Red Potato Plants


Anonymous added on January 11, 2014 | Answered

My potatoes (Red Pontiacs) from this past year are marbled red throughout the whole potato. I have been planting Pontiacs for years and have never had this happen before in this number. I believe about 6o percent of my crop is like this. Most of the rest have hollow heart. Thank you for your help.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on January 11, 2014

I can't be 100% sure without seeing the damage, but it sounds like the red veining is nematode damage. With the hollow hearts, I am going to guess that sometime during the last growing season, your potatoes went through a rough bit with not enough water. This would have stressed the plants and made them more susceptible to nematodes and caused the hollow heart condition. I would recommend taking a sample of the potatoes into your local extension office to confirm nematodes. Regardless, I would start with clean seed potatoes this year. Do not reuse the potatoes from last year as seed. Move the location of where you grow your potatoes. This will ensure that this year's crop is not affected by the issues of last year.

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