How to Grow Potatoes Indoors – 7 Points to Note

When you grow potatoes indoors, it means saying sayonara to mud-streaked jeans and dirt-crusted nails. Also bye bye to the need for a post-gardening shower that makes you question if you’ve just finished a Tough Mudder race. It’s gardening without the gritty aftermath. Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want that?

That’s a tater-taming escapade that promises all the spud-tastic rewards with none of the mud-slinging mess!

I’ll confess, I had my doubts in the beginning as well. Given my track record of unintentional cactus-cide (yes, it’s a thing), the idea of successfully nurturing a potato felt improbable. But no stress because growing potatoes indoors is straightforward and brings a sack full of genuinely enticing advantages.

Let’s take a peek at some of the varieties of potatoes to grow indoors, along with the other details on how to prepare the space and care for your new indoor spuds.

Table of Contents

What Varieties are Suitable for Indoor Growing?

Before choosing a variety for indoor potato plant growing, consider the flavor you prefer, the dishes you’ll be preparing, and the space and lighting available in your indoor setup. Each variety of potato plants offers something special to your indoor potato-growing adventure.

  • Yukon Gold: Golden-hued beauties known for their buttery flavor and creamy texture. They’re versatile and work well for mashing, baking, or frying.
  • Red Norland: These potatoes have smooth, thin red skin and waxy flesh. They’re perfect for boiling, steaming, or roasting, as they hold their shape well.
  • Fingerling Potatoes: Fingerlings come in various colors, like red, purple, and gold. They have thin skin and a long, narrow shape. They’re great for roasting and have a rich, nutty flavor.
  • Baby Potatoes: These are harvested before they reach full size, resulting in small, tender spuds. They’re perfect for boiling, steaming, or sautéing, and their thin skin adds a delightful texture.
  • Russet Potatoes: Russets are known for their high starch content and are ideal for baking and frying. Their thick skin becomes wonderfully crispy when cooked.
  • All Blue Potatoes: As the name suggests, these potatoes have striking blue-purple skin and vibrant blue flesh. They maintain their color even after cooking and are perfect for adding color to dishes.
  • Adirondack Blue: Like All Blue, Adirondack Blue potatoes have vibrant blue skin and flesh. They have a slightly nutty flavor and are excellent for roasting and mashing.
  • Carola potatoes: These have a firm, creamy texture and a smooth, light-yellow peel. They are used frequently for baking, boiling, or frying French fries.
  • French Fingerling: The flesh and skin of these fingerlings are a distinctive pinkish-red color. They taste best when roasted or grilled and are prized for their delicate flavor.
  • White Rose Potatoes: With a somewhat waxy texture, these potatoes can be boiled, steamed, or used to make potato salads. They taste mild and earthy.

How Can I Create an Indoor Potato Growing Space?

Growing potatoes indoors comes with some undeniable perks. You’re no longer at the mercy of the seasons – you can have fresh potatoes on your plate year-round. With year-round growth at your fingertips, you’ll harvest spuds in January while the neighbors are still thawing out their garden gloves! Moreover, by creating a controlled environment, you’re the commander-in-chief, keeping pests and unexpected weather tantrums at bay.

Containers, Pots, Grow Bags, or Buckets

Pots-the classic choice. Give your potato plants room to spread their roots and show off their tuber talent. Grow bags, like the stretchy pants of the potato world, offer flexibility and easy drainage. Buckets? Well, they’re where your potato plants can party in style.

The convenience of using buckets allowed me to monitor and adjust my potato plants’ conditions easily, ensuring they received just the right amount of water and nutrients. Their portability meant I could chase the sunlight around my apartment, leading to some seriously successful growth.

Each option has benefits, so pick one that aligns with your available space and how hands-on you want to be.

Sunlight, Temperature, and Ventilation

Sunlight is the lifeline of plants, and your spuds are no different. Find a well-lit spot near a window where they can soak up the sunlight for a good portion of the day. Ensure the room temperature is comfortable – no sudden drafts, no arctic air conditioning – just like you’d want for yourself. Keep them away from drafty windows and doors. Proper ventilation is also crucial to prevent humidity buildup and promote healthy growth.

Growing Area with Proper Lighting and Space Arrangements

Proper lighting is vital when growing potatoes indoors. Since natural light might only sometimes suffice, consider investing in an LED grow light designed for plants. As for space, give your potato plants enough room to grow without feeling like sardines in a can. Avoid crowding them, which can lead to competition for light and resources.

close up of potato with sprouting

What’s the Best Way to Prepare Seed Potatoes?

