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The 10 Best Tomato Plants for Containers

Growing tomato plants in containers is a great option if you have limited space, want to spruce up your patio, or just want a little more control over your garden (without having to worry about animals, rainfall, and everything else that comes with the great outdoors).

But container growing requires a few extra considerations to ensure your plants grow strong and healthy. The first step is deciding which plants you should grow.

Keep reading for a list of the best tomato plants for containers!

fresh container tomatoes growing in a garden

Our Top Picks

Best Overall:
Patio Tomato

Best Large Tomatoes for Containers:
Containers Choice Red Tomatoes
Celebrity Tomatoes

Best Cherry Tomatoes for Containers:
Bing Cherry Tomatoes
Orange Hat Tomato
Tiny Tim Tomato

Best Overall

Patio Tomato

Bush tomato similar to the patio tomato on a branch

In this case, the name says it all. Patio tomatoes are perfect for growing in pots and smaller spaces, such as patios and balcony gardens.

This tomato variety is determinate, with a compact, bush-like plant that grows just two feet tall. But what makes Patio tomatoes the best tomato plant for containers is that the size of the fruit doesn’t suffer as a result. In fact, these tomatoes are medium-sized, typically growing between three and four ounces.

Additionally, patio tomato plants generate a high fruit yield even when grown in small spaces. They’re flavorful and sweet, too!

Best Large Tomatoes for Containers

Large tomatoes usually aren’t well-suited to growing in containers, as they typically require more space to grow. But if bigger fruits are your goal, I’ve found a couple of varieties that defy the odds and make great options.

Containers Choice Red Tomatoes

containers choice red tomato

Containers Choice tomatoes are a hybrid variety created specifically for containers.

It’s a dwarf variety, but fruits still usually range between six and eight ounces, similar to the size of a softball. People also love Containers Choice Red Tomatoes for their rich flavor.

There are a few key reasons why these are great tomato plants for containers. First and foremost, the plant is another determinate variety, growing in a compact and bush-like shape. It’s also disease-resistant due in part to the unique wrinkled texture of its leaves.

The tomatoes themselves are similar to beefsteak varieties. They’re round with a slightly flattened appearance, even in color, and vibrantly red.

Celebrity Tomatoes

Celebrity Tomato 45 Seeds -Disease Resistant!

Celebrity tomatoes have characteristics of both determinate and indeterminate plants. They are compact like determinate varieties, growing three to four feet tall, but they produce fruit throughout the whole season as indeterminate varieties do.

Celebrity tomatoes are also great for their disease resistance, size, meatiness, and delicious flavor.

If you’re growing these tomatoes in containers, you’ll likely need a cage or stakes to support the plant. You should also use a larger container, ideally five gallons or more.

Learn more about this variety of tomatoes from our Celebrity Tomatoes page.

Best Cherry Tomatoes for Containers

Because of their small size, cherry tomatoes are some of the best tomato plants to grow in containers. The smaller fruits often grow on smaller plants, which can fit better into planters and pots.

Bing Cherry Tomato

Wayland Chiles Bing Cherry Tomato Seeds

Bing Cherry Tomatoes are another great option for growing tomatoes in containers. Generally remaining less than two feet tall and less than three feet wide, they’re compact enough to grow in more confined spaces.

The fruits are round, bright red, and typically one inch in diameter. Their flavor is extra sweet but well-balanced with acidity.

The Bing Cherry tomato plant is quite productive. To keep the plant healthy, it’s best to harvest the cherry tomatoes as soon as they are mature.

These tomatoes also do best in dry, hot climates. Too much rain can make them susceptible to cracking.

Orange Hat Tomato

The Orange Hat tomato is an extra-small dwarf variety. And while many of the tomatoes on this list do best in medium or large pots, Orange Hat tomatoes can grow in pots as small as six inches. So if your space is extra limited, this is your opportunity to grow tomatoes in containers!

The Orange Hat tomato plant grows less than a foot tall, usually between six and nine inches tall. But despite their smaller size, these plants are relatively prolific.

As you might expect, they won’t produce the same amount of tomatoes as larger tomato plants, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of mini tomatoes you do get.

Orange Hat tomatoes are both tasty and attractive. Eat the fruit as a snack, or use the plant as a decorative ornamental!

Learn more about this tomato variety in our Orange Hat Tomato Overview.

Tiny Tim Tomato

tiny tim tomato

Like Orange Hat Tomatoes, Tiny Tim Tomatoes are some of the best tomato plants for small containers. As a plant that grows just one to one-and-a-half feet tall, it can grow comfortably in six-inch pots.

