Growing Tomato Plants Upside Down


Growing tomato plants upside down has many advantages. Because there is more air circulation, your tomato plant will be less likely to encounter diseases, such as early and late blight and anthracnose, which cause fruit to rot when it touches the ground; and septoria leaf spot, which is caused when foliage becomes dense, air circulation declines and humidity rises within the foliage. The branches of your tomato plant will be less stressed because gravity supports them. And, because you do not need an area of land to grow your tomatoes, you can even grow them if you live in an apartment with only a balcony.

Make Your Own Upside Down Tomato Planter

Step 1

Clean and scrub the inside of a 5-gallon bucket with soap and water (you can find this size bucket from restaurants or painting contractors). Also, scrub the matching lid. Rinse both with clean water.

Step 2

Using your drill that has a hole drill bit, drill a hole that is approximately 2-3 inches in diameter on the center of the bottom of the 5-gallon bucket. Also, drill a 2-3 inch hole in the center of the lid.

Step 3

Place a coffee filter, or cut a sheet of newspaper the size of a coffee filter, and place it inside and over the hole in the bottom of the bucket.

Step 4

Fill the bucket with an all-purpose potting soil. Leave 1-2 inches of space at the top.

Step 5

Put another coffee filter, or newspaper piece, on the center of the filled soil, where the hole in the lid would be. The filters or newspaper will keep the soil from escaping the bucket as you flip the bucket to plant your tomato plant.

Step 6

Turn the lidded bucket over so the bottom of the bucket is now at the top and the lid is at the bottom. Carefully remove the coffee filter that covered the hole you drilled at the bottom of the bucket.

Step 7

Plant your small tomato plant in the hole that is in the bottom of the bucket. Plant it deep enough so that only about 2 inches of the stem, below the leaves, is protruding out of the hole. Water your tomato plant through the planting hole.

Step 8

Leave your tomato plant to grow like this, right side up, until the plant is about 1 foot high. This will allow your tomato plant to firmly establish its roots in the soil before you hang it upside down. During this time, keep the soil moist, but be careful not to over-water.

Step 9

Hang your tomato plant bucket planter upside down in a sunny spot. You can either use the handle of the bucket or a chain or wire attached to the handle to hang it from a hook, clothes line pole, or other support. From this time on, you will be watering and fertilizing your tomato plant through the hole you cut in the lid.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon plastic bucket with a tight fitting lid
  • Soap and water
  • Drill with a hole drill bit
  • Tomato plant
  • All-purpose potting or garden soil
  • Coffee filter or newspaper
  • Chain or heavy wire--optional


  • Upside Down Tomatoes
  • Growing Tomatoes Upside Down
Keywords: make your own upside down tomato planter, homemade upside down tomato planter, growing tomatoes upside down

About this Author

At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and web content for several well known marketeers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and A Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.