Sweet Potato Seeds - not slips - SEEDS !!

dancinglemons(7B VA)July 30, 2009

Hello all,

My sweet potato plants are growing like gang busters this year. I started them from slips - not seeds. I have them in huge rope handle tubs from the HomeDepot. 3 plants per tub. Today I noticed one tub is in bloom. Beautiful purple flowers.

The information I was able to find on the internet tells me the flowers will have seeds.

Does anyone here know if sweet potato seeds are sterile -or- has anyone here grown out seeds from sweet potatoes? How do I save the seeds to do an experimental planting in 2010?

Any and all information is welcome.



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mine bloomed this yr too. Surprised me at first, because I never thought about blooms, i bought them for foilage. They are very pretty flowers. I would love to find out the answer to this one as well.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 7:43AM
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Hi DL,
.You might get seed from them. Failure to get seed would be more due to no pollination than to chances the cultivar is sterile. Oh, and to designate that you have actual seeds of sweet potato or regular potatoes and not tubers, the term is "True Seed."
Your babies from the seed will notlook the same as the parents. From what I know sweet potatoes have complex lineage and the new plant will probably vary greatly. It is sort of like Daylily seedlings, some may look close to the parents and some will be very different. If you have the room, it would be neat to grow them and see what you get.
Now as far as starting the true seed, I can not find info. I'm assuming since they are related to Morning Glories that culture would be the same.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 8:37AM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Thanks remy!! I learn something new everytime I come to GardenWeb and now know about 'True Seed'.

I will research Morning Glory seed saving and follow suit. I grow in containers so one container of 'true seed' sweet potatoes will be very interesting! BTW my neighbor has rampant Morning Glory vines - perhaps I will have a MG Sweet Potato tuber!!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 1:21AM
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You won't have a MG sweet potato cross. They are closely related, but not close enough to cross. Morning Glories are Ipomoea purpurea(regular) or Ipomoea nil(Japanese). (There's a few others too, but that's for another discussion.) Sweet potatoes are Ipomoea batatas.
Normally when the second name, species name, is different, the plants won't cross. There's a few exceptions, but that is the general rule. Sometimes some plants can be made to cross in laboratory conditions, and sometimes plants can cross naturally like certain purple coneflowers. Those really to me should be sub species and not have their own name species. (Again that's for another dicussion, lol.)
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is they have a lot of the same DNA, but not enough to be compatible to have babies.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 8:21AM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Thanks again remy. I found a link to harvest true seed from sweet potato. It might be more info that most want but I am posting it under a new title.


Here is a link that might be useful: Harvest 'true seed' sweet potato

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 6:51PM
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I'm glad to read you found more info. I did a quick read through, and it does seem they have those same hard seeds like Morning Glories. This is good since you will definitely know if you have viable seed to plant.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 8:32PM
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