All You Need To Know About Growing Potatoes
You want to know how to grow potatoes at home in the best possible manner?
Great! This article is exactly for you since I will answer various questions in this regard in the following chapters.
Time & Duration
Do potatoes grow year-round?
You can grow potatoes all year long, at least in theory.
In practice, your potatoes will still grow much better if you grow them in the main season instead of in fall or winter months.
This is due to the fact that your plants will just get much more natural sunlight in summer and you will also be able to grow your plants outdoors during this time of the year.
In turn, you will be able to offer much more natural growing conditions to your potato plants, which will also turn into higher yields on average.
Consequently, I recommend you wait with growing potatoes until spring arrives to get the best out of your growing project.
Do potatoes grow fast?
It will take you between 3 and 5 months to grow potatoes from seed to harvest.
Hence, you need a little bit of patience to grow potatoes since it will take you much longer compared to growing other garden vegetables like lettuce, carrots or spinach.
How long does it take to grow potatoes?
If you want to grow potatoes from seed, it will usually take you between 90 and 140 days to grow them from seed to harvest.
If you don’t want to wait that long, you could make a shortcut and get some potato seedlings from the garden center to save up to one month of time.
Do potatoes grow back every year?
No, potatoes will not grow back. In fact, once you harvest your plants, you will remove the whole plant to get the potatoes that grow underground.
Thus, to get potatoes every year, you will also have to grow new potato plants every year.
How long do potato plants live?
Potato plants only live from seed to harvest since you will harvest the full plants to get access to the potatoes that grow below the soil surface.
Consequently, your potato plants will usually live for around half a year.
How long does it take until your potato plants flower?
It will usually take between 8 and 10 weeks for your potato plants to flower.
However, this also depends on how well you care for your plants and on the location you choose for your plants.
The better the growing conditions, the earlier your potato plants will flower on average.
Can you grow potatoes in fall?
While you could grow potatoes in fall, this will only be possible if you grow them indoors since it will simply get too cold outdoors and your potato plants will just decay due to winter frost sooner or later outdoors.
Consequently, you will also not be able to provide natural growing conditions to your plant indoors and your plants will also take away plenty of space from you.
Hence, I would recommend you wait until spring to grow potatoes to make your life much easier.
Can you grow potatoes in winter?
I am also not a big advocate of starting your potato growing project in winter.
Similar to growing potatoes in fall, you will also not be able to grow your plants outdoors and due to those unnatural growing conditions, the growth of your plants will be much slower and also your yields tend to be lower as well.
Location & Climate
Will potatoes grow in shade?
Potatoes will grow in shady environments. However, this doesn’t mean that they grow well in those spots.
In fact, potatoes grow much better if you provide them with at least a few sunny hours a day instead of growing them in shade all day long.
Hence, if you have the option to do so, don’t grow potatoes in complete shade but rather choose an environment with at least a little bit of direct sunlight.
Will potatoes grow in partial shade?
Potatoes grow perfectly fine in half-shady environments.
In fact, sites with partial shade are perfect for growing potatoes and you will get the best results on average.
Therefore, make sure to choose a spot in your garden where your potato plants get some sun but are not exposed to full sun all day long.
Do potatoes grow best in full sun?
As mentioned before, contrary to many other garden plants, potatoes don’t grow well in full sun.
While it is possible to grow them in sunny environments, you should still make sure that your potato plants also get enough shade since they don’t like extreme heat and radiation.
Will potatoes tolerate frost?
No, potatoes don’t like the cold at all and exposure to frost may lead to the decay of your plants.
Hence, make sure that you only transplant your potatoes outdoors once you don’t expect frost anymore to protect them in this regard.
Do you have to protect potatoes from the sun?
As mentioned before, potatoes grow best in half-shady environments and this means that you should not grow them in full sun all day long.
However, instead of protecting them from the sun, I rather recommend you choose a spot in your garden or on your balcony where your potato plants get a healthy balance between sun and shade to protect them from excessive sunlight in a completely natural manner.
How much space do you need to grow potatoes?
You should plan 6 to 8 square feet of space per potato plant so that your potatoes have enough space to grow in a decent manner and don’t have to compete for sunlight and nutrients with each other.
If you have more space, even better. The more space you provide to your plants, the better they will grow on average.
