How To Grow An Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Vine

Sweet Potato Vine

Sweet Potato Vine

Sweet potatoes aren’t just good to eat they’re also good to make a beautiful vining house plant! The quick growing vines will have purplish green colored leaves that are very attractive. You can grow them any time of the year and it’s an excellent activity for children to try their hand at gardening.

There was a time when sweet potato plants could be found growing in many kitchen windows. They were a cheap, easy yet beautiful way to have indoor plants. Sweet potato plants are making a comeback and once again are showing up in homes everywhere.

When choosing a sweet potato, pick one that is nice and firm. You can use either the yellow or red variety and if at all possible choose one that already has buds or “eyes” to produce a faster plant to enjoy.

You can use a jar that has a wide mouth or any type of container that isn’t really large at the top. Insert toothpicks into the potato on all four sides at the center of the potato. The toothpicks are to support the potato on the jar or vase.

Sweet Potato Vine

Sweet Potato Vine

Fill a jar or vase with water and place the end of the potato that is more tapered into the water. Now all you have to do is set the potato where it will get lots of sun and wait for it to grow. Normally within just days you’ll begin to notice shoots starting to grow from the potato.

Within a week or so there should be roots growing down into the water and you should have more shoots growing up out of the potato. It’s a good idea to change the water about once per week, stale water might start attracting gnats or other insects.

You can actually just keep the vine growing in water, but if you want you can transplant it into soil after about three weeks. Just carefully remove the potato, remove the toothpicks and plant it in a pot that is large enough to completely bury the potato.

You’ll be really surprised at what a beautiful house plant a sweet potato can become. With it’s purple colored stems and leaves mixed with green it’s a really pretty vine.

Written by Connie Corder for HouseplantsForYou.com, Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved.

85 Comments

  1. Janet
    Feb 6, 2009

    Whenever I see one of these I always think of my grandmother. She had these sweet potato vines growing in her kitchen window and often had cuttings growing in jars of water.

    • Tracy
      Jan 23, 2012

      My grandmother always had sweet potato vines growing her her window in preparation for the next year’s garden planting. The soil found in northern Indiana was rich with nutrients and she always had a bumper crop of vegetables including award winning HUGE potatos. I currently have a sweet potato vine, grown from a selected potato with the characteristics that I am looking for, addorning the window in my home office. I am planning, in the same manner that my grandmother did, to set the vines in the garden when the time comes so that we can enjoy many meals in the fall and winter months that include organic sweet potatos. The joy of producing our own vegetables has been passed down for generations and it is a prudent way to reduce the grocery bill. We tend to grown organic – heirloom varities as their nutritional value tends to be 8-10 times the nutritional value of the hybridized selection that one finds in their local supermarket today! Food for thought…….

    • Kathy
      Jun 10, 2013

      Yes, my grandmother did too. My grandmothers sweet potatoe vine grew across her kitchen window and it was beautiful.

      • Devasmai
        Jan 31, 2014

        I hope there are still some of you who are talking about the magnificent sweet potato plant.

        I have some red plants in water that I grew from slips. I planted them in dirt (there are so many long roots). Well, the started smelling like rotten eggs (probably over watered) so I rescued a few plants and put them back in water. The roots are sooooo long and wirery. Can they be cut down? I’m really want to save the plan. Since reading here it appears I watered too much. I need a bit of advice. Thanks!

  2. nancy
    Feb 27, 2009

    can I just put the whole potato in a pot without starting it in water first?

    • admin
      Mar 10, 2009

      Hello Nancy, Yes you can do that but it may take it a little longer to root and you will need to make sure that the soil is kept moist enough.

    • Patsy
      Dec 19, 2013

      I did, and it worked!!! Never had done anything like it before. I think I will put some photos online so everyone can see what I did, and it was my first time, all trial and error.

  3. Melissa
    Apr 2, 2009

    I have tried this twice now, gave each potato over a month and neither one of the would do more than grow a tiny root, and that might have been my imagination. lol. Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong? I am usually pretty good with plants. :(

    • Anonymous
      Apr 29, 2012

      You need to buy a Organic sweet potato. I bought a organic one and a regular one, the regular one wouldn’t grow. The Organic one grew within a few days.

