Baked, boiled, fried, or cooked – potatoes taste great no matter how you serve them. You might not get all the different kinds of veggies at the grocery store each time, but potatoes are a must-buy. So why not save some bucks and grow fresh potatoes at home?
Don’t worry; if you don’t have a yard, they’ll happily grow by your window also! Yes, potatoes can grow indoors year-round for a continuous supply of fresh veggies to your kitchen.
If you’re thinking about having some potatoes as houseplants, this post will guide you on how to grow potatoes indoors through every step.
What Kind Of Plant Potato Is?
Potato is an annual vegetable from the nightshade family, grown for its edible tubers. Native to Peru, it’s one of the most extensively cultivated edibles throughout the world. Following rice, wheat, and maize, potato is the fourth most important food crop globally.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Potatoes?
It’s easy to grow, is exceptionally versatile, and a good source of nutrients. Potatoes are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, folate, iron, and potassium. With an impressive nutritional profile, they offer a plethora of health benefits. Potatoes improve blood sugar levels, digestion and are naturally gluten-free. Not to mention, they’re delicious – no wonder everyone loves them so much!
It’s practically cultivated everywhere in the world and is an indispensable part of several cuisines. From tortilla española in Spain and Eastern Europe’s latkes to Canada’s poutine and South Korea’s gamja jeon, the humble potato is the star ingredient of many favorite recipes.
So, How To Grow Your Potatoes Indoors?
Growing potatoes indoors is easy, and it will produce dark green foliage to brighten up your space. If the plants receive ideal conditions, you’ll even have some fresh potatoes to use in the kitchen. Though potatoes are relatively straightforward to grow, there are some things you should know before getting started.
Here’s How To Grow Potatoes Indoors In A Pot
Buy seed potatoes or use regular store-bought potatoes to grow them. Place the potato, with the eyes facing up, like an egg carton in a small container. Leave the box near a sunny window for a few days until it sprouts. Cut the potato into small 2-inch (about 5 cm) pieces, with at least one or two “eyes” on each piece. Lay the potato pieces over newspapers or paper towels for at least 24 hours before planting them. This will allow time for the cuts to heal to prevent rotting.
How Big Should The Container Be?
A 2.5-gallon (about 9,5 liters) container is suitable enough for growing a single potato plant and the ideal size to fit in an indoor space. If you have a larger area available, feel free to use a 5-gallon (about 19 liters) container, and you’ll enjoy a decent yield to use in several recipes.
Besides gardening pots, grow bags, plastic buckets, and even fertilizer bags work perfectly when growing potatoes. Ensure the container has drainage holes at the bottom before filling it with potting soil to one-third of its capacity. Potatoes need a pH of around 5.5; add elemental sulfur if the soil pH is higher.
How To Plant It?
Plant a single potato chunk or two if you’re using a 5-gallon (about 19 liters) pot in the center, about 3 inches (about 7,5 cm) deep into the soil, with the eye/eyes facing upward. Water the ground until it’s moist but not wet. Plus, remember to place it in a warm spot that receives plenty of sunlight.
Work Steps To Do During The Growth Period
When the plants are 6 inches (about 15 cm) above the ground, add more soil to cover half of the foliage. Mounding the potatoes as they grow is called “hilling.” Continue hilling as the plant grows until the soil reaches the pot rim.
When To Harvest Your Potatoes?
Once the leaves turn yellow, and the plants start dying, about 10 to 12 weeks from planting, your potatoes are ready for harvest. For small, new potatoes, harvest as soon as the leaves turn yellow.
For large, mature potatoes, wait another week or two before pulling the plant out. Pull out spuds from the plant’s base, brush off the dirt and let them dry in the sun for a few hours before using or storing them.
What Do Potatoes Need To Survive?
Now that you know how to plant seed potatoes, take care of the plants, and harvest spuds for your favorite recipes, let’s go deeper!
Besides the basics, there are some specific growing conditions that you’ll need to provide your potatoes to help them thrive indoors. Here’s what you need to remember:
How Much Light Potatoes Need?
