How to Defoliate Potato Plants


Defoliation is the process of removing a plant's leaves. Most plants defoliate themselves when it is necessary, or at the end of their growing season. Seed potatoes are typically grown in the ground--as foliage emerges, more soil is added to the top of the plants. Potatoes are harvested either as young "new potatoes" or when they are fully grown. Potatoes are one plant that you may defoliate after harvesting mature potatoes.

Step 1

Remove all of the potatoes from the soil.

Step 2

Clip the plant's leaves at their base with a pair of clean garden shears. Remove all leaves from stems that no longer will be need to produce potatoes. Place all leaves into a garbage bag.

Step 3

Dispose of leaves by placing them on top of a compost pile or adding to a container with other lawn waste.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears
  • Garbage bag
  • Waste container


  • Ed Hume Seeds: Growing Potatoes
  • University of Illinois Extension: Potato
  • National Gardening Association: Harvesting Potatoes
Keywords: growing potatoes, defoliate potatoes, harvesting potatoes

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.