      • neurotic mom
        Aug 13, 2012

        I used a regular sweet potato and it seemed to take forever but now it is doing well. The first couple weeks all I had was one long root and then wham the thing seemed to go crazy overnight. I swear it grew 2″ in an afternoon! Don’t know if it just needed time or it was getting vibes I was ready to throw it out! :)

    • krystle schaffner
      Jun 19, 2013

      my husband started about five in jars with water and only two grew but they are doing great. Think it is hit or miss on whether they will grow so my advice is to start five and keep your fingers crossed. Change the water weekly.

  4. Lois
    Apr 3, 2009

    Melissa, Your potatoe most likely had been sprayed commercially to keep it from sprouting. I have had many vines, but I tried one potato that I bought at the market, and it never did anything. Also, the potato could be too old and dried out. Try again, but ask if the potato has been sprayed to prevent sprouting.

  5. Melissa
    Apr 3, 2009

    Thanks! I am so glad to know the reason. :) I will see if I can get a locally grown potato and try again.

  6. Leslie
    Apr 6, 2009

    My potato (bought at the supermarket) had plenty of sprouts growing on it and even miniature leaves growing on the sprouts. I put it a jar of water and it won’t grow roots. It has been about 3 weeks now. Perhaps it isn’t getting enough sun?

    • Patsy
      Dec 19, 2013

      Hello everyone, I have a surprise for you!!! Last summer was the first time I tried to grow sweet potato plants on my balcony. They were lush and beautiful when I purchased them from Walmart…..long story short, they did not grow they way some of my neighbors’ plants did.

      At the end of October I dug all but 3 up and tossed them. The three I saved had tubers and shoots. Never having done this, I decided to place one in a planter, covered all but the top of the slip (which I’d cut in half. The other two I cut off the tops and used toothpicks. A month later I thought it was time to toss them because nothing happened……..BUT to my surprise (about 4 weeks later) one day I looked and there were leaves EVERYWHERE from these slips (I have a photo if you want to see). Now……I grew them inside my bookshelf because I live in an apartment with no window sills so there was absolutely no light (no windows in my kitchen…..the only two windows in my apt. are the balcony doors and my bedroom). Now, this week I need to take the one that I place in the soil out of the shelf because it is touching the top. I pray I don’t lose it….oh, but the way not one of the leaves are green. Any advice? I wish I could just put them in glass vases and let them continue and live that way (the roots are so rich and beautiful). So, if anyone would like a photo of how they look today I’ll take one and any advice is welcome. Remember, these plants have have only been exposed to dull light. I’m unsure of the variety of this plant, but the leaves are in a pinkish state. I can use all the advise I can get, and I have dreams of seeing them in large glass vases growing happily for years and years. The one in the soil I know must stay in soil and that is the larger one.

      Any advice?

      Blessings!

      Patsy

  7. JACK PURKEY
    Apr 6, 2009

    Try setting it in a window and put a VERY weak fertilizer solution in the water. Don’t let the potato sit in the water more than one third of its length. Let chlorinated water sit out for a while before adding to potato. Chlorine will evaporate in a few hours. Be patient; you can make it work!

  8. Lynn
    Apr 13, 2009

    Im not sure witch part of the potato to put into the water do the eyes go in the water?

  9. Becky
    Apr 26, 2009

    Lynn, as mentioned here, put the tapered end in the water. It won’t matter if the eyes on the part that goes in the water go underwater- most sweet potatoes have eyes all over.

    I’ve got a potted sweet potato which I rooted in a jar of water, and have taken lots of cuttings which root very quickly in a jar of water. These plants are very hard to kill! Since I have MS, there are times that my plants are really neglected, but sweet potato plants are real fighters.

    Hope you have success, and get to enjoy a nice plant and the fun of rooting cuttings. Best of luck!

  10. Peeko
    May 29, 2009

    I’m trying this for the first time, but passing on the water part since you said they can go directly into soil. I bought a couple organic sweet potatoes and after only a couple weeks they started sprouting on their own, no water, soil or anything but a little light, heh. It’s been a week since I first noticed growth- the stems are already 3-5 inches tall, with small leaves all over.
    So I guess they want to be houseplants instead of dinner. Thanks for the tips!

  11. Renee
    Jul 20, 2009

    I did this once and had a beautiful plant. Every time after that I have had the potato sprout and then rot with a really bad smell. I want to try another, but I am apprehensive.

  12. Jinal
    Jul 24, 2009

    i planted my cut in half. The cut side in water and rest out out water. Would this work? I read it on another webpage, but I think i did it wrong.

    Please help.