Unlike the potatoes you find at the grocery store, which might be treated to prevent sprouting, seed potatoes are all about kicking off the spud show in style. These specialized potatoes are disease-free and primed for growth. They ensure a healthy start and a bountiful harvest, so don’t skimp on these tubers.

Look for firm, smooth-skinned potatoes with no signs of decay or weird growths. They should be free from blemishes, which could indicate other diseases and pests that’ll cramp your potato-growing style. Opt for potatoes with a few small eyes (those are the future sprouts) but haven’t gone full-blown Chia Pet on you.

Now, you may have heard about chitting…

Chitting is the fancy term for sprouting those healthy seed potatoes before planting. Give them a head start by placing them in a cool, well-lit spot with the eyes facing up. You’re encouraging those sprouts to debut before they even hit the soil.

I use an egg carton to keep them separate and aerated. Depending on the variety of potatoes, desired sprout length, and temperature, you can expect to be chitting for around 2-6 weeks. Keep this in mind when finding a spot to keep them. You don’t want them getting in the way on your kitchen bench for all that time. Keep an eye on them; once the sprouts reach 1-2 inches, they are ready to be planted. Timing is the key. You don’t want them to be too long as they can be fragile to plant.

How Do I Plant and Care for Indoor Potatoes?

potatoes growing in soil

Now your potatoes are ready to plant, follow these simple steps:

Step-by-Step Guide to Planting Seed Potatoes 

Depth, Spacing, and Soil Requirements

Plant your chitted seed potatoes about 4 inches deep in your chosen container, with the sprouts facing up. Give them some personal space – about 8 to 12 inches between each seed potato and aim for roughly 2 to 3 feet between rows. As for soil, go for well-draining, loose, and slightly acidic soil.

Watering and Moisture Management: The Importance of Consistent but Not Excessive Watering

The humble potato plant doesn’t want too much or too little water but just the right amount. Keep the soil moist, consistently moist but not drenched. Overly soggy conditions can lead to rot. A finger test works wonders – stick your finger in the soil up to the first knuckle. If it’s damp, you’re good; if it’s dry, it’s time for a watering session.

man holding potato and soil in hands

Fertilization Guidelines: Choosing Suitable Fertilizers and Feeding Schedules

Go for a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer. On the other hand if you’re feeling adventurous, there are specific potato fertilizers that’ll make them dance in delight. Mix it into the soil before planting potato seeds, and then give them a gentle feeding every 4 to 6 weeks as they grow. Remember, it’s all about that steady nutrition to keep those tubers happy and thriving.

Monitoring and Managing Pests and Diseases Indoors: Common Issues and Prevention Strategies

Keep an eagle eye out for aphids, spider mites, and other unwanted guests. Checking potato plants regularly and giving them a blast of water to knock them off should do the trick. As for diseases, prevention is critical. Ensure good air circulation and avoid overwatering to keep mold and rot at bay. Healthy, well-cared-for potato plants tend to be more resilient, so give your spuds the treatment they deserve.

Signs of Readiness for Harvesting: Maturity of Foliage, Yellowing, and Flowering

As you grow potatoes indoors and your potato plants mature, you’ll notice the foliage changing its tune. When it starts to turn yellow and wither, it’s like the plant’s way of saying it’s time for my tubers to shine. Flowering is another telltale sign – once the blossoms fade, the countdown to harvest begins.

potatoes with sprouts on windowsill

What’s the Best Way to Manage Growth and Harvest?

Watching your indoor potato garden flourish, you’ll witness a captivating progression through several growth stages. Firstly, those little seed potatoes send up their shoots as they venture into the world above ground.

Then comes vegetative growth, where the potato plants put their energy into leaves and stems, creating a lush canopy. As they grow taller, take the time to mound soil around their bases gently. This hilling technique safeguards the developing tubers from light exposure, preventing them from turning green and bitter.

After that, the flowering stage begins, and delicate blooms appear, an indicator that your potato plants are thriving.

Finally, beneath the soil’s surface, the magic of tuber development is unfolding as your potatoes swell into delectable delights.

How Do I Harvest and Store Indoor Potatoes?

