15 Must-Grow Tomato Varieties for Small Containers

Gardeners with limited space shouldn’t be left out of experiencing the joy and satisfaction of eating fresh tomatoes out of the garden. Many tomato varieties can grow in containers. While dwarf tomatoes with full-sized fruits usually need at least a 5-gallon container, many dwarf and determinate cherry and cocktail tomatoes have been specifically bred for much smaller containers without skimping on flavor.

These microdwarf tomatoes and small determinate varieties are perfect for patios, windowsills, hanging baskets, and even growing indoors under grow lights. Read below for 15 recommended tomato varieties for small containers. The top 7 are delicious, dependable varieties, and the following 8 are more unique but equally fantastic for the garden. All of the below varieties can grow to their full potential in just a 1-gallon pot or even smaller.

Variety Plant Height Additional Notes
Orange Hat 6 to 10 inches Orange cherry
Minibel 12 to 18 inches Red cherry
Tumbler 12 to 18 inches Red cherry; ideal for hanging baskets
Patio Choice Yellow 15 to 18 inches Yellow cherry; disease-resistant; 2017 AAS winner
Red Robin 8 to 12 inches Red cherry
Hundreds and Thousands 12 to 24 inches Red cherry; ideal for hanging baskets
Monetka 6 to 8 inches Bright yellow cherry
Florida Petite 6 to 8 inches Large red cherry (up to 1.5 inches); thin skin
Lil’ Peeps 12 to 14 inches Bright yellow cherry; pointed bottom
Fat Frog 10 to 14 inches Mustard-green cherry tomato
Micro Tom 5 to 8 inches Red cherry; one of the world’s smallest
Andrina 6 to 10 inches Large red cherry; up to 1-inch fruits
Inkspot 10 to 15 inches Black/purple cherry
Hardin’s Miniature 10 to 12 inches Red grape tomato
Tiny Totem 12 to 24 inches Red cocktail tomato, consistently around 1.5-inch fruits

Note to international readers: Many of the US-based seed companies mentioned in this article also ship internationally.

Tomato Varieties for Small Containers

Orange Hat Tomato

Tiny dwarf cherry tomato that produces flushes of bright, golden orange, sweet and tangy fruits

Days to Maturity: 65 to 75 days
Type: Microdwarf cherry tomato; potato-leafed
Fruit Description: Small cherry, yellow-orange, sweet and tart
Plant Height: 6 to 10 inches tall
Container Size: Minimum 6-inch pot; grows comfortably in a ½ to 1 gallon pot
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Baker Creek (US), Renaissance Farms (US), HRSeeds (US), Heritage Seed Market (US), Kitchen Table Seed House (Canada)

An increasingly popular microdwarf tomato variety, Orange Hat packs a punch in both taste and yield. This tiny variety grows no more than 10 inches tall, and can give a good harvest of golden orange cherry tomatoes in just a 6-inch pot. 

You can get away with growing it in a smaller container (even in a 16 oz solo cup!), but the plant won’t reach its full size. Orange Hat plants grow more “out” than “up”, so despite getting no more than 10 inches tall, they can bush out if grown in a 1 gallon pot. If you have a larger pot, you can plant multiple Orange Hat tomatoes at least 5-6 inches apart.

The fruits themselves are juicy and flavorful, with a balanced, sweet and tangy taste. Wait until the tomatoes turn full bright orange for the best flavor.

Overall, Orange Hat is a highly recommended variety for outdoor or indoor growing in small containers.


Minibel Tomato

A prolific microdwarf tomato variety that produces loads of juicy red fruits

Days to Maturity: 65 to 75 days
Type: Microdwarf cherry tomato; potato-leafed
Fruit Description: Small cherry, red, sweet and balanced flavor
Plant Height: 12 to 18 inches
Container Size: Minimum 1 gallon
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Renaissance Farms (US), Heritage Seed Market (US), HRSeeds (US), Kitchen Table Seed House (Canada), JustSeed (UK)

Another small yet prolific variety, Minibel is a compact, easy-to-grow microdwarf tomato which yields loads of sweet, slightly tangy cherry tomatoes. The fruits are bright red when fully ripe, and rarely grow larger than 1 inch across.

The plant itself is a very sturdy, dark green bush, similar to other dwarf varieties, although sometimes can benefit from a small stake for extra support if it tips over. This tomato is also suitable for hanging baskets, although there are more recommended varieties below.

