Sweet potato vine

ellenp(z5 OH)October 6, 2003

Can anyone tell me the best way to keep ornamental sweet potato vine tubers over the winter?

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I've tried unsuccessfully to store just the tubers for replanting. The only way that I have found is to keep the vine alive throughout the winter. In the spring, cut it back and reacclimate it to outdoor conditions Good Luck


    Bookmark   October 7, 2003 at 11:38AM
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They do grow easily from cuttings. I don't bother, since a couple of small plants can be found so cheaply in spring at discount outlets, and rapidly spread to cover as much space as you want.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2003 at 8:11AM
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I saw on Martha Stewart show today...place 2" dry peat in shoe box, place tubers in box and then cover to top w/peat.
Then they lightly misted the top...said mist once a month and store in cool dry place.....hey Martha knows everything ! (except SEC laws, that is) LOL

    Bookmark   November 14, 2003 at 12:31AM
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ellenp(z5 OH)

Thanks, I'll try it. Hey if it's good enough for Martha.....


    Bookmark   November 17, 2003 at 8:28AM
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henryr10(z6 OH)

I usually start cuttings late in the Fall, they root in water in a week or so, and raise them as houseplants.
We also store them as we do Dahlias and EE's.
Remember the 'Margarite' tubers are dark purple and the
'Blackie's' are pale yellow.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2003 at 7:06AM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

I'm going to try that next year, both the tuber storage and cuttings, just for fun and to be cheap! Thanks for the thread.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2003 at 2:47PM
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Geoffrey_1(z5 OH)

To store most sweet potatoes properly, you should cure them first. This means two to three days in dry sunlight. This stimulates the tubers to begin a shutdown process that reduces susceptability to rots and complete dry out. If you can't do it outside, then try similar conditions indoors - under a flourescent light, if you can.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2003 at 5:23PM
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Would someone tell me step by step how to grow a sweet potato vine? I tryed putting a half of potato in water but nothing sprouted.It just rotted. Do you just grow them in the fall? They should grow in doors with enough light, shouldn't they ? I want to grow them indoors for my cats . They are suposed to like to eat them.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2004 at 10:10PM
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I went to a plant sale at an upscale nursery a month ago and bought four sweet potato vines, two Blackie and two Marguerite (chartreuse) for $1 each. This is quite a saving over the late spring price. They were small plants so I put them all together in a big pot and kept them outdoors for the last month. Recently the temps have been dropping down to the low forties at night and they were looking sad, so I brought them indoors this morning and put them under a grow light. They perked up within a few hours! Now I'm wondering if I can keep them in bounds for the next six months, because I have an idea they will grow like crazy at house temperatures.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 12:10AM
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ellenp(z5 OH)

Here's what I'm trying. I have about 2 dz cuttings of 3 different varieties in water. Some are ready to pot as they have roots like crazy. They fill the jar in about 2 weeks. I will keep some in my kitchen and the others I will put under lights in my basement and just keep pinching them back and rooting more (I'm thinking about a plant sale in the spring). If nothing else I can keep a continuous supply of cuttings going over the winter even if these bite the dust. I paid $2.50 per plant for these in the spring. Why???? They are just too easy to root.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 8:00PM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

Ellen, I'm with you. It's fun and satisfying to try something new. Even though I could easily replace them in the spring, I have also rooted cuttings and have them in indoor containers in a low light situation.

We'll see what happens.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2004 at 3:03PM
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mopage7(z6 ID)

Surprising Sweet Potato
Much like an avocado pit, a sweet potato tuber will root when suspended in water using toothpicks. Stick toothpicks around the center of a sweet potato. Place the sweet potato in a glass of water (preferably clear so your children can see the root development) so half of the sweet potato is submerged in water. Place the sweet potato and glass in a sunny location. Roots will begin to develop from the base of the sweet potato. When stems sprout from the top of the potato, the plant can be given a home in a pot with a good potting soil. Sweet potato vines are an attractive ornamental plant. In addition, if the pot is large enough, the plant will eventually develop tubers on its root systemÂmaking it a perfect tool for teaching how plants grow and multiply.
I have grown many of these with my children. They are beautiful and grow very fast! Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2005 at 3:05PM
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storygardener(5/6 central oh)

Yes, cuttings are the way to go! A friend just sent me a dozen cuttings she's been rooting over the winter and I will be potting them up soon.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 7:10AM
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I store mine every year, like Martha...and they do just fine. Sometimes I am lazy and just bring the pot in, shove it in the basement and don't do anything until about a month before I am going to put it back out...then I start watering...

    Bookmark   March 9, 2005 at 10:10AM
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I my rootings grew for awhile and now they are beginning to shrivel and die out. what can be done to ensure that they will grow over the winter indoors. they same thing happen to the bicopa or bicopia vine--grew for awhile and now is turning brown and drying out

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 12:30PM
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many, many years ago I grew vines in water but I want to do it again to show my grandchildren. We tried an avocado and it did nothing. So now I am trying a sweet potato. I decided to look it up on here and my question is...which end goes in the water?? Someone said the small end. Both ends of my sweet potatoes are small. So does it make a difference which end? I can not see a difference when I look at them.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 11:18AM
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taffyj(8b LA)

I bought a sweet potato at the grocery store last fall. A regular, big one like you bake in the oven. It has sat on a shelf all fall, winter, and spring. It is now June, and there is a trailing vine crawling all over the place from it. It actually startled me, poking out from among a stack of mail. I did absolutely nothing other than forget to bake the potato. No water, no toothpicks. It just sat on a shelf in my kitchen amongst the junk mail for 9 months. How easy is that?!? Now, I have to decide to put it in the oven or the garden. I may put the vine in the garden, and the potato in the oven!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 3:39AM
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