5 Reasons Why Your Potato Plants Are Falling Over
If your potato plants are falling over, you’re probably wondering if it’s the right time to harvest them. Well, though this can be a reason this is not the only one. It can be a disease, watering issues, weather, and more.
So here in this post, we will discuss some of the common causes why a potato plant falls over.
What To Do If My Potatoes Have Fallen Down:
There can be many reasons why your potato plants have fallen down. But the first thing you can do is to support the plant by hilling up some soil around the plant. This will keep the plant upright and in the meantime find out what is the main cause of this problem.
A potato plant can fall down due to various reasons like:
- They did not get enough water.
- The plants are infected by diseases.
- The plants are very leggy and weak.
- Environmental Factors like wind, storm or high temperature.
- The plants have matured and are ready to harvest.
Let’s discuss this step by step…
1. Improper Watering:
Watering a potato plant can be tricky. If you overwater your potato plants, the soil becomes waterlogged and the roots will suffocate due to lack of air. If this continues for longer the plants will fall over.
On the other hand, if you underwater your potato plants, the leaves will start to curl and eventually the plant will fall down.
The ideal way to water your potato plants is to water them deeply but infrequently. Always water the soil and not the plant. If you water your plants top down the leaves will remain wet and can catch fungal infections.
2. Pest and Diseases:
Potato plants are quite prone to pests and diseases. First, check your potato plants for signs of pest infestation. A cutworm can chew and cut off your potato stems. If the fallen plants are completely separated from the main plant then it is probably the cutworms that cause this problem.
Another such pest that can cause the same type of damages is the Colorado potato beetles. These are small yellow insects (¼ to ½ inches in length). They voraciously eat potato leaves and can cause your plant to die and fall over.
A potato plant is very susceptible to diseases also, and these diseases can cause the plant to wilt and die. Here are some of the deadliest potato diseases that can kill your potato plants and make them fall over.
3. Too Leggy Plants:
If your potato plants become too leggy and weak, they will fall over under their weight or with a little bit of wind. The main reason why potato plants become too thin and leggy is that they lack enough sunlight.
To avoid this problem always choose a place where there is little to no obstructions to the sunlight. Remember potato plants need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight to grow properly.
4. Environmental Factors:
Potato plants can fell victim to storms, strong wind or heavy downpours especially if they are leggy or weak. It also had to do with the potato variety you are planting. Bushy varieties can withstand those environmental calamities far better than indeterminate varieties of potatoes.
If you are growing an indeterminate variety of potatoes, you should try growing in potato towers.
Too much heat can also cause your potato plants to fall over. This is especially true for container plants. If the soil temperature crosses 80 degrees Fahrenheit potatoes will show signs of wilting.
Don’t wait too long to plant your potatoes. Planting too late in the season is the main reason why your potatoes are facing extreme temperatures.
5. Your Potato Plants Are Ready For Harvesting:
Sometimes it is totally normal for potato plants to fall down, this is because they have completed their life cycle and are ready for harvesting. The shoots and leaves will start turning yellow before they eventually fall over.
A potato plant needs 80-160 days to mature depending on its variety. Most potato plants will reach a height of 1.5 to 2 ft before they fall over.
So, if this is the case with you you don’t need to worry. It’s time for you to start harvesting.