You can get away with growing Minibel in a smaller pot, but 1 gallon is the minimum for the plant to reach its full potential in both size and yield. 

Overall, if you are looking for an open-pollinated red microdwarf tomato that doesn’t grow much taller than a foot, Minibel is very highly recommended.


Tumbler Tomato

A super early hanging basket tomato with prolific yields of sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes

Days to Maturity: 45 to 55 days
Type: Determinate cherry tomato; regular-leafed
Fruit Description: Small cherry, red, sweet
Plant Height: 12 to 18 inches
Container Size: 10-inch pot (for 3 plants)
Open Pollinated? No (Hybrid)
Get seeds: Totally Tomatoes (US), Pinetree Garden Seeds (US), Annapolis Seeds (US), Seeds ‘n Such (US), McKenzie Seeds (Canada), West Coast Seeds (Canada)

Tumbler is the cherry tomato variety for hanging baskets, whether you’re looking for a variety for small containers or not. This hybrid was developed specifically for hanging baskets, with its floppy main stem and prolific clusters of sweet, juicy tomatoes. 

This is not a true dwarf tomato but a small determinate type, meaning it will ripen most of its fruit over a couple months, rather than all season long. That also means if you plant these in a few hanging baskets, you’ll be welcomed with huge harvests of vine-ripened tomatoes all at once.

Despite not being a true dwarf, Tumbler is ideal for growing in small containers–you can grow three Tumbler tomato plants in a single 10-inch pot! Highly recommended.


Patio Choice Yellow

Disease-resistant cherry tomato and 2017 AAS winner for its high yields (100 tomatoes!) and sweet flavor

Days to Maturity: 45 to 60 days
Type: Determinate cherry tomato; potato-leafed
Fruit Description: Small cherry, lemon-yellow, mildly sweet
Plant Height: 15 to 18 inches
Container Size: Minimum 10-inch pot
Open Pollinated? No (Hybrid)
Get seeds: Park Seed (US), Totally Tomato (US), Willhite Seed (US), Seeds ‘n Such (US)

Image credit: All-America Selections.

One of the best choices on this list if you’re interested in high yields, Patio Choice Yellow is an incredibly prolific cherry tomato that can reach a diminutive 18 inches tall, yet can yield upwards of 100 tomatoes on a single plant. The 1-inch lemon-yellow fruits make a beautiful contrast to the dark green foliage. 

Because of its compact size, huge yields, and great flavor, it was deemed a All-America Selections (AAS) winner in 2017. It’s also broadly disease-resistant, with resistances to TMV, Fusarium wilt, and Verticillium wilt.

Patio Choice Yellow will grow very well in a 10-inch pot or hanging basket, and is great for balcony and indoor growing as well.

This variety also comes in red, and if you use a larger container, you could interplant red and yellow Patio Choice tomatoes together to create a gorgeous (and delicious) ornamental piece in your garden. Highly recommended.


Red Robin Tomato

An early, compact, mini bush with high yields of cherry clusters packed with heirloom flavor

Days to Maturity: 50 to 55 days
Type: Microdwarf cherry tomato; potato-leafed
Fruit Description: Cherry, red, sweet and slightly tart
Plant Height: 8 to 12 inches
Container Size: Minimum 8-inch pot; grows comfortably in a ½ to 1 gallon pot
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Territorial Seed Company (US), Renaissance Farms (US), Hoss Tools (US), Tomato Fest (US), Park Seed (US), West Coast Seeds (Canada), Kings Seeds (UK)

Red Robin is another excellent choice for small pots. There are some Red Robin hybrids on the market, but the original heirloom is still prolific and packed with flavor. 

This stout, productive variety can thrive in a container in as little as 8 inches in diameter. Compared to other tomatoes on this list, Red Robin is somewhere between Orange Hat and Minibel in size, rarely reaching more than a foot in height. 

Starting around 50 to 55 days after transplanting, Red Robin will gradually ripen all its fruit in one large flush, putting on a dazzling display of plump little red cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes themselves have a nice, sweet, and slightly tangy flavor. Red Robin is a must-have in any container garden.