Will potatoes grow indoors?
As mentioned earlier, growing potatoes indoors is indeed possible in theory.
Yet, in practice, there are just many issues related to it.
First, you will have to clean your home more often.
Second, you will attract pests into your home.
Third, you will not be able to provide as natural growing conditions as outdoors and your yields will therefore be much lower on average.
Hence, whenever possible, make sure to grow potatoes outdoors instead of indoors to avoid those issues.
Can you grow potatoes without a garden or balcony?
If you don’t have a garden or a balcony, you can still grow potatoes indoors.
Yet, as mentioned earlier in this article, growing potatoes indoors is not my preferred way to go since it causes various problems and you should therefore rather wait until you have a garden or a balcony where you can grow potatoes in a proper manner instead.
Can you grow potatoes in small flats?
Potato plants can get quite big and growing them in small flats is therefore not a good idea at all.
In fact, your potato plants would just take away lots of space from you and you would also have to use big pots to grow them which would take away additional space and flexibility from you.
Hence, if you live in one of those small flats and don’t have a balcony, you should definitely wait with growing potatoes until you are able to afford a bigger place.
Can you grow potatoes in an aquarium?
Some people also use their aquariums to grow potatoes.
If you fill aquariums with potting soil instead of water, you can use them as a kind of pot.
However, you will still run into the issue that water will not be able to run off properly and the roots of your potato plants may rot due to that.
Thus, while it might be possible to grow potatoes in aquariums in theory, it would be pretty hard in practice and I therefore recommend you just grow them in conventional pots instead.
Can you grow potatoes in a terrarium?
Similar to growing potatoes in aquariums, you could also grow them in terrariums.
However, you will run into the same issues and I therefore suggest you just go for the old-school method of growing potatoes in your garden or in pots to get the best out of your growing project.
Can you grow potatoes in a bucket?
You could also try to grow potatoes in buckets.
In fact, buckets can be a good substitute for conventional pots.
You just need to make sure that excess water can run off properly by drilling some small holes into the bottom of your bucket.
After that, just fill your bucket with potting soil and you will have a perfect pot to grow potatoes in.
Also make sure to use a big bucket so that your potato plants can grow in a decent manner and also that potato crops have enough space to develop underground.
Can you grow potatoes in bags?
While it is also possible to grow potatoes in bags, make sure to use fabric bags instead of plastic bags since they are just much more stable and also water can run off much better.
Also make sure to use big bags to provide enough space and nutrients to your plants.
Similar to growing potatoes in buckets, you just have to fill your bags with potting soil from the garden center and you will be good to go.
Can you grow potatoes in hanging baskets?
Another option is to grow potatoes in hanging baskets. While this is a rather exotic method, it will still work if you use big enough baskets and also provide sufficient space and nutrients to your plants.
Just choose a nice spot on your porch or on your balcony for your hanging baskets so that your potato plants get a healthy mix between sun and shade.
Can you grow potatoes in rainy climatic zones?
Potatoes need at least a few hours of sun on average to grow in a decent manner.
Hence, growing them in rainy climatic zones is rather difficult.
Sure, you can still go for it. Yet, don’t expect the same yields as you would get in moderate and sunny climatic zones.
Can you grow potatoes in tropical climatic zones?
While potatoes like the sun to a certain extent, they don’t like extreme heat and also don’t like moist air that much.
In turn, growing potatoes in the tropics can become quite problematic and I suggest you grow other vegetables in those regions instead.
Can you grow potatoes in regions with permafrost?
It will also not be possible to grow potatoes in regions with permafrost outdoors.
Yet, you could still grow them indoors or in a heated greenhouse.
However, both of those methods imply serious downsides since you will not be able to provide natural growing conditions indoors and by using a heated greenhouse, you will have significant energy costs that will just not be worth it in most cases.
Do potatoes grow on vines?
No, potatoes don’t grow on vines. Instead, potatoes grow on normal plants and if you haven’t seen potato plants before, you should definitely watch one of the videos in this article to learn about how they look like at different stages of their life.
Do potatoes grow underground?
While potato plants grow above the ground, potato crops will grow underground.
Hence, for harvesting them, you will have to pull the entire potato plants out of the soil.
What is the best orientation for growing potatoes?
