Ask a Question forum: Are These Potatoes Starting to have Problems?

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(Zone 8b)
Apr 29, 2017 12:44 PM CST
Hello, this is my first time messaging here, so please bear with me as I get my sea legs.

I am an apartment dweller in Austin, Texas and I am currently growing potatoes in bags on my balcony.
Just over 60 days ago, I planted two varieties, Purple Viking and Rio Grande Russet. Both have been growing vigorously since, much to the envy and wonder of my neighbors.

Seeing as this is my first time growing potatoes, I not sure about some of the plant idiosyncrasies that I'm noticing, so I thought it'd be best to consult with the experts!

The Rio Grandes have had flowers blooming for about 2 weeks and everything seems to be going according to plan, however the Purple Vikings, which had been going along with extreme intensity seem to be noticeably less enthusiastic lately with a few worrisome artifacts appearing. There are three things in particular:

1. The lower leaves seem to be getting somewhat wilted. They're not totally floppy or curled up, just...sleepy. I'm not sure if this is expected behavior as these plants move into their endgame, if it is over- or under-watering , or if it's something more nefarious altogether. Here is a photo of what they look like under there. Is this normal at 60 days or should I being doing something differently?
Thumb of 2017-04-29/grailseeker/b18013

2. Similarly, but more drastically, there is one particular plant, out of about 10 or 12 total, that is very wilted and yellowed. Some parts of the plant, including its main stem, seem fine, but parts of it are pretty much done for. Is this cause for concern (i.e., do I need to pull that plant out to save the others), or has it just been damaged in some fashion? Here's a photo of the plant in question:
Thumb of 2017-04-29/grailseeker/48a80c

3. Lastly, the issue that kinda concerns me the most is that some of the stems, again in the Purple Vikings, are sort of discolored. You might even say they are somewhat purple. Not all of the stems are like this, just a few of them. Apart from the color, these stems are thick, strong, and tall. Is this a symptom of a known problem? Though it is a little difficult to see the issue, here is a photo of the discolored stems. Note the areas where the stem branches off; what I call its knuckles, where you can see the color-shift.
Thumb of 2017-04-29/grailseeker/190a82

Thanks a million! I appreciate your time and expertise!

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Apr 29, 2017 7:18 PM CST
Welcome to NGA, @grailseeker .

Your plants look quite healthy to me... I think they are probably just showing some effects from what I imagine are pretty warm temperatures in your area, and possibly a little overcrowding in the containers.

@Yardenman grows potatoes in containers -- perhaps he can offer some advice! Smiling
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