How To Grow Sweet Potatoes In 5 Easy Steps!

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How to Grow Sweet Potatoes in 5 Easy Steps

How to Grow Sweet Potatoes- in 5 Easy Steps

I’ve never run across a sweet potato I didn’t like; Sweet Potato Fries, Sweet Potato Casserole, Sweet Potatoes and Beets, Sweet Potato Noodles, Sweet Potatoes and Marshmallows, Sweet Potato Pie, Sweet Potato Quiche, Sweet Potato Butter, Sweet Potato Chips– you name it SWEET and I like it *insert Bubba Gump voice here*! What I really like about sweet potatoes is their versatility, affordability, and ease of growing.

The easiest vegetable I’ve ever grown, hands down, has to be the sweet potato. Of course, I live on the coast of South Carolina in the heart of Hades and have mediocre soil so that does give me a little advantage with growing this vegetable, but I do believe anyone can have success with growing them.

I call the sweet potato the beginner vegetable because it is perfect for any color thumb; green, black, brown or new. This is also a great vegetable to grow with your children for a school project or 4-H.

How to Grow Sweet Potatoes Step #1

Find a nice, medium size sweet potato (organic if possible) that is starting to sprout and a cup of water.

How to grow sweet potatoes


How to Grow Sweet Potatoes Step#2-

Place your sweet potato in a cup of chlorine-free water with the sprout side down in the cup. Make sure 1/4- 1/2 of the potato sticking outside the water (picture shown is after the potato has been growing-about 4 weeks) and put on a windowsill or a shelf for 4-8 weeks

Change the water a couple times a week with purified water

How to grow sweet potatoes


How to Grow Sweet Potatoes Step #3-

When your potato starts to grow a plant on the topside and the roots look well established in the cup, it is time to separate the slips.


How to grow sweet potatoes

How to Grow Sweet Potatoes Step #4-

  • With a sharp knife, cut each root (slip) free from the potato.
  • Be careful not to cut the stem or roots.
  • Include a little of the potato when you are separating the slip from the potato

How to grow sweet potatoes

How to Grow Sweet Potatoes Step #5-

Plant slips directly in the soil, planter, hanging basket, or pot

How to grow sweet potatoes

That is it, you can grow sweet potatoes in 5 easy steps!

The best part is, the cost of this easy to grow vegetable could be free if you ask around, I’m sure someone you know has a sweet potato already sprouting in their bin somewhere. Free food is the best food.

Bonus Tips for growing sweet potatoes

  • Growing sweet potatoes works best in loamy, well-drained soil that is not too rich. Ideally, the pH is between 5.8 and 6.2, although, they will tolerate a more acidic pH to 5.0
  • Plant slips 10-12 inches apart and allow room for the vines to grow, they will create their own tropical ground cover.
  • It takes about 95 days for harvest.
  • Plant your sweet potato slips in Spring/Summer after the soil is nice and warm and all danger of frost is gone, sweet potatoes love the heat.
  • As the plant grows, lift the vines off the ground periodically to avoid letting them root. If you allow your vines to root, it will cause your sweet potatoes to be smaller. I have heard fingerling sweet potatoes are all the rave now so maybe that’s a good thing?
  • Sweet potatoes are ready to harvest when the leaves start to yellow.
  • After harvesting, allow your sweet potatoes to cure in a warm dry place for two weeks to increase their sweetness. Sweet potatoes are not sweet right out of the ground but become sweet in a short period of time.
  • Once cured, store your potatoes in a cool, dry place- 50-60 degrees is ideal. Do not refrigerate.
  • Sweet potato plants make amazing hanging baskets for aesthetic value.
  • Sweet potato leaves are edible and nutritious. If you have missed the window to grow sweet potatoes for a potato harvest, grow one in a pot or hanging basket and enjoy the leaves in your salad!

Love Growing Potatoes? We have another great article for you to enjoy about how to grow potatoes- in 5 easy steps!

How to Grow Potatoes in 5 Easy Steps


  1. Kathi on August 9, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    I’m growing sweet potatoes this year for the first time. Well, I did try once before but some critter dug them up and ate them, so this is the first time I’ve made it through most of the summer. Yesterday I noticed a baby sweet potato growing right at soil level – so it’s working! They’re growing! They may not be very big, but it’s encouraging!

    • Amber Bradshaw on August 10, 2017 at 11:36 am

      Congratulations! It is very encouraging and empowering when you can grow your own food.
      When you harvest them, make sure you allow them to cure for optimal sweetness.
      I love to grow them because they are fun- my kids love seeing how they sprout in water and they make a beautiful potted plant as well.
      Best of luck and thanks for commenting.

  2. […] If you would like to learn how to grow sweet potatoes, check out our article How To Grow Sweet Potatoes In 5 Easy Steps […]

  3. Lydia on April 4, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    I really want to try growing some this year, I can’t wait to get started! Thanks for posting this!

  4. Karen on April 15, 2018 at 1:16 am

    I can’t wsit to start my “ tarot” tomorrow in a cup of water!

  5. Dina on May 25, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Can this method be used with yams ? What is the different? Thanks!

    • Amber Bradshaw on June 3, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      So sorry for the delayed response. We have been in the process of moving and time on the internet has been limited.
      To be honest, we’ve always used the term to describe the same potato when in fact, they are very different.
      This article (link below) goes into better detail about the differences than I could describe to you. Being that yams and sweet potatoes are both root vegetables, the same sprouting method should work for both. Let me know if you try it and how it works out!

  6. Stephanie on July 4, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    How many potatoes grow from each slip?

    • Amber Bradshaw on July 5, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      In all honesty, that question is very hard to answer. Too man variables to consider to give you a straight answer. An old saying is “one for the rook, one for the crow, one to rot, and one to grow”. On average, with proper growing climate and soil, one slip should produce four to ten tubers. We once let our sweet potato vines root all throughout the garden, we harvested them early for baby sweet potatoes and got many baby fingerling sweet potatoes, too many to count.
      I know this doesn’t answer your question directly but it should give you some idea.
      Best of luck

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