Propagation forum: When to separate sweet potato slips

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JoannaHoyt
May 25, 2017 12:38 PM CST
I'm trying to start sweet potato slips for the first time--hoping to grow some roots for me to eat and lots of vine for my rabbits to eat (I'm in zone 5, upstate NY).

I have one sweet potato half in water and another in soil which have sprouted. The water-sprouted potato has had sprouts for 3 weeks or so; they leaves are a nice lush green but they're very slow growing--the longest sprout is about 4 in.long with 5 leaves, most are shorter. (The air temp is around 60, which I know is cooler than optimal; started these in a warm place over the fridge but moved them for more light when the leaves came out.) White roots are growing, not out of the sprouts, but out of the lower end of the potato which is in the water. I've seen articles saying to twist shoots off at 5-6" long at which point some of them will have roots...I do see little raised nodes on the underside of some stems and I don't know if those would root if put in soil or water.

Should I wait and see if the sprouts grow longer? Should I plant the whole sprouted half in a chunk so as not to lose the roots? Twist the shoots off anyway and maybe plant the root half separately? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 25, 2017 3:54 PM CST
Welcome!
Hello. This is a good example of why it's important to know your location/climate zone/city/state/region/country in order to give good answers. Sounds like your slips are long enough to plant but don't know if your temps are consistently warm enough. Sweets need more than 90 days of frost-free growing days to harvest. Think about that when you are deciding when to plant them out.
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Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Jun 20, 2017 9:27 PM CST
Yes, those shoots will root if you twist them off.
As it is getting later in the season...it may be an idea to root them in soil after treating them with Rooting gel.
They do slowly in our cooler climates. They really need heat!

Don't worry about the roots on the original sweet potato.
Just use the slips that you break off.

I have three (not so great) slips on the go. Two are sending out vines.
I am thinking to place Hotcaps over them to increase the heat and hold it in over night.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 21, 2017 7:22 AM CST
Are you growing for ornamental purposes or for harvesting edible tubers? The feedback could be much more specific to your plant if you are able to add a pic.
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Sep 12, 2017 6:39 PM CST
Mine were an attempt to grow edible roots.
I have not dug them up yet.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
My dogs love me; some people don't.
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greene
Sep 13, 2017 9:22 AM CST
Seems that the OP has not returned to answer...
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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CarolineScott
Sep 27, 2017 8:08 AM CST
This is my pitiful harvest from one plant grown in a 20 inch container. I am keeping the vine as a winter houseplant.
These were Beauregard variety and I need to find a more short season variety.







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