Potatoes are adaptable plants that can grow in many different locations, including in different types of containers such as flower pots. One advantage of growing potatoes in a flower pot is that you can move the plant indoors or into a greenhouse if the weather is not amenable to healthy plant growth, meaning you can grow potatoes at any time of the year. They do best in well-drained soil, so it is important to ensure that your container has a lot of drainage holes.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Seed potatoes
- Flower pot at least 15 inches deep
- Garden soil with pre-added compost or manure
- Serrated knife
Place the seed potatoes in a warm, sunlit area and spray them with water. Once the potatoes have started to germinate, which may take up to a few weeks, let the sprouts grow to 1 inch in length. Ensure you obtain seed potatoes. The potatoes that you purchase from your local supermarket will grow, but if you can find certified disease-free seed potatoes at a nursery or garden supply store, these will have a higher chance of prospering.
Fill the flower pot one third of the way with garden soil. Add a small amount of sand -- up to one part sand for 10 parts soil -- and mix it in. The sand will help the soil to drain better, which will prevent your potatoes from decaying underground. To successfully grow potatoes, the flower pot will need to be at least 12 to 15 inches deep and fairly wide. It should also have good drainage, both on the bottom of the pot and on the sides.
Cut the potato into pieces about 1 cubic inch in size, with an eye (the point at which the sprouts emerge from the potato) at the centre of each. Place one of these pieces on top of the soil in the flower pot, with the sprout pointing up. You will only need one per pot.
Cover the sprout with 2 inches of soil. As the sprout grows, continue to add more soil to cover all but the top leaves of the sprout. Continue this until the potato plant has grown past the top of the container.
Harvest the potatoes once the plant has flowered and the leaves begin to die back. In some cases the potato may skip the flowering stage. If this happens, wait until the leaves start to die. This should be about 10 to 12 weeks after planting. Empty out the soil and remove your potatoes.
Tips and warnings
- If you cannot find a flower pot with drainage holes on the sides, grab a plastic flower pot and make the holes yourself with a durable serrated knife. Insert the knife into the place where you want to make a hole and carefully cut in a circle. This will only work on plastic flower pots and not clay or ceramic.
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