How To Grow Tomatoes Upside Down – Can You Do This?!

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Last Updated on September 20, 2022

So, you want to grow tomatoes upside down? You’re in the right place – find all the information you need here!

Whether you consider it a fruit or veggie, we can agree that tomatoes taste great. This summer crop grows easily and requires little maintenance. If you’re limited on space or want to try a new way to plant yours, using the upside-down method might be what you’re looking for. 

In this article, I share how you can grow tomatoes upside down in your backyard, list some tips to help you succeed, and explain the benefits you’ll see when planting this way. 

How To Grow Tomatoes Upside Down

Growing tomatoes upside down is relatively easy if you have the right equipment and care instructions. Here’s some tips!

Equipment you’ll need:

  • 5 Gallon bucket
  • Hand drill
  • Tomato plant seedlings
  • Lightweight soil mix
  • Coffee filter or a few sheets of newspaper
  • Sturdy frame
  • Mulch or peat moss

Create your own upside-down tomato plant hanger by hanging buckets from a sturdy frame of your choice. 

  1. Drill hanging holes at the sides of each bucket and draining ones at the bottom. 
  2. Secure the bottom holes with coffee filters or newspaper.
  3. Fill your pots with soil and mix mulch or peat moss in.
  4. Spread your seedlings and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
  5. Water your tomato seedlings every day and watch them grow!

Tips For Growing Tomato Plants

Choose The Right Planter

You can’t grow your upside-down tomatoes without the right planter! Buy a pre-made one at your local nursery or build it according to your needs. A 5-gallon bucket is a great size to work with. You should also buy sturdy gardening hooks to hang your pots. 

Pick The Perfect Spot – Grow Tomatoes Upside Down

The success of crops has a lot to do with their location. Your tomato plants will need at least 8 hours of daily sunlight. The spot you pick for growing your upside-down tomatoes should also be easy-accessible since you’ll need to water them frequently. 

Use Fertile Soil

Potting soil is nutrient-rich and works great for growing tomatoes in pots. You can fertilize your soil before you plant and again when your tomato plants are about 6 weeks old.

Remember to replace your soil if you’re planting for the new season in the same buckets to avoid nutrient depletion. 

Choose The Right Variety

Not all tomatoes grow the same, and some varieties work better for upside-down gardening. For starters, smaller tomatoes grow better hanging than big ones. 

Tumbling Toms: These yellow or red tomatoes are excellent for hanging pots. They produce fruit in about 70 days. 

Yellow Canary: You can harvest this tomato variety in approximately 55 days, and they need less light than others to thrive. 

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Quick Tips For Maintaining Healthy Tomato Plants

  • Avoid shady areas. Sunlight is your friend!
  • Keep your soil damp but not wet. 
  • Water your tomatoes twice on hot days.
  • Add fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks. 

The Benefits Of Growing Tomato Plants Upside Down

Growing tomatoes upside-down definitely has its ups! Here’s some benefits of this method:

Space Efficient: If you’re limited on space, you can hang your tomato plants wherever possible. Hanging pots don’t take up much space. 

Control: Upside-down growing gives you more control over how much water your tomato plants receive. The risk of overwatering decreases, and you’re more likely to give enough water too. 

Reduces Pests and Diseases: Root rot, infestations, and pest risks are decreased when planting tomatoes in hanging pots. These critters will have trouble reaching your plants, and since you’ll have control over how much water each pot gets, the chances of rotting roots are slim. 

Extended Season: Hanging pots are easy to move around during seasonal changes. You can place them in different spots to ensure your plants still get enough sunlight. 

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Issues And Solutions When Growing Tomatoes Upside Down

Tomatoes love water, sun, and space to spread their roots. Consider these problems you can run into when growing this fruit upside down:

Inadequate Moisture: Basic science tells us that gravity pulls water. If your soil drains too well, most water will run through the holes at the bottom of your pots, leaving little nutrients for your plants to soak up. 

Add enough newspaper or coffee filters to cover these holes and slow gravity down. 

Poor Production: Tomatoes need a lot of sun to produce healthy fruits. Heavy pots typically hang from roof overhangs or a tree with some shade to support their weight. This will influence your plant’s sunlight exposure. 

Ensure you have a sturdy enough trellis to carry the weight of soil-filled pots and your tomatoes that you can place in direct sunlight.

Issues And Solutions When Growing Tomatoes Upside Down

To Sum It Up, Grow Tomatoes Upside Down

Growing tomatoes in pots is always a good idea if you don’t have much space to work with. Hanging them in the air is even better!

Your tomato crops will succeed if you have a sturdy enough trellis or hook, a good pot, and the right soil, water, and sunlight balance. Adding care and love to the mix will help you harvest fruits all season long and likely beyond.

I hope this article was helpful. If you enjoyed reading it or have more questions, let me know in the comments.


Which tomatoes grow the best upside down?

Small tomato varieties like cherry and Roma grow the best upside down. Since their fruits aren't big, your hanging pots will have an easier time carrying their weight.

Do hanging tomato plants grow upside down?

Tomato plants don't really grow upside down. Instead, they hang. If you plant them in hanging pots, they'll drape downwards, creating an upside-down effect.

Why do you put tomatoes upside down?

There are many benefits to growing tomatoes upside down. You may also choose to use this method if you have limited space or no backyard.

Are used coffee grounds good for tomatoes?

You can use coffee grounds to help keep your tomato plants healthy. It contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which benefit tomato growth.

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