While the best orientation to grow potatoes is south, you can also grow them well in east and west orientation.
Just make sure to avoid north orientation so that your plants will not suffer from a lack of sunlight.
Can potato plants grow with indirect sunlight?
Growing potatoes with indirect sunlight is perfectly possible. You can do so by just using a greenhouse in your garden.
However, in my opinion, you will still get the best results by providing direct sunlight to your plants and I am therefore a big fan of just planting potatoes right into your garden instead of using a greenhouse or growing them indoors with indirect lighting.
When to grow potatoes from seed?
The best time to grow potatoes from seed is in early spring. In most regions, you should therefore plant potatoes between March and April.
However, also make sure that there will not be frost anymore once you plant your potatoes into the ground to protect potato seedlings from extremely cold air.
Where do potatoes grow best?
From my experience, potatoes grow best in the garden where they will have the most natural growing conditions and also plenty of space to develop in a healthy manner.
Yet, if you don’t have a garden, you can still grow potatoes in a decent manner in big pots if you provide enough soil and sunlight for your plants.
Where to grow potatoes in pots?
Make sure to place the pots you grow potatoes in a nice sunny spot on your porch where your plants still get a little bit of shade to protect them from excessive heat and radiation.
If you don’t have a porch, you can also grow potatoes in pots perfectly fine on your balcony.
Where to grow potatoes indoors?
For growing potatoes indoors, you should choose a spot where they get enough natural sunlight.
Only then will your plants grow in a decent manner.
Yet, you should still not expect to get the same yields as with growing potatoes outdoors and I therefore only recommend growing potatoes indoors if you don’t have a balcony or a garden to grow potatoes.
Can you grow potatoes in water?
Some people also claim that they have grown potatoes in pure water.
However, this is just impossible from my experience and you should definitely grow your potatoes in potting soil instead so that your plants get enough nutrients to grow well.
Can you grow potatoes with LED lights?
You may also come to the conclusion that using LED lights for growing potatoes indoors is a good idea.
While artificial lighting may help to a certain extent, it is still not a full substitute for natural sunlight and will also cost you lots of energy and money.
Hence, instead of using this additional lighting for your potato plants, make sure to choose a sunny spot inside your home and you will be far better off by doing so in the long run.
Can you grow potatoes in dark rooms?
Since potatoes need a certain level of sunlight to grow well in the long run, it is not a good idea to try to grow them in dark rooms.
Instead, make sure to choose a bright spot inside your home to provide sufficient sunlight to your potato plants.
Can you reuse soil for growing potatoes the next year?
Instead of disposing of your soil every year after the growing season is over, you can also just reuse the soil for future growing projects.
Not only will you be able to save money on soil, but you will also be able to use our natural resources more efficiently.
However, to also get decent potato yields in future years, make sure to add some fertilizer to the soil mix to provide sufficient nutrients to your plants.
Do potatoes grow well in waterlogged soil?
Like most other plants, potatoes don’t like waterlogging at all since their roots may begin to rot sooner or later.
Thus, make sure that excess water can run off properly to avoid any issues in this regard.
Do potatoes grow in acidic, neutral or alkaline soil?
Potato plants prefer a slightly acidic growth environment with soil pH between 6.2 and 6.5.
However, most potato varieties are still rather tolerant in this regard and by getting some potting soil from the store, you will be perfectly fine to grow potatoes in a decent manner without having to worry about those technical issues.
Will potatoes grow in sandy soil?
While it is possible to grow potatoes in sandy soil, they usually grow better in conventional potting soil from the store.
Hence, if you want to optimize growth conditions for your potato plants, you may want to avoid too much sand in the soil mix.
Will potatoes grow in clay soil?
Clay soil is also sometimes used by gardeners to grow potatoes.
However, the big disadvantage of clay soil is that it is not loose enough and therefore, water puddles may form underground.
In turn, the roots of your plants may rot and I therefore recommend you go for a loose soil mix instead of using clay soil for growing potatoes.
Will potatoes grow in compost?
Potatoes will also grow quite well on compost.
In fact, if you make your own compost in your garden, you will be perfectly fine by using it without any need to get additional potting soil from the garden center.
Do potatoes need a lot of water?
