Magic Molly Potato: What Does It Taste Like and How to Grow Them

When a friend first offered me some some Blue mollies – I replied “NO Thanks – I don’t get high” at which point he showed me some of the seed potatoes he had.

Funny looking taters they certainly were. I grew them that year and was disappointed with the yield but was impressed by the quality. I’ve been growing a small amount each season ever since.

They are a relatively large oval – almost fingerling shaped tubers. Magic Molly skin is dark purple and the flesh is a slightly lighter shade of deep purple.

Unlike many blue and purple potatoes, Magic Molly retains its trademark color when boiled, while others turn greenish.

What Do Purple Potatoes Taste Like?

They have a distinct earthy flavor, almost like smoked especially when roasted. I prefer to harvest some as baby potatoes and use them like fingerlings, leaving the bulk of the crop to reach full maturity.

Why Are Purple Potatoes Purple?

Magic Molly Potatoes have elevated levels of anthocyanins, which is what gives these potatoes their blue-purple color.

Top down view of a bowl of sliced purple magic molly potatoes.

Anthocyanins are flavonoids believed to be antihypertensive compounds that can alleviate high blood pressure. They are also useful in cancer prevention and are believed to help the body purge toxins.

How Did Magic Molly Potatoes Get Their Name?

They were bred in Alaska from a potato variety – red beauty. The breeder – William Campbell named the plant for his daughter Molly. The plant is somewhat susceptible to scab.

How to Grow Magic Molly Potatoes

Potatoes aren’t started by seed, they’re started from seed potatoes or “slips”. Slips are shoots that are grown from a mature tuber.

Seed potatoes from a catalog either online or in print are generally the best way to go, as supermarket potatoes are treated with a chemical growth inhibitor to prevent sprouting.

Harvested purple magic molly potatoes in a small wooden crate.

The soil should be evenly moist, but not wet or soggy. If the soil is waterlogged when you dig, your seed potatoes will probably rot before they grow.

Potatoes are a hardy crop and can tolerate climatic aberrations, light frost, etc.., but you should provide some frost protection for the young plants. A temporary ground cover (ventilated), or mulch.

Magic Molly Potato Companion Plants

Potatoes do well in the proximity of:

  • Beans
  • Cucumber
  • Corn
  • Kohlrabi
  • Parsnip
  • Pumpkin
  • Rutabaga
  • Squash family
  • Sunflower
  • Turnip
  • Fennel

Horseradish, planted at the edges of the potato patch will provide protection against some insect scourges, as will Marigolds.

See: Compatible Plants