How often to water potted tomato plants is a question on your mind, then you should know that the plant requires frequent soaking, especially if the growth is bushy. However, this greatly depends on the size of the container, the location and the variety of growing tomatoes.

Water Potted Tomato Plants

This detailed article will cover the watering schedules for tomatoes growing in a pot, provide tips and tricks, and explain how to identify if the plant has under or over-watering stress.

Continue reading to learn the most effective methods for watering it.

How Often Should Tomato Plants Grown in Pots Be Watered?

💥 Tomatoes in a pot need watering every day and in hot summers when the plant is actively producing the fruit, water twice daily. On the other hand, in winter, you should reduce your watering schedule to once a week.


However, this may vary according to the size of the container, the climate and the variety of tomato that is being grown in the container. The watering needs of tomato plants grown in a pot or container differ from those of tomato plants grown in the ground.

– Proper Watering 

For the tomato plants, you need to water deeply and water slowly to produce the best fruit. Apart from being aware of how much water does a tomato plant need per day, you should also know that the roots of the tomato plant grow deeper into the ground to follow the water as it moves deeper into the soil. As a result of the latter, note that tomato plants can develop robust root systems with the help of deep watering, and a superficial application of water encourages roots to take it easy.

Proper Watering

Tomato plants require an average of 0.3 inches of water daily, which amounts to at least two and a half inches of water weekly. It is recommended that you give your tomato plants a single morning watering. As the temperatures begin to rise, you should increase the number of times per day to twice.

What Factors Go Into Assessing How Often To Water Tomato Plants?

The factors assessing when you should water tomato plants depend on the size and material of the pot, in action to the tomato type you are growing. Additionally, it would matter on the location it’s placed, the soil it is in and the where it is in the development stage.

On the other hand, you might not be aware that improper watering methods can hamper health, production and even result in the plants’ death. Different method for determining the exact frequency of watering potted tomatoes.

– Size of Pot

While watering with a soaker hose, an important aspect to bear in mind is the kind of container or pot it is grown in. If there is enough space, tomato roots can reach a depth of up to twenty inches, and then the watering schedule of the plant would change, as a result of this. 

Thus, you have to avoid a “root bound” situation and place it in a large pot, as if the plant roots begin to grow in a confined space, typically at the edges of the container, it will not be able to draw water and nutrients out of the soil. This can impede the plant’s growth and potentially even kill it.

Moreover, smaller pots can cause the soil to dry out much more quickly than larger pots, requiring more frequent watering. Which means that, if you grow tomatoes in buckets or pots, you should use containers as large as possible, preferably over fifteen inches wide and fifteen inches deep, like a five-gallon bucket. It is easy to indulge in watering tomatoes from the bottom in similar large containers.

– Pot Material

In addition to the size of the container, you should also pay attention to the material and the color of the pot. These are determiners to the amount of twitter that you would irrigate your plant with, which would help in the growing process of the plant. 

Pot Material

Clay or terracotta containers will evaporate the water much more quickly than those made of other materials, regardless of the temperature. For best results, tomatoes do much better when grown in containers made of resin. Additionally, the color of the pot affects how well it retains water, which means that there would be a difference if your pot is lighter in color of darker.

Compared to lighter colors, black and darker hues rapidly overheat and evaporate a greater quantity of water when exposed to sunlight.

– Tomato Type

The kind of tomato and its specific variety are the next most important aspects when cultivating tomatoes in a container like a pot. Make sure you know exactly what type of tomato you are growing before planting seeds, so that you would place them in the right container and give the best watering schedule for their productivity.

If you have been wondering how often to water cherry tomatoes in pots, know that indeterminate tomato varieties, such as San Marzano and Cherokee Purple, as well as vining cherry tomato varieties, can grow to heights of six feet or more. These large plants require a more significant amount of water in order to maintain the growth of their leaves and fruits.

Tomatoes of the patio type are dwarf varieties that typically reach heights of between one and three feet. They require a reasonably less amount of water to meet their needs. If this is grown in a larger container, it will only require to be watered once every other day.

– Location

It is essential to consider the location of your pot and its water-loss resistance capabilities when determining how often to water tomatoes with drip irrigation. The latter would differ from one type of tomato to the other, in addition to where they are located, to be precise, whether it’s placed outdoors or even indoors. 