Hundreds and Thousands Tomato

One of the most prolific hanging basket tomatoes that can yield hundreds of currant-sized fruits

Days to Maturity: 70 to 80 days
Type: Determinate cherry tomato; regular-leafed
Fruit Description: Small cherry, red, sweet
Plant Height: 12 to 24 inches
Container Size: 12-inch pot (for 3 plants), 10-inch pot (1 plant)
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Heritage Seed Market (US), Renaissance Farms (US), Garden Hoard (US), Gaia Organic Seeds (Canada), Simply Seed (UK)

One of the most high-yielding tomatoes on this list, the aptly named Hundreds and Thousands tomato is a must-have for those who want long, hanging vines filled with clusters of small, sweet tomatoes.

This tomato is similar to the Tumbler tomato, but the main differences are that Hundreds and Thousands plants can grow larger, have slightly smaller tomatoes, and this is an open-pollinated variety; as long as it doesn’t cross-pollinate with another tomato variety, it will yield true-to-type seeds which you can save and replant year after year. 

While this variety is ideal for hanging baskets, it can be grown in a pot on the ground, but will require staking as it naturally flops over. Planting 3 plants in at least a 12-inch will yield you hundreds of tomatoes over the season. Highly recommended.


Monetka Tomato

A tiny yet prolific microdwarf tomato variety with golden yellow fruits

Days to Maturity: 65 days
Type: Microdwarf cherry tomato; regular-leafed
Fruit Description: Small cherry, small point on blossom end, bright yellow, sweet and balanced flavor
Plant Height: 6 to 8 inches
Container Size: Minimum 6-inch pot
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Renaissance Farms (US), HRSeeds (US), Heritage Seed Market (US), Semences des Artisans (Canada)

Another super compact microdwarf, Monetka is the shortest variety in this top 7, barely reaching 8 inches, and sometimes putting out its first flowers at only 5 inches tall. Despite its small size, this variety is very productive, yielding clusters of fruits.

When fully ripe, these tomatoes are bright lemon-yellow. The name Monetka, which means coin in Russian, likely on account of the cross section looking like a gold coin. The flavor is often described as sweet yet balanced, and the texture is not too firm and not too mushy. 

Monetka can grow in even a 4- or 5-inch pot, but like Orange Hat, grows to its full (yet small) size in at least a 6-inch pot. Highly recommended for small pots, windowsills, indoor gardens, or planting multiple varieties in a larger pot.


8 More Unique Tomatoes for Small Containers

Below are some more tiny tomato varieties that are well-suited to small pots, each with their own unique characteristics in terms of flavor, size, color, or shape. 

Florida Petite (60 days) – Plump cherry variety. The fruits themselves have variable sizes, but some tomatoes reach 1.5 inches in diameter! This variety reaches a maximum height of around 8 inches, and the tomatoes are slightly flattened, looking like mini slicing or beefsteaks. Thin-skinned for more pleasant eating, but more prone to splitting. [Get Seeds]

Lil’ Peeps (75 days) – A bright orange-yellow cherry tomato variety with little pointy beaks on the blossom end, hence the name. Stays under 14 inches tall. [Get Seeds]

Fat Frog (50-60 days) – A green cherry tomato! Productive variety that ripens to a mustard-green. 10 to 14 inches tall. [Get Seeds]

Micro Tom (50-60 days) – Extremely minuscule variety at around 5 to 8 inches tall, widely believed to be the smallest variety out there. Mild flavor but productive for its size. [Get Seeds]

Andrina (75 days) – Another fat cherry tomato! This 6-to-10-inch tall variety produces small clusters of plump, ¾- to 1-inch red fruits. Good flavor. [Get Seeds]

Inkspot (65-75 days) – A succulent black/purple cherry tomato variety that reaches 10 to 15 inches in height. Like many dark tomatoes, Inkspot has a very rich flavor. [Get Seeds]

Hardin’s Miniature Micro Dwarf Tomato (65 days) – The microdwarf for grape tomato lovers! Elongated red fruits get to about 1 to 1.5 inches long, on plants that barely get up to 12 inches tall. Very productive for its size. [Get Seeds]

Tiny Totem (65-75 days) – 1.5-inch cocktail tomatoes on a dwarf plant! Typically reaches 12-24 inches in height but can sometimes grow taller if grown in a larger pot. Likely the biggest tomato (fruit) you can grow in a 1-gallon pot. [Get Seeds]