Potato plants can reach a significant size and this implies that your potato plants will also need lots of water to grow well.
Of course, this also depends on the stage of the lifecycle your potato plants are currently in.
While your plants are still young and small, they will not need as much water compared to a state where they are already mature.
How much water your potato plants need also depends on the climatic zone you live in.
If you live in hot and dry climatic conditions, you will need to water your plants quite a lot.
However, if you live in rather cool and rainy climatic zones, nature will do the job for you quite often in a completely natural manner through rain.
Do you have to water potato plants on a regular basis?
While a watering schedule can help you not to forget to water your potatoes, you still have to adjust this schedule quite often to take into account changing conditions.
For instance, if you grow potatoes in your garden, you will not have to water them in rainy periods of the year.
You will also have to water them far less when your potato plants are still young.
Hence, just use common sense and take all those factors into account to water your potato plants in an optimal manner.
Should you use filtered or unfiltered water to water potatoes?
I personally haven’t seen any difference in the growth behavior or the yields by using either filtered or unfiltered water.
Hence, I recommend you just use rainwater or tap water and you will be perfectly fine in this regard.
When to stake potato plants?
You should stake your potato plants as soon as they reach a size of around 4 inches in height to make them more resistant against wind and other adverse conditions outdoors.
What to tie potatoes with?
To tie and stake your potatoes, just place some sticks next to your potato plants and tie your plants with cord to those sticks.
While this is an easy method to stake potatoes, it is still quite efficient and every gardener should use this little trick.
What to do when potato plants turn yellow?
If the leaves of your potato plants turn yellow, this usually has to do with a lack of nutrients in the soil.
In such a case, you should use additional fertilizer and wait for a few weeks and see if the color of your plants turns back to green.
If not, also have a look at your watering behavior and optimize it to get rid of the problem.
How to protect potato plants against wind?
As mentioned before, you can just protect your potato plants against wind by tying them to sticks.
By doing so, your plants will become far less vulnerable to heavy winds and chances are that a higher number of your plants will survive.
How to protect potato plants against heavy rain?
Similar to protecting your plants against wind, you can also just tie your plants to sticks to also protect them from heavy rain.
Once your potato plants get older, there will also be no longer the need to protect them against rain since your plants will be resistant enough to deal with heavy rain without the need for any intervention from your side.
How to protect potatoes against hail?
If you grow potatoes in pots, just move your pots to a protected area in your garden or also indoors until the hail is over.
If you plant your potatoes in your garden, you can protect your plants by using some foliage cover or you can also try to use an umbrella to protect your plants as best as possible.
Should you pinch out potato plants?
There is no need to pinch out potato plants.
In fact, potatoes have evolved for many thousands of years without any human intervention and pinching them can just be considered kind of unnatural and against the will of nature.
Hence, just let it grow and you will be perfectly fine in this regard.
Where to pinch potato plants?
If you really want to pinch potato plants for your own reasons, you should do so outdoors instead of inside your home to avoid a mess inside your four walls and also to keep away pests from your living space.
Can you grow potatoes without fertilizer?
Growing potatoes without using any additional fertilizer is definitely possible.
However, if you want to do so, make sure to use great soil that is rich in nutrients and also to provide enough space for your plants.
Should you cover your potato plants to protect them against frost?
You should never cover your plants since those covers often alter the lighting conditions and will therefore confuse your plants.
Instead, wait with planting potatoes outdoors until you don’t expect frost anymore and there will no longer be the need to cover your plants.
Pests & Diseases
Can you grow potatoes without using pesticides?
The better the growing conditions you can provide for your potato plants, the more likely it is that you will not have to use any pesticides since your plants will be able to grow strong and to become resistant to pests in a completely natural manner.
Should you use natural or chemical pesticides for growing potatoes?
In some cases when pest infestations are too severe, you may have to use pesticides to get rid of them.
In such a case, you should definitely rely on natural pesticides instead of chemical ones to protect our environment and also the soil in your garden.
Moreover, by using natural pesticides instead of chemical substances, you will also be able to make your growing project more organic, which will likely also benefit your health in the long run.
What are the most common potato pests?
Wireworms, slugs and bugs are the most common pests you will have to deal with when growing potatoes.
However, there are many other pests that are waiting for your plants in your garden and you should therefore make sure that you know how to handle those pests properly.
