How Deep Do Potato Roots Grow?

With shallow roots, potato plant go 6 to 12 inches deep from the surface of the growing soil. However, roots may go deeper in favorable conditions.

According to this report, potato plant has fibrous roots that can’t go deeper than 24 inches. To increase root development you must provide ideal temperature of 59-68F, along with nutrient rich soil and adequate water.

Potato plants are the most efficient, easily grown, and resourceful plants that a house gardener can ever opt to invest in. This is especially true if you have just started growing plants and potatoes are your first try ever.

When growing potatoes in the garden there are always a few key considerations that need to be kept in mind.

One of these is to determine the adequate growth of your plants. Determining the depth of your potato plant roots is one of the most effective methods of doing so.

Other than this, having knowledge about the depth of your potato plant roots also enables you to cater to the growth needs of your plant. So, next time you grow potato plants in your garden, you are well aware of the amount of water, sunlight, and fertilizer that they depend on to get to their optimal growth level.

If you are also one of those plant lovers who want to know the approximate depth to which potato plant roots grow, then keep reading because we have provided a comprehensive answer for the same.

A bonus section is also included that tells you about the growth needs of your potato plants and how to take proper care of them throughout the process. So, without any further ado, let us begin.

How Deep Do Potato Roots Grow?


Potato plants are surely not the most popular or glamorous plant options that people have, but they are definitely the most rewarding plants that one can ever grow. That being said, potatoes are basically a root vegetable and grow best when put under soil.

When we say, “grow best”, we are actually referring to a depth of approximately 18 inches or in some cases, even longer than that.

But, in order for your potatoes to grow to such an extent, it is very important that they are comfortably bedded in a soil that has been loosened using all the resources and I perpetually free of stones or any other hard material for that matter.

It allows your potatoes with enough space to grow smoothly without any obstacles and this freedom is one of the best mediums to grow your plant.

Another important noteworthy thing is that potatoes don’t grow in a random zig zag manner. Rather, they prefer going in a straight direction starting right below where the seed is planted.

Also Read: Can You Grow Potatoes in Clay Soil?

How to Promote the Root System of Your Potato Plants?

Everyone wants to have the best environment for their potato plants to grow and prosper in. But, what many people don’t know is that in order to get into an accurate understanding of what kind of environment your plants need, it is equally important to get to a basic understanding of how your plants grow.

This practice begins when you first decide to buy the seed of your potato plants. Naturally, a large potato seed promotes a longer and more vertical growth of the potato plant than a seed that is smaller.

In doing so, the plant pushes its roots outwardly downward from the seed to grow and orient their structure in a progressive manner. In this manner, the farthest that your plants can grow is known to be 18 inches, as mentioned earlier.

This doesn’t mean that you maintain the depth of your bed to be 18 inches. It is considered to cause issues for the proper structure of the plant because if the root doesn’t extend to the desired length, it can severely compromise with the position of the plants.

It is generally advised to prepare your bed approximately 10-12 inches deep for a productive yield. The plant will eventually make space for itself.

Other than what is elaborated above, it is also important to reiterate on the earlier points of keeping the soil free of stones, hard rocks, and loosening them using expert equipments.

Further, remember that your potato plants grow straight downwards from the roots and you’ll have good to go with fulfilling the watering needs, where drip irrigation is preferred.

Also Read: How Many Potatoes Grow from One Seed Potato?

Taking Care of Potato Plants

While it is true that you can see a potato yield of about 11-18 inches below the ground, it is also true that none of this would work if the plants are not taken proper care of. How to know if your potato plants are happy with their service? We are here with a few easy and effective tips to help you take proper care of your potato plants under all conditions.

The soil should not only be loosened and free of harsh materials, but it should also be comparatively dry, light, and extremely well drained. Moisture is something that is not very well taken by potato plants. Imagine subjecting your plant to an environment it doesn’t like for most of its life. It is unlikely to grow.

Your soil bedding should be nutritious and posses the ability to retain moisture for longer times, without disturbing its natural chemical composition.

To do so, you can supplement your bedding with some organically developed compost, manure, or simply adding mulch to enhance its nutrient profile. Another more suitable approach is to purchase a fertilizer that is slightly high on the nitrogen aspect and you’d be good to go.

In order to yield a good potato plant yield, it is relatively important that you purchase good quality seeds. A premium quality potato seed is ideally the size of an egg of hen and has at least three to five potato eyes to support the growth of new plants.

Initially, it is important to space your potato seeds at least 14-15 inches apart. This makes sure that the growth of adjacent plants don’t necessarily interfere the productivity of other plants.

If you feel that it is about time that you harvest your potatoes as they are ready to eat, consider doing it during the mid summer season. Not before it, and certainly not after that. Baby potatoes are the most commonly available harvest during midsummer and you can conveniently harvest them by gently reaching out to the first few inches of soil and pulling them off carefully.

As soon as you see the growth of potato tubers from the plant, start hilling the soil above the plant. You can also make use of mulch to do the same. It is important to also reduce the composition of nitrogen during this time since we effectively require stopping the maturation process of potato tubers.

Also Read: What Size Pot Do I Need to Grow Green Beans?


Potato plants, as we have seen, vary in their length and depth of growing and this is what makes them unique from other plants. By adopting the aforementioned easy care tips, you can ensure that your potato plant grows to its fullest potential and is getting the adequate environment for the same.

If you want to learn more about potato plants and the different problems concerning them, go through more of our articles and seek solutions to your gardening issues. We have covered answers and solutions to a range of your gardening issues for different plants. Till then, happy gardening!

The statistics mentioned above are cited from the report published by the State Extention Service of North Dakota. So, if you want to know more about the depth of your potato plants, you can checkout the report.

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