  13. Misty
    Sep 29, 2009

    Jinal – I planted mine exactly how you did. I had 3 sweet potatoes, and I cut each one in half. I have three Tupperware jars filled with water and put two potatoes in each with the uncut end being the end that sticks out of the water. One set of the potatoes has been growing like crazy, stems, roots and leaves all in just a couple of weeks. I am getting ready to transfer them to soil. I haven’t had as much luck with the other two sets, two halves are growing a stem, but no roots yet. All of these are from the same batch of potatoes, and have been in the same spot, so maybe it just depends on each potato. Hopefully they will start flourishing more with time…

  14. Bo
    Oct 3, 2009

    I have a sweet potato growing in a jar of water. It has lush growth of vinesd and leaves and an abundance of roots. I want to plant it in soil, to place in a hanging basket.
    My one question is: YOU SAY TO PLANT IN SOIL, THE ENTIRE POTATOE MUST BE COVERED IN SOIL? So, am I supposed to bury ALL the vines and leaves beneath the soil?
    Also, is it necessary to wait until the vines are very long, or can I do this when the weather becomes hot?

    Please advise

    • jes parnell
      Dec 31, 2011

      how do you transplant the potato from growing in water to changing it to a pot plant

    • Jarrodsmom
      Oct 11, 2012

      Just the potato goes in soil. Not the leaves or vines.

  15. Bobbi
    Oct 18, 2009

    We live in Iowa, and have had some cooler night, frost & a little snow already which is unseasonable. I dug up my sweet potatoe vines and they are large potatoes, red variety. Can I plant these indoors and try to save for next year to transplant outodoors?

    • Benedetta
      Sep 12, 2012

      Bobbi,
      I know this was written three years ago but if you are still out there???
      Did you try to get them through the entire winter and plant them in the sping?
      Did you keep the vines attached to the root?
      Did you tear off the vine and let it sit in water?
      Did you tear them off and put them in pots?
      I have tired for five years now to get my sweet pototoes to sprout in the later winter months/or spring, but cannot get my sweet potatoes to sprout. But I notice that toward the end of summer in Sept. they sprout where I store them in the basement.
      I think they have been bred up to store very well — it is not that they are sprayed to stop them from sprouting.

  16. monita
    Nov 5, 2009

    i visited this website a few months ago and i planted some sweet potatoe vines i just love my front year thanks for the help

  17. Nik
    Nov 6, 2009

    Thank you for all of this useful info!

    My sweet potato vine’s leaves are not opening all of the way – could there be a household toxin that is damaging the plant? It looks healthy otherwise.

    Also, one of the vines is turing yellow and dying while the others coming from the same potato are thriving – is the plant just over-extended? They grow so fast.

    Interestingly, I have two sweet potatoes that are growing differently. One has sprouted roots from the bottom of the potato, and stems from the top. Very convenient, and looks lovely.
    The other, however, has sprouted roots and stems from EACH spud – I have had to trim some of them because it looked more like a ball of green leaves than a plant. The leaves are also jaggedly shaped, and more purple. Perhaps different species?

    Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Nik

  18. Holly
    Jan 2, 2010

    I just tried to plant my first Sweet Potato houseplant recently. I got the idea when I mentioned to my Mom that my sweet potato started sprouting in my pantry, so she told me to plant it as a houseplant. So I did. I couldn’t believe how FAST it grew – like inches per day, it seemed. It was a beautiful light green happy plant until about two weeks ago when I noticed -what looked like dirt – all over it. Upon closer inspection, I found the “dirt” to be little bugs – ALL over the plant. Within a week or so, the plant started to fade to yellow and dry up – even though I was watering it. What happened? I cut it way down to stems, watered it, and am keeping it in the window for now. I would like to save it. Any ideas, anyone?

  19. Karen
    Jan 5, 2010

    Holly, I’ve had that same issue with other plants. You might want to try a houseplant pesticide spray, if it’s safe to spray the leaves and soil without damaging the plant. I’ve had a lot of success with the brand Garden Safe: Houseplant & Garden Insect Killer on other kinds of houseplants. It gets rid of the bugs without killing the plants.

  20. Kasandra
    Jan 15, 2010

    I want to fill my garden with sweet potato vines, but I’ve never planted anything before. I plan to root them in the house now while it’s still pretty cold and then transfer them to the garden at some point. Can you give me an idea of when is too early to transfer them? is there a particular average temperature that is best? For example, should I wait until most days are in the 70-degrees-fahrenheit range before I plant?