How to protect potato plants against pests?
If you want to learn more about how to get rid of various garden pests, make sure to also have a look at how to get rid of potato pests and diseases and on my pest removal guides.
Are potatoes good plants to grow for children?
Potatoes are great plants to grow with children since you cannot make that many mistakes and you will also see lots of progress of your plants pretty soon.
Hence, especially if you are a beginner when it comes to gardening right now, growing potatoes can be a great start of your gardening career which you can enjoy together with your family.
Are potatoes good plants for a school project?
Growing potatoes can also be a quite interesting school project.
You can just let them grow in your classroom and school kids will really be curious about the progress of your plant and will love to go to school due to that.
However, make sure that school kids don’t eat the leaves of your potato plant since they are sometimes toxic.
Is growing potatoes difficult?
Growing potatoes is not difficult at all.
In fact, potatoes are perfect plants for people who are new to gardening and want to get their first experience in this field.
Hence, don’t be intimidated if you haven’t grown plants at home before.
Just check out all the information in this article and in my grower’s guides and you will be perfectly fine.
What color do ripe potatoes have?
Most ripe potato varieties will have a yellow or brown color.
However, there are also more exotic potatoes that could also have a purple color once they are ready to harvest.
Yet, it still doesn’t matter that much since you will just not see potato crops until you harvest the full plant since they grow underground.
You therefore have to have a look at your plants and on your calendar to figure out whether potatoes are ready to harvest or not instead of looking at the crops as you would do with many other plants.
Can you save seeds from potato plants?
Potatoes will usually flower 8 to 10 weeks after you have planted them.
If you want to save seeds, you can just get them from those flowers and dry those seeds for future growing projects.
Also make sure to store them in a dark and dry place to maintain a high quality of those seeds.
Can potatoes get overripe?
Yes, potatoes can get overripe and may even rot in the ground if you don’t harvest them in time.
Hence, make sure that you don’t forget to harvest your potato plants to avoid any losses in yields due to that.
What parts of a potato plant can you eat?
Most people only eat the crops of potato plants that grow underground and which you know as potatoes if you go to the grocery store.
However, there are also some potato species where you can also eat the plant material.
Yet, since the leaves of some potato plants are toxic, you should not experiment with this and rather dispose of the plant material to avoid any risk in this regard.
Is growing potatoes expensive?
Growing potatoes is pretty cheap. In fact, it is almost free if you have a garden at home.
In such a case, you just need to get some potato seeds or some potatoes from the store and you just have to plant them into the garden soil.
Even if you don’t have a garden, you will still not have to spend that much on pots and potting soil and growing potatoes and other plants is therefore just a nice but yet cheap hobby.
Is growing potatoes fun?
I really like growing potatoes and other plants at home since it gives me a feeling of peace and I am also really fascinated by the progress my plants make every day.
Hence, if you have never grown potatoes before, I highly recommend you just give it a try and see if it is for you or not.
After all, what do you have to lose?!
Do potatoes grow on trees?
No, potatoes don’t grow on trees.
They rather grow on plants.
While those plants grow above the ground, potato crops grow underground instead.
Do potatoes grow from flowers?
While potato plants flower, this is not a necessary precondition for harvesting potatoes.
In fact, potatoes don’t grow on those flowers but rather grow underground instead.
Yet, those flowers can still be helpful since you can save some seeds from them and use those seeds for future growing years.
How many potato plants should you grow per pot?
You should only grow one potato plant per pot since those plants can get quite big and also need lots of space and nutrients to grow well.
Hence, you should provide one big pot for every potato plant to avoid that your plants will have to compete for nutrients or sunlight.
Which animals feed on potato plants?
Mice, aphids and beetles are the most common animals that will try to feed on your potato plants.
However, there are many more enemies for your potato plants out there and you should therefore install a fence around your plants or take other measures to deter those hungry little friends.
Will your pets eat your potato plants?
It is also possible that your pets will try to feed on your potato plants.
This can be quite harmful to your plants and you should therefore make sure to keep your pets away from your plants as best as possible.
Are potato plants toxic for pets?
Some pets may also get intoxicated by feeding on potato plants.
In fact, potato plants cannot only be toxic for humans, but can also lead to detrimental health problems for pets and other animals.
