How to Plant Sweet Potatoes - Complete Guide

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The sweet potato, also called sweet potato, sweet potato or sweet potato, and with the scientific name Ipomoea batatas, is a tuber that belongs to the Convulvulaceae family, highly successful in its cultivation throughout the world for its tuberous root or false tuber, edible and part very important in the diet of a large number of countries and cultures. It is a plant that has its origin in America, and which today has a huge number of varieties, which are distinguished by the different colors of their meat and by having different nuances in their textures and flavors. It has been cultivated for more than 8,000 years, being a food of great value due to its high content of carbohydrates, as in the case of potatoes, although the sweet potato is less caloric than it is when it is roasted or cooked. Its flavor is also sweeter and it is a food rich in resistant starch.

If you want to learn more about growing sweet potatoes, join us in this Green Ecologist article in which we explain how to plant sweet potatoes and more details.

When are sweet potatoes planted

When sowing sweet potatoes, it is important to bear in mind that this plant does not tolerate low temperatures well: it needs at least 26 ºC to grow properly, which is why, usually in Mediterranean or temperate climates it is sown in spring. In this way, the sweet potato will grow during the warm months, being ready for harvest between summer and fall, before cold temperatures damage them.

Thus, in the northern hemisphere it is usual to plant sweet potatoes from April to July, while it is done from October to January in the southern hemisphere. In countries with a tropical climate, on the other hand, it will be done when the dry season begins.

If you like sweet potatoes and other similar foods, such as potatoes or cassava, learn more about Tubers: what they are and examples by reading this other post.

How to plant sweet potatoes in a pot

The sweet potato can be planted without problems in a pot, as long as it is a container of about 50 cm deep and 60 cm wide if we want it to give a good quantity of edible roots. If you just want to have your sweet potato in a decorative pot, much smaller containers will suffice. Although it can be planted from seed, the most common is use a tuber, which is much more practical and, above all, fast. To get a good quantity of the sweet potato seedlings or cuttings that are used to multiply it easily, it is enough to anticipate between 3 and 5 weeks to the usual sowing date. With all this in mind, follow these Steps to Potted Sweet Potato Plants:

  1. Start by cutting each sweet potato in half and with the help of four toothpicks that you must stick around it, leave them in a glass, keeping only half of the tuber submerged. The cut area should be down, which is where the roots will appear.
  2. After this, leave the glass or container with the sweet potato in a warm area and with at least 4 or 5 hours of light a day, replacing the water that evaporates and changing it every 48 hours.
  3. Once the shoots that emerge are between 10 and 15 cm, they are gently pulled to detach them from the tuber, and they are taken to a new container with water to take their own roots.
  4. After about a week, the sprouts will have taken root, so that the transplant of the sweet potatoes to the pot or to their final location can be carried out without problems.

Sweet potato plant care

Now that you have the sweet potatoes planted and ready to grow, follow the basic care they need:

  • The most important thing with the sweet potato plant is to provide it with a sufficient amount of light. The plant must grow to full sun, even in areas where it is intense.
  • In return, you need frequent waterings, especially before especially hot climates and months. It is best to water the plant approximately every 48 hours in summer, and every 72 hours the rest of the time.
  • Regarding the soil, the sweet potato is not very demanding when it comes to nutrients, although it does need loose, well-drained soils. If you want your sweet potato plant to give a rich production, however, you should give a good fertilizer input to the earth, being especially suitable those of organic and ecological type, such as worm castings, compost or guano. It will be enough to use a mixture of soil with equal parts peat, coconut fiber and worm castings along with a good handful of vermiculite and perlite, and add more organic matter in the warm months as a fertilizer.
  • In late winter and early spring, the cutting of the plant can be prepared with the method described above. The harvest is carried out when the leaves of the aerial part turn yellow drying.

How many sweet potatoes does a plant give?

The production of each plant depends largely on its specific conditions, being much more extensive, as is normal, in soil than in pot.

Depending on the richness of the soil and the sun, with 40 floors It is estimated that it can maintain production to maintain the consumption of a family of 4 throughout the year and to be able to plant again in the following season.

Now that you have learned how to plant sweet potatoes and grow them, you may be interested in learning about another typical food of the same time of year: pumpkins. Here we tell you when and how to plant pumpkins.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to plant sweet potatoes, we recommend that you enter our category of Cultivation and care of plants.

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