These bright-red tomatoes are usually three-quarters of an inch to one inch in diameter. They have a mild flavor that’s less sweet than other cherry tomatoes, but they still maintain an enjoyable balance of sweet to acidic.

As far as tomatoes go, these are relatively easy to grow. They do best indoors, so you don’t have to worry about the weather, and they don’t usually need any pruning or staking.

For more details about this cherry tomato, visit our Tiny Tim Tomato blog.

Best Roma Tomato for Container

Sunrise Sauce

Tomato Sunrise Sauce F1 - Vegetable Seeds - 100 Seeds

Sunrise Sauce tomatoes are another great option when deciding which tomato plant to grow in containers. They’re a compact, determinate variety growing two to three feet tall and equally as wide.

But even though these plants are on the smaller side, they produce a great yield of fruit! The tomatoes grow to three or four ounces with a stunning bright orange color.

And like other Roma tomatoes, these are delicious, meaty, and great for sauces and canning.

Interested in learning more about growing these tomatoes in containers? Visit our guide to Growing Roma Tomatoes in Pots!

Best Hybrid Tomatoes for Containers

Hybrid tomato varieties were created by intentionally cross-pollinating other distinct varieties. This often means they’re bred for specific purposes and with desired characteristics, some of which are great for growing containers!

SummerPick Tomato

summerpick tomato

SummerPick Tomatoes are some of the larger options on this list. They’re large beefsteak tomatoes that average around three-quarters of a pound.

This variety is one of the best tomato plants for containers because they’re strong, determinate, and compact, with concentrated sets of fruit. And they’re extremely disease resistant, too.

SummerPick tomatoes are especially loved for their flavor, which is perfectly balanced between sweet and acidic.

Early Girl Bush Tomato

Burpee 'Bush Early Girl' Hybrid Slicer Tomato | 30 Seeds

You may have heard of Early Girl tomatoes, but have you heard of their close relative, the Bush Early Girl?

Bush Early Girl tomatoes are a better tomato plant to grow in containers because they’re determined and grow in a more compact manner. Typically, they reach a maximum height of 18 inches, with vines that support themselves in a bush-like shape.

In addition to the size of Bush Early Girl tomato plants, they’re also a great choice because they’re highly productive. They generate great yields of round, four-inch fruits.

Better Bush Tomato

Park Seed Better Bush Hybrid Tomato Seeds, Pack of 30 Seeds

Better Bush tomato plants are compact and grow upright on a strong, central stem, making them an excellent choice for growing in containers.

This tomato plant produces medium-sized, four-inch fruits on a strong, central stem. These are picturesque tomatoes: round, red, and taste just right.

Keep in mind these plants can grow up to five feet tall, so make sure you have enough room for it if this is the tomato variety you choose!

What Makes Tomato Plants Good for Containers?

container tomatoes growing in containers probably using the best soil for tomatoes in containers and is Best Tomato Plants For Containers


The size of tomato plants can impact whether they will be well-suited to containers.

The roots won’t have enough space to grow if a tomato plant is too big for its container. When a plant’s roots are too cramped, it can become under-hydrated and more susceptible to disease.

Determinate vs. Indeterminate

Another factor to consider when choosing a tomato plant to grow in containers is whether it’s a determinate or indeterminate variety. Because determinate tomato plants are more compact and bush-like, they tend to be more well-suited to container growing.

On the flip side, indeterminate tomato plants are vining, so they don’t stay contained as easily. They often can be grown in containers, but they will require some extra steps and care, like adding a cage and staking the plant.

Tips for growing tomato plants in containers

Growing tomatoes in containers is much like growing them in other ways. They still require many of the same conditions, like full sun, consistent water, and proper drainage.

To ensure your plant is sturdy, make sure to plant it deeply in the container so that the stem grows roots and the whole root system becomes more robust. For additional support, taller varieties may need staking, too.

Looking for more tips and tricks? Visit our post about How to Grow Tomatoes in Pots!

Frequently asked questions

seedling tomatoes growing in tomato containers

How big do containers need to be for tomato plants?

If you’re unsure what size container you should go with, choose a larger size, just in case. There’s no harm in a container that is extra roomy, but containers that are too small can cause problems for your plant.

What tomatoes are good for growing on patios?

Any tomato plant you can grow in a container will be suitable for patios, as long as you consider your climate too. As a good rule of thumb, smaller, determinate, and bush tomato varieties will do best in these spaces.

But if you need more guidance, the tomatoes on this list are a great place to start!

No space? No problem!

With a list of the best tomato plants for containers, growing these delicious fruits in pots, on patios, or in small planter beds is easy!

Ready for more tomato content? Visit our tomato plants page for everything you need to know, including tomato varieties, growing tips, supplies, and more!