How To Grow Upside Down Tomato Plants


It may look unconventional, but a hanging upside down tomato plant offers several advantages to tomato plants grown in the ground. First, the plants are away from the soil and are less likely to attract the various pests found in your garden. Second, you don't have to stoop or kneel down to harvest the bounty of your labor. A hanging planter can be constructed from a simple bucket so you can enjoy these benefits.

Step 1

Use a sharp knife to cut a hole in the bottom of a standard gallon-sized plastic bucket. The hole should measure 3 inches across. Turn the bucket on its side and lay it on the ground or on a sturdy surface like a table.

Step 2

Place two sheets of black landscaping cloth--the type used to block weeds from growing--on the bottom of the bucket so that it blocks the hole. Use your knife to make a small slit through the cloth.

Step 3

Put a potted tomato seedling inside the bucket, oriented in the opposite direction so that the plant is facing the bucket's bottom. Push the seedling's top through the slit in the landscaping cloth so it emerges through the bottom of the bucket on the other side. Slide the seedling's pot out, leaving behind the seedling and its root ball.

Step 4

Pick up the bucket by its handle and pour potting mix into the bucket to the bucket's brim. Hang the bucket on a planter hook, on a trellis or wood beam, or on any structure capable of holding its weight.

Step 5

Water the tomato plant from the bucket's open top. Supply enough water so that the soil at the bottom of the bucket near the base of the upside down plant is moist to the touch. It may take several watering sessions to determine how much water is needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Gallon-sized bucket
  • Knife
  • Landscaping cloth
  • Potted tomato seedling
  • Water


  • "American Tomato: The Complete Guide to Growing and Using Tomatoes"; Robert Hendrickson; 2006
  • "Easy Container Gardens"; Pamela Crawford; 2008
Keywords: grow tomatoes upside down, upside down planter, tomato plant care

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.