Over the years I have tried to grow my own sweet potato slips and have failed miserably. Several time, I put a sweet potato in a glass with some water and waited patiently for slips to grow. Ultimately, the potatoes would rot. I basically gave up until Mother Nature taught me a lesson. Simplest is always the easiest.
By the way, aren’t those slips beautiful in the picture above? (Sorry to digress. I just amazed at my dumb luck. Read on!)
How to Grow Slips the Easiest Way:
So I will let you in on my secret. Leave a few sweet potatoes indoors where it is warm. In a few months, you will have slips growing. No planting in dirt. No water. Just let them do their thing.
I harvested my potatoes in September and left them in my house to cure. I should have put them in my garage because sweet potatoes like to be stored around 50 degrees. I was afraid of mice in my garage. (Okay, I am mice phobic.)
Around February, they started growing sips. Beautiful leafy sips. Mother Nature tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Anna, leave them alone and let them grow.”
And I left them alone. (It was killing me and I did a lot of “but ifs,” but kept hearing. “Walk away from the plants, Anna,” every time I reached down to inspect them.)
Normally, I had about 3 to 4 slips growing out the tops of my potatoes. When they reached about 6 inches long, I snapped off the slip and put them in water to grow roots.
Again. I waited. At first, nothing happened. And, Mother Nature, tapped me on the shoulder and told me to take a Valium. Then like magic, the roots started appear.
Glorious Sweet Potato Roots.
Yep. I had roots, Houston. Ready for take off.
So one by one I started harvesting my sips and rooting them. I won’t be able to plant until the middle to end of June in zone 6 since sweet potatoes like it hot.
Don’t Have the Patience?
Patience is not my middle name. I used to order my organic sips from Sands Preservation. You can also order them from the following places. Don’t wait. They sell out quickly.
- Sands Preservation (organic)
- Maine Potato Lady (organic)
- George’s Plant Farm
- Duck Creek Farms
- Steele Plant Company (ordered from them last year.)
Growing Sweet Potatoes:
I love growing sweet potatoes. The vines are so beautiful. This year’s project is to see if I can grow sweet potatoes from a clipping of the vine! Unless, Mother Nature taps me on the shoulder again and says “are you serious?”
By the way, the sweet potato vine leaves are edible! (Note, don’t eat regular potato leaves.)
Join the Conversation:
- How do you grow your potato slips?
- Have you been successful with the water and potato concept? If so, what was I doing wrong?
- Do you grow sweet potatoes? Any successes or failures? Please share.