Hence, make sure to never leave your pets alone with your potato plants without installing any protective measures in this regard.
Why potatoes grow small?
If your potatoes grow small, it usually has to do with suboptimal growing conditions.
In such a case, you should make sure to provide more space to your plants and that you also choose a better location for growing them in future years.
Also make sure to have a look at your watering behavior and see if it can be optimized.
If you do all of that, chances are that you will be able to grow much bigger potatoes in the future.
What to grow with potatoes?
While there are some good plants to grow potatoes with, there are also some plants you should never grow with potatoes.
Thus, make sure to check out my article where I show you the best potato companion plants to get further information on this topic.
Can you grow potatoes from potatoes?
Instead of growing potatoes from seeds, you can also grow them from potatoes.
In fact, it is often even easier to grow potatoes from potatoes since you can just get your favorite potato variety from the grocery store and you will be good to go.
Can you grow potatoes from potato slices?
You could also try to grow potatoes from potato slices.
In such a case, make sure to choose potatoes that already show some shoots so that you have a realistic chance that your potato slice will turn into a real potato plant soon.
Can you grow potatoes without seeds?
If you don’t want to grow potatoes from seeds or from potatoes, you can also just get some potato seedlings from the garden center instead of growing potatoes from scratch.
By doing so, you can not only save some effort, but also plenty of time.
Do you have to pollinate potato plants?
No, there is no need to pollinate potato flowers by hand.
Instead, just let nature do its work and you will be perfectly fine in this regard.
How to grow big potatoes?
To maximize potato yields, you have to provide perfect growing conditions.
This means that you will have to provide high-quality soil to your plants and also that you choose a spot where your plants get a healthy mix between sun and shade.
Moreover, you may also want to fertilize your plants to assure an optimal nutrient supply.
Can you grow potatoes commercially?
Growing potatoes commercially in an economic manner is almost impossible for private people and even small farming companies really struggle with it since grocery chains will only be willing to pay pretty low prices for potatoes.
Thus, instead of growing potatoes commercially, I highly recommend you just do it as a hobby instead.
Can you grow potatoes from fresh seeds?
You could also just grow potatoes from fresh seeds.
However, since potato plants usually flower in summer, you would have to grow potatoes during later fall or even winter which would be quite bad since you would have to finish your growing project indoors to avoid exposure to frost.
Hence, instead of growing potatoes from fresh seeds, I recommend you either use seeds from the garden center or just use potatoes from the grocery store once the time has come.
Can you grow potatoes from dried seeds?
You can also dry potato seeds and use them for future gardening projects.
Just make sure that you store those seeds in sealed bags in cold and dry places inside your home.
Can you grow potatoes from rotten fruits?
You could also grow potatoes from rotten potatoes.
For instance, if potatoes are no longer suitable for consumption purposes, you could just put them into the ground and see if you get potato plants from it.
Can you grow potatoes from cuttings?
While it is also possible to grow potatoes from cuttings, it is not that simple and I recommend you just grow potatoes from seeds or potatoes instead of relying on cuttings, especially in case you are not an experienced gardener yet.
Should you use a potato growing kit to grow potatoes?
It is also possible to use a potato growing kit to grow potatoes.
However, those growing kits are usually much more expensive than just getting potato seeds or potatoes from the grocery store and I therefore recommend you just buy what you need to grow potatoes without relying on those kits.
Do potatoes grow in the wild?
Some potato varieties also grow in the wild.
However, they will often look quite different compared to what we know from the grocery store and some of those wild potato varieties also don’t taste as well.
Should you talk to your potato plants?
You could also talk or sing to your potato plants and see if you see any positive effect on the growth behavior of your plants.
I would not expect anything in this regard and in my opinion, there are just much better ways to spend your time instead.
Should you plant potatoes at half moon or full moon?
It also doesn’t matter if you plant potatoes at half moon or full moon.
Just do what’s best for your schedule and you will be perfectly fine as long as you check out all the tips and tricks in this article.
Now that you hopefully found the answer to the question you were looking for, you should also check out my grower’s guide on how to grow potatoes from seed to harvest step-by-step if you want to learn even more about growing potatoes.
Own research and experience
About the Author
My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.
In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.