Ask Dr. Potato

With 926 posts, chances are there's already an answer to your question. Please try searching below before submitting a question to Dr. Potato. Use multiple words to help narrow down the results. For example, search for "potatoes" and "group" if looking for an answer on cooking potatoes for large groups.

Back To Dr. Potato Home

Why Have My Potatoes Sprouted?


I ordered several cases of potatoes and when they arrived, most of them were sprouting. What caused the potatoes to sprout so fast during shipping?


Were they potatoes Norkotah or Burbank Russets? Norkotahs are harvested much earlier than the Burbanks, so they are older. And regarding sprouting: If the potatoes are still firm, they are fine to eat. If the sprouts are relatively small, you can just knock them off to fry or bake them.

Do you know what the Julian dates were on the potatoes? These dates indicate when the potatoes were packed and whether or not they were on the warehouse floor for a while. Use this link to the Idaho Potato Commission Directory to check Julian dates.

If the potatoes were harvested in September or October, they have been in storage for nearly 120 days and will sprout naturally on their own unless they are treated with a solution such as Sprout Nip. You might check with the supplier to see if they use Sprout Nip. If the potatoes aren’t treated, sprouting can occur, which is accelerated if the potatoes are stored in a warm environment.

Here are some other blogs on potato sprouting: