Growing Potatoes in Containers & Pots

Container gardening is an excellent option for gardeners with limited space or poor soil conditions. A growing container or pot can grow almost any vegetable, even root vegetables, like potatoes. Although a container harvest might not yield as much as one from the ground, it is still possible to have a large harvest with proper care and planning.

Growing potatoes is a slightly different process than other vegetables. The best way to grow potatoes in containers is to gradually bury the stems and add potting soil as the plant grows. It is possible to plant potatoes from potato scraps, but this might not be the best option, especially if your scraps are from grocery store potatoes, because they are usually treated with chemicals to prevent sprouting and are not organic. Instead, you can buy potato seeds at nurseries and seed companies to help you grow more potatoes.

Growing Potatoes in Containers

Your success in growing potatoes in containers is dependent on the container you choose. There are many options for pots and planters. They come in various sizes, colors, shapes, and designs. They can be made of metal, plastic, stone, clay, and fabric. You can even use plastic storage containers, barrels, or garbage pails to plant potatoes in a pinch. There are pros and cons to every pot’s design, but there are two things you should consider to ensure your success in growing potatoes.

Container Size

Because potatoes require soil hilling, choosing a container that is the right size is important. Your ability to supply the nutrients and moisture plants require to grow in pots is crucial. Potatoes grow below the soil surface and need plenty of space to spread out and grow. For potatoes, choose a large, deep, opaque container to block out the light and prevent tuber formation.


A large pot with good drainage is essential for maximum success. You can either look for pots with holes in the bottom or drill your own and plug them if you want. The container that does not have holes will retain too much water, causing the potatoes to pool in the pot and potentially rot below the soil surface.

Best Soil for Potatoes in Containers

It is essential to use high-quality potting mixes when planting high-yielding vegetables in pots. A well-drained, rich, and healthy soil will keep your plants happy. It will also retain more moisture than soil that is poor in quality. Potatoes thrive when their soil has a pH between 5.0 and 5.2.

Watering and Fertilizing Potatoes in Pots

Container potatoes require a constant water supply to thrive. The soil could be dehydrated if it is not provided with enough water. To ensure potato plants get enough nutrition, it is a good idea to apply a slow-release organic fertilizer to the soil after planting.

Light and Temperature Container Requirements

Potatoes thrive in temperatures between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Although potatoes do well in full sunlight, it is important that they do not become overheated in direct sunlight, as they’ll become green and unfit for human consumption. Placing mulch in your garden can retain soil moisture and keep your plant cool.

Planting Potatoes in Containers

The best time to plant your potatoes is two weeks after the last frost date in your region. Get your large container and quality potting mix to start growing your potatoes.

  1. Cover the seed potato with soil and place it in about 4 to 6 inches of potting soil.
  2. Add more soil to the pot as the potato continues to sprout.
  3. If desired, layer in slow-release organic fertilizer.
  4. Mulch around the base of your plant.
  5. Keep the potato plants hydrated by watering them regularly.
  6. After the potato plant has reached the top of the container, water it regularly and ensure that it receives plenty of sunlight.

Harvesting Potatoes

After your plants have flowered, you can begin to harvest and eat your delicious potatoes. These spuds can also be pulled up when the plants have fully grown to harvest the entire plant. To lift medium-sized potatoes, bring them to the surface of the soil and shake off any dirt. If you find very young tubers under the soil, keep them covered and care for them until they mature. After the potatoes have started to brown, you can harvest them. Potato that brown later can be harvested and stored for more extended periods. These potatoes are called ‘storage potatoes’ and have a slightly longer shelf life.

The Best Potato Varieties to Grow in Containers

There are many types of potatoes, each with a unique taste and texture. These varieties will please all tastes, whether you’re looking for a tender, young red potato or a sweet, creamy, yellow-mashing potato.

  • The ‘Nicola’ is a beautiful yellow potato. It has a thin, yellowish-light-brown skin with golden flesh and light-brown skin. It is moister than its russet cousin and has a butterier flavor and a smoother texture.
  • The ‘Kennebec’ is an all-purpose, early-season potato that yields large quantities. It is a delicate potato with creamy flesh and soft skin that holds its shape well after cooking, making it an excellent choice for potato salads and soups. It can also be used for frying or mashing.
  • The ‘Purple Majesty’ is a fun potato to grow. It will add depth to your rainbow of food choices. The velvety texture and buttery taste of the purple flesh and its vibrant violet skin are complemented by a smooth texture and delicious flavor.
  • The ‘Yukon Gold’ is a potato you have most likely seen at your local grocery store. This versatile potato is an early cultivar that is better at holding its shape during boiling. However, it still produces a delicious, creamy, fluffy, and great-tasting mashed potato.
  • The ‘Burbank Russet’ is a high-starch potato, which is great for baking. Russet potatoes are the perfect choice if you’re looking for a fluffy, dry potato to top off with toppings or a classic French fry.
  • The ‘Red Norland’ potatoes are a popular early-season variety that is perfect for storage. They are smooth in appearance and have white flesh.

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