Two years ago I planted 9 sweet potato plants in an 8×9 foot bed. Eight plants flourished and yielded 52 pounds of sweet potatoes. I commented that was 52 pounds more than I buy in a year. And now, two years later, I still have some of those sweet potatoes in storage. This year I want to grow only two sweet potato plants.
Just about all of my old sweet potatoes are sprouted. I selected four sweet potatoes that have healthy looking sprouts and I am going to try to root two good sweet potatoes plants from the sprouts and from two of the sweet potatoes. I am trying this both ways to see which way works best if they work at all. Both ways are described below.
The Two Ways
1. I broke the sprouts off two of the sweet potatoes, stripped the lower leaves, and placed them in a jar of water. Pictured on the right. –>
2. I cut two sweet potatoes in half and trimmed one side [to fit in container]. Then I placed each half in a tub of water. This method creates “sweet potato slips.” Pictured below.
I have only one white sweet potato and it is pictured next to a red one in the tubs. [See the image below.] I do hope this method is a success because I want to grow one white sweet potato and one red sweet potato.
I am placing these in the kitchen window for now. A book that I have says to keep the sweet potato [the one that is in water] warm – 75 to 90 degrees F. My kitchen is warm enough.
I’m in no hurry. Sweet potatoes cannot be planted until the soil is consistently warm — at least 70 degrees F [not the air, but the soil].
A side-note: Keep the sweet potato vines out of reach of your pets. Sweet potato vines might make them sick.
Another side-note: The two ways described above are not the only two ways to propagate sweet potato plants.
Update: The sweet potato plants that grew from the sweet potato (the sweet potato slips) were more vigorous than the cuttings. I planted the sweet potato slips in the garden.
To read my version of planting and harvesting sweet potatoes see the articles that are tagged: Sweet Potatoes.