Potato Plant with a blossom
Last year I grew my first ever potato from One sprouting spud from the bottom of the brown paper bag of spuds from the grocery store. Since, all of my containers last year were in use at the time I found an empty potting soil bag and punched a few holes all around for drainage.
One potato went into the bag last year and 12 potatoes came out! Oh my was I delighted to see that outcome and couldn’t wait for this Spring to arrive ~ as I sat through last years long winter days dreaming of growing potatoes again in 2016….
This years potato plant ~ July 4th 2016
(Cage protection from critters, i.e. squirrels-chipmunks)
I noticed a flower bud beginning to develop this year (2016) on the potato plant and remembered reading something about this last year… Did you know the stalks of a potato could produce a flower blossom? They can even fruit ~ Looking like a green tomato…
Tomatoes and potatoes are in the same family ~ The Nightshades or Solanaceae. I didn’t know that ….
I remember the article saying that too much fertilizer or cool nights can cause the plants to set flowers, leading up to the end of their growing time.. The green fruit that can set on the plant (often will dry and fall off) can become a true potato plant, which doesn’t carry the same characteristics as the parent plant.. hum.. I didn’t know that either.
These berries on the potato plant are NOT edible, but they don’t affect the development of the tubers.
Although the fruit doesn’t harm the growth of the tubers, the little fruits can be a DANGEROUS attraction to children. Nightshade plants have high levels of a toxin called solanine. This is a poisonous substance that can cause illness in people, especially children.
So, if you have small children around these plants that may have fruit on the stems ~ pick off the berries so as not to get into the tiny hands of a child and into their mouths…
I love the internet with all of its useful information ~ here’s one of the links where I found some extra information…
Until next time
~ Laura ~