Cream potatoes with pink eyes.
Eyes on potatoes are the growing points on potato tubers, each with a little stem bud (something that is not yet mature or at full development) blinking.
Potatoes, unlike other garden crops, are usually not grown from small seeds. Instead, they grow from small cubes of tubers cut into portions with at least two “eyes” known as seed potatoes. These eyes are what sprout and form new tubers underground for digging and eating. A potato eyes only form and sprout under favorable growing conditions and after breaking from a dormant state. Many times, stored potatoes break dormancy when they find their space favorable for sprouting, causing the potatoes in your cupboard to grow sprouting eyes.
Potatoes have a rest period, or dormancy, that must be broken before they can grow eyes and be planted in the garden. Potatoes go into a dormant state after harvest to protect the plants from unfavorable weather conditions. Tubers in a dormant state do not grow; even when placed in favorable growing conditions, potatoes will not sprout. Potatoes stored at cooler temperatures of about 40degrees Fahrenheit remain dormant, and this is why potatoes require storage in a cool, dry area of your home.
Chitting Potatoes (Encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout before planting).
To break dormancy after harvest, potatoes require an area with the right temperature. Storing potatoes in temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees F can help break their dormancy and is part of the chitting process. Chitting potatoes involves providing indirect light, warm temperatures and humidity to keep them from drying out. After chitting the potatoes, which generally requires a few weeks, the eyes sprout, making them ready for planting in the garden.
Potato tubers with sprouts.
Why potatoes do not sprout.
Store-bought potatoes are often treated with a chemical that prevents them from sprouting, so they do not make viable seed potatoes. Environmental conditions can also prevent or delay sprouting of potatoes. When planting seed potatoes, you must wait until the soil temperature warms to 45 degree F or higher. Seed potatoes placed in cold, wet soil will not grow and are likely to rot.
Courtesy of: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/potato-grow-eyes-67480.html