Grow sweet potatoes from cuttings

You probably remember how easy it was to grow sweet potatoes from cuttings, (slips), when you were in elementary school. It was fun and you got results fast.Children love watching them grow.

Since finding myself gardening in a warm climate, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with growing sweet potatoes again.

Grow Sweet Potatoes from Cuttings

Think you can’t grow them in the North?

Thanks to new shorter-season varieties such as ‘Georgia Jet’, you can grow them to maturity in 90-100 days. In her book, The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, Niki Jabbour assures us that it’s possible to grow them in cold climates. She gardens in Nova Scotia, zone 5b. She grows them in a raised bed that warms up quickly in the sun. If you want to extend the season, you can plant them under hoop houses which you can remove after a couple of weeks or when the weather is consistently warm and there is no more danger of frost. (If you want to learn more of Niki’s gardening wisdom, you can find her on her blog, the Year Round Veggie Gardener)

If you want to grow them for the greens, like they do in Asia, you can feed them with a high nitrogen fertilizer. But hold back on the nitrogen if you really want to eat the tubers.

How to grow sweet potatoes from cuttings

You can grow sweet potatoes from cuttings very easily by following this method that I describe.

The first thing I did was cut the base of my sweet potato. Well, no, the first thing I did was purchase a sweet potato at the market.

 

Secondly, I put toothpicks around the side of the sweet potato about halfway up and then I rested it in a jar of water, filled up to the top, cut end down.

Grow Sweet Potatoes from Cuttings

I misted my sweet potato daily.

And waited…

And then, one day before too long, green shoots started to come out of the potato. I got two crops of slips from this one sweet potato. It’s so easy to grow sweet potatoes from cuttings using this method. Technically, they’re not really cuttings, rather, they are slips.

Grow Sweet Potatoes from Cuttings

 

The next step is to cut those slips off and root them in water. Let them form lots of roots, then pot them up. Allow them to grow in a protected environment for awhile before setting out in the garden.

Did I mention how easy it is to propagate sweet potatoes???!!

Sweet potatoes are a great lover of sun, heat and humidity. I mean, they LOVE it! I have one plant that has gone wild this summer. It is straying across the top of another container nearby and putting down roots!

Growing sweet potatoes in containers

I grow my sweet potatoes in containers on my rooftop. They get about 4-6 hours of sunlight a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. I use organic and inorganic fertilizers to help them along.

Grow Sweet Potatoes from Cuttings

Pests

I’m pleased to say that I haven’t had any trouble with my sweet potato plant this year. Yes, I only have one. I got so discouraged from growing them the first year, that I scaled way back on my production. Ha!

Trouble…? What trouble?

Birds. Or maybe rats. I didn’t catch the culprit in action, so I don’t know for sure. Both were a problem that first year. Whatever it was would uproot the young plants, that had newly been planted, and took them away for their lunch. At least they ate them. The baby avocados weren’t so fortunate. They weren’t eaten.

So, the solution was to put some clear plastic containers with holes in them over the top of my plants to protect them, especially at night, which was when most of the damage was taking place. I anchored them with small bamboo, (chopsticks would also work).

The harvest

Grow Sweet Potatoes from Cuttings

It’s so easy to grow sweet potatoes from cuttings. Have you ever tried? ┬áLeave a comment below!

Happy Gardening!

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