Are potato leaves poisonous?

In this article, we will answer the question “Are potato leaves poisonous”? and discuss what are the possible ways to grow sweet potatoes?  

Are potato leaves poisonous?

Well, it depends on the type of potato. Sweet potato leaves are edible but the Irish potato leaves are poisonous so you should avoid them.  

You can eat the tuber of both sweet and Irish potatoes as both are edible, but you can’t eat the leaves of both varieties.  You can eat only sweet potato leaves because they are rich in vitamins and minerals, but Irish potato leaves are poisonous.

Why are the leaves of Irish potatoes poisonous?

Irish potatoes are poisonous because they contain a high level of solanine, a chemical that is produced by the Irish potato leaves to protect themselves from the heat. These are toxic and you should never eat them.

Irish potatoes produced solanine which is mostly found in leaves in condensed form. It can also be found in potato tubers. A green spot in the tuber indicates solanine presence.

Consuming solanine can cause heartbeat, vomiting, abdominal pain, and nausea and cause respiratory failure.

If you have Irish potatoes on your farm don’t try leaves. You can eat tubers only.

Solanine is also found in tubers in small quantities, but it is easily eliminated by frying or boiling the tuber.

Why are the leaves of sweet potatoes healthier and safe to eat?

Sweet potato leaves are healthier and safe to eat because they don’t have solanine and other poisonous chemicals in them. Instead, they are rich in potassium, iron and fibre. 

Because these nutrients have health benefits, it is safe to use. These potato leaves are tasty and used across the world.

You can also use these leaves for the treatment of different diseases such as skin rashes and metabolic disorders.

Other FAQs about Potatoes which you may be interested in.

Do oxidized potatoes taste different?

Can mashed potatoes cause food poisoning?

How to grow sweet potatoes for tubers and leaves?

You can easily grow sweet potatoes as compared to Irish potatoes. You can eat sweet potatoes in any season. The only thing you should keep in mind is that sweet potato can’t grow in frosty areas as they don’t like frost. 

So, if there is frost in your area then you should grow them just after the winter.

You should follow the steps described below to know how to grow sweet potatoes for tuber and leaves.

Buy some organic sweet potatoes

You should buy organic potatoes from the local market or the former as you can’t grow them without potatoes. Organic potatoes give the best result.

Dip sweet potatoes into water

The 2nd step is to dip sweet potatoes into a glass with water (half full) and put these glasses into a south-facing windowsill, so glasses experienced a maximum exposure to the sun. 

After this, you should wait for a few days until the roots and leaves develop. After that, you can transfer the tuber into the soil for further process.

 Transfer potato seedling into a pot

When your potatoes develop roots and leaves at this stage you can transfer seedlings into the pot. The pot must have drainage whole and so that water can easily drain. 

Use should use soil that is drainable as the potatoes can’t grow into the wet soil.

 Water seedling

Water them when you feel the soil is dry and they need water. Make sure there is not enough water in the soil otherwise it will rot the roots. Potatoes don’t like to grow in excessive water.

Add compost to help it grow

When your plant grows about 5 inches then transfer them into a pot having a bigger size or the ground. You must add some plant-based compost into the soil for better growth. 

This compost provides them with essential nutrients for their growth. Don’t use compost that is animal-based as it contains a higher amount of nitrogen which affects the tuber size.

 Move your plants outside

Place your plants outside in the sun so that they experience the sun as they need sun for better growth.


Once you transplant potatoes into the bigger pot the next step is to monitor them daily and water them weekly and wait for 80 days.

Most of the tuber varieties are ready in 100 days. After that, you can harvest them. To know the proper time of harvesting you should watch the potato leaves. 

If your potatoes leave to turn yellow then it is the proper time for harvesting. When the leaves start yellowing, dig the potatoes carefully. After that, you should place your tuber in the sun before storing them inside.

You can eat potato leaves for 80 days. Don’t eat too many leaves as it harms the tuber.


In this article, we answered the question “Are potato leaves poisonous”? and discussed what are the possible ways to grow sweet potatoes?  


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