How to Grow a Sweet Potato Vine Plant – tips and tricks

How to Grow a Sweet Potato Vine Plant- tips and tricks

If you are looking for a vigorous, fast-growing plant to decorate the garden’s interior, the sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas) might be a good choice. It is indeed a tropical plant that produces large exotic leaves coming in various colors, from neon green to black, from pink to purple. Find out how to grow and care for this lovely addition to your floral collection!

If you want to learn how to propagate the potato vine, you choose two methods. This article will explain how to start from cuttings and overlays to create more Solanum Laxum. However, note that you can also use the following techniques for the sweet potato vine plant, an attractive annual that you can add to your garden.

You can start your greenhouse potatoes to help them take root quickly. Remember that establishment will be easier if conditions are controlled and not fluctuating. It will ensure vigorous plants for later transplantation.

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Propagation of the sweet potato vine Plant

To grow sweet potato vines, you have several options. The easiest, of course, is to buy actively growing plants in the spring and plant them outside after the last frost. You can also grow plants from seeds. For this purpose, fill a container with compost lightweight. Sprinkle the seeds on top, spacing them 6 cm apart, and cover them with a thin substrate layer.

Spray with water and cover the container with a piece of plastic wrap. Store in a warm place and water as needed to keep in moisture. Once the plants have emerged, remove the plastic wrap and move the container to a sunny window sill or place it under grow lights. Transplant the plants when they are 4 inches tall.

For best results, choose firm sweet potatoes that have never been refrigerated and have no spots.

Sweet potato vines form tuberous roots under the ground. You can use them to propagate more plants. Here is how to do it. In the fall, brush off any soil from the roots. Then store the plant in a warm, dry place for two weeks. This process removes moisture. Then store the roots in straw or sawdust in a cool, dark place during the winter.

Plant the roots outdoors in the spring after the last frost. Keep the soil moist. New plants will grow from the tubers. Cut the plants when at least 10cm tall and plant them in rich soil. They will produce roots and begin to grow. In the garden, the plant develops like a ground cover.

What temperature does the sweet potato vine Plant tolerate?

Sweet potato vines adapt best to hot climates or when growing indoors. A few days with temperatures close to 4 ° C can indeed kill them. Therefore, it is important not to plant outdoors if the degrees are below 15 ° C.

So, give the Ipomoea batatas as much sun as possible to help its growth. In addition, the plant also tolerates partial shade in case the full sun is not available. However, growing in a more shaded location will produce duller foliage.


The sweet potato vine is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and thrives at pH levels of 4.5-7.5. Loamy soils are therefore very suitable for it. Besides, it is easy to test the nature of your garden soil at home if you are unfamiliar with it, using the mason jar method. 

How to Grow a Sweet Potato Vine Plant

Planted in a hanging basket or a window sill planter, the plant looks pretty. 


Ipomoea batatas need a lot of water to survive, especially during the first 30-40 days after planting. Falling foliage means the plant is thirsty and should be hydrated more heavily.

Can we eat sweet potatoes from the vine?

Indeed, you can eat sweet potatoes as long as the plant is of an edible and non-ornamental species.

Is Sweet Potato Vine Poisonous to Pets?

Yes, the plant is poisonous to dogs and cats.

Ornamental sweet potato vines will climb if you plant them on a trellis.

How to grow Ipomoea batatas in a pot?

Are you looking for a fun project the kids will love? Try growing a sweet potato vine with lime green or purple-tinged leaves indoors. All you need is a sweet potato that has already sprouted, a glass jar, and some toothpicks. And just a little patience, of course.

First, get an organic but not store-bought sweet potato. Copies chemically treated with a germination retarder are sterile and will not germinate. If small leaves or roots have started to form, even better, it’s ripe enough to grow!

Fill the glass jar with lukewarm water. The container should be at least 10 cm deep so that the roots can grow freely downwards. Then take a few strong toothpicks. From 5-7 cm from the bottom of the sweet potato, insert them at equal intervals. Dip the sweet potato in the water so that the tip is submerged. Adjust the toothpicks if necessary. In a few weeks, root knots will start to appear. The leaves will grow out of the root nodes at the top.

Place the sweet potato in a jar filled with water, using the toothpicks to keep it balanced with the third top sticking out of the container and the pointed end in the water.

Place the sweet potato in a sunny spot. Regular light is necessary for the plant to thrive. If necessary, supplement with artificial lighting. Also, keep the water clean. Twice a week, empty the jar and refill it. If the water is stagnant, the sweet potato may not grow.

