Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

A Gardening Miracle Explained: When Potatoes Produce Tomatoes

You’ll see this in newspapers or on television every 4 or 5 years (the time, I suppose, that the media forget they were taken in 4 or 5 years previously).

Potato fruits (Solanum tuberosum).

Garden Miracle?

Someone calls them to announce that a miracle occurred in their garden, that their potato plants are producing green cherry tomatoes! And the medias rush over, capture images as proof and announce, very seriously, that Mr. and Mrs. John Doe have developed a potato that produces tomatoes. It doesn’t take long for more experienced gardeners to set them straight: the next day they publish a retraction, because the potato plants were not producing tomatoes, of course, but simply typical potato fruits.

The sudden appearance of fruits in their potato plants can easily catch less experienced gardeners unawares, since in most climates, potato plants only produce fruit occasionally, every few years or so, when growing conditions are just right. And since tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) and potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are close relatives, it is not surprising that their fruits are similar. But woe to he who decides to eat the green “tomatoes” produced by potato plants, because they are highly poisonous!

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

1 comment on “A Gardening Miracle Explained: When Potatoes Produce Tomatoes

  1. Pingback: My Potato Plants Aren’t Blooming! – Laidback Gardener

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