Shop Products
Houzz Logo Print
rewindtech

Growing taters as perennials?

I’m wondering if I can’t grow potatoes as just a perennial to look at and enjoy in my yard. Last year, my aunt saw her potatoes emerge after a -4F winter (they were mulched) and she even got some tiny potatoes! My question is if I can grow them reliably as just perennials for ornamental purposes. I saw Yukon Golds should be hardy, has anyone else tried this?

Comments (19)

  • last month

    But potatoes aren't ornamental. The foliage turns brown and dies to the ground mid summer.

  • last month

    I like the look of them

  • last month

    Then you can enjoy their appearance for three months each year.

  • last month

    Also, in my climate they don’t die back to the ground during the summer, I’ve grown potatoes before. Maybe your climate is just too hot for them during mid summer

  • last month

    Good luck to you.

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    It is not the summer you need to worry about. The foliage will be present for a few months but then it will wilt and die back with colder winter weather. So for a good six months or so, there will be no evidence of any potato plants.

    Go ahead and experiment. But be aware they will be a short lived perennial at best. And the tubers may not be edible.

    https://blackgold.bz/can-potatoes-survive-in-the-ground-through-winter/

  • last month

    I’m not trying to eat them. I just want to have them growing in my hatd

  • last month

    Then just plant them in spring. They will be a presence till late summer and then disappear. And may or may not return the following spring. Good drainage and reasonable winter temps are key.

  • last month

    The only way to find out is to try it. If the ground freezes in winter they will not return. If the ground is wet, cold, sluggy or buggy they will not return. They are prey to blights which kill of the foliage. But if you like the look of potato plants just do it. For most people any potatoes which return are just accidental left overs from the previous year, not intentional plantings.


  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Not all potatoes have much in the way of flowers, dying off very quickly, plus some are white while others are purple. O, and you will have to water...a lot...unless you live in a bog. You will need to get a move on if you want them for this year...most of us have been chitting and planting for a few weeks now.

  • last month

    Out of curiousity, did you see your aunts potato plants later in the summer? Spring growth looks great. They can get pretty rangy and not so great looking as the season wears on.

  • last month

    Yep, they looked good and then she harvested them in the fall

  • last month

    If you think they looked good, then go for it. I wouldn't call them reliable though. Some gardeners do fall plantings for early spring taters. It does work. But taters can also fail during overwintering and into spring. So you might have to replenish your stock on the regular to keep up a nice looking stand of greens in the spring. And don't worry too hard when the greens die back to the ground, that's a normal part of the process.

    Most of the time potatoes flowers and berries can be kind of a side effect of the grow process. If you like them, leave them. If you want more, try looking for Clancy potato seed. It is actual seed from the berries. Clancy is a potato encouraged for it's flowering and berry habit. It's a novelty as an eater- other taters are way better. But also as a novelty it might strike your fancy.

  • last month

    I plant potatoes whenever they grow eyes so they are around most of the year. We've had mild winters the last few years so I've had one big pot get potato plants every year.

    I enjoy the way they look too and I always like to dig for the small, new potatoes all summer. ;-)

  • last month
    last modified: last month

    Sweet potatoes have beautiful foliage colors.

  • last month

    Exotic

    Exotic plant collecters grow some interesting Solanum species. Ouch!

  • last month

    Very common for potatoes to overwinter in the ground for me, yes despite my zone, early and generally reliable snow cover is what makes the difference. The only potato that I had ever thought of being much of an ornamental is a variegated one that made its way to me about thirty years ago via a friend, I no longer have this selection, but it was a bit of a stunner and good for eating as well. I don't recall just how many months the foliage had remained looking attractive, but certainly was worth growing for such the purpose.

  • last month

    In NC, sweet potato vines stay pretty all summer and even make taters that you can dig up and save for the following summer. A beautiful lime green colored leaf.