How to Grow a Tomato Indoors


Tomatoes can be grown indoors, which is a fine alternative method for those living in an apartment or condo where a garden area might not be available or for those wanting fresh tomatoes year-round. Smaller varieties such as Small Fry, Tiny Tim and Toy Boy, work exceptionally well inside where space is limited. Indoor tomatoes can grown on a windowsill, shelf or table, and as long as there is adequate light and water, tomatoes can thrive inside.

Step 1

Select a gallon-size container with drainage holes. The container needs to be big enough to hold the tomato plants once they reach maturity, and most smaller tomato varieties grow from 12 to 36 inches tall.

Step 2

Use a potting soil that is well-draining. Mixing in a handful of compost into the soil creates a light and fluffy soil that will not become water-logged. Dig a hole for the tomato plant--use one tomato plant per container--that is twice as big as the root ball. Add a handful of bone meal to the hole.

Step 3

Remove the bottom sets of leaves from the plant, leaving only one set of large leaves at the top. Plant deeply in the hole, so the stop set of leaves are directly above the ground's surface. Fill in the hole with soil and tamp it down around the base of the plant. Planting deeply allows the tomatoes to form stronger roots, making for a healthier sturdy plant.

Step 4

After planting, water the soil until the water runs out of the bottom of the container. Keep the soil moist by watering each day. Set the container outside or in a sink or bathtub when watering. Never let the tomato plant dry out completely or it will affect the taste and amount of fruit produced.

Step 5

Set the indoor tomato plant in a sunny windowsill of a south-facing window to receive bright light during the day. Tomatoes need 12 hours of light to grow strong and healthy. Growing lights also can be used on the plants.

Step 6

Wait to fertilize the indoor tomato until two weeks after planting, then feed it every two weeks with a complete fertilizer designed for tomato plants that has a ratio of 5-10-10. Fertilizers are comprised of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium, which correspond with the numbers on the fertilizer mix.

Step 7

Use a cotton swab to move the pollen from one flower to another, by sticking the swab in the middle of the flower, twirling gently and then placing into the middle of another flower and twirling. Continue doing this for all the flowers. Do this once the blossoms open up.

Step 8

Harvest the tomatoes after 45 to 90 days, depending on the variety. Gently lift the tomato off the stem when it is fully colored, with no green. Store them on the kitchen counter for a few days and if keeping them longer, store them in the refrigerator.

Tips and Warnings

  • Tomato leaves are toxic, so keep the indoor plant away from small children and pets.

Things You'll Need

  • Tomato plants
  • Containers
  • Potting soil
  • Bone meal
  • Fertilizer
  • Cotton swab
  • Wooden dowel


  • Planet Natural: How to Grow Indoors
  • Learn 2 Grow: Growing Tomatoes Indoors
Keywords: grow tomatoes indoors, indoor grown tomatoes, growing tomatoes indoors

About this Author

Amy Madtson resides in southern Oregon and has been writing for Demand Studios since 2008, focusing on health and gardening for websites such as eHow and GardenGuides. Madtson has an Associate of Arts in business from Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington. She holds a childbirth educator certification and a one-year midwifery completion certificate.