Place the pots near the sunniest window and make sure your plants get several hours of sunlight each day. Approximately 6 to 10 hours of sun each day is best for them. If natural light isn’t available, you can also use grow lights over the plants. Leave them on for at least 10 hours each day to mimic outdoor growing conditions.
How Much Water?
Check the soil for moisture every 2 to 3 days. The goal is to maintain consistent moisture but don’t leave it soaking wet. Once the plants start dying out, stop watering them so the potatoes can mature properly. Wet soil as the potatoes reach harvest makes them prone to rotting.
Should You Feed Your Potatoes When Their Growing?
If you’ve started your plants with a high-quality potting mix, supplemental fertilization is rarely needed. But, if you feel they’re growing too slow, you can use organic liquid fertilizer once a month to keep up the growth.
What Potato Varieties Are Excellent For Indoor Growing?
There are hundreds of potato varieties to choose from. If you’re planning on growing them as a houseplant, here are some of the preferred picks that will adapt well to indoor conditions:
1. Petite Potato
These small spuds, weighing 5 to 6 ounces (about 142 to 170 grams), have plenty of potassium and Vitamin C and are cholesterol-free. These bite-sized potatoes are perfect for roasting and frying.
Also known as Idaho in the US, these large, oblong potatoes are excellent for frying, baking, roasting, and mashing.
3. Red Potatoes
Red potatoes are just as easy to grow indoors as the standard varieties. They have a waxy texture that keeps the pink flesh firm through the cooking. The thin red skin and pink flesh make a vibrant addition to salads and side dishes.
4. Purple / Blue Potatoes
Want to try something different? Grow purple potatoes on your kitchen window! The skin is deep purple or blue, with lovely light blue flesh within. With an earthy, slightly nutty flavor, blue potatoes add a pop of color to your green salads.
These unique finger-shaped potatoes have appealing red, purple, orange, or white skins, with orange, purple, yellow, or white flesh. These buttery, nutty potatoes have a waxy texture that is perfect for roasting, salads, and pan-frying.
What Mistakes To Avoid When You’re Growing Potatoes Indoors?
Before you start growing an indoor potato garden, there are a few things you should note. Here is a list of things you need to avoid when growing potatoes on your windowsill:
- Avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizers for your potted potatoes since they can inhibit tuber production.
- Please don’t be nervous about covering the potato stems with soil as it grows. Hilling around the stems after every few inches (about 3 – 7 cm) of growth is essential to help develop new tubers.
- Don’t use regular garden soil for hilling. Instead, use the same well-draining, slightly acidic soil as you used at planting time.
- Don’t let the tubers see any light. Keep them well covered with soil as the plant grows. Exposure to light turns them green, and green potatoes are unsafe to eat.
- Don’t consume green potatoes; they are unsafe to eat. If only small portions are green, cut them off before using the rest of the potato. In the case of large green amounts, throw away the entire tuber.
How To Grow Potatoes Indoors? – In A Sealed Package
|Temp Required||60 To 70°F (About 15,5 To 21°C)|
|Sowing Time||Fall, Winter, Or Spring In Southern Zones, Summers In Northern Zones|
|Type Of Soil||Loamy, Sandy|
|Transplanting Time||If You Want To Move Them Outdoors, Do That At Least Three Weeks Before Harvest|
|Harvesting Time||75 To 135 Days|
|Light Duration||6 To 10 Hours|
|Watering||1 To 2 Inch (About 2,5 To 5 cm) Per Week|
|Fertilization||Organic Liquid Fertilizer Once A Month If Needed|
So there it is! Now you know how to grow potatoes indoors and do that successfully when you follow this guide. In a sealed package, choose healthy seed potatoes, plant them in rich potting soil and tend them well. Soon enough, you’ll find your tiny potato seedlings growing into a lovely indoor plant. With some attention and luck, you’ll even harvest some fresh, delicious tubers to add to your everyday recipes.