How long do potatoes take to grow?

Potatoes are not too hard to grow, but they are underground, so it can be hard to know when they are ready. There are a lot of variables, so keep reading to learn how to harvest your potatoes to get the most of them.

Most varieties of potatoes take 60 -90 days to grow to maturity. New potatoes are ready to harvest 2 – 4 weeks after flowering. Mature potatoes will be ready to be harvested 3 – 4 weeks after all the foliage has died back.

Potatoes will grow to a certain size, depending on the variety you planted. Fortunately, when the plants mature, they will begin to flower.  You can get new potatoes as soon as you see flowers. 

How long do potatoes take to grow?

Idaho grows the most potatoes in America, and Ireland is also famous for its potatoes. 

Those are locations though, and not varieties. The Russet potato is the most commonly grown potato in America.

Once the vines have died off, the plant is done growing; potatoes can be gently dug up 2 – 3 weeks later. Small new potatoes typically require 60 days from planting to harvest, but most varieties require 90 days until harvest.

When the plants start to flower, you can soon get new potatoes.

However, if you want to get the most out of your plants, wait until the vines above the ground have died. They are sure to be ready at that time. 

See our guide on when to harvest potatoes.

How long do red potatoes take to grow?

Red potatoes are versatile plants that can be brown from sea level to 13000 feet. 

That is a lot of difference, so there is a lot of variety in how long it takes them to grow. 

There are also several varieties of red potatoes.

Red potatoes can take between 70 and 120 days depending on growing conditions. There are early, medium, and late-maturing varieties, which gives you a lot of flexibility with gardening; for example: Red LaSoda, LaRouge, or Dark Red Norland.

Red potatoes are cool-weather plants and are one of the varieties of Irish potatoes. 

They have a lot of nutrients, and most of that is in the red skin.  

It helps that the skin is very thin, so there’s no need to peel it off.

How long do sweet potatoes take to grow?

Sweet potatoes take a long time to grow. 

They are sensitive plants that can be damaged easily, so care needs to be taken when harvesting them. 

When the tips of the vines turn brown and start to wither, the potatoes are ready to be harvested.

Most varieties of sweet potatoes require between 90 – 120 days from planting to harvest. A lot depends on the environment and how big you want them to get. Sweet potatoes are typically harvested at the end of summer, before soil temperatures reach below 60°F.

Small to medium sweet potatoes are best for eating. Larger potatoes have more starch. 

If they have a deep orange color, they have a higher vitamin A content. 

Avoid sweet potatoes that have cuts or bruises because they will deteriorate faster. 

Check out the complete guide on how to grow sweet potatoes.

How long do Russet potatoes take to grow?

Russet potatoes are popular because they are relatively easy to grow. 

They require little maintenance other than keeping them watered. 

They grow well in cooler temperatures.  

You can get five to 10 potatoes per plant, so there is usually a good harvest.

It takes 100 days or so for most Russet potatoes to grow to maturity. You can get new potatoes sooner than that–roughly 2 – 4 weeks after plants flower. To harvest in fall, wait until the vine above the ground has died to get the most potatoes.

While Russet potatoes are a cool weather plant, they are popular in Florida. 

The Florida variety takes 115 days and produces a lot of brown to dark brown tubers with a netted texture. 

You can often get new potatoes in 60 days, and you can harvest them according to the size you prefer.

See how far apart to plant potatoes.

How long does it take to grow potatoes in a bucket?

Buckets are an option for growing potatoes if you do not have garden space. 

A 5-gallon bucket is often used for one plant. 

You can also grow them hydroponically without dirt on a balcony, or some other area where they can be elevated.

It takes 10 – 20 weeks to grow potatoes in a 5-gallon bucket. There are several varieties that can be grown this way. It takes some good soil, fertilizer, & adequate water. The potatoes take a little longer to grow in a bucket, but you can have fresh potatoes all year long using this method.

A potato plant can produce as many as 10 potatoes. 

They grow well in a bucket as long as they get 7-10 hours of sunlight per day. 

Potatoes are roots, so they need water, and they need drainage. 

Make sure there are holes in the bottom of the bucket for drainage. 

Keep the soil damp, but don’t let water stand in the soil. 

See how long potatoes last.

What month do you plant potatoes?

Potatoes like cool weather, regardless of the variety. 

They are also susceptible to frost damage, so you have to work out the timing. 

They are also sensitive to intense heat.

Plant them late enough to avoid freezing in spring, but early enough to avoid the most intense part of summer.

In most parts of the U.S., potatoes should be planted between March 15 – May 15, when daytime soil temperature is at least 55°F.  In USDA zones 1 – 5, potatoes should be planted in May; in zones 6 – 10, potatoes can be planted earlier.

Again, depending on the variety, and the weather, you should be able to harvest your potatoes in four months. 

You can start to dig new potatoes in about two months, after the plants start blooming. 

Once the vines have died, the potatoes have stopped growing and you can harvest them with confidence.

Check out our complete guide on growing potatoes.

How many potatoes will one plant produce?

There are several things that have an impact on how many potatoes each of your plants will produce. 

The weather, soil conditions, how much you water them, and the quality of care they receive, all influence the final product. 

Potatoes grow from the roots, and the appearance of the plant may or may not indicate what is really happening underground.

The average harvest per potato plant is 5 – 10 potatoes under ideal conditions. Most varieties of potatoes yield 15-60 pounds of potatoes from a 10 foot row of plants.  Or, roughly 50 pounds of potatoes harvested for every 2 pounds of potato seed planted.

When considering how many potatoes you should be able to harvest, it’s probably better to look at the averages than what each individual plant produces. 

Some plants may produce 10 while others produce only four or five.

If you have a solid average of seven, that will be a pretty good crop.

Conclusion

You can get new potatoes in as little as two months. 

Most varieties take three to four months to get to full maturity. 

A lot depends on what size of potato you want. 

Once the plants are blooming well, you can get small new potatoes, and from there it depends on how long you want to wait.

About the author

Greg Volente

Greg Volente holds a Naturalist Certificate from the Morton Arboretum, worked for The Nature Conservancy leading environmental education programs and doing natural areas restoration, and worked in the soil science research & testing lab at Michigan State University. Besides gardening, he's an avid wildflower enthusiast, and loves botanizing, hiking, and backpacking.