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Potato question.

 
pollinator
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Good morning! I have great success growing potatoes from super market varieties. I grow them in leaves, wood chips, and new compost piles.
Years ago I read that seed potatoes couldn’t be grown in the south. Something about it was to hot for them to flower. Just in case I’ve always planted two varieties together but flowers never happened. Last season one of my plants did flower but it was alone.
My question: Has anyone from zone 7b and further south ever grown seed potatoes?
Thanks! Scott
 
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Do you mean potato seeds? Seed potatoes generally refers to the small tubers you buy and plant. I can't say much about growing them in heat (I am 7b but I'm in Europe) But many of the more modern potato varieties do not flower at all or if they do it's only one per plant so if you want the best chance of seeds I would look for an older type to start with.
 
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Scott, it might be a good idea to explain what a "seed potato" is.

I think it is not a variety of potato but something produced by the potato plant. Potato plants produce a green fruit something like berries.  Is that what you are talking about?
 
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Seed potatoes don't require flowering.

Potato seeds? Those require flowering. But seed potatoes and potato seeds are very different things.

For seed potatoes, choose undamaged tubers from the plants that did best, being careful to avoid any from plants that showed signs of disease. Store them in a cool, dark place until planting time.

For potato seeds, some varieties flower better than others. There's a ton of information at Cultivariable.com you can look through. They specialize in true potato seeds.
 
Scott Stiller
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Yes, exactly Anne. The berry-type fruit. Sorry for the confusion. I grow tubers from the same plants year after year but they never flower. Since I’ve never seen the berries except online am I thinking about this correctly? I’m guessing they cross pollinate by flowers like most things.
 
Anne Miller
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Scott, my profile says zone 8a though I feel that I am more like 8b.

My first and last potato plants had lots of beautiful white flowers that stayed on a long time.  I did not know about the berry type fruit so I did not notice if there were any.  I understand that the fruit is full of lots of seeds.  

Since you have seen pictures of them about how many seeds are in one?
 
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some varieties of potato are much more likely to flower than others. since ‘seed potatoes’ usually refers to small tubers, the whole phrase ‘true potato seed’ is frequently used for true seed/breeding. that may help you if you’re doing searches for info. i know i’ve seen discussions about potato breeding somewhere.
 
Scott Stiller
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Thanks Greg and Anne. I think the potato berries contain lots of seeds, maybe hundreds. I’ve never seen one close up or maybe this would make more sense to me.
@Greg. Maybe it’s possible that I’m not growing the correct potatoes for my climate. I’m going to have to look into this.
@Anne. My single plant that flowered could have possibly had berries but I’m unsure. I have lots of horse nettle, a nasty plant that I cannot get rid of fast enough. They produce a small berry that resembles that of a potato. Hmm, now I have more questions 😁.
 
greg mosser
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i think that regardless of climate, some varieties may have sexual reproduction pretty well bred out of them. they may may not flower anywhere.
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