How to Grow Beautiful Sweet Potatoes

How to Grow Beautiful Sweet Potatoes


How to Grow Beautiful Sweet Potatoes

Growing this amazing staple in your garden this year is a must!  But aren’t sweet potatoes difficult to grow?  No way!  Let me show you how to grow sweet potatoes in water!

I absolutely LOVE sweet potatoes!  They are not only incredibly healthy for you, but studies ranked the sweet potato #1 vegetable in overall nutrition.  

Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber and Vitamin A, but they also boast of Vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and B6.

They can be enjoyed so many ways!  I love them as a side dish with loads of butter and salt, but you can make quick breads, pies, casseroles and even stir-fry! 

Sweet potatoes are a member of the bindweed, or morning glory family.  This explains the gorgeous vinery and flowers that they produce, so beautiful to look at!

seed sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes aren’t grown from seeds, but rather “slips”.  Slips are sprouts from another sweet potato.   Slips are super easy to grow!!   (This might remind you of an experiment you did in the first grade!)

In order to grow sweet potato slips in water, you will need….

  • -An organic sweet potato from last years crop, the grocery store or health food store (make sure that the potatoes haven’t been treated against sprouting)
  • -A jar with mouth large enough to allow for each sweet potato
  • -A dozen or so toothpicks (4 per potato)


sweet potatoes with toothpicks

Wash your potato/es with a mild soap to get off any dirt or bacteria.  Dry well.

In a “T” shape, insert your toothpicks into the top half of the sweet potato.

Next, fill your mason jar about 1/2 way with water and slowly place your sweet potato in there.  If the water is a little too high, pour some out.  The bottom fourth of the potato should be immersed.

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sweet potatoes sprouting in jars

Every few days, replace the water.  After a week or so, you should start to see little sprouts coming out of your potatoes!

Alternative Way to Grow Slips

You can just as easily lay the seed sweet potato in a shallow pan of water, like a repurposed aluminium pan and accomplish the same results.  Make sure the sweet potato is 1/2 way covered with water.

sweet potato slips

Exciting!  So when the sprouts look something like this, pluck them off gently and put them in a jar of water by themselves, so that they can root.

Once they have a good root system, you should plant them in your garden, once the chance of frost has past.

sweet potatoes growing in ground

Sweet Potato Growing Conditions

Sweet potatoes prefer well-drained soil in a sunny spot with warm conditions. 

Loomy soil with a pH from 5.0-7.5 will grow your best sweet potatoes!

sweet potatoes growing in garden row

Space your plants about 18″ apart to give them room to spread out.

recipes for sweet potatoes

Recipes for Sweet Potatoes

Maple Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

sweet potato rolls

Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins

Sweet Potato Hash Browns



how to grow sweet potatoes



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Comments (14)

  • candy Reply

    I am so going to try this for my garden this year. Found you on Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

    March 8, 2018 at 2:06 pm
    • Kelly Reply

      Candy, good luck! Let me know how you do with it!

      March 8, 2018 at 9:52 pm
  • Leah Lynch Reply

    This is so cool! My inlaws said they couldn’t grow them well and they are pretty big gardeners so I took their word for it. Definitely trying it this spring.

    March 13, 2018 at 3:58 pm
    • Kelly Reply

      Hi Leah! This works really well, mine are just sprouting some roots out of the bottom of the potato, I expect the slips to appear next week! Good luck!

      March 13, 2018 at 9:23 pm
  • Leilani Reply

    My sweet potatoes from the grocery sprouted in the compost and I just planted the whole thing. Removing the slips seems like a better way to get a bigger harvest! Thanks for the info. Found you on the blog hop.

    March 15, 2018 at 4:12 pm
    • Kelly Reply

      Leilani, That’s awesome! Thanks for letting me know about your success!

      March 15, 2018 at 7:03 pm
  • Ann @ Live The Old Way Reply

    This is one of the clearest sweet potato slip tutorials .I’ve seen! Thanks for sharing it with us at the Homestead Blog Hop!

    March 19, 2018 at 8:10 pm
  • Deborah Davis Reply

    Hi Kelly, I hopped by from Homestead Blog Hop to check out your tips for growing sweet potatoes.This method reminds me of my public school sweet potato science project so I can’t wait to do this again! I’m sharing this post on social media. All the best, Deborah

    March 22, 2018 at 12:32 am
  • Amora Reply

    Hey 🙂
    I’ve done it the exact same way as you said and they’ve grown quite many roots so far but unfortunately the top seems to be drying out and is far away from growing any leaves like in your pictures, do you think they will develop when I put them in soil?

    April 1, 2018 at 8:18 am
    • Kelly Reply

      Hi Amora! Are you keeping the water level consistent in your jar? This is important, especially if they’re drying out. Also, the jar may need a warmer place, do you have a radiator or a warmer window to put them? I don’t know what gardening zone you’re in but yes, they should produce slips from the soil as well, but in my zone 5, the last frost isn’t until late April. Check out this YouTube video and see how to do the soil method. Thanks for commenting!

      April 3, 2018 at 11:50 am
  • Diana Reply

    I’ve had a sweet potato in water a couple of weeks and roots are growing on the bottom, nothing on top. What’s up?

    April 2, 2018 at 12:39 am
    • Kelly Reply

      Hi Diana! Don’t lose heart! A couple of tips- Keep the water level consistent and change the water every couple of weeks. Also, your potato might need more heat, can you place it near a heating vent or radiator? Hang in there, I think you’re on the verge of slips!

      April 3, 2018 at 11:40 am
  • Lacey Reply

    I’m going to have to try this with my little girls! We LOVE sweet potatoes around here!

    I found you through the Homestead Blog Hop. Love your site, and I’ll be coming back for more!

    April 5, 2018 at 2:42 am
    • Kelly Reply

      Hi Lacey! Kids love doing this! Thanks for reading and commenting!!

      April 5, 2018 at 1:49 pm

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