How to Build an Upside-Down Tomato Planter


Upside-down tomato planters are a form of vertical container gardening in which plants grow from the bottom of an elevated container. Gravity encourages the plant to grown downward, while being suspended in the air keeps the fruit off the ground and away from some of the insects that like tomato plants. These planters are easy to make using an old plastic container.

Step 1

Draw a circle that has a 4-inch diameter on the bottom of an empty 3- or 5-gallon bucket. Use the solderer to make a series of holes around the circle you've drawn to create a perforated outline of a circle.

Step 2

Insert your craft knife into one of the holes and cut out the circle. Smooth out your circle by going back around with the craft knife to trim off any jagged edges.

Step 3

Tape your coffee filter or landscaping cloth over the hole from the inside of the bucket. This will help keep the dirt and the plant in place while you complete the rest of the planter. Cut a slit in the filter or cloth where the bucket's hole is located.

Step 4

Place the bucket on its side. Guide your tomato plant through the slit in the bottom of the bucket from the inside out. Gently push the leaves through and stop when the root ball reaches the bottom of the bucket.

Step 5

Lift up your planter and adjust the tomato plant to make sure it is hanging properly.

Step 6

Place your planter on top of another open container that is slightly smaller in diameter than your planter. This empty container will hold your planter with your tomato plant inside of it so your plant doesn't get crushed. Fill your container with moist potting soil.

Step 7

Hang the planter by the bucket's handle.

Things You'll Need

  • Empty 3- to 5-gallon plastic container with a handle
  • Solderer
  • Utility knife
  • Coffee filter or landscaping cloth
  • Tape
  • 6-inch tomato plant
  • Second plastic container of slightly smaller size
  • Potting soil


  • Upside Down Tomato Plant: Instructions on How yo Make Your Own Upside Down Tomato Plant
  • Crafing a Green World: Making an Upside Down Tomato Planter
  • The Cheap Vegetable Gardener: Make Your Own Upside Down Tomato Planter
Keywords: upside-down tomato planter, tomato plants, container tomato gardening

About this Author

Lillian Downey has an extensive and diverse background, including studies in English, social work, women's studies, non-profit management, political science and nursing. In addition to writing, she has worked as a sex-ed teacher, clinic manager, pregnancy options counselor and mental health professional. She served as Editor-in-Chief of Nexus Journal of Literature and Art and an Assistant Fiction Editor at the Antioch Review.