Growing Heirloom Tomatoes In Pots | 25 Best Heirloom Tomato Plants

Sheri Dorn is a versatile homesteader and culinary artist with a strong focus on organic and heirloom gardening. Holding a Master's degree in Culinary Arts, she combines her love for cooking and gardening in a unique way. Sheri is an active contributor to online gardening communities and enjoys quality outdoor time with her family and pets.
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Growing the Best Heirloom Tomato Plants in pots is very much possible, and here’s a list of the best varieties you can try.

Even if you don’t have big space for raised beds, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy deliciously ripened heirloom tomatoes. Some heirloom tomato plants grow exceptionally well in containers.

Most heirloom tomato plants grow well in a container as long as you know how to grow them properly, which cultivars are better and easier to manage, and the pot size is adequate.

Learn How to Grow so Many Tomatoes in So Little Space here


Determinate vs. Indeterminate

Determinate varieties do better in containers because they only grow up to three or four feet tall and are compact in nature. You don’t have to worry about staking and trellising much. There are some other differences besides the height difference; indeterminate tomato plants can reach up to 7 feet tall.

Determinate plants produce all of their fruit over a three-week period. They won’t continue to produce throughout the entire season.

However, don’t be afraid to grow an indeterminate tomato plant! Even though they are larger and need staking, you simply need to purchase a larger pot to accommodate their growth. You never want to use a pot smaller than 5 gallons.

For larger heirloom plants, such as Brandywine, you will want to purchase a pot between 15-24 gallons!

Learn how to grow tomatoes from suckers here


Top  Heirloom Tomato Plants

1. Brandywine Rose

One of the top heirloom tomatoes to consider is the Brandywine. Gardeners love it for its unique flavor and size. Brandywine tomatoes can grow up to 2 pounds each!

Learn how to Tickle your tomato plants for a bumper harvest here

2. Stupice

Stupice tomatoes are one of the earliest-yielding plants. When you live in a cooler region, you want to extend your growing season as long as possible. The plant will produce hundreds of these small fruits.

3. Silvery Fir Tree

Silvery Fir Tree grows well in containers because they are compact in nature. You won’t need to stake these plants because they rarely become taller than 24 inches.

4. Japanese Black Trifele

If the flavor is your main goal when selecting the heirloom tomato plants, the Japanese Black Trifele is a plant you may need to grow. Best of all, these plants are heavy producers so you will get a large harvest.

Here are the best types of Roma Tomatoes 

5. Golden Jubilee

These beauties are vibrant yellow-orange color and have a slightly sweet taste. They’re perfect for slicing up and adding to salads or sandwiches for a pop of color and flavor, making them one of the Best Heirloom Tomato Plants.

6. Tumbling Tom Tomatoes

These little guys are perfect for container gardening and have a cascading growth habit that makes them great for hanging baskets or window boxes.

Tumbling Tom tomatoes are a cherry tomato variety and have a sweet, juicy flavor that’s perfect for snacking or adding to salads.

7. San Marzano 

San Marzano heirloom tomatoes are a delicious and rewarding choice for gardeners and foodies alike. They have a rich, sweet flavor that’s perfect for making sauces and a meaty texture that makes them perfect for salads and sandwiches.

Learn how to grow tomatoes from slices here

8. Amish Paste

Their determinate growth habit makes them ideal for smaller gardens, while their meaty texture and unique flavor make them a favorite among cooks.

If you’re looking to grow heirloom tomatoes, Amish Paste is undoubtedly one variety you should consider!

9. Black Krim

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Black Krim is a medium-sized, dark purple tomato that originated in Russia. It has a rich, smoky flavor that’s favored by many gardeners and chefs alike.

These tomatoes are particularly popular among those who prefer a more complex flavor in their dishes, and they make a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and sauces.

10. Cherokee Purple

This tomato originated in the southern United States and has a sweet and tangy flavor that’s often described as having a hint of smokiness.

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11. Black Russian

Despite its name, Black Russian is a favorite among gardeners and food enthusiasts worldwide, and it’s often used in salads, sandwiches, and sauces. These are undoubtedly one of the Best Heirloom Tomato Plants

12. Blueberry

These tiny tomatoes are popular among gardeners who want to grow tomatoes in containers or small spaces, and they make an excellent addition to salads, appetizers, and as a healthy snack.

13. Great White

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It has a sweet, mild flavor with a slightly citrusy finish. Great White tomatoes are becoming more popular among tomato enthusiasts due to their unique appearance and taste.