    Also, will these grow well in my office with no real sunlight as long as I keep them watered?

    Thanks!

  21. ROXANE
    Mar 26, 2010

    I have a sweet potato that has grown shoots and leaves all over the one end just sitting in my kitchen basket, can I plant it directly in soil without starting roots?

  22. BETTY
    Apr 19, 2010

    Most of the sweet potatoes in the stores have been “kiln-dried”; I am not sure of the reason – maybe to keep them from rotting in storage, but that seems to hinder their ability to sprout new plants.

  23. CoCo
    Apr 23, 2010

    I have grown these most of my life and they’re really pretty houseplants. I’ve had better luck using sweet potatoes that have already sprouted eyes. You can put them in a dark closet and just watch for the eyes to sprout and then place them in water.

    You can cut them in half, but I rarely do. If the potato keep falling into the container you want to use you can stick toothpicks in them to support them on the top of the jar. Mine look great as long as they get a lot of sun, but as soon as they get too big and I have to move them away from the window they get real scrawny. The vines get long, but the leaves are really small.

  24. m1guet
    May 8, 2010

    Help !
    It’s my first time,
    …My slips were fine, I wanted to plant them out, but it is too cold, here in England, I have planted them in pots, but the leaves are turning brown on the edges…I am keeping them well watered, should I stop ? Do they like drying out a bit ?? Thank you very much…

    • mrs. w
      Jan 25, 2012

      Sweet potatoes like heat and don’t like to be over watered. In fact a little neglect and they will thrive more!

  25. Lea
    Jun 10, 2010

    I have one store bought sweet potato that I put in water months ago. It only sprouted one vine that is now about a 5 foot vine. About 2 months after that, I put an organic sweet potato in water. That one has several sprouts and pretty green and purple leaves on it. I think I will plant that one in a pot. Also, the store bought potato is rotting I think. They both took a long time to start sprouting…but once they started they really took off. Maybe it takes longer depending on the time of year??

  26. Kimberly
    Jun 11, 2010

    I tried my hand at growing a sweet potato vine and it has turned out really well. It is beautiful, but I would like it to be fuller. Can I cut back the long vines to make it more bushy? Also, if I can cut it back can I root the cuttings?

    • foxhead128
      Oct 12, 2012

      Yes, I think that’s possible. I’ve never tried this before, though, so I’m not sure.

  27. Nik
    Jun 11, 2010

    Hi-

    My sweet potatoe vine is nice but the leaves are regular green – not the pretty bright electric green I have seen on many other sweet potato plants (like the photo at the top of this page). Any idea why?

  28. Charlene
    Jul 6, 2010

    My sweet potatoe was on my counter in my kitchen for a couple of months and started to grow vines. I put it in a bowl with a little water. How do I plant it . Can I have it just as a house plant.

  29. Judy
    Jul 18, 2010

    Hi! I live in north Italy where my husband and I have an organic vegetable farm and Bed & Breakfast. We have tried growing organic sweet potatoes but, so far, without success. This year, I am growing them in jars with water. My hope is to keep them happy throughout the winter and then plant the ships outside in spring. The vines are getting quite long and sometimes the leaves become yellow. Here is my question: Should I cut the vines and keep them short and do you recommend planting the potato in soil if the “slips” will eventually be planted outside to grow sweet-potatoes? Thank you for any help you can give…Judy Rosso

    • Benedetta
      Sep 12, 2012

      Did you find out how to get them through the winter.

      I too cannot get slips from my plants untill they have set around a whole year. BUt that is great – that way I never have to can or freezee them, just store them for a whole year. But it is a problem about getting them to sprout in the spring for planting.

      Did you manage to get them throught the winter?

  30. Helen Walker
    Aug 28, 2010

    I have a potato plant i started outside ,it has flourished quite nicely , its a beautiful plant , but now that winter in near i would like to repot in my house to enjoy the beauty , I would like to know how I can do so and how well it will thrive in my home , what are the requirements to keep it healthy indoors and how long will it flourish inside. Thank you.

  31. Linda Heise
    Sep 22, 2010

    Hello,
    My question is, if you do grow sweet potatoes indoors as houseplants, in 110 days will there be lots of sweet potatoes to harvest.?

    My laundry room has a large window that gets full sun, so id actually like to grow the sweet potatoe in a garbage pail and sit it next to the window during the winter.

