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Sweet potato vines- vertically upwards?

Posted by slashy Australia (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 10, 07 at 10:40

I've been looking & looking but am unable to find any answer as to whether with correct training/trellising I could get a sweet potato vine to grow upwards. I have a big, reasonably sunny brick wall in the back of my property that already has a trellis sort of arrangement from a previous tenant, and it seems like as good a spot as any to try to grow some sweet potatos. For the vines and flowers, even if growing them in a container results in a lack of actual tubers (anyone have any experience with this?).

If it's impossible or unfeasible to train them upwards, I'll put them on a pedestal in my front yard and let them cascade (hopefully choking out some weeds as they go). But the backyard is much more in need of fast greenery than the front.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sweet potato vines- vertically upwards?

I have two sweet potatoes climbing up my trellis right now. I had to lean them onto it to get them started but now they are automatically climbing.

RE: Sweet potato vines- vertically upwards?

I don't know why you couldn't train them to climb. When I was a kid, my mom would put a sweet potato in water in a bean pot and set it on top of the refrigerator. The vine would trail down the sides and she liked it. She wasn't trying to grow more sweet potatoes, she just wanted the vine for decoration. Eventually the potato would rot away and the water, even though changed often, would get so stinky she would throw the whole thing away and start over. (It never occurred to her how wasteful that was, and she was a penny-pincher.) It seems to me that anything that will trail down will trail up.

If you're wanting to harvest sweet potatoes, though, I would recommend that you plant them in the ground or in a big enough pot to accommodate several big, fat potatoes. Otherwise your vine may die back when the potatoes get too big to be comfortable in the pot. --Ilene

RE: Sweet potato vines- vertically upwards?

I have some nylon netting I put up for the pole beans, but there are only a few of those. Can I tie up some of the sweet potato vines on the netting to help get them out of the way?

RE: Sweet potato vines- vertically upwards?

Yes, you can use the nylon trellis to train your sweet potato vines. They will have to be fed in and out of the openings in the trellis because they have no tendrils to help them attach to the trellis. I am doing this now and the vines are going crazy. I have to tuck the vines into the trellis every couple of days to keep them from falling over.

RE: Sweet potato vines- vertically upwards?

This plant's natural mission is to creep along the ground, constantly taking root, to make more potatoes. But if you guide it up, it will happily oblige. A very versatile plant for decoration. This planting is only about 2 months old, from cuttings.

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