I kept several potatoes in a box dark cool cellar. Now, after 6 months, I am surprised to see that they grew a lot of sprouts, and among them, many "baby potatoes", with radius between 1 and 10 milimeters. The "mother potatoes" look and smell OK, but they feel softer than usual.

I wonder if there is anything here that can be cooked and eaten?

I have read that the sprouts themselves are poisonous, and the softer potatoes are also unsafe. But what about the baby potatoes - are they safe?

  • 3
    personally, I'd plant them.
    – Joe
    Apr 5, 2015 at 12:45
  • 2
    Definitely plant them, you'll have a half decent crop of new potatoes within a month.
    – Doug
    Apr 5, 2015 at 13:18
  • 1
    Plating is fine (I encourage gardens), but this last summer, I spent a day at my cousin's potato farm, and we ate some baby potatoes (all under 2 inches) from an injured plant. They were raw... and delicious! Mar 19, 2016 at 2:23

1 Answer 1


Planting will get you a better return. Cut the potatoes up into sections with a sprout each, let the cuts callus at 70 F/21C for a few days, and plant.

If you remove the sprouts and the potatoes are not green, or any green parts are removed, they should be safe, if not of particularly good quality.

Planting the sprouted ones and buying others to eat would be your best bet, better quality, and not too costly. Next year, put some apples in the root cellar with the potatoes to help prevent/reduce potato sprouting during storage.

In the well-managed root cellar we're supposed to somehow find time to to go through every couple of weeks to check for and remove the various sprouting or spoiling food before the process gets too far along. I can't say I have arrived there myself yet...but if you at least look for the sprouted ones when you are grabbing tubers to use, you can remove small sprouts from firmish potatoes and use them up, and be aware if the whole batch is sprouting away and needs to be used up soon, before it gets to this point.

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