    Should i cut back the vines so the plant can put its energy into making sweet potatoes?
    I know this is silly, but i am trying to make use of this extrememly hot laundry room all year, and it would be nice to have sweet potatoes all year.

    Also, could i bring in my 2 garbage cans which are growing sweet potatoees into the laundry room to continue growing sweet potatoes. I saw a show on tv where they put a hole at the bottom of the garbage pail , and harvested potatoes as they needed them. Would that work for a sweet potatoe all year, if i bring them when frost comes? excuse my ramblings, thanks for any advice!…

  32. Linda Heise
    Sep 22, 2010

    I also wanted to ask, since the sweet potatoes dont grow on the vine, but grow in the ground, why would one let the vine spread? What is best for the plant , if you want to harvest potatoes? … thank you.

  33. Anonymous
    Oct 29, 2010

    Is fruit from a decorative sweet potato vine grown in a pot outdoors (light green leaves, white potato) edible?

  34. DEBBIE
    Nov 7, 2010

    I STARTED A SWEET POTATO VINE THIS SUMMER IT TOOK OFF. WE HAD A COLD SNAP LAST NIGHT SO I TOOK IT UP AND I HAVE THREE HUGE POTATOES CAN YOU EAT THOSE? IF NOT CAN YOU PUT THEM INSIDE FOR THE WINTER AND PLANT THEM IN THE SPRING? THANKS ANY INFORMATION WOULD HELP

  35. Chandra
    Nov 14, 2010

    Just cleaned out dead sweet potato vines from my garden bed. They left behind these huge red potatos. Does anyone know if they are edible?

  36. Ann Camm
    Dec 13, 2010

    Wow, I am delighted to have found this site! I have no many questions about plants I want to try to grow indooors. I saw a beautiful purple vained light gray leaved plant at a nursery. I bought several but no one know what they were. Much later, I found out that they were sweet potatoes, and now I want to raise them myself indoors. I am wonderring, do I need to use a clear jar? I have been trying to grow things (annuals mostly) from our ourdoors summer garden. I had a coleus that was doing quite well in a jar. I transferred it to a pretty pitcher, and it slowly died. I am thinking that taking it out of the clear container was the problem. I am growing impatients, portulaca, and verbena in clear containers. So far so good; all are blooming. I want to try again (it has been years since my last failed try) an avacado pit. I am ready to look for my sweet potato. Do I need to grow it in a clear container? Thanks!!

  37. Jana Garrett
    Jan 31, 2011

    I am so glad for this site,because I am trying to eat healty and I read that eating sweet potatoes are healthy so Im tryng to grow sweet potatoues in the house because where I live at their or no garden out side.

  38. PlantLady
    May 8, 2011

    Kimberly, I have heard of people rooting cuttings from sweet potato vines in water and starting new plants. But, I’ve never done it before.

    Nik, different varieties of sweet potatoes will have different colored leaves. I’m not real sure which variety has the brighter green leaves though.

    Helen, until last summer, I’d always grown these vines indoors. I myself have never potted them in soil, I’ve always kept them in water. But, you can plant them in soil. If I had one that I wanted to plant in soil, I would just plant the bottom part in the soil. They do need lots of sun to really thrive indoors, so be sure to keep it near a window.

  39. sylvia
    May 11, 2011

    I have grown sweet potatoes from a good eyed potato! Always left them in water… Tried to put them in dirt, and they died!

  40. linda young
    May 16, 2011

    i love to grow vines, inside and out, and i onlt plant perenials….if you can help , what is the easyiest and most hardy vine to plant,? inside and out..i live in california where it does get pretty hot in the summer…any help you can give will be greatly appreciated..thank you so much….linda lou

  41. Mrs.Slone
    May 30, 2011

    @ sylvia make you a hot bed it has a green house affect plant them how you would normally then put water to them and then place a nice like white plastic over it they will grow like gold for ya then

    @ linda young there is a vine that I use to grow all the time it is some type of ivy vine very pretty I can not remember the name for the life of me but they grow great inside. I know here at my Wal-mart you can buy them not very high in cost either they are real slick and have white running through them. Hope you can find that they grow very beautifully and you can train them easy as well

  42. PlantLady
    Jun 15, 2011

    For some reason I have never had any luck growing sweet potato vines in dirt. After a while the potato just shrivels up and no vines appear. I have grown them in water for over 25 years. I know some people that have just stuck the sweet potato in a jar of water and had great results. But, I have better results if I let the potato sit in a dark closet until the eyes are at least an inch long before placing them in water.