Here is the number one tip to grow sweet tomatoes 

14. Wagner Blue

‘Wagner Blue’ is a relatively new heirloom variety, having been developed by horticulturist Tom Wagner in the 1980s. They have a rich, sweet flavor that is similar to other dark-colored tomatoes like Black Krim or Cherokee Purple.

15. Hillbilly

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They have a sweet, slightly tart flavor with a hint of spice. Hillbilly tomatoes are a popular heirloom variety that has been grown in the southern United States for generations.

16. Constoluto Genovese

Constoluto Genovese is a classic Italian heirloom tomato with a distinctly flattened, ribbed shape that gives it a beautiful appearance on a plate. It has a meaty texture and a rich, slightly tart flavor that is perfect for sauces, salsas, and salads.

17. Kellogg’s Breakfast

Kellogg’s Breakfast tomatoes are a popular heirloom variety with a rich history. These beefsteak tomatoes can grow to be quite large, sometimes weighing up to a pound each! They are known for their bright red color, meaty texture, and juicy, tangy flavor.

Have a look at the 15 Weeds that Look like Tomato Plants here

18. Mr. Stripey

Mr. Stripey tomatoes are another popular heirloom variety with a unique appearance. These tomatoes are medium-sized and have yellow and red stripes, which make them stand out from other varieties.

They have a sweet, tangy flavor and a meaty texture, making them perfect for sandwiches or sauces.

19. Yellow Pear

Yellow Pear tomatoes are a small, sweet heirloom variety that is shaped like pears. These tomatoes are popular for their unique shape and delicious flavor. They are sweet and juicy, with a slightly tangy flavor that makes them great for snacking or using in salads.

20. Oxheart Pink

Oxheart Pink tomatoes are a large, meaty heirloom variety that is shaped like hearts. These tomatoes can grow up to 1-2 pounds and have a sweet, rich flavor that makes them perfect for slicing and using in sandwiches or salads.

Here’s how you can use coco peat for a bumper tomato harvest

21. Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is a popular heirloom tomato that originated in Greece. It is a medium-sized, round tomato with a vibrant red color and a meaty texture. It has a sweet and tangy flavor that makes it a popular choice for salads and sandwiches.

22. German Johnson

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German Johnson is another beloved heirloom tomato that has been grown for generations. It is a large beefsteak tomato with a bright pink color and a sweet, juicy flavor.

23. Chocolate Stripes

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Chocolate Stripes is a unique heirloom tomato that is as beautiful as it is delicious. It is a medium-sized tomato with a dark, purplish-brown color and distinctive green stripes. Chocolate Stripes has a rich, sweet flavor that is complemented by its meaty texture.

Find out the 11 Best Herbs to Plant with Tomatoes here

24. Gardener’s Sweetheart Cherry Tomato

Gardener’s Sweetheart Cherry Tomato is a delightful heirloom variety that produces clusters of small, bite-sized tomatoes. These tomatoes are red with a hint of pink and have a sweet, juicy flavor. They are perfect for snacking, adding to salads, or as a garnish for appetizers.

25. Ace 55

Ace 55 is a determinate heirloom tomato variety that is beloved by gardeners for its reliable and abundant yields. The medium-sized fruits of Ace 55 are typically round and smooth, with a bright red color and a classic tomato flavor that is both sweet and tangy.

Find 4 Amazing Ways to Use Penny in Garden (#1 is for Healthy Tomatoes) here


Tips for Growing Heirloom Tomato Plants in Containers

  • Most tomato plants need a container with a depth of 12 to 18 inches at a minimum.
  • A smaller pot can lead to issues such as your soil drying out too fast or blossom end rot. Larger containers prevent the soil from drying out too fast during the hot summer.
  • Heirloom tomatoes need 6 to 8 hours of sun each day. The afternoon sun can overload the plant with sunlight that is too hot. Unless you can commit to morning and evening watering, try to select a spot on your patio that gets ample sunlight earlier in the day.
  • If you know, you will need stakes because you chose indeterminate tomato plants, put the stakes in earlier. Early staking gives your plants a chance to learn how to grow vertically with the help of a stake.
  • Your largest consideration is how often you water the containers. Containers dry out much faster than raised beds. Under-watering and over-watering can have detrimental effects. You should always check the soil before watering. If it is dry an inch down into the soil, you need to water it.

Here are the best ways to water plants

Just because you don’t have a regular garden doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy growing heirloom tomato plants. They grow well in containers. While these are 5 of the top choices, each gardener has their personal favorite. Over time, you’ll find the ones you love the most.

Follow Pro Tips on Pruning Tomato Plants for Bumper Harvest here

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