Hanging tomato plants is a great planting technique.
Tomato plants are quite vulnerable to plant diseases. However, as long as you keep these diseases in check, tomato plants are actually quite resilient.
In recent years, many different ways of planting tomatoes have become more and more popular. Growing small tomato plants in containers, for example, are already very common nowadays after multiple people have successfully found the right formula for success in doing so.
Hanging tomato plants is one fun way of growing tomatoes in containers. Gardeners and homeowners would plant the tomatoes in a hanging basket, or any type of planter, and grow them upside down.
There are a few benefits in planting tomatoes facing downwards. You can learn more about doing so as you read further ahead as we discuss it.
Planting Tomatoes Upside Down
Planting tomatoes upside down have been getting a lot more popularity recently. In fact, the practice is not exclusive to tomatoes only. According to Wikipedia, there exists a method of gardening called ‘upside-down gardening’ where gardeners would plant their seedlings that way.
How does it work?
Having tomato plants being planted facing downwards is not some miraculous feat. Countless gardeners have already succeeded in doing so. However, for some people, it may seem baffling that you can even do it this way.
To know exactly how it works, you only need to understand what the plants need to survive. First of all, they should get their basic needs to survive. These are water, sunlight, soil, and space.
Sunlight is not a problem as long as you put the hanging planter in a place where the sunlight touches. The soil will be arranged at the same time as you set it all up and water is something that you can provide easily.
Space might be trickier to arrange since you need to have your planters at a height where your tomato plant should not touch the ground even after fully grown. At the same time, if you put them too high, you may have trouble watering them.
The best way to circumvent this problem is to plant small determinate plants in your hanging planters. Since they are short, you do not need to worry about putting them too high.
Read more: Determinate vs indeterminate tomatoes
How to Grow Tomatoes Upside Down
The steps in growing tomatoes in hanging containers are actually not too complicated.
How to plant tomatoes in hanging planters
- First, grow your tomatoes in a regular container first. Let them sit there for a few weeks until they sprout and grow to a reasonable degree.
- Once the seedling has grown enough, you can transplant them to the hanging planter immediately. The method of doing so will depend on the kind of planter that you plan on using. Generally, you will need to push the tomato’s root ball to the inside of the container using a hole at the bottom. Meanwhile, the rest of the plant will be exposed outside.
- Next, you should fill up the container with soil. Finally, you can find a place with adequate sunlight to hang the planter.
Things to Remember – Tips and Tricks
Naturally, there are some specifics that you need to know before you can actually plant your tomatoes upside down.
- Use a good quality planter – This much should be obvious. If your planter is not durable enough, it may collapse all of a sudden and severely damage your tomatoes. This does not solely refer to the container but also to the wires or strings used to hang it.
- Use potting soil – There are soils that are specifically used for potting and you should use them. Using ground soil from your garden is not recommended because the roots will have a harder time growing and expanding in it due to its tight composition.
- Use an appropriate tomato variety – Choosing the right tomato variety to grow in hanging planters is already half the battle. Short ones with small fruits are the most ideal since they are not heavy which decreases the burden for the planter. Due to this, a great tomato variety for hanging planters is cherry tomatoes.
Learn more: Cherry Tomatoes
The Advantages of Growing Tomatoes Upside Down
Why should you plant tomatoes in hanging containers? The whole thing sounds like quite a hassle and planting them in the traditional way should work out fine.
Your concerns are quite reasonable. However, even though you can still plant your tomatoes in the ground or in upright containers, there are also some advantages in growing tomatoes in hanging containers that are worth considering.
By planting the tomatoes upside down, you can decrease the number of insects and other harmful organisms that can threaten your tomato plants.
Slugs, for example, are very harmful against tomatoes or any plant in general. They can eat basically everything that tomato plants can offer. This is also true for snails.
These pests can be avoided to a significant degree just by hanging your tomato plants. Therefore, if you have this sort of problem, you may want to consider putting in the extra effort and buying a hanging planter.
