How to Pot a Tomato Plant


Growing tomato plants in containers offers the gardener an easy way to grow juicy vegetables in a limited-space garden. It enables would-be apartment gardeners a way to enjoy a green plant with ample vegetable production with no gardening plot. The containers grow well on balconies, patios, rooftops and within a greenhouse. Tomatoes flourish in 9-inch pots with drain holes during the growing season. Tender vegetables, tomatoes suffer sensitivity to cold weather. Planting a tomato plant within a container enables the gardener to move the plant and container indoors on nights that dip below acceptable temperatures.

Step 1

Use synthetic potting soil when planting a tomato plant in a pot. If the potting soil does not contain small beads of water-holding gel then mix some into the potting soil. Follow the directions on the gel bag for mixing with the garden soil.

Step 2

Mix 1 cup of 6-12-12 garden fertilizer into the potting soil. Wet the garden soil prior to planting the tomato plant to help the fertilizer dissolve.

Step 3

Fill the container with the potting soil. Make a small hole to place the tomato plant within. Plant the tomato plant at the same level it was planted at in its nursery container. Allow at least 1 inch between the soil surface level and the container rim.

Step 4

Place soil around the tomato plant's root system. Press the soil down to remove all air pockets from between the soil and the roots.

Step 5

Water the newly potted tomato plant thoroughly. Allow the water to run freely from the holes of the container. Do not allow the pot to sit in water in a saucer. Remove all pooled water from the base of the container once it runs out of the pot.

Things You'll Need

  • Synthetic potting soil
  • Water gel beads
  • 9-inch pot
  • 6-12-12 garden fertilizer


  • Texas A&M University: Vegetable Gardening in Containers
  • Plant Answers: Tomatoes
  • Vegetable Garden Guide: How to Grow Tomatoes
  • Ohio State University: Growing Cucumbers, Peppers, Squash and Tomatoes in Containers

Who Can Help

  • Floridata: Start Your Own Pepper and Tomato Plants
Keywords: potting a tomato, tomato container growing, growing a tomato

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.