What is the most appropriate size for tomato planters? My plants are more than 2 months old. Also, any specific material that I should use e.g., ceramic, plastic?

  • You might consider using Earthboxes, or something their shape/size. I know people who use them who have excellent results with large-fruited indeterminate tomatoes. Nov 9, 2021 at 2:03

3 Answers 3


Many years of growing tomatoes in pots has shown me that growing space required can depend quite a lot on what type of tomato vine, how much it will be pruned and how often you can get to it to water. Indeterminate vines grow longer and longer, determinate types grow more compactly, branching out rather than continuously extending. Pinching back can control growth quite a bit, making the plant smaller. And having compost free of roots in the container can mean watering on a less frequent schedule.

To take a couple of extremes: an indeterminate large-fruiting vine in a 10 gallon pot (16" diameter and 16" deep) grown to 8 feet high or so will fill that pot with roots and begin pushing roots out of the drainage holes into the soil underneath, even through landscape fabric. At the end of the season water is needed by the bucket load twice a day to satisfy the thirst. A small fruiting variety regularly pinched back or a naturally less vigorous vine would do well in a 5 gallon size.

So think back to the type of tomatoes you have; for a big fruiter find a big pot, for all others a smaller container would be fine but the smaller the container the more pinching and pruning will be required. As the season progresses the more water you need will tell whether you have too small a container or too many plants in that container.

Larger pots are also more stable - in a wind the smaller pots can be tipped over when the top growth is heavy. Also give consideration to whether you might need to move the pot when heavy - something with a rim or lip that can be safely gripped in fingers comes in mighty handy.


This Q & A answers your query in regard to size of pot - as for whether your pots are ceramic or any other material, it doesn't matter, so long as there is a drainage hole in the bottom, although terracotta pots may need watering more often because they are porous Am I growing too many tomato plants in my pot?


This might seem like a pretty strange answer; and, depending upon your living circumstances, might not be feasible for you. I'll post it, anyway; since, if you can't use it, someone else might.

Prior to my house getting burnt down, I routinely grew tomatoes (and peppers) in dead refrigerators, laid on their backs with the doors removed. It worked GREAT! Weeds were less of an issue. My dogs trampling the plants was less of an issue. Best of all, there was very little bending involved. The "down side" is that ~ wherever it is when you fill it with dirt is where it's going to stay.. I'm fortunate in that I own my "little patch of dirt out in the boonies." I made darned sure that I was buying land which was NOT annexed to any town; and, wasn't likely to be within my lifetime. If someone lives in town, you might have to "dress it up" to look like an actual planter to keep the "code nazis" off your back. If you rent, you can pretty well ignore this idea. {shrug}

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