You will need to water the plant more frequently if the container is placed in a location where it will be exposed to full sunlight or constant wind throughout the day, as this will cause more moisture to be lost through the tomato leaves. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause an increase in soil temperature as well as dehydration brought on by the processes of evaporation and transpiration.

So how often to water tomato seedlings indoors? Because they are protected from the elements, planting tomatoes in an indoor planter may require less frequent watering than those grown outdoors. On another note, in container gardening of tomatoes, if it receives the additional watering that it needs from rain, you should hold off on watering until the top one or two inches of soil has become completely dry.

– Soil

The quality of the potting soil is equally important in determining the watering frequency of tomatoes. Soils that are sandy or porous have a lower capacity to hold water, and clay or other heavy soil types can hold onto water for much longer and require less frequent watering. 

The ideal potting soil when you plant tomatoes should contain enough organic matter, such as peat moss and compost, to retain water for a sufficient time for the plant’s roots to absorb without becoming overly saturated with water.

Soil for the Pot

Another determiner of the soil is also the amount of soil moisture that the plant would hold, and the temperature and humidity of the surrounding air, the condition of the plant’s leaves, the location of the plant, the type of soil in the pot and the size of the pot are some of the factors that will influence how often you need to water in a pot. 

If these conditions are met, you won’t need to worry about over-watering tomato plants because you can water them frequently without exposing them to unsafe humidity. Improper water drains and compacted soil can cause waterlogging. 

In addition, you may also consider the combination of loose soil and sufficient exposure to sunlight allows the excess water to drain out of the irrigation process. Because of this, it is helpful to consider the components used in the soil mix to understand the frequency with which you should water tomatoes.

– Stages of Development of Tomatoes

The irrigation needs would also be an important requirement of a tomato plant grown in a container shift through its stages of development. The tomato plant actively producing fruit needs more water than the tomato plant that is still producing seedlings or has just been transplanted.

When the tomato fruits are almost ready to ripen, it’s best to withhold some water from the plant to amplify the flavor—so water plants per its stage for excellent fruit production. Th plant, in this case is more focused on growing the fruit, and now it will need less water from you. 

How To Tell if Tomato Plant Has Received the Right Watering?

You can tell if your tomato plant has received the proper watering by looking for easy tell-tale signs. While considering when to stop watering tomatoes a good rule of thumb is to look for water running out of the base. Additionally, the soil should be rechecked for moisture levels in the afternoon after watering plants in the morning.

You could do a simple finger test by digging it by an inch into the soil to check if moisture is present. When the soil about an inch below the surface is dry, it is time to water it again.

– Under Watering Signs

Tomato plants experiencing momentary water stress will have leaves that have wilted but are still green in color, while chronically water-stressed tomato plants allow their leaves to turn yellow. Thus, regular watering is mandatory to keep the foliage and fruits healthy. When vapor gets into the soil, and then to the sap of the leaves, it will be able to produce vibrant green leaves, however, when it lacks water, it will do the other way around, and show weaker leaves.

– Overwatering Signs

A tomato plant that receives excessive water will have a sad and drab appearance. Watering tomatoes too much, in addition, also causes the leaves to turn yellow, and eventually, they will become brown around the edges.

Overwatering Signs

The fruits of a tomato plant that has received excessive water will appear cracked. In addition to the latter, if the overwatering is severe enough, the tomato plant will begin to wilt and even turn yellow and look very weak.


You now have a better understanding of how frequently you need to water your tomatoes thanks to the information provided in this article. A concise overview of everything that we have read is provided below.

  • Tomatoes grown in containers require daily watering, and during the warm summer months, when the plant is actively producing fruit, they need watering twice a day. The requirements for watering grown in a container or pot differ from those grown in the ground.
  • On the other hand, the frequency can change depending on the size of the container, the climate and the type of tomato being grown in the container.
  • The amount of moisture in the soil, the temperature and humidity of the air in the surrounding area, the location of the plant, the type of soil in the pot and the size are some of the factors that will influence how frequently you need to water the plant that is contained within a pot.
  • To maintain their health and maximize their potential, tomatoes require adequate water. If you water your plants incorrectly, it can negatively impact their health and production, and it might even cause them to die. If you keep an eye out for a few easy telltale signs, you’ll be able to determine whether or not your plant has been given the appropriate amount of water.

Tomato plants thrive in moist, well-drained soil. Therefore, if you want a tomato plant that is both robust and fruitful, you must adhere to the recommended watering schedule.

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