My Potato Plant Failed to Thrive | Potato Plant Update | Potato Flies | Indoor Vegetable Garden | Queer Life | Clara & Cole

Potato Plant Update from bad to worse to… plant murder? Clara & Cole

White Bumpy Rash

At this point, I'm wondering if potato plants just look like this?

I expect the leaves to go soggy and green if I over water the plant, not develop a rash! However, I can only assume my constant attention [hydration] drowned the poor thing. 


The Flies Stage a Coup

Would you eat a potato from this plant? Should we?

The arrival of a colony of what I can only assume are fruit flies speeds my defeat. I kept air plants alive in a car for weeks across multiple states, how could this happen to my sturdy potato plant surrounded by the stability of our beach side abode? 

Perhaps my lack of distraction resulted in the suffocation of my plant. Frankly, nutrients could also play a part.

“The number of flies indicated that any vegetables hiding beneath the soil had already been visited by them.”

Either way, by yesterday afternoon, I felt compelled to end our mutual suffering and put this plant (and the rest of the apartment) out of our collective misery.

I neglected to prune, which only helps flies. I wish I could say I checked for potatoes, but let’s just say the number of flies indicated that any vegetables hiding beneath the soil had already been visited by them. 

I considered trying to regrow from stalk, or reusing the soil, but opted instead for evicting the fly colony, pot and all, into a sturdy trash bag for transport to compost. 

Should I try again? Would you have dug around for rogue potatoes?

Background Story

How did we get to plant murder?

In the first few weeks of it’s life, the potato plant grew exponentially. Right away, little bumps appeared on the stem and leaves, but I figured the leaves just had a natural texture different to what I expected. 

Clara and I left it to fend for itself for almost a week, which laid a foundation for a future fly colony. 

When we returned, all seemed well at first. Within the next week things rapidly declined. The random fly here and there, common with house plants, quickly turned into a small swarm hovering round the pot. 

“I took the hint and stopped watering. At this point though, it was too late.”

I knew the time had come when I no longer anticipated entering the office in the morning, for fear of flies. 

Cutting down my once healthy plant broke my heart a little bit. I wish I had been able to figure out how to help the thing. 

I hope by sharing my story, I can learn from others and use my failures to forewarn those dabbling in amateur suburban farming.



In regards to gardening: none. My parents grew tomatoes in pots on our patio sometimes when I was young.

So far my asparagus hasn’t died nor become infested, my second generation of air plants continue to chug along, and my spider plant flourishes in it’s new huge planter.

Thoughts on asparagus vs. asparagus fern? 

My father and I continue to heatedly debate the nuances.