Growing sweet potato vines

marykayeee(Z5PA)April 15, 2012

Sweet potato vines are so expensive. I had this bright idea to just buy slips from a sweet potato farmer and grow them as ornamentals. The grower recommended the variety Vardamon, but the leaves are not very big. Has anyone else tried this with any success? What variety did you use?

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Here's another idea, if you have the time...I just put a sweet potato in water yesterday to grow my own vines. I found an old sweet potato hiding in a corner; it had begun sprouting a small white "sprig" with purple edges. Seemed wasteful to kill it so I did a little research online about how to root the sweet potato and followed instructions that were repeated in several places.

I now have a sweet potato upright (naturally pointed end in water, blunt cut end on top) supported by three toothpicks pushed in midway around the tuber, suspended in water in a repurposed plastic bottle with the top cut off. The toothpicks keep the sweet potato from resting on the bottom of the former bottle and I cut three little slits to stabilize the toothpicks so the tuber is now resting comfortably in its new home.

Cost almost nothing and I should have roots first in a few weeks, then vines shortly thereafter by changing/filling the water periodically, according to my online resources. Bonus: seems I can keep the sweet potato in water to continue growing more vines after I cut the ones I want to plant.

If you prefer video, lots of YouTube videos came up in my Google search. Also found a video on how to plant the vines after clipping them from the sweet potato.

Just offering up another option. Happy planting!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:43AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I agree. The sweet potatoes I grew last year were from store-bought potatoes from the grocery store and made beautiful vines with very dark leaves and purple flowers in the morning. I don't know which kind they were, but when frost killed the vines, we dug up a bucket of really delicious potatoes, win-win.

I had done this in the garden, where they could grow up the stalks of the huge sunflowers, but it would have made a lovely trailing pot or been beautiful on a fence or trellis (but probably harder to dig up the potatoes, if one wanted to do so.)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 4:24PM
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