Our annual end-of-summer contest is here, come on down to the Dave's Garden County Fair!

Tomato Plant

Chicago, IL

Attached a picture of my tomato plant. First time growing tomatoes and wasn't prepared for them to grow this big this fast. My first question is how does this plant look? I'm not sure if the yellow flowers are a good thing or bad thing. Second, will this pot be big enough to hold this plant? I don't remember the exact type of tomato that is in this pot but it is a smaller variety, most likely cherry tomatoes. Lastly, do I need to put some sort of cage into the pot? I'm assuming I should have put a cage in before they got this big but is it too late? I know its a ton of questions with very little info but any info is appreciated. Thanks

Thumbnail by vj2651
Hornell, NY(Zone 5a)

Your plant looks fairly healthy so far, the yellow flowers are normal. I can't hazard a guess as to the variety because I just don't know, the dwarf types seem to grow better in containers. Most tomatoes will benefit by staking to keep the stems from snapping and allow the fruit to grow above the ground level. I would look for an old broomstick handle or similar slat of wood losely tied with soft fabric rings cut crossways from an old sock. Keep in mind that container tomatoes take lots of water in the flowering and fruiting stage, otherwise you'll be plagued with the dreaded blossom end rot. With any kind of luck you should have some nice tomatoes soon.


Greenfield, OH(Zone 6a)

The reason to stake or cage tomatoes is to allow better air circulation which helps in disease prevention and to keep the leaves off the ground. "Dirty" water splashing on the leaves can cause disease on both the fruit and leaves.
You can still add a cage (carefully) and the plant will do fine but I've grown tomatoes for years in pots and had no problem letting them sprawl over the sides.
Just keep the plant and fruit protected from ground contact and you'll be OK.
I'm sure someone will disagree and share the ills of not staking, but I've had great 'mators' just letting them grow natural.

Chicago, IL

Thanks for the responses. I will carefully try to add a cage on one of the pots and leave the other one how it is. Both pots look similar to the picture above. Thanks again

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

vj2651 - the yellow flowers are a good thing - that's where your future tomatoes will come from.

Tomatoes are wind pollinated, so be sure they are standing where they will receive a nice breeze.

If you could put some kind of support on that wall behind the tomato, you could tie the tomato plant to the support as it grows. Otherwise, you can just let it sprawl on the ground, which is how they grow in the wild.

As to the size of the pot - I can't tell how big it is from your photo, but personally I wouldn't try growing a tomato plant in anything smaller than five gallons. Seven to ten gallons is better.

Arlington, TX

I use plastic rods you can buy at home depot and tie them loosely with bread bag ties.

Chicago, IL

HoneybeeNC - My mom will hunt me down if I use her wall as support. I straightened out some metal hangers and put those into the pot, seems to be provided support.

The pot size is only 12 quarts or 3 gallons but I'm not going to transplant again.

Thanks for all the advice. Looking forward to eating my first home grown tomato.

This message was edited Jun 4, 2012 12:58 PM

Virginia Beach, VA

You can use wooden stakes and use cut up old tees to tie them to the pole. The green plastic from lowes are pricey.
Good looking plant.


Arlington, TX

but you can use the plastic ones over and over.the wood ones rot.
that is a good looking tomato plant.

This message was edited Jun 4, 2012 8:10 PM

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Since this is your first time growing tomatoes please keep us posted on the plants' progress. Even if you don't have any questions please keep us up to date. I've been growing tomatoes for more years then I care to admit. But your new found enthusiasm and success is contagious, I would love to see pictures of the first fruit that sets and as they ripen. I wish all my plants looked that good.
Best of Luck!

Chicago, IL

Thanks for all the kind words and advice. I will keep this post updated with new pictures.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

I use garden canes Cheap enough and can be reused again and again, tie the stems loosely to the can either using sort twine or some other material, even a pair of old ladies tights cut up will be good soft material.
Next thing is to try prevent the plant growing too tall, either nip out the very top growing tip of the stems OR just cut about an inch off the top, dont be worried the plant will die, what you want is the plants to make flowers instead of tooooo much tops,
Other than that, the plants look good, I have to grow ALL my tomato's, cucumbers and peppers in pots indoors Greenhouse therefore soon as I see about 3 bunches of flowers I start to pinch out the side shoots and the top growth, I then begin to slowly feed the plants tomato feed and use half strength to start with once a week, then increace this strength as the tomato fruits grow. The pots take a lot of watering and if you dont do this regularly the fruit will split open on the plant, so try to maybe do the watering same time of day and same amout.
Good luck, bet your Mum will love these lovely tomato's.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> loosely tied with soft fabric rings cut crossways from an old sock

Thanks for that idea! It doesn't hurt the vines when they got soggy and stay soggy?

I've been using someone else's suggestion to cut "rings" crosswise out of plastic supermarket bags, and use those as "slings" to support plants gently.

Hornell, NY(Zone 5a)

I haven't had any problems with them getting wet. I've used them for years. Old nylons can be used the same way that won't hold water at all. Just tie them loosely, not tight enough to choke the stems.


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Thanks, Al!

Chicago, IL

WeeNel - Can you provide some more info on cutting the top and nipping stems. Is there a certain spot where I should cut from?

Chicago, IL

I've added some updated pics of the tomato plant. I'm not sure if this is the right forum for it but I know a few members requested it.

Plant seems to be doing well and finally showing signs of actual fruit. Some of the bottom leaves are turning yellow and seem to be dying but I don't see it as a problem.

Any more advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Thumbnail by vj2651 Thumbnail by vj2651 Thumbnail by vj2651
Arlington, TX

Looking good so far. my plants are twice that big and have only 2 fruits so far.

Check for signs webbing on the yellow leaves you may have mites.

Chicago, IL

Easybake - Thanks, will look for webbing tonight.

Anyone have any idea what type of tomatoes these might be?

Arlington, TX

From the shape the look a little roma or Plum shaped.

Chicago, IL

Didn't find any webbing on the plant. Will update with more pictures in a week or so.

Chicago, IL

Added a link with some other pictures of various stuff I'm growing.


Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

The plants all look pretty healthy. Good job on getting a tomato cage in the pot. You might think about loosely tying some of the bigger branches that are shooting out of the cage to the tomato cage for support.

Chicago, IL

Thanks Susan! I plan on tying the branches that are sticking out soon.

Chicago, IL

Tomatoes are finally starting to ripen! Great feeling waking up in the morning and seeing a red tomato. Attached a link with updated pictures.


Arlington, TX

nice wish i had that many.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)


Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Congradulations! The plants and tomatoes are looking great.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.