    Linda, the Heartleaf Philodendron and Golden Pothos are both great vines that are easy to grow. And, both are usually very easy to find at WalMart.

  43. sandra parker
    Jun 16, 2011

    My sweet potato’s roots are growing down and up. The ones near the surface of the
    water are out of the water about 1/2 inch. What should I do about the exposed roots?
    Thanks The leaves are fine.

  44. PlantLady
    Jun 16, 2011

    Sandra I’m not really sure I’ve never had that problem, mine have always stayed in the water. I do know that you can break or cut some of the roots off and the plant will still be fine. I have accidentally broke roots off of mine before and it didn’t seem to bother the plant at all.

    I may have just got lucky though and can’t definitely say it’s ok to remove roots. But, I’d honestly think that as long as there is a good root system in the water, the plant would be fine if you removed the roots that are out of the water. If the roots are soft you could try gently lifting the potato and pushing the roots under the water beneath the potato.

  45. tc
    Jun 17, 2011

    how do you know when it is time to dig up the sweet potatoes. Or how do you know if the sweet potato is finish growing

    • Benedetta
      Sep 12, 2012

      Know your frost dates.
      I know that where I live that is the second week of October. Sometimes it comes a lot later – but I don’t like to wait too long and then feel pressure to get them all dug up before the frost.
      So I start digging the last of Sept.
      You leave them as long as you can afford to.

  46. justin
    Jun 20, 2011

    i didnt do any of this i cut up a potato and put it in the ground it works better than this also tc wait about 2 months then check to see if they r growing anything then wait another month and check them about every to weeks or so

  47. PlantLady
    Jun 21, 2011

    tc and justin…………..These instructions are not for growing actual sweet potatoes. They are for growing a vine that can be kept outside or as a houseplant from a sweet potato. They’re not as common now, but years ago almost everyone had a mother or grandmother that had a sweet potato in a jar of water sitting in a kitchen window. They make a beautiful vine and they are pretty much free!

  48. Lori Johnson
    Jul 6, 2011

    Once you start a sweet potato vine do you have to plant it in soil or can it continue to grow in water?? If so, which way do you recommend would be the best. I am a “newbie” at trying to grow my own plants, vegtables, flowers etc…. Any info would be helpful. My mother was the best at growing anything… she had the greenest thumb of anyone that I knew, but, she is now in a nursing home and has dementia. So, she cannot really give me any advice.Thank you for any info that you may be able to provide.

  49. Lori Johnson
    Jul 6, 2011

    Once you start a sweet potato vine do you have to plant it in soil or can it continue to grow in water?? If so, which way do you recommend would be the best. I am a “newbie” at trying to grow my own plants, vegtables, flowers etc…. Any info would be helpful. My mother was the best at growing anything… she had the greenest thumb of anyone that I knew, but, she is now in a nursing home and has dementia. So, she cannot really give me any advice.Thank you for any info that you may be able to provide. Oh, another thing, I remember when she started a sweet potato vine she kept her’s on top of the hot water tank… would that still be a good idea??

  50. Diana
    Dec 13, 2011

    I have been growing a sweet potato vine since before Thanksgiving – no sprouts, only roots – is this normal? Or should I try to start a new one because this one is starting to rotten.

  51. renee gwinn
    Feb 10, 2012

    I only have a couple of roots and no shoots on my yam. I have been trying to grow it for at least 2 weeks now. should I start over?

  52. renee gwinn
    Feb 10, 2012

    I have been trying to grow a yam for a least 2 weeks now and only have a few roots and no shoots. Should I start over? And where is the best store in San Diego to buy a yam with eyes? Or do they have to have eyes?

  53. Marlynn
    Mar 7, 2012

    My mother always use to have sweet potato plants sitting on shelves on either side of our dining room window. She never put them in soil…they always stayed in water and were beautiful. It’s nice to hear that people are bringing them back. When they got too long she would wind them around, like a wreath, and they always looks full and lush.

