How Much Sun Do Potatoes Need?

Potatoes have been an essential food throughout human history and remain one of the most popular foods today. When growing potatoes, there’s one question you might ask yourself: how much sun do potatoes need? If you want to ensure a successful potato harvest, it is important to understand the basic requirements for light and heat from your local environment. From selecting a sunny plot in the garden to installing reflective materials in greenhouses, this article covers all the necessary information about growing potatoes! By following these simple tips, you can maximize your chances of getting a harvest that will make everyone smile!

About Potatoes

Potatoes are a member of the nightshade family, Solanaceae, and are botanically known as Solanum tuberosum. They are a widely consumed and highly versatile food crop, grown in many parts of the world.

The origin of potatoes can be traced back to the Andes Mountains in South America, where they were first cultivated over 7,000 years ago.
Today, potatoes are grown in almost every country and are eaten in various forms, from mashed to fried. They are an excellent source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber, with high levels of vitamins C and B6, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Potatoes contain antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of certain diseases such as cancer and heart disease. [1] Furthermore, potatoes are also popular in home gardening, as they can be easily grown in a range of conditions, making them an accessible food source for many households.

About Potatoes

Potatoes may seem simple, but they are actually complex plants with a fascinating history that continues to evolve as agriculture advances.

Potato Needs

In order for potato plants to grow healthy and strong, it is crucial to ensure they are given optimal growing conditions. Potatoes prefer well-drained, loose soil that is rich in organic matter. [2] They should be planted in a location that receives full sun for the majority of the day. The ideal temperature for potato growth is between 60°F and 70°F, and they should be watered regularly in order to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Potatoes can be susceptible to diseases, so it’s important to practice good crop rotation in order to prevent the buildup of harmful pathogens in the soil. Overall, providing these ideal conditions will help ensure a successful potato crop.

Potatoes and Sun

When it comes to growing potatoes, one of the most important things to consider is how much sunlight they will need. Potatoes need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, and preferably 8-10 hours. [3] This will help ensure that the potato plants receive the energy they need to produce high yields. If you’re unable to provide your potatoes with enough sunlight due to environmental factors, you might want to consider the use of artificial lighting or reflective materials. Reflective surfaces such as aluminum foil can help direct the light back onto the growing area and increase potato yields.

Types of Sunlight

Sunlight can be divided into three distinct types: full sun, partial shade and full shade.

Full Sun

Full sun is a term that is often used to describe the intensity of sunlight that plants require to thrive. It refers to a sunny area that receives direct, unobstructed sunlight throughout the day. Unlike partial sun or shade, which can vary in terms of intensity and duration, full sun is a consistent source of high-energy light that plants use to fuel photosynthesis. Some examples of plants that prefer full sun include sunflowers, tomatoes, and peppers, which require a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight daily. Full sun can be a powerful force, providing the energy necessary to grow beautiful and healthy plants, but it’s important to remember that not all plants can tolerate it. It’s always best to research the specific light requirements of your plants before planting them in a full sun environment.

Partial Shade

Partial shade refers to areas that receive partially filtered sunlight, usually from trees or buildings. This type of light is ideal for plants that cannot tolerate full sun but still need some exposure. Partial shade will still provide enough energy for photosynthesis, but it won’t be as intense as the full sun. Some examples of plants that prefer partial shade include ferns, hostas, and begonias. These plants should get around four hours of indirect sunlight daily.

Full Shade

Full shade is an area that receives limited exposure to sunlight, usually from large trees or buildings. This type of light is often too low for most plants to perform photosynthesis and they require a more indirect source of energy such as artificial lighting. Some examples of plants that prefer full shade include impatiens, fuchsias, and coleus. These plants should receive no direct sunlight but can still benefit from some natural filtered light throughout the day. Artificial lighting may be used to supplement this if needed.

Do Potatoes Grow Better in Sun or Shade?

Potatoes require full sun to grow and thrive, so they should be planted in a sunny area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.

Do Potatoes Grow Better in Sun or Shade?

