Thursday, August 13, 2009

Growing Sweet Potatoes as a Houseplant

So you can't have a site with the name 5 Orange Potatoes and not post about an actual orange potato!

What you need: pre-sprouting sweet potato (some food stores treat the potatoes with heat so they won't sprout; to see if you have a sprouter enclose a sweet potato in a paper bag and sprouts should appear in a short amount of time), glass jar, water, knife, and toothpicks (optional)



There are 2 methods of growing the vine: Method #1- We cut the bottom 1/3 off the potato so it would fit snugly in a little mason jar. Only about a 1/2 inch of the potato flesh is submerged into the water; this is all it takes to grow a beautiful vine. Method #2- don't cut the potato; poke 4 toothpicks into the sides of the potato, about 2 or 3 inches from the bottom. A lot more of the potato will be submerged into the water this way. Then balance the potato on top of the jar (which can be quite a balancing act). Either method works fine.



See how only a little bit of our potato is actually under water, only about 1/2 inch.



Keep the water clean by changing the water daily or the potato can cause quite a stink, especially if a lot of the potato is submerged!



After a few days the roots will start forming; then many roots will form daily! After a month take the potato out of the water and plant it in potting soil. This makes a beautiful houseplant. Tie the vines to string and let it grow around a windowpane for a really pretty look. I also have a post on how to grow potatoes indoors. Have a look at
Pink and Green Mama's method of growing the sweet potato.

Just a little note about what I'm up to right now, I am working on 2 posts involving those lawn plants some people refer to as weeds (clover and plantain). I have some easy medicine making to share with you. I am also working on a PTOE post on nitrogen. I should have these posted in the next week.

Enjoy!

18 comments:

Joy said...

We've grown a few sweet potato plants by accident, so maybe we'll give this a shot now. I'm sure the kids will love it. Does it bear more sweet potatoes or just make a cute houseplant?

Mom and Kiddo said...

This is such a coincidence! I have a forgotten sweet potato that spontaneously sprouted on my kitchen counter, which I took a photo of for my blog (never posted it, though) ... then I saw Pink and Green mama's and now yours! I should try and help my poor potato grow some roots.

Your vine is much larger than ours, though!

Toni said...

i have wanted to do this for a while and could not remember how, thanks so much. NOw have you ever grown an avacodo seed?:-)

Lisa said...

Joy, yes I'm sure after you put the plant in soil there will be baby potatoes in the soil after some time.

Toni, I have tried many avacodo seeds and have nothing came from it everytime. I will try again though. Have you been able to get the plant growing from the seed?

Shady Lady said...

What a beautiful plant! We'll have to try this. How cool would it be to add potatoes to our garden...and at virtually no cost. Way cool!

Anet said...

We always have a sweet potato growing in our classroom. The leaves are so pretty!
Yay! for more PTOE:)

Stephanie said...

Mmmm, so much Goodliness coming up! :)!
I had no idea about treating with heat! Good to know.

Medicines, medicines... can't wait to learn about Yours!

Jumbleberry Jam said...

I tried this with plain old white potatoes and it just rotted. Will hope the orange kind works better for us :-) And yes - medicines, please!!

jaz said...

this reminds me of kindergarten. we always grew potatoes as a project! thanks for the memories!

jaz said...

after the movie was released warner brothers auctioned a bunch of things off from the film. i bought the spellbook and sally's umbrella. thanks for stopping by. i will be posting a lot of really interesting items from my witch collection so stop back!

jaz said...

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docwitch said...

That's just too clever! I'm going to have a go at this for sure. I had never heard about doing this!

Thanks for the great tutorial.

The Magic Onions said...

We'll try this for sure! Thanks for sharing.
Blessings and magic.

Sybille said...

Great! I want to do that, too!

kenan and tree said...

Great post! We are very much into growing sweet potatoes as houseplants!

Earlier this spring, i tried to sprout a sweet potato in a jar of water for slips to plant in the garden....but i could not get it to grow. So, i ended purchasing slips at the store, and we planted about 25 sweet potato plants.
A few weeks later i opened up my potato drawer and found a sweet potato hidden in the back...sprouting!! So i put another 10 plants into my garden, but i still had more slips that i didn't want to waste. So i planted a half barrel full of sweet potatoes and added slips to all my hanging baskets and potted some for indoors.
The foliage is so pretty, even if the potted ones don't produce potatoes...the decorative foliage is worth it.
Remember the original sweet potato that i said i had started in water?? It's sprouting now too! ha! Sweet potatoes every where!

alisha said...

that is so neat. i love sweet potatoes and no idea you could grow them indoors. I will have to try this soon!

kyndale said...

what a fun winter project! I have never grown a sweet potato!

Such Lovely Freckles said...

I'm totally doing that. As a matter of fact, I should just print out everything you do, put it into a binder and then copy it all. Yes, I like your blog that much. ;)