When the roots have become full and lush, make sure they have enough room to grow by moving the plant to a larger container. Also, give the foliage enough room to spread out.

Your sweet potato vine will start to grow between one and eight weeks after planting.


Once a month, add a drop of liquid organic fertilizer to the water. However, fertilize immediately after changing the water.


How to Grow a Sweet Potato Vine plant
How to Grow a Sweet Potato Vine plant

Method #1. Cuttings

As mentioned earlier, you can propagate potato vine plants from cuttings. You can also apply this technique to propagate sweet potato vines. The process itself is no different when taking cuttings from other plants, so those with propagation experiences by cuttings should have no problem producing plants from potato vines.

Site preparation

First, you need to prepare the site or container before taking the cuttings. Remember, you don’t want to wait too long after taking the cuttings. Otherwise, they will dry out and get damaged. You need to modify the soil in your garden to create a fertile, well-drained environment, or fill a well-drained container with peat moss and sand for your growing medium.

Preparation for cutting

You can then select a healthy mother plant to take the cuttings to ensure that it will not be stressed. Growing potato vines in a stable environment like a greenhouse should result in healthy mother plants suitable for producing cuttings. More so, check the sections you took if they show no signs of disease.

Use a sharp, sterilized tool and cut a 4-inch section above the leaf of the potato vines. Prepare them for rooting by removing the leaves from the bottom two-thirds or bottom half of each cutting. Like when rooting other plants, soak the section ends in rooting hormone before planting.

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For planting, you can plant one cutting per container or space them out in a garden so that no cuttings come in contact. You want to firm up the support around each cutting to stabilize them and make sure that no leaves are touching the ground. Then spray the potato vine cuttings and maintain soil moisture to promote development.


Once you notice new growth, you can decrease your watering to prevent root rot. Allow the soil to dry out before watering and wait for the plants to develop to about 1 inch from the roots. It may take a few weeks, and then you can transplant the potato vines.

Method #2. Overlay

gardening tips
How to Grow a Sweet Potato Vine plant


Another method you can do for these ornamental vines is layered propagation. This technique is simpler, and most gardeners find it more comfortable. Fill a container with potting soil and wrap the tip of a vine along the inside of a container.


Make sure you bury the vine with the soil, then secure it in place. The crucial factor here is to keep the vine below the ground to promote root development. Darkness is necessary for root formation as well as for constant soil moisture.


Like starting potato vines from cuttings, you can expect the roots to establish after a few weeks. You can then wait for several new shoots before separating the vine from the mother plant. However, don’t forget to cut it back to avoid damaging the mother plant and its spread.


To make sure you produce healthy vines, you want to know the ideal plant care practices. Potato vines will not do well in extreme temperatures; therefore, you need to place them in the greenhouse before the first frost. Plus, a bright area that provides sun protection should keep these plants happy for the long haul.

You can also reduce watering in the winter while keeping the soil moist, especially in dry weather. Note that potted potato vines will also require more frequent watering. You can use a high potassium fertilizer and stop feeding in early fall to encourage flowering for the feed itself.

Overall, the maintenance and care of seed potatoes are easy as long as you don’t expose them to extreme and harsh conditions. Over time, they will need pruning and repotting to avoid overcrowding and help them rejuvenate.

Sweet Potato Vine Plant: Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Take a sweet potato and place it in a cup of water or a vase. The bottom of the sweet potato should be sitting in water.
  2. Wait for the potato to sprout. This typically takes around four weeks.
  3. Once the potato sprouts, the vines take off quickly. Enjoy your new plant!


Ornamental plants like sweet potato vine plants will surely bring a unique look to your landscape. And the good news is learning how to propagate the sweet potato vine plant itself is relatively easy and foolproof with due diligence throughout the methods. You can start the potato vine from cuttings from a healthy mother plant and plant them just as you would any other plant.

On the other hand, you can wrap the tip of a vine around a pot and then separate that rooted part from the mother plant later. The main thing to remember here is to place the propagations in a fertile, well-drained area to encourage root formation. You can also benefit from growing them in greenhouses to create vigorous transplants.

Overall, the maintenance and care of seed potatoes are easy as long as you don’t expose them to extreme and harsh conditions. Over time, they will need pruning and repotting to avoid overcrowding and help them rejuvenate.

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How to Grow a Sweet Potato Vine Plant – tips and tricks

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