How to Move a Tomato Plant


Whether you are moving to a new home or simply desire to bring a flourishing tomato plant indoors for the winter season, it is possible to move a tomato plant if you use care. Strive to create soil conditions similar to the current soil of the tomato plant to lessen transplant shock. With proper precautions to minimize root and stem damage, a tomato plant should survive transplanting and continue producing.

Step 1

Water the soil generously approximately 24 hours before you plan to remove the tomato plant from the soil.

Step 2

Remove any ripe tomatoes from the tomato plant prior to moving it. Use the pruning shears to trim any overgrown stems back from the top of the tomato plant to make it easier to handle the plant.

Step 3

Prepare the new planting location. If you plan to move the tomato plant to a container, fill the container approximately half full of soil you remove from around the location where the tomato plant is currently growing (to lessen transplant shock). If you are moving the tomato plant to a different growing location in the ground, dig a hole that is approximately 1 foot deeper and larger than the size of the root system of the tomato plant and place 1 foot of soil you remove from the current planting location into the hole.

Step 4

Set the box in the wheelbarrow for transporting the tomato plant.

Step 5

Remove the tomato plant from the planting location late in the day so bright sunlight will not stress the plant. Insert your shovel into the soil outside the outer perimeter of the stems and leaves of the plant. Dig at least 8 inches into the soil, taking care not to disturb roots as you dig. Lift the tomato plant from the soil (along with any support system you are using--stake or tomato cage) and transfer it to the planting container (if applicable) or the box in the wheelbarrow.

Step 6

Move the tomato plant to its new location immediately. If you are planting it into the container, fill the extra soil you removed from the ground in and around the roots of the tomato plant, planting it at the same depth as it was previously growing. If you are moving it to a different growing location in the soil, transport the box carefully to the new planting location.

Step 7

Transfer the tomato plant from the box into the prepared hole and use the extra soil you removed to fill in around the roots of the tomato plant. Firm the soil down with your hands around the stem of the tomato plant, making sure the plant is at the same depth as it was previously growing.

Step 8

Water the transplanted tomato plant generously immediately after you finish planting it. Make sure the tomato stake or cage is set up properly to support the tomato plant. Keep the tomato plant generously watered as it adjusts to the move (for approximately two weeks).

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Large planting container (3 to 5 gallon)
  • Large box
  • Wheelbarrow


  • University of Arizona: Tomatoes
Keywords: move a tomato plant, transfer the tomato plant, transplanted tomato plant

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.