If grown in partial or full shade, potatoes will produce fewer tubers and their growth may be stunted. Therefore it’s best to plant them in an area that receives plenty of direct sunlight. [4]

Measuring your Available Sunlight

In order to ensure that your potato plants are getting the correct amount of sunlight, you will need to measure the available light in your garden. This can be done easily with a few simple steps.

  • Step 1: Start by placing a ruler or tape measure in your garden and measuring out a distance of 10 feet (3 meters). Make sure it is placed in the exact same spot for each measurement.
  • Step 2: Place an object such as a chair, table or other piece of furniture at one end of the distance you measured out. This will act as a reference point for each measurement.
  • Step 3: At the other end of the 10-foot space, place an outdoor thermometer and wait 15 minutes before reading the temperature.
  • Step 4: Take a walk around your garden and take note of how much direct sunlight is hitting each spot for at least 15 minutes. Make sure to record the amount of time that each location receives full sun, partial sun or full shade.
  • Step 5: Once you have gathered all the data from your measurements, compare it to the ideal conditions for growing potatoes (6 hours of direct sunlight). This will help you decide which areas are best suited for planting potatoes in order to get a successful harvest.

How To Tell If Potatoes Are Getting Too Much Sunlight

While potatoes generally prefer full sun, it is important to be aware that too much sunlight can be damaging to the plants. If your potato plants are getting more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, they may become stressed and produce fewer tubers or even die off. To determine if your potatoes are receiving an excessive amount of sunlight, keep an eye out for certain indicators. The first sign is yellowing leaves, which indicate an excess amount of light. When this happens, the foliage of the plant will turn pale and may start to wilt or curl up at the edges. Another sign of too much light is scorched or burned foliage, which appears as brown patches on the leaves. Finally, you may also notice that the plants are not producing as many tubers as they should.

If any of these signs are present, it is important to make sure that your potatoes have some form of shade in order to protect them from excessive light.
By taking these steps, you can help ensure a successful potato crop.

How to Plant Potatoes

Once you’ve determined the best location to plant your potatoes, you can begin the process of planting. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to properly plant potatoes for maximum sunlight exposure.

  • Step 1: Start by selecting a sunny area with well-drained soil and clear away any large rocks or debris from the area.
  • Step 2: Dig small holes in the soil that are spaced about 12 inches apart.
  • Step 3: Place the potato pieces in the holes, making sure that each piece is facing upward.
  • Step 4: Cover the potatoes with soil and lightly tamp down around them. Water them thoroughly to ensure they are completely soaked.
  • Step 5: Once the plants start to sprout, add a layer of mulch or organic compost to help retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing around the plants.
  • Step 6: As your potato plants continue to grow, keep an eye on their sun exposure and move any necessary shade if needed.

Following these steps will help you maximize the amount of sunlight your potatoes receive for a successful harvest!

Storing Potatoes

Once you’ve harvested your potatoes, the next step is to store them for future use. Proper storage will help keep your potatoes fresh and in good condition until you are ready to cook or eat them.

Storing Potatoes

The ideal way to store potatoes is in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or cellar with temperatures between 45-50°F (7-10°C). It’s important that the space has adequate air circulation so the potatoes can breathe. [5] Try to avoid storing potatoes near onions, apples or other fruits as this can cause them to spoil more quickly. To help protect against any potential pests such as mice or insects, it’s also a good idea to keep your potatoes in a sturdy container with a tight-fitting lid.

When storing potatoes, make sure to check them regularly for any signs of spoilage or rot. It’s also a good idea to use the older potatoes first, as they will last the least amount of time in storage.


How Many Hours of Direct Sunlight do Potatoes Need?

Potatoes need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day in order to grow well and achieve a good harvest. If your potato plants are getting more than 6 hours of direct sunlight, they may become stressed or even die off.

Can you Grow Potatoes all Summer?

Yes, you can grow potatoes all summer long. The key is to plant the potatoes early enough in the season so that they have time to mature and be harvested before the cold weather sets in. You’ll also want to make sure that your soil remains moist throughout the growing season. Mulching around the plants can help retain moisture and keep weeds away. Additionally, providing shade for your potato plants during hot days will help them stay cool and healthy.

What Month Do You Plant Potatoes?