The moment of truth has arrived! Gently dig around the base of the potato plants using your hands or a garden fork. Be as delicate as possible, avoiding unnecessary jabs that could damage those precious tubers. Your goal? To reveal the spuds without bruising or tearing. Channel your inner archaeologist and carefully unearth the buried bounty.

large potatoes with roots growing

Curing and Storing

This is about toughening up the skins of harvested potatoes for better storage and enhancing their flavor. Let your freshly harvested potatoes air-dry for a few hours, ideally in a warm, well-ventilated space. This toughens the skin, creating a protective barrier that extends its shelf life and enhances its taste.

Now that your harvested potatoes are prepped and cured, it’s time to find them a cozy spot for their hibernation. Think cool, dark, and well-ventilated. Your best bet is a basement, cellar, or pantry with consistent temperatures. Avoid direct sunlight or fluctuating temperatures, which can lead to sprouting or spoilage.

Keep a watchful eye on them, conducting routine potato patrols. Inspect for any signs of sprouting or decay, and remove any rogue spuds that might be causing trouble. Remember, one rotten potato can spoil the whole bunch. Store your potatoes away from onions to prevent those unwanted sprouts from sprouting unwantedly. They might be great partners in cooking, but they’re not roommates you want in storage.

potato growing in jar on table

What Common Issues May Occur?

  • Inadequate Light: Your indoor potato plants look pale and leggy, reaching out for the sun like they’re auditioning for a Vitamin D commercial. Get those plants closer to the light source, or invest in supplemental grow lights.
  • Pests: Uninvited guests like aphids, spider mites, or the infamous potato beetle have crashed your potato party.Wage war against these pesky intruders. Introduce natural predators, like ladybugs, or use insecticidal soap.
  • Diseases: With wilted leaves and mysterious spots, your once-thriving potato plants look slightly under the weather. Quarantine affected plants and treat them with appropriate fungicides. Maintain proper ventilation and avoid overcrowding.
  • Overwatering: Your eagerness to nurture has become an unintentional flood, leaving your potatoes waterlogged and grumpy. Ease off the watering pedal and let the soil dry out between waterings.


Can potatoes be grown under grow lights?

Yes, absolutely! Potatoes thrive under grow lights when cultivating them indoors. Just make sure to provide the correct spectrum and intensity of light to support their growth.

Do potatoes need light?

Yes, they require a balance of light and darkness. While they need sunlight for photosynthesis, prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause potatoes to turn green, indicating the presence of solanine, a natural toxin.

Do potatoes grow better in pots or in the ground?

Potatoes can be successfully grown indoors in pots, grow bags, or containers, offering convenience and control over the growing environment. On the other hand, growing potatoes in the ground can lead to larger yields and allows the plants to spread their roots more freely.

How long does it take to grow your own potatoes?

The growing time from planting potatoes can depend on the variety, growing conditions, and desired size. Generally, it takes around 70 to 120 days from planting to harvest. Early varieties might be ready in about 70 to 90 days, while maincrop varieties can take 90 to 120 days.

Do LED lights turn potatoes green?

Yes, LED lights can contribute to potatoes turning green. Potatoes exposed to excessive light, especially blue light found in LEDs, can produce chlorophyll and solanine, leading to green skin. Green potatoes should be avoided as they can contain elevated levels of solanine, which is bitter and potentially toxic.

Do potatoes grow better in light or dark?

Potatoes need both light and darkness. They require light for photosynthesis and growth. However, prolonged exposure to light can cause them to produce chlorophyll and turn green. Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place to prevent greening and sprouting during storage.

From Seed to Spud: The Unearthed Insights on Indoor Potato Production

From the initial skepticism to the bountiful harvest, your journey into growing potatoes indoors will be nothing short of rewarding. The process, though involving some learning curves, will allow you to witness the entire lifecycle of potato growth within the confines of your indoor space.

You will nurture these underground gems through proper chitting, planting, tending, and harvesting. You’ve confronted challenges head-on, whether it’s the right amount of light, the occasional pest invasion, or moisture management.

The significance of soil, the importance of a well-timed cure, and the art of storing potatoes for longevity will pay off in the form of homegrown potatoes.

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Alex Tinsman
An avid plant and flower lover! Ever since he was little, plants, flowers, and shrubbery of all kinds filled his life. Alex credits this fascination with nature's beauty to his mother and grandmother who were - and still are - dedicated gardeners. It's now Alex's mission to pass that same love for plants onto others and show them it's as easy as pie to bring nature inside.

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