How to Grow Potatoes in Pots


Last modified date


Growing your own potatoes can be a rewarding and delicious experience, even if you have limited space. One of the most convenient ways to cultivate potatoes is by using pots or containers.

This method allows you to have a portable potato garden that can be placed anywhere, from a small balcony to an urban rooftop. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about growing potatoes in pots, from choosing the right containers to caring for your potato plants.

Choosing the Right Containers

When it comes to growing potatoes in pots, the choice of containers is crucial. There are various options available, such as potato bags, grow bags, potato sacks, and potato containers. These containers are designed specifically to provide the ideal conditions for potatoes to thrive.

Potato bags are made of breathable fabric that allows for proper aeration and drainage. Grow bags, on the other hand, are similar to potato bags but are usually made of a sturdier material like plastic. Potato sacks are traditional burlap bags that can be repurposed for potato cultivation.

Potato containers can come in various sizes and materials, including plastic, ceramic, or even recycled materials. When selecting a container, consider the size and number of potato plants you want to grow. Larger containers will allow you to grow a higher yield, but smaller containers can still yield a satisfactory harvest if managed properly.

Choosing the Right Potatoes

Not all potato varieties are suitable for container gardening. Look for potato varieties known to perform well in pots, such as “Yukon Gold,” “Red Pontiac,” or “Kennebec.” These varieties are compact and produce a good amount of tubers even in limited spaces. When purchasing potatoes for container gardening, opt for certified seed potatoes from reputable sources. These potatoes are disease-free and ensure a better chance of a successful harvest.

Preparing the Potting Soil

Potatoes require well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Prepare a well-balanced potting mix by combining equal parts of compost, garden soil, and peat moss or coconut coir. This mix provides the necessary nutrients for the potatoes to grow and allows for proper moisture retention while avoiding waterlogging.

Planting Potatoes in Pots

To start planting, fill the container with about 6 inches of the prepared potting soil. Place 2-3 seed potatoes on top of the soil, spacing them evenly. Cover the seed potatoes with another 2 inches of soil. As the plants grow, continue adding soil, covering about one-third of the plant each time until the container is full.

Proper Care for Potato Plants in Pots

Potatoes require consistent care throughout their growing season. Here are some essential tips to ensure the success of your container-grown potato plants:

1. Sunlight: Position your containers in a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. If sunlight is limited, consider using a reflective material to maximize light exposure.

2. Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist, but avoid overwatering. Check the moisture level by inserting your finger into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. Water deeply to encourage root growth but allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering.

3. Fertilizing: Potatoes are heavy feeders, so it’s important to provide them with regular nutrients. Use a balanced organic fertilizer, following the package instructions. Avoid over-fertilizing, as it may lead to excessive foliage growth instead of tuber development.

4. Pest and Disease Control: Monitor your plants for common potato pests, such as potato beetles or aphids. Remove any infested leaves or insects manually. Rotate your potato planting location each year to prevent the build up of soil-borne diseases.

Harvesting Your Potatoes

The timing of potato harvesting depends on the variety you planted. Most potatoes are ready for harvest when the leaves turn yellow and start to die back. Carefully dig around the plants with a garden fork to avoid damaging the tubers, and gently lift them out of the soil.


Growing potatoes in pots is an excellent option for small space gardeners or anyone looking to try their hand at homegrown potatoes. With the right containers, the right potatoes, and proper care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh, flavourful spuds. So, whether you have a patio, a balcony, or even just a sunny windowsill, why not give potato container gardening a try? It’s a fun and rewarding way to bring the joy of growing your own food right to your doorstep.

Frequently Asked Questions about Growing Potatoes in Pots

1. Can I really grow potatoes in pots?

Yes, potatoes can be successfully grown in pots or containers. In fact, it is an excellent option for those with limited space or no garden.

