basket
  • Complete slow-release fertilizer


  • University of Illinois Extension: Tomato
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Minigardening
  • Learn2Grow: Tomatoes for Your Basket

Who Can Help

  • Clean Air Gardening: Tomato Hanging Basket Kit
Keywords: growing tomatoes hanging basket, hanging basket tomato, hanging basket tomato care

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.