How to Grow a Tomato Plant in a Container


Maximize gardening space by growing a tomato plant in a container. If you are worried about receiving less than favorable results, don't be: Tomatoes do very well in containers. And they have the additional benefit of protection from soil-borne diseases. Provide them with plenty of sunlight, water and fertilizer, and your tomatoes will compete with any garden-grown variety.

Step 1

Select a 5-gallon or larger pot. Tomatoes have deep roots, and will need some space to expand.

Step 2

Pour 1 inch of gravel in the bottom of the pot to increase drainage.

Step 3

Fill the pot three-quarters full with potting soil.

Step 4

Scoop out a hole with your hands in the middle of the soil. The hole should be large enough to fit the roots of the tomato plant. Set the plant in the middle of the hole and pack soil firmly around the main stem of the plant.

Step 5

Push the bottom stakes of the tomato cage into the soil surrounding the perimeter of the pot until it feels secure.

Step 6

Apply a fertilizer solution to the plant. Mix fertilizer, a 10-20-10 or 12-24-12 formula, with water in a 2-gallon watering container. Follow the provided directions to determine how much fertilizer to mix with the water. Use a stick to mix the fertilizer and water until dissolved. Water the plant with the solution until the soil appears moist.

Step 7

Water the tomato plant daily with the fertilizer solution.

Step 8

Pick fruits when they are a uniform color and feel firm.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon or larger pot
  • Tomato cage
  • Gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Fertilizer
  • 2-gallon watering can


  • National Gardening Association: Container Tomatoes
  • Texas A&M Extension: Vegetable Gardening in Containers
Keywords: tomato plant container, container gardening tomatoes, plant tomato container

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.