  54. Becca
    May 4, 2012

    Help! I followed this article a few months ago and now have a beautiful sweet potato plant/vine growing in my window. In fact it is flourishing so much everyday and has gotten so tall that both main stems with all the plants and stems out of them, are falling over. What should I do? Right now I have them propped up against the window but I have a feeling if it gets any taller it’s going to break right off. :( Would putting it in a pot and soil help? Right now I just have it in a container with water and toothpicks. Thank you so much!! =)

  55. MrsERK
    Jun 12, 2012

    Each sprout can be planted separately and grow delicious sweet potatoes. There are many web sites with info on how to plant them; here’s one: http://suite101.com/article/growing-sweet-potatoes-a35292

  56. Laura Reesor
    Jul 9, 2012
  57. Cheryl
    Aug 27, 2012

    I forgot that I had a sweet potato in the cupboard. I know you arent supposed to put them in the refrigerator. It had some growth on it so I decided to cut it in half and put it in water. OMG, 2 days and it had these purple green leaves and there are roots in the water already. Im so glad as I have tried this before and it hasnt worked. Maybe because the potato was old and hard. Its going to look great when it gets more leaves.

  58. Gail
    Aug 29, 2012

    I am most interested in the vine only .. it’s colorful and mixed with other houseplants is very pleasing. I recently purchased a hanging basket that had the vine growing with other plants .. I rooted the vine in water very successfully and am wondering, if planted outside in soil, will an actual potato grow or will it just flourish as foliage?

    • Benedetta
      Sep 12, 2012

      It depends on the variety.
      It may be bred up to be pretty foliage and not much in production of sweet potatoes. It sounds like from were you got it – it is probably a variety that is mostly bred for its foliage.

      It is August – and unless you are in Florida – it is too late.
      I plant my sweet potatoes as soon as the soil warms up and I don’t dig them up untill the end of Sept. It takes a while for the vines to form sweet potatoes.

  59. Nancy Haley
    Sep 5, 2012

    I bought several regular sweet potatoes at a supermarket. I obviously had more than we were going to eat so I gave one to my 4 yr old grandson. I gave him a square straight sided glass canister a little shorter than the potato and had him put it in pointed end down and fill it with water. We sat it near a west window (it was April in Wyoming). It had tons of roots within a week and sprouts with leaves in a couple of weeks. We put it and the other 3 we started outside in June inthe jars and they have long beautiful vies. We will be bringing them in soon for the winter. It is a great quick project for children and they see progress really fast.

    • Benedetta
      Sep 13, 2012

      I have sweet potatoes that have just now sprouted. I put them in an old terrariums. – no soil just water.
      Can I keep them in just water all through the winter? That would be nice!
      If not then what about soil if not water – can I keep them all through the winter and plant then out in garden come spring?

  60. Frank Muto
    Sep 20, 2012

    My wife planted sweet potatoes in our small garden. The vines grew for over 3 months and filled the garden. When my wife pulled the vines she discovered about 100 sweet potatoes ranging in size from small to over softball size. We tried cooking a few of the smaller ones. they had a woody, slightly bitter taste. What are we doing wrong?

  61. Sara
    Oct 13, 2012

    i bought sweet potato vines already started last spring. now the frost got the vines and I noticed there are several sweet potatoes in the dirt under the vines. are these ok to eat?

  62. Arthur D Hall
    Oct 26, 2012

    I have dug a long ditch. filled it full of leaves and grass
    and straw mulch from the yard. I quarter sweet potatoes
    and just scatter them throughout the mulch.
    They grow great. In the fall I just pull the vines up
    out of the mulch with potatoes all hanging together.
    You cannot water them too much. A controlled drain ditch
    would be perfect and so easy.

  63. sandy
    Dec 21, 2012

    I started a red potatoe vine, will it do the same as a sweet potatoe. I started it about 10 days ago and has almost filled the glass with roots and has several shoots coming out the top and sides. Can I transfer it to soil?

  64. JoAnn
    Jul 18, 2013

    My grandmother had these all over the house growing, back in the 50’s & 60’s when I was growing up and people would buy them off her in the spring for planting in there gardens.

  65. A
    Jul 19, 2013

    Hi,
    I have a sweet potato that has been doing wonderful & I’ve had it in a jar of water about 4 weeks or so..but today I noticed that the bottom half of the potato seems to be rotting & soft….so can I still plant it in a pot with soil ? It is over a foot tall and really pretty, it would be a shame to lose it now. Would appreciate any help and advise.
    Thanks

  66. Fawn
    Sep 5, 2013

    Once it starts to rot, I would toss it and start again. Or maybe you can cut off the rotten part and see if the remaining part will survive. Make sure you change the water often.

  67. dawn
    Sep 20, 2013

    I tried it this one time and it’s huge!I live in a rural area so maybe it has to do with the way they are treated in the grocery?

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