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.)


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 '12 at 0:29
  • down is not a great idea, because they will have to upward again. Your sideways strategy is probably best. May 29 '12 at 1:26

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