How To Use Flex Grow in Tailwind CSS

Flexbox is a powerful layout tool in CSS that allows you to design complex layouts with ease. One of the key properties in Flexbox is flex-grow, which controls how much a flex item should grow relative to its siblings within a flex container. Tailwind CSS, a utility-first CSS framework, provides a set of classes to quickly apply flex-grow properties to elements. In this article, we’ll explore how to use the flex-grow utility in Tailwind CSS to create responsive and adaptive layouts.

Understanding Flex Grow

Before diving into Tailwind’s implementation, it’s important to understand what flex-grow does. The flex-grow property specifies how much a flex item will grow relative to the rest of the flex items in the flex container when positive free space is distributed. When you set flex-grow to a non-zero value, the item can expand to fill available space in the container.

Getting Started with Tailwind CSS

To use Tailwind CSS, you need to include it in your project. You can either use a CDN or install it via npm/yarn. For the most up-to-date instructions on how to get started with Tailwind CSS, refer to the official documentation.

Using Flex Grow in Tailwind CSS

Tailwind provides a set of utility classes for flex-grow that you can apply directly to your HTML elements. Here’s how to use them:

The Flex Grow Classes

  • flex-grow: This class applies flex-grow: 1; to an element, allowing it to grow and fill available space in a flex container.
  • flex-grow-0: This class applies flex-grow: 0; to an element, preventing it from growing even if there is free space available.

Applying Flex Grow

To make an element grow within a flex container, simply add the flex-grow class to it. Here’s an example:

<div class="flex">
  <div class="flex-grow bg-blue-500 p-4">This will grow</div>
  <div class="bg-red-500 p-4">This will not grow</div>

In the example above, the first div with the flex-grow class will expand to take up any remaining space in the flex container, while the second div will only take up as much space as its content requires.

Controlling Flex Grow

If you want more control over how elements grow relative to each other, you can use custom CSS to set the flex-grow value. Tailwind’s default configuration doesn’t include classes for flex-grow values other than 0 and 1, but you can easily extend Tailwind’s configuration to include additional classes.

Here’s how you can add custom flex-grow classes in your tailwind.config.js file:

module.exports = {
  // ...
  theme: {
    extend: {
      flexGrow: {
        '2': '2',
        '3': '3',
  // ...

After extending the configuration, you can use flex-grow-2 or flex-grow-3 to apply flex-grow: 2; or flex-grow: 3; respectively.

Responsive Flex Grow

Tailwind also allows you to apply flex-grow conditionally at different breakpoints. This is useful when you want an element to grow only on certain screen sizes. You can prefix the flex-grow class with a breakpoint name:

<div class="flex">
  <div class="flex-grow md:flex-grow-0 bg-blue-500 p-4">This will grow on small screens but not on medium screens and up</div>
  <div class="bg-red-500 p-4">This will not grow</div>

In the example above, the first div will grow on small screens (the default), but on medium screens (md:) and larger, it will not grow because of the md:flex-grow-0 class.


Flex Grow is a fundamental concept in creating flexible and responsive layouts with Flexbox. Tailwind CSS simplifies the process of applying flex-grow properties with its utility classes, making it easy to design adaptive layouts without writing custom CSS. By understanding how to use the flex-grow utility in Tailwind, you can take full advantage of Flexbox’s capabilities to build modern, responsive web designs.

For more advanced usage and customization options, always refer to the Tailwind CSS documentation on Flexbox and the Tailwind CSS customization guide to tailor the framework to your project’s specific needs.


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