Potato Plant Info
The potato plant (Solanum tuberosum) is a herbaceous perennial which produces edible tuberous crops formed underground. It is a member of the family of Solanaceae. The plant prefers slightly acidic, well drained and fertile soils. Potato plants produce red, white, pink, purple or blue flowers at the end of their growing season (3-4 months after planting). The plant’s height can reach 20 inches (50cm). Potatoes have a relatively short root system with most roots located in the top 2 feet (60cm) of soil. Every healthy potato plant can produce from 3 to 25 potatoes.
Contrary to popular belief, potato plant does not need bees or any other pollinator in order to produce potatoes. However, the plant still needs pollinators so that the flowers can produce “true seeds”. After flowering, potato plants produce small green fruits that contain true seeds. Growing potatoes from true seeds is feasible, but it results in producing different potatoes with different characteristics. Production uniformity is one of the top priorities of potato growers, and that’s why most of them prefer planting seed potatoes, which produce clones of the mother variety. Seed potatoes are actually normal potatoes just like the ones we eat, but they are selected for having desirable features. They are also checked against carrying various diseases. As it happens with tomatoes, peppers and other crops, the potato plant is natively a perennial plant. However, we cultivate potato as annual plant, because harvesting potatoes requires digging up, uprooting and thus destroying the plants.
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1. Potato Plant
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