How to Re-Pot Tomato Plants


Grow your own tomatoes and enjoy these fruits from midsummer until frost. Tomatoes are abundant producers in the vegetable garden, with a single plant able to provide enough tomatoes for fresh use throughout the summer. Starting the plants from seed allows you a greater choice of tomato variety. You may need to transplant the seedlings to a larger pot before they are planted out to the garden bed. You may also wish to grow tomatoes in containers, requiring you to re-pot you home-grown or purchased seedling to its permanent planter.

Step 1

Water the tomatoes in their current pots thoroughly. Wait for one or two hours after watering to re-pot, allowing the excess water to drain out of the pots completely.

Step 2

Fill the new container half-full with potting mix. Use a 10- to 12-inch diameter pot for a container garden, or use the next-largest size of pot if you are re-potting a tomato plant that will later be planted into a garden bed.

Step 3

Place your hand over the top of the pot the tomato is in so that the plant protrudes between your fingers. Turn the pot upside down and lightly thump the sides and bottom until the plant and soil slips out into your hand.

Step 4

Set the tomato plant into the new pot. Arrange it so it sets 2 inches deeper in the new pot than it did in its old one.

Step 5

Fill in around the tomato's root ball with potting soil, firming it lightly with your hands. Add soil until the the soil surface is 1 inch beneath the pot's rim.

Step 6

Water the pot from the top until the excess moisture begins draining from the bottom. Place the pot in an area that receives full sunlight.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not re-pot tomato plants if they are suffering from disease or drought-stress. Re-potting can overly stress these plants and kill them so wait until they are healthy again.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Potting soil


  • Texas A&M Extension: Media, Repotting and Containers
  • Ohio State University: Container Vegetable Gardening
Keywords: re-potting tomato plants, container vegetable garden, transplanting tomatoes

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.