How to Grow Sweet Potatoes

After planting a bunch of potatoes one fine September day, I decided I should probably plant sweet potatoes while I was at. Having never planted sweet potatoes before, I thought you planted them the same way you plant potatoes.

Nope. 🙂

A quick perusal of gardening sites online revealed that I would need to sprout them first, then strengthen the roots, then plant them.


So many steps seemed daunting to my novice gardener self, but I was determined to try. So I started in early September – Spring in Australia.

Step One: Fill a jar with water, submerge half a sweet potato in water half way up the potato and secure with toothpicks.

Step Two: Place in warm location with light and let sit there for several weeks.

Step Three: Check sweet potatoes occasionally to make sure water level is right.

You will see nothing at first, then a moldy/fuzzy/filmy action will appear on the cut base. Continue to let them soak.

sprouting sweet potatoes

Soon you will see delicate roots come out of the base and numerous sprouts on top of the sweet potato. Feel free to cheer wildly when this happens. I know I did! 🙂

Step Four: When roots are long and healthy and the sprout is flourishing, gently remove sweet potato from water. Cut in pieces carefully, making sure each piece connects the sprout with the root.

how to sprout sweet potatoes

Step Five: In rich, moist soil dig a slit and place a sweet potato piece inside, roots down. Cover with dirt leaving the sprout and a couple of inches of sweet potato above ground.

Step Six: Water well and cover with a layer of mulch (I used straw).

sprouted sweet potato

Step Seven: Let it grow, watering regularly, until sweet potatoes are ready to harvest.

Have you ever grown sweet potatoes before?

2 thoughts on “How to Grow Sweet Potatoes

  1. I just KNOW Eric is going to want to try this, so I’m so glad you posted about it. I need pictures with my step by step instructions. By the way, once they’re in the ground, do we just water them “the normal way”? 🙂

    1. Oh good!! Yes, you just water them the normal way. Make sure they have plenty of water since they’re used to that having sprouted in pure water. 🙂

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