2. What type of pots or containers should I use?

It is recommended to use large pots or containers with a minimum depth of 12 inches. Choose containers that have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

3. What type of soil should I use for growing potatoes in pots?

Use a well-draining potting mix enriched with organic matter. Avoid using heavy clay soils as they can lead to waterlogged conditions, affecting the growth of your potatoes.

4. How do I plant potatoes in pots?

Start by filling the pot or container with a few inches of potting mix. Place the seed potatoes on the soil surface and cover with another layer of potting mix. As the potatoes grow, gradually add more soil to cover the stems, leaving only the top foliage exposed.

5. How often should I water my potted potatoes?

Potatoes require consistent moisture, so water them whenever the top inch of soil feels dry. However, be careful not to overwater as it can lead to rotting of tubers.

6. Can I grow potatoes in pots indoors?

Yes, potatoes can be grown indoors as long as they receive adequate light, preferably 6-8 hours of sunlight or bright artificial light per day.

7. How long does it take for potatoes to grow in pots?

Potato growth and maturity can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. On average, it takes about 10-12 weeks for early potatoes and 14-18 weeks for maincrop potatoes to mature.

8. Can I reuse the soil from my potato pots?

Yes, you can reuse the potting mix for growing potatoes in pots. However, it is important to refresh and replenish the soil to ensure proper nutrients and moisture retention.

9. Are there any specific potato varieties that are suitable for growing in pots?

Yes, some potato varieties are particularly well-suited for container gardening. Examples include ‘Yukon Gold,’ ‘Red Pontiac,’ ‘French Fingerling,’ and ‘Purple Viking.’

10. How many potatoes can I expect to harvest from a pot?

The potato yield can vary depending on various factors such as the size of the container, variety, and growing conditions. On average, a single potato plant can yield anywhere from 2 to 6 pounds of potatoes.

11. How do I know when it’s time to harvest my potatoes?

Potatoes are usually ready to be harvested when the plants start to yellow and die back. Gently dig around the soil to check for mature potatoes. Harvest them when the skin is firm and the tubers have reached the desired size.

12. Can I grow potatoes in pots year-round?

While it is possible to grow potatoes in pots year-round, it may require additional care and attention. Potatoes are typically grown as seasonal crops, but you can experiment with indoor gardening to extend the growing season.

13. Are there any pests or diseases that affect potted potatoes?

Potatoes can be vulnerable to pests such as aphids, potato beetles, and diseases such as late blight and early blight. Regular monitoring, proper sanitation, and using organic pest control methods can help prevent and manage these issues.

14. Can I grow potatoes in pots without using seed potatoes?

While it is best to use certified seed potatoes for optimal results, it is possible to grow potatoes from store-bought tubers. However, there is a risk of introducing disease or poor-quality potatoes into your garden.

15. Can I grow potatoes in bags instead of pots?

Yes, grow bags specifically designed for potatoes can be a great alternative to traditional pots. They provide better aeration and root development, leading to healthier plants and higher yields.

16. Can I use compost instead of potting mix for growing potatoes in pots?

Compost can be used as a component in your potting mix to improve soil fertility and water retention. It is best to mix compost with other ingredients like perlite or vermiculite to ensure proper drainage and aeration.

17. Can I grow potatoes in hanging baskets?

Yes, potatoes can be grown in hanging baskets as long as they have enough depth for tuber development and proper drainage. Choose smaller varieties or those specifically bred for container gardening for best results.

18. Can I use fertilizers for growing potatoes in pots?

Yes, fertilizers can be used to provide essential nutrients to your potted potatoes. Organic options like well-rotted compost or worm castings are generally preferred, but you can also use balanced slow-release fertilizers following the instructions provided.

19. Can I grow potatoes in pots on my balcony?

Yes, balcony gardening is a popular option for growing potatoes in pots. Just make sure the spot receives enough sunlight and adequate airflow.

20. Can I grow potatoes in pots alongside other vegetables?

Yes, potatoes can be grown in pots alongside compatible vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and onions. Avoid planting them with other solanaceous plants like tomatoes and peppers, as they may be prone to similar diseases.