Growing Tomatoes in Pots: Best Tomato Varieties for Small Containers

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Updated 12.21.23

The most important step in growing tomatoes in pots successfully is choosing appropriate tomato varieties for the containers you are using.

Tomato Growing Tip #27: best tomato varieties to grow in small containers. #GrowingTomatoes with Tomato Dirt

It’s the pot size that helps you know what variety to choose.

Some types of tomatoes work well in larger containers. (See a list of best tomato varieties for large pots.)

Some can grow in smaller pots and even thrive in them!

The tomato varieties listed here have a reputation for working well in containers, buckets, tubs, pots, and window boxes 5 gallons or smaller.

Baxter's Early Bush Cherry
Days to maturity: 72
Season: early
Height/habit: upright, 18-36.” Can grow to 4 feet high in ground.
Fruit color: red
Fruit shape: 1 ½” diameter
Baxter’s Early Bush tomatoes mature 7-10 days earlier than most other cherry tomato varieties. They’re known to be prolific producers even if conditions aren’t perfect. Taste is typical sweet/tart tomato flavor. Fruit resists splitting and keeps well after picking.

Days to maturity: 55
Season: early
Height/habit: short, bushy plant, 9-18”
Fruit color: red
Fruit shape: ¾” grape tomatoes with slightly elongated shape
Elfin is a grape tomato with a sweet flavor. Fruit appears in large clusters.

Days to maturity: 55-70
Season: very early
Height/habit: compact, bushy plant, 24-30”
Fruit color:bright red crimson interior
Fruit shape: cherry tomatoes, about 1” diameter
Lyana was developed in eastern Europe and introduced to North America in 2004. It can produce well in a 1 gallon pot, but in a larger container it will deliver even better results. Fruit has a strong tomato taste.

Micro Tom
Days to maturity: 85-88
Season: mid-season
Height/habit: super dwarf, 5-8” tall. Called “the world’s smallest tomato variety.”
Fruit color: red
Fruit shape: about the size of salad croutons
Micro Tom is an unusually small tomato plant developed at the University of Florida’s breeding program. It works great in baskets, small pots, indoors, or in mixed containers – or if you simply don’t have much room. Micro-Toms can even be grown successfully in 4” pots! The average 6” plant produces a couple of dozen tomatoes. Great for kids!

Patio F
Days to maturity: 70
Height/habit: very compact, up to 24” or less
Fruit color: bright red
Fruit shape: tennis ball-size, about 3-4 ounces
Disease resistance: F (fusarium wilt)
This dwarf variety is one of the most popular for growing in pots on patios, decks, and balconies – in containers at least 12” in diameter and 12” deep. Its foliage dark green and attractive. Tomatoes are flavorful. Patio produces so many tomatoes that the weight can pull plants over, so it’s best to stake it.

Red Robin
Days to maturity: 55
Season: very early
Height/habit: about 12”. A true miniature!
Fruit color: red
Fruit shape: about 1 ¼” round
This popular dwarf cherry tomato thrives in small pots, baskets, as part of mixed containers, and even indoors. Red Robin can flourish with less light than other varieties. Fruit is sweet with a “real” tomato taste that’s sometimes missing in cherry tomatoes.

Tiny Tim
Days to maturity: 60
Height/habit: compact plants, 10-18” high, 14” across (slightly bigger in ground)
Fruit color: bright red
Fruit shape: ½ -¾” cherry tomatoes
Plant Tiny Tim in pots 8” or larger. Staking isn’t needed. Tiny Tim manages cool spring weather better than many tomatoes and is a solid producer for its size. This variety also works well when grown indoors or hydroponically.

Days to maturity: 70
Season: early
Height/habit: dwarf, bushy plant that reaches just 12-18”
Fruit color: crimson red
Fruit shape: 1” round cherry tomatoes
Abundant fruit and dark green, attractive foliage make Totem a favorite variety in containers, window boxes and for indoor tomato gardeners. Dwarf habit means Totem needs no staking.

Yellow Pygmy
Days to maturity: 110-120
Season: late
Height/habit: true bush habit with unusual branching; about 12”
Fruit color: yellow with a tinge of orange
Fruit shape: dime-sized
Low, dense foliage and tiny tomatoes make Yellow Pygmy a fun addition to your containers and pots. Flowers don’t fully open. Fruit has a sharp flavor that’s a touch acidic. Plants continue producing after first set of fruit

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