One of the greatest pleasures of cultivating a home garden is harvesting a ripe, juicy tomato fresh from the vine and still warm from the summer sun. However, you don’t need a garden bed to grow these popular plants- tomatoes are perfect for growing in pots!
Protected from freezing temperatures, potted tomato plants last 2 to 5 years. They take 12 weeks to flower from seeding, and after that fruits will develop and ripen over a period of several weeks, depending on the variety.
How to Care for Potted Tomato Plants?
- Plant tomato plants in well-draining soil with lots of well-rotted compost.
- Tomatoes need a minimum of 6 hours of full sun a day, and more is better.
- Feed potted tomato plants every 2 weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
- Water once a day, and twice a day in extremely hot weather.
- Pinch out suckers developing between the main stem and side branches.
- Provide potted tomato plants with a trellis or cage for support as it grows.
Can Tomato Plants Survive the Winter in Pots?
Tomato plants will only survive the winter in pots if they are not exposed to freezing temperatures.
This is easy if you live in a frost-free climate, but you can also move your potted tomato plant indoors for the winter. You should be able to harvest some ripe tomatoes all winter long!
Potted Tomato Plants Temperature Tolerance?
Tomato plants may survive a light frost, but any temperatures below 40°F (4°C) will stunt their growth and damage any flowers and fruit on the plants. Freezing temperatures will kill them outright.
However, really hot weather will also affect fruit production. Temperatures above 90°F (32°C) during the day, and nighttime temperatures above 75°F (23°C) will cause flower drop and as a result no new fruits will develop until temperatures fall below that threshold.
Do Potted Tomato Plants Come Back Each Year?
Potted tomato plants will continue to grow and produce fruit for 2 to 5 years if they are kept in a warm, sunny spot. If you move plants inside in the fall, they may slow down for a few weeks, but they should then continue to flower and fruit indoors all winter long.
When Should You Plant Tomato Plants in a Pot?
In mid-spring when the danger of frost is past and night-time temperatures stay above 50°F (10°C), plant your tomato in a pot filled with loose, well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter.
Bury as much of the stem as possible; strip the lower portion of leaves so you are just covering bare stem with soil. Add a support such as a trellis or tomato cage so that the vines will not sprawl everywhere.
How Long Do Potted Tomato Plants Take to Grow?
When started from seed in late winter, tomato plants will probably be starting to flower when planted outside in May.
There are 2 different types of tomato plants; determinate varieties will grow to a certain size and then stop. They tend to produce all their fruit at once, and then decline. Indeterminate varieties will continue to grow unless their growing tip is lopped off, and their flowering and fruiting continues indefinitely.
How Long Will Potted Tomato Plants Last Inside?
When provided with ideal conditions (warm temperatures, regular watering and feeding, and lots of sunshine), a potted tomato plant can last up to 5 years.
It will do even better if you can move outdoors for the hot summer weather. Even a small balcony is ideal as long as it gets enough sun.
Even when it starts to decline, you can propagate a favourite tomato plant by taking and rooting cuttings. New plants started with this technique will start flowering and producing fruit sooner than plants grown from seed.
Who doesn’t love tomatoes? Whether you’re chopping it up for a fresh salad, or putting thick slices into a BLT, a home-grown tomato is better than anything you can get in a store. And if you grow these tropical natives in pots, you can enjoy your own fresh tomatoes even in the dead of winter!
See how long other potted plants last:
- How Long Do Potted Tulips Last?
- How Long Do Potted Sunflowers Last?
- How Long Do Potted Pansies Last?
- How Long Do Potted Daffodils Last?
- How Long Do Potted Chrysanthemums Last? (Mums)
- How Long Do Potted Azaleas Last?
- How Long Do Potted Zinnias Last?
Janice is a retired High School teacher who is spending her leisure years keeping busy with all sorts of projects. Aside from freelance writing, she’s an enthusiastic amateur chef, home wine maker, and tends a large raised-bed vegetable garden, while at the same time running a Bed & Breakfast.