Sweet Potato Vines (Finally)


I posted, lo these many moons ago–okay, about two months ago, but by that point, I’d already been trying for a while–about trying to grow sweet potato vines. Which is kinda like a kindergarten project AND YET I was having so much trouble. I first posted about it in the CITR newsletter and Art from West Virginia sent me his tip, which I posted about here.

I used two sweet potatoes from the store. I set them up and then pretty much forgot about them until yesterday when I checked them and was SHOCKED to see a vine growing out of each potato.

This does take a good deal of patience, but this method does indeed work. Again, see the method here.

I have sweet potato vines!


  1. Glenda says:

    I have mine buried half in damp sand; but I am going to try the cutting in half method.

    I am raising them for slips to plant in the garden in late May.

    When I do them in water, I put the toothpicks around the middle of the potato and suspend the bottom half in the water not just the bottom tip.

    I guess there is more than one way to skin a cat. (I can just hear my Mom saying that).

  2. Tracey In Paradise Pa. says:

    :duck: How excitng and cool. I wanna try!
    Granny Trace

  3. Cheryl LeMay says:

    I wonder if I could still do that. Mine are currently in water and haven’t sprouted yet.

  4. Rachell says:

    awesome! Going to try this method.When I taught preschool I did hydroponic gardening with the class… the kids loved seeing the things transforming. We managed to sprout sweet potato vines, carrot tops, avocado pits, and beans all in just water. They loved it!

  5. joycee says:

    I missed this when you posted back in February! Mom used to do the sweet potato in water and it would be beautiful in the middle of winter. I’m going to try both methods, love the trailing vines in pots and they are not cheap at garden centers so if this works, I will be saving a fortune!

  6. VAfarmer says:

    Suzanne, I swear I was just thinking about this the other day, wondering… did those potatoes sprout? I tried to over-winter one of my store-bought plants from last year by bringing it inside… it DID NOT work! And so I was hoping to see if yours did. The garden center around the corner charges $10 or more each, so this will be helpful info for those mini-taters I grew last year… maybe I can sprout them!

  7. Lisabeth Olson says:

    RRREEEAAAALLL healthy sweet potato vines, very good.

  8. Whaledancer says:

    Congratulations! You have achieved sweet potato. They make such pretty vines.

    I have a slightly different, warm-weather method: Buy a sweet potato at the store. Forget to cook it right away. Pull it out of the bin and see that it has sprouted. Curse, set it aside, and think of plan B for dinner. After a couple of days, notice sprouted sweet potato sitting there. Take it outside, bury it with the leaves poking out of the soil. Water it in. Give it occasional water when I happen to remember. Enjoy the vine (unless the raccoons or grasshoppers enjoy it first).

    Laissez faire gardening. 8)

  9. Barbee' says:

    I have read that regular potatoes are treated with something to inhibit sprouting; I suspect sweet potatoes are treated, also. Maybe that is why people are having trouble starting the vines with potatoes from the grocery store. The “seed potatoes” from our feed and seed store are not treated; they are intended for sprouting and making a crop. Just a thought.

  10. Window On The Prairie says:

    Must be a potato thing. We planted our white potatoes out in the garden on March 18, and they still aren’t up yet.
    Suzanne :turtle:

  11. Sally says:

    I”m so glad you updated us! I planted some like this about 10 days ago and was disappointed nothing happened yet. I’ll be patient a bit longer now. Thanks

  12. Janice says:

    I suspended two sweet potatoes in water shortly after reading you first post. They have spent all this time growing some roots and just last week I noticed there are the bare beginnings of leaves.

  13. Elaine says:

    I started mine today. Are they going to have sweet potatoes on them, when they get big? or just be a vine.

  14. Joan White says:

    I have a sweet potato vine growing in my kitchen window. It was started by putting toothpicks at the top 1/3 of the potato, and then set in a glass of water. It took about 10 days before little white roots started showing; then it started to GROW! And I mean grow a out 3-4 inches a day. Now it is at 18″ with 5 more vines coming along behind. What do I do now? Can I take it outdoors and put it into a basket/pot with pottig soil. If it keeps growing at the rate it is now, it will strangle someone before they know it!

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