We have a bunch of potatoes with long sprouts from their eyes. (Actually, we just planted them, but I'll ask the questions I had right before planting.)

  • Should I leave a 12-inch sprout from the eye, or break some of it off? On average, the remaining potato chunk is small (<1"), so I imagine it doesn't have too much energy left.

  • Should I plant the sprouts up or down? (We actually planted them sideways because we weren't sure.)

1 Answer 1


Long sprouts may mean the potatoes were improperly stored or stored too long. What you did is a sensible thing. If the potatoes are not too far gone, you should get some plants to sprout. Breaking the sprout risks breaking off the meristem; it is possible there may be other viable meristems along the sprout which could cause a plant to grow, but this is not a sure thing.

  • And up or down, does it matter?
    – dfrankow
    May 29, 2012 at 0:29
  • down is not a great idea, because they will have to upward again. Your sideways strategy is probably best. May 29, 2012 at 1:26

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