Purple majesty potatoes are a must-have potato variety in your garden. This beautiful spud produces creamy, white flesh with a delicate, sweet flavor.
Plus, its striking purple skin makes it the perfect addition to any garden display. Here’s a detailed guide about care requirements and joint problems to which this potato plant is susceptible. Let’s have a closer look!
What Is Purple Majesty Potato?
The Purple majesty potato is a perennial plant that grows about two feet tall. The plant has small, different-colored flowers such as white, purple, red, or blue that bloom in the summer. The potato tubers are also deep purple.
Purple Majesty Potato Care
The potato variety has a striking, deep purple color, unlike other usual types such as the German butterball or Yukon gold potato. This heirloom sweet potato requires extra care to ensure a good harvest; the results are well worth the effort. Here’s what you need to consider while caring for these potato plants:
– Water Requirements
When growing these potatoes, it is vital to ensure that they have enough water. These potatoes need about one inch of water per week from rainfall or irrigation. If the potatoes are not getting enough water, they will start to develop problems such as small size, poor flavor, and dry skin.
To avoid these problems, regularly water these potatoes and give them enough moisture. In addition, be sure to mulch around the plants to help retain moisture.
– Light Requirements
This potato variety is relatively high maintenance in terms of light requirements. These potatoes need full sun to maintain their deep purple coloration. If these potatoes do not receive enough light, they will begin to fade to a lighter blue or lavender color. In addition, these potatoes need a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight per day to produce high yields.
– Soil Requirements
The ideal soil for growing these potatoes is loamy soil high in organic matter. This type of soil will hold moisture and nutrients well while still allowing the roots of the potato plants to breathe. If your soil is too sandy or clay-like, you can amend it with compost or other organic matter to improve its drainage and texture.
When it comes to pH, this potato is relatively tolerant. However, it will grow best in soil with a pH between 5.8 and 6.5. If your soil is outside this range, you can amend it with lime or sulfur to adjust the pH. Finally, this potato needs soil that is high in potassium and low in nitrogen. An excellent way to achieve the right balance is to add wood ash or composted manure to your ground before planting.
– Temperature Requirements
This potato prefers moderate temperatures. They need daytime temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit to thrive. They will not grow properly if the temperatures get too hot or cold. They also need a good amount of water especially when you grow them from seed potatoes at home.
If you live in an area with cooler temperatures, you can still grow your potatoes by starting them indoors and then transplanting them outdoors once the weather warms up. You can enjoy a bountiful harvest of these delicious potatoes with a bit of care and attention.
– Humidity Requirements
These potatoes require high humidity levels to thrive. If the air is too dry, the potatoes will not grow properly and may even start to shrivel. The ideal humidity level for these potatoes is between 60 to 70 percent.
If you are located in a place with naturally high humidity levels, you may not need to take any extra steps to provide enough moisture for your potatoes. However, if you live in a dry climate, you will likely need to water these potatoes more frequently or provide a source of humidity, such as a humidifier.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Your potatoes need to be fertilized with a high-phosphorus fertilizer. This type of fertilizer will help to promote the growth of the potato plant, and it will also help to produce larger potatoes.
These potatoes can also benefit from being fertilized with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. This type of fertilizer will help to promote the growth of the leaves on the potato plant, and it will also help to produce a higher yield of potatoes.
It is vital to remember that you must not fertilize these potatoes with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. This type of fertilizer can stunt the growth of the potato plant, and it can also cause the potato leaves to turn yellow.
If you are using a high-nitrogen fertilizer, you should only use it on the potato plants that are actively growing. Once the potatoes have been harvested, you can discontinue using the fertilizer.
Harvesting your purple potatoes is a great way to ensure you enjoy a fresh, healthy crop. Here are some tips on how to gather and store your potatoes:
– How to Harvest
The best time to harvest potatoes is in the fall after the plant has flowered and the potato skins have toughened up. However, you can also harvest potatoes in the spring if you need to. To harvest these potatoes, lift the potato plants out of the ground carefully, being careful not to damage the tubers. Cut the plant to nearly six inches above the ground and pull the potatoes out of the soil.
– How to Store
You can store these potatoes in a cool, dark place for up to six months. Be sure that you cure the potatoes before storing them in a cool, dark place for two weeks. This will help them keep their flavor and texture.
You can also store potatoes in a paper bag in a cool, dark place. This will help them to stay dry and prevent them from sprouting. Check on the potatoes periodically and remove any that have started to sprout and grow.
Potato plants are vulnerable to several pests and diseases, often resulting in stunted growth or even death. Below are the most common issues associated with these potato plants:
Aphids are small, wingless insects that feed on the sap of plants. While they can be found on many plants, they are especially fond of potatoes. Aphids can cause severe damage to potato crops, and infestations can be difficult to control and affect companion plants.
Aphids attack potatoes by piercing their skin with mouthparts and sucking the sap. This feeding can cause the potato to become deformed, stunting the plant’s growth. Aphids also excrete a sticky substance called honeydew, which can encourage the development of sooty mold on the potato leaves. This mold can interfere with the plant’s ability to photosynthesize, which can further damage the potato crop.
– Colorado Potato Beetles
While the purple potato is a relatively new variety of potatoes, it is already threatened by the Colorado potato beetle. The Colorado potato beetle is a voracious eater of potato plants and can quickly devastate a crop.
The purple potato is particularly susceptible to this pest due to its thin skin and delicate flavor. While some chemical controls are available to farmers, these are often ineffective against the Colorado potato beetle.
– Early Blight
Early blight is a severe problem in potatoes and can cause extensive damage to the crop. The disease would result from a fungus called Alternaria solani, which infects the leaves and stems of the potato plant. Early blight can lead to defoliation and reduced yields, so it is essential to control the disease before it gets out of hand.
Several ways to control early blight include using fungicides, removing infected plant parts, and growing resistant varieties. Fungicides are the most common control method and can be applied before or after infection. If you use fungicides, be sure to follow the directions on the label carefully.
– Fusarium Wilt
Fusarium wilt results from a fungal disease that can affect potatoes. The condition is caused by the fungi Fusarium solani and Fusarium oxysporum, which live in the soil and attack the plant through the roots. The fungus then grows through the plant’s stem, causing it to wilt and eventually die.
Fusarium wilt can be a severe problem for farmers, as it can cause entire crops to fail. The best way to prevent the disease is to plant resistant varieties of potatoes and to rotate crops so that potatoes are not grown in the same spot more than once every three years.
As you can see, several potential problems can affect these potato plants. If you suspect your plant is suffering from any of these problems, it’s vital to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Now you know why you need this potato variety in your garden. Here’s a quick recap of the article:
- These spuds are easy to grow and have a nutty flavor; hence become ideal for the recipes you can make with a sweet potato.
- They require partial to full sunlight, moderate temperature, and a significant amount of water to provide desirable tubes.
- Harvest them in the fall after the plant has flowered and the potato skins have toughened up.
- These potatoes are susceptible to early blight, colorado potato beetles, aphids, and fusarium wilt.
Include these purple potatoes if you want to add a little majesty to your potato garden. These tubers are beautiful and versatile and worth adding to your gardening plans.
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