How to Transfer Tomato Plants to Larger Containers


Tomato plants grow well in a container as long as the plant receives adequate water and sunlight. Shaded sun and dry soil will decrease blossom and fruit production in the plant. Growing fruits and vegetables in a container allows for fresh produce in environments where the space is limited. Dwarf and cherry tomato cultivars produce low growing foliage, with many varieties having a short growing season. Plant the tomato deep into the soil to maximize root growth and strengthen the plant.

Step 1

Purchase a growing container that is at least 12 inches in height and diameter and has bottom drainage holes. Choose a container that is at least 3 inches wider in diameter than the root ball if the plant is large. Place a piece of wire mesh over the bottom holes prior to filling with soil.

Step 2

Combine equal quantities of potting soil, peat moss and perlite to create a well-draining potting mix. Mix in a slow release fertilizer for tomatoes. Fill the container with the soil mix to 1 inch from the container top.

Step 3

Plant the tomato in a hole that is several inches deeper than the size of the root ball. Set the plant in so the soil level is just below the bottom set of leaves. Cover the root ball with soil and pack in place.

Step 4

Apply water to the soil until it runs out the bottom drainage holes. Water the plant to keep the soil moist during the growing season. Monitor the soil moisture, because it will dry quickly during hot summer days.

Step 5

Place a tomato cage around the plant to provide support to the fruiting branches. Inserting 3 to 4 stakes with twine wrapped around them will also work. Manually train the branches so they rest on the support structure.

Step 6

Place the growing container in an area that receives eight hours or more of direct sunlight during the day. A sunny patio or deck is a good location, since it also offers wind protection.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting container
  • Wire mesh
  • Potting soil
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Slow release tomato fertilizer
  • Water
  • Tomato support


  • Ohio State University: Growing Tomatoes in Containers
  • University of Illinois Extension: Tomato
  • How To Garden: Growing Tomatoes in Pots
Keywords: transfer container tomatoes, plant container tomato, grow container tomatoes

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.