Frees up space
Having enough space can be a problem for gardeners who plant countless crops at one time. Therefore, every method of saving space can be really beneficial in the long run.
If you do not have enough space in the ground for new tomato seedlings, then you can just use the empty vertical space to your advantage. Just simply hang a planter from your ceiling, grow a tomato plant in there, and your problem is already solved to a certain degree.
They look more impressive
Growing tomato plants the traditional way can be quite boring already. If anyone sees your plants growing from the ground, they may be interested and curious but the impact will be far less.
In contrast, planting tomato plants upside down is visually stunning. Not only can they be eye-catching, but they can also look pretty while doing so.
Bragging rights aside, upside down tomato plants are simply just great for decoration purposes. The plant itself can add some refreshing scenery to your home. But this is even more so once the tomatoes bear fruit.
Some tomato varieties have really great-looking fruits that grow in clusters. Currant tomatoes, for example, can have yellow-colored varieties that look like miniature suns that light up your house or garden.
Read more: Currant tomatoes
The Best Hanging Planters for Tomatoes
Now that you know all about growing tomatoes on hanging planters, it is time to introduce the hanging planters that you can use for your upside-down tomato plants.
As you may have realized already, the quality of the hanging planter is quite important in making this activity successful. Hence, if you are looking to do so, it is largely recommended to go for one of these products.
1. Allstar Innovations Topsy Turvy Planters
The Topsy Turvy Planters from Allstar Innovations is our first product on the list.
The model for this particular product is excellent due to two reasons. One, the materials used is durable. And two, the planters are permeable. This means that liquid and air can go in and out of the planter without too much obstruction.
The advantages of this are clear. The roots and soil are exposed to sunlight and air which makes absorbing nutrients easier. Furthermore, the plant is easier to water since you do not need to control the water too much. If you water excessively, it will simply drain out of the planter.
Lastly, the planter can retain heat from the sunlight. Therefore, not only can the plant absorb the sunlight efficiently, but the roots will also always have the perfect warm atmosphere to grow.
- Great drainage
- Has durable materials
- The container is permeable
- Can retain heat
2. Pri Gardens Upside-Down Tomato Planter
The Pri Gardens Planter is another excellent hanging container to grow tomato plants in.
The biggest draw for this particular product is their handles or ‘hooks’. Both the container and the hooks that will be used to hang are actually made of the same materials. This planter does not use wire or any string to prop itself up.
Since the materials used for this planter are resilient, one can imagine the quality of the product as a whole.
This planter is made up of fabric. This allows the container to avoid over-watering the soil since any excess will naturally flow out.
Lastly, the black-colored plain design of this planter looks clean and neat. Any dirt or dust will not make this planter look bad.
- Made of fabric
- Has handles to move them around easier
- Materials are of great quality
- Looks sleek and clean
3. HIT Galvanized Hanging Planter
The planters from Pri Garden and Allstar Innovations are excellent in quality. But in terms of just durability of materials, the Galvanized Hanging Planter from HIT Corporation wins by a landslide.
While other products care about the aeration and water control of the planter, this product completely forgoes that angle and instead just focuses on durability alone. Not only is the main body of the planter coated with hardened iron, but the hooks are also chains made up of steel.
If you think you can handle a bit of challenge in controlling the right conditions for your tomato plants, then this product may be for you. As long as you take care of it, you probably will not need to buy any replacements anytime soon.
- Galvanized planter
- Has steel chains for hooks
- Very durable materials
- Closed off and not tolerant of over-watering
4. Esschert Design Upside-Down Tomato Planter
If you want a more natural look for your garden, you should not look further. The Esschert Design Planter can be in perfect harmony with its greenish surroundings.
This planter is not too large. This is perfect for people who want to save space in their garden. Alternatively, those who simply want it as decorations can also benefit from its design.
It is recommended if you only plan to grow small-sized tomato plants. The entire thing is very lightweight and is easy to move.
