How to Grow a Potato in a Jar

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Teach children about growing plants or keep the winter doldrums from taking over by sprouting a potato (Solanum tuberosum) in a glass jar, along with other kitchen produce. Later, you can transplant it directly into the garden or into a container. Since grocery store potatoes can harbor disease, you might not get a harvest of potatoes, but you'll be able to enjoy the lush green foliage. Use a clear jar so you can watch the roots developing.

Things You'll Need

  • Wide-mouthed glass jar

  • Water

  • Potato

  • 4 toothpicks

Step 1

Fill the jar about two-thirds full with water, deep enough to cover half of the potato.

Step 2

Stick the toothpicks around the middle of the potato, spreading them around evenly.

Step 3

Insert the bottom end of the potato into the water and suspend it against the top of the jar by the toothpicks. If your potato already has a growing eye, place that end in the water.

Step 4

Set your jar and potato in a sunny location, as potatoes love full sun. Keep the water level consistent and change the water if it begins to cloud.

Step 5

When the roots are established and the plant has two sets of leaves, transplant it to a pot. Potatoes are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 to 11, so you can put your new plant outside in most places during much of the year.


You can transplant your potato plant into nearly any kind of well-drained container, as long as you allow for about 1 1/2 to 2 feet of depth. If you don't want to use a pot that large, place your potato plant in a large plastic bag, a trashcan or even a tube of chicken wire lined with newspaper or cardboard.


Pamela Martin

Pamela Martin has been writing since 1979. She has written newsletter articles and curricula-related materials. She also writes about teaching and crafts. Martin was an American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in curriculum/instruction from the University of Missouri.