The Q&A Archives: Starting Sweet Potato Vines

Question: Please tell me how to start sweet potato vines. Do I need to root the sweet potato in a glass of water?

Answer: You can root the potato in water to produce shoots, called "slips". You can also plant the potato to produce the slips.

To produce slips, sweet potato roots should be laid on their sides in a soil that is sandy or that contains lots of compost. Cover the sweet potato roots with 2 inches of moist sand. When the shoots are 10-12" long, remove them with a twisting tug. Additional transplants (slips) will form from the bedded sweet potatoes if left in place.

Plant the slips with the basal end about 4" deep in moist soil. Keep the soil moist and the slips will root and start to grow sweet potato plants.

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