How to Eat Potato Plants


Potato plants provide plump tubers ready for baking or frying. According to the National Institutes of Health's Medline Plus site, the only edible part of the potato plant lies underground in the fully ripened tuber. All other parts--unripened tubers, stems, sprouts, leaves, fruit and roots contain toxins that will make you sick if you eat them. When the tubers come into contact with sunlight or fluorescent light, they begin to taste bitter, which the University of Illinois notes results from the formation of a toxic alkaloid in the tuber when it reacts with sunlight. Dark, cold storage will keep your potatoes tasting their best.

Step 1

Pull or dig the potatoes out of the ground after the vines die. Cut the stems off the tubers with a knife and discard all parts of the plant except the tubers.

Step 2

Scrub the potato tubers under running water with a scrub brush to wash off any dirt.

Step 3

Optionally, peel the potatoes. Slice the potatoes into matchsticks, thin slices or leave whole.

Step 4

Cook the prepared potatoes by boiling and mashing, frying in a pan with one to two tablespoons of oil or deep frying in three to four inches of oil or bake in the oven until tender.

Things You'll Need

  • Potato plant
  • Spade or shovel
  • Knife
  • Scrub brush
  • Vegetable peeler (optional)


  • University of Illinois: Potatoes
  • National Insitutes of Heath - Medline Plus: Potato Plant Poisoning

Who Can Help

  • Food Network: Potato Recipes
Keywords: potato plants, eat potatoes, edible tubers

About this Author

Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor's in Arts in history from the University of Houston and is a current member of the Society of Professional Journalists.