How to Grow Potted Tomatoes


Tomatoes grow well in a pot on the patio or indoors in a sunny window. Most varieties will grow in pots, but smaller, more compact varieties will do best. Choose a spot that gets at least eight full hours of sun every day and be sure to give them plenty of water. Shelter tomatoes from the sun when the days are above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and protect them from freezing weather.

Step 1

Choose a large plastic, wood or ceramic pot with a diameter of 12 inches or more with ample drainage holes in the bottom. Place a piece of screen in the bottom to keep the soil from washing out through the hole.

Step 2

Mix equal parts of potting soil, perlite, sphagnum peat moss and organic compost to use as a potting soil. Add a slow-release fertilizer specifically designed for tomatoes.

Step 3

Fill the pot with the soil mix to about three-quarters full. Position a stake or tomato cage in the pot.

Step 4

Choose a healthy plant with a strong central stem and a well-developed root system. Place the plant into the pot next to the stake and fill the pot to within three-quarter inch of the top with the soil mix. Firm the soil and water the plant thoroughly. Tie the stem loosely to the stake with cotton twine.

Step 5

Put the tomato plants in a sunny place that is protected from the wind. Check the moisture in the pot daily and water as needed, soaking the soil thoroughly. In the house or on the patio, rotate the plants regularly to encourage even growth.

Step 6

Fertilize again, when the fruits begin to develop with a water-soluble fertilizer specifically designed for tomatoes. Follow the dilution directions on the label. Add liquid fertilizer every few weeks during the fruiting season.

Step 7

Remove weeds as they appear and continue to tie the tomato loosely to the stake as it grows.

Step 8

Allow tomatoes to ripen on the vine. Pick when fully ripe and enjoy.

Things You'll Need

  • Tomato plants
  • 12-inch pots
  • Screen to fit pot bottom
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Organic compost
  • Tomato fertilizer
  • Stake or tomato cage
  • Cotton twine
  • Trowel


  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Cucumbers, Peppers, Squash and Tomatoes in Containers
  • Univ. of Missouri: Growing Home Garden Tomatoes
Keywords: grow potted tomatoes, grow tomatoes, plant tomatoes in pots

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and Web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.