Gardeners’ Question Time



Sido writes:

“I grow potatoes in buckets, using the old, leftover ones, from the supermarket. Now I don’t know if you remember that old fact about potatoes being related to tomatoes, but I was recovering some of my potatoes from the bucket when I noticed that the withered plant had produced fruit. I enclose the pictures. Is this usual? “


17 thoughts on “Gardeners’ Question Time

  1. medieval knievel

    you usually nip the flower buds off to prevent the fruit from forming, as it takes away from the tubers.

  2. dited

    Our potato plants produced them this year too; they result from cross-pollination with tomato plants, and yes, are highly poisonous!

  3. Corvo

    Potatoes and tomatoes are both part of the same family as Nightshades, or solancae. Potatoes produce their edible part underground as tubers, while tomatoes form the edible part as fruit but potato plants are still capable of forming fruit. This is actually the true fruit of the potato plant rather than the tuber. Usually the flower just falls off before the fruit forms but sometimes it doesn’t. It’s usually down to temperatures or the amount of fertiliser used. They are poisonous though, but the seeds can be used to plant more potato plants.

  4. Leaning to the centre

    I found these recently enough. They were a bit of a surprise but a quick Google told me I need to get them away from my tomato loving toddler sharpish as they are poisonous

    “It’s not surprising that they look like little tomatoes, because both plants are in the nightshade family, the Solanaceae.”
    “Keep in mind that potato fruits are high in solanine, a substance that is toxic to humans, particularly children. Potato fruits should not be eaten, no matter how much they look like tomatoes!”

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