Most gardeners plant potatoes in late spring or early summer, as soon as the soil has warmed and the danger of frost has passed. The best time to plant potatoes is when the soil temperature is between 50-60°F (10-15°C). Potatoes can be planted any time between April and July, depending on your climate and region.

Do Potatoes Need a Lot of Water?

Yes, potatoes need plenty of water throughout the growing season. The soil should be kept moist but not soggy. Water your potato plants lightly and regularly, about 1-2 inches per week. Too much water can cause the potatoes to rot or become infected with disease.

Do Potatoes Need a Lot of Water?

If you are experiencing a dry spell, give your potato plants an extra drink of water to ensure that they remain healthy and strong.

Do Sweet Potatoes Need Full Sun?

Yes, sweet potatoes need full sun in order to grow and produce a good harvest. Sweet potatoes should get at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day.

If you live in an area with hot summers, it’s best to provide some shade for your sweet potato plants during the hottest part of the day.
Additionally, mulching around the plants can also help keep the soil moist and cool.

Do Potatoes Go Bad in Light?

Yes, potatoes will go bad if exposed to too much light. Direct sunlight causes the skin of the potato to turn green and become bitter in taste. Potatoes that are stored in a cool, dark place and kept away from any sources of direct light can last for several months without going bad. However, it’s still best to use them as soon as possible for the best flavor.

What temperature is too hot for potatoes?

Potatoes prefer temperatures between 45-50°F (7-10°C). If the temperature gets too hot, they may become stressed and produce fewer tubers or even die off. Temperatures above 75°F (24°C) can cause the potatoes to rot, so it’s important to keep them cool if you live in a warmer climate.

Do Potatoes Need to be in the Dark to Sprout?

No, potatoes do not need to be in the dark in order to sprout. Potatoes will begin to sprout as soon as they are exposed to light and warmth. If you want your potatoes to sprout quickly, place them near a window or under a grow light that is kept on for 12-14 hours per day. Potatoes that are left in the dark will take longer to sprout and may even rot before they have a chance to grow.

Do Potatoes Rot Faster in the Dark?

No, potatoes will not rot faster in the dark. In fact, it’s best to store potatoes in a cool, dark place if you want to keep them from rotting for as long as possible. Potatoes that are exposed to too much light or warmth will begin to turn green and become bitter in taste. Additionally, potatoes stored in direct sunlight may also start to sprout prematurely. It’s best to keep your potatoes away from any sources of light if you want them to last longer.

How Long Do Potatoes Last in a Dark Place?

Potatoes stored in a cool, dark place can last for several weeks or even months without going bad. It’s important to make sure that the potatoes are kept away from any sources of light and warmth to ensure that they stay fresh for as long as possible.

How Long Do Potatoes Last in a Dark Place?

Additionally, it’s also best to store potatoes with other vegetables such as onions or garlic which will help keep them from sprouting prematurely. ##Do Potatoes Need Fertilizer?Yes, potatoes need fertilizer in order to grow healthy and produce a good harvest. The type of fertilizer you use will depend on your soil type and the nutrients needed by your plants. Generally speaking, an all-purpose vegetable fertilizer should provide everything your potato plants

How long do potatoes take to grow?

The amount of time it takes for potatoes to grow depends on the variety and the environmental conditions. Generally speaking, potatoes take anywhere from 70-90 days to reach maturity. Temperatures that are too hot or cold can slow down the growing process, so make sure your potato plants get plenty of sunshine and water during their growing season. It’s also important to note that the size of your harvest may be affected by how much fertilizer you use and the soil type.

Useful Video: How Much Sunlight Do Potatoes Need?


Through this blog post, we’ve explored the various needs of potatoes to ensure that they are given the best opportunity to grow healthy and strong. We looked at types of sunlight, measuring available sunlight, how potatoes need a good amount of sunlight to thrive until harvest time and how to tell if potatoes are getting too much sun exposure. Finally, we have discussed some techniques for storing potatoes in optimal conditions once they have been harvested. With this knowledge in hand, you can now give your potatoes all that they need so that you can enjoy delicious potatoes whenever you’d like!