Sweet potato vines - Knowledgebase Question

Thornwood, Ne
Question by bennie35gray
March 23, 2010
I love the look of the sweet potato (or is it potato) vines as part of a container garden but they are too expensive to purchase for a lot of containers. Is there some way I can make this grow on my own?

Answer from NGA
March 23, 2010


Sweet potato vines are not grown from seed but rather from cuttings or rooting up sections the tuber. So in order for you to have your own - buy the varieties you like right now. Grow them on this summer and plan on overwintering them.

Here's the deal on propagation. You'll have some success with taking tip cuttings, dipping them in rooting hormone and potting them up. You might also try taking an 8-12 inch long section of a side-shoot (a growing vine off the main stem) and rooting this up in a glass of water. You'll have variable success with this, but I think it's worth a try. Or, you can try taking slips from the tuber. Try laying the sweet potato tuber on its side in a seedling tray and place the try on a seed warming mat (temperatures between 75-80F) and cover the tuber with 2 inches of moist sand. The sweet potato will sprout and you remove each of these slips with a bit of a twisting motion to pull it away from the main root. Pot each slip up as you remove it from the mother plant and keep it very warm until new leaves and shoots develop. Leave the mother plant in place to continue producing baby shoots.

I have also seen home gardeners stick toothpicks into the tuber and suspend it in a glass of water (bottom in the water, top out) and the eyes will sprout new vines.

Why not try all the methods and see which works best for you?

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