- Excellent for decorations
5. GLOGLOW Upside-Down Hanging Planter
The design of the GLOGLOW hanging planter is simply ingenious. While some hanging planters look nice, this product will still be eye-catching due to its shape. It basically looks like an upside-down pot.
This image of a flipped pot really emphasizes the fact that the tomato is being grown upside down. The visual impact of such a thing can be high.
The planter is made of processed plastic. While it is not as durable as galvanized planters, it is not to be underestimated either.
Due to the nature of its materials, the product is also relatively cheap.
- Looks like an inverted pot
- Made of plastic
- Somewhat economical
6. Houston International Steel Hanging Planter
The last but not least, this product is the Houston International Hanging Planter. Among the hanging planters already mentioned, this one is largely unique due to its main material – steel.
Steel pots are not exactly uncommon in the garden industry. However, steel hanging planters may be somewhat unique.
The advantages of steel come from its durability and weight. Steel is resilient. It can certainly withstand the entire weight of plants. On top of that, the entire planter should not weigh too much either. This is a plus against heavy galvanized ones.
Unfortunately, like galvanized hanging planters, the Houston International Steel Hanging Planter does not offer excellent solutions against over-watering. Hence, it may be important to properly manage your watering sessions.
- Made of steel
- Very durable
- Not too heavy
- Can withstand heavy plants
Best Hanging Planters for Tomatoes Buying Guide – What to Look For
As mentioned many times already, hanging tomato plants can be a challenge and you should pick the hanging planters with the best quality.
However, choosing among the different planters is easier said than done. There are many factors to consider first when growing tomatoes upside down.
This section is here to list some of the things you may want to factor in when choosing among the best hanging planters for tomatoes.
Hanging Planters’ Size
Size should be your main priority when choosing the best hanging planter. You need a decent-sized one so that the tomato plant you are growing can continue expanding.
However, choosing the biggest one is clearly not a good idea. This is due to their weight. If the plant is heavy along with the hanging planter, the entire thing will most likely collapse.
Due to this, the balance is very important. The size should be just right that the roots of the tomato plants have enough space to grow in. But, at the same time, it should also be just right for the entire thing to be not too heavy.
This is unlike choosing the tomato plant pots that are not upside down. For pots, the bigger they are, the better it is for tomato plants in general.
Read more: Planting Tomatoes in Pots
The materials for hanging planters should go hand-in-hand with the size.
Since the planter cannot be too large nor can it be too heavy, its durability may suffer as a result. To compensate for this, the materials used should be the most durable as possible while still maintaining its lightness.
Water control is also a factor that cannot be ignored when choosing the planter’s materials. Tomato plants that are grown in containers run the risk of being over-watered. If this happens, their roots can rot and they may die as a result.
Since tomatoes are very sensitive to water, materials such as fabric that allow the water to run freely are advantageous for the plant. However, they may also be less durable so you must be thoroughly careful.
Tomato Plant Size
The variety of the tomatoes definitely matters when they are grown upside down. This is due to the fact that different varieties of tomatoes can have largely varying sizes.
Generally speaking, tomatoes with short plants and small fruits are mostly the choice for gardeners who want to plant them in hanging planters. Planting these kinds of tomatoes somewhat alleviates the material and size requirements for the planters.
The type of the tomato variety also matters in this case. Determinate tomato varieties generally have dense foliage that is to manage. Meanwhile, indeterminate ones behave erratically and wild. Moreover, their vines can get very long. They may not be suited for planting upside down.
The most popular tomato variety for upside-down gardening is definitely the cherry tomato. There are also a sub-type of tomatoes we call ‘mini tomatoes’ that are even far smaller than your typical dwarf tomato plants.
Learn more: Mini Tomatoes
Growing upside-down tomato plants may be quite a challenge for some gardeners to do. It requires much effort and attention to fully work. However, the advantages of successfully hanging tomato plants cannot be ignored. If you are up for the challenge, you can buy one of the best hanging planters for tomatoes and start planting immediately.