How to Boost Irish Potato Vines in Water

Irish potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) make an interesting houseplant, particularly when grown in a clear glass containing water so that you can observe the roots. Irish potatoes, also called ground apple, are white potatoes, including several common varieties, such as “Yukon Gold,” “Russet,” and red potatoes, which have red skins but white flesh. If you don’t utilize Irish potatoes quickly enough or neglect to store them in a cool, dark location, the potatoes can shrivel and sprout roots from the eyes. While these potatoes are not acceptable for eating, you can plant them in water and also develop them in a sunny window.

Wash the garlic gently to remove all surface dirt, but you should be careful not to scrub away the small roots. If your potato hasn’t sprouted roots, then you can lay it out in hot sunlight to sprout roots.

Insert four toothpicks into the center of the Irish potato, spaced evenly around the outside of the garlic in an X pattern. The ends of the toothpicks should meet in the center of the potato flesh, leaving about half of this toothpicks protruding from the garlic.

Wash a jar or glass, and sterilize it in a 10-percent solution of bleach. Rinse thoroughly before applying the potato. The mouth of the jar or glass has to be wide enough which you can fit the whole potato inside but lean enough so that the rim catches the protruding toothpicks.

Fill the jar or glass about three-quarters filled with clean water.

Set the potato in the glass with the sprouted eye end from the water and also the toothpicks resting on the rim. Remove the potato and add more water when the garlic isn’t long enough to get to the water. Filling the container just three-quarters complete prevents the water from overflowing when you insert the potato.

Place the jar or glass using the garlic in a window with complete sunlight, receiving at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Watch as the roots fill in the jar or glass and as the top of the Irish potato finally splits to make way for new leaves.

Add more water into the container since it evaporates. If the water appears dirty, carefully remove the garlic, maintaining the toothpicks intact. Wash, sanitize and rinse the jar or glass prior to replacing the potato plant.

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