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Growing Sweet Potatoe Slips

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    Hey all,

    I want to grow some sweet poatoes and was wondering how I go about growing the slips.

    There seems to be two schools of thought,

    First) Submerge potatoes in water over night. Place in a pot of dirt, cover with about 5cm and keep well watered and warm.

    Second) Slice potatoes in half, submerge half of them in water until the slip grows, tear off then place the ‘bulb’ end in water until roots grow.

    Has anyone tried both methods and have a preference? Any better methods? How many slips should I expect per potatoe?


    I grow mine by slicing into 1 – 2 inch pieces and placing in a saucer of water. When the roots are growing nicely and leaves are starting to sprout, I plant them into the garden. I’ve planted all different types of sweet potato, some just from the supermarket, and they’ve all sprouted. Here are some I put in a saucer about 1.5 weeks ago – you can just make out the roots starting to grow. The sweet potatoes that are already growing in the garden will send down roots (more sweet potatoes) anywhere they make good contact with the soil underneath. You don’t have to go to all the trouble of planting in water first – you can bung them straight into the ground – but I have found that this method works for me.


    wow thanks! that looks super simple. being science minded I may have to turn this into an experiment and try a few different methods.


    It is super simple. I ignored some of the advice such as:

    1) don’t plant stuff purchased from the supermarket. It’s been sprayed with stuff that stops it sprouting. MYTH. It may have been sprayed, but anything I’ve tried growing from normal shops sprouts just fine, including spuds, sweet potato, garlic, onions etc

    2) Don’t plant out the tuber with the roots/slips – it’ll pass on disease/rot etc etc. Possibly true, but something I didn’t have any problems with. I just planted the whole piece – roots, tuber, slips and all

    3) Sweet potatoes don’t like heavy soil. MYTH. Mine grow superbly in our super-heavy clay. They love hot weather.

    Try growing different types. I have the regular orange ones, purple-skinned/white inside and the latest is white-skinned/purple inside.

    4) Have fun!!

    5) They’re great fun to dig out – they go much further/deeper than you would expect. Save some of last year’s bits for the next year. Mine are just sitting waiting in the ground where they were left at the end of summer. They’ll pop up again in spring.


    I have had some sprout from just peelings put in the worm farm.


    I’m looking forward to trying to grow sweet potato this year, will try these tricks, need to find sweet potato pronto…


    can you grow it like regular potato, in towers?


    The first time I grew them was by accident. I was given a sweet potato by a neighbour and didn’t end up using it so I threw it in the pile of lawn clippings. When it was time to move out we tidied up the yard for the final inspection and lo and behold were the biggest mound of sweet potatoes – some were the size of footballs. This time I’ve got them growing in nothing but the shredded hay from my chook house. I’ll see how this lot goes as they’ve only been in there for a month or so.


    This sounds awesome – how deep does the soil need to be for sweet potatoes?


    Hi Loki, Theres a thread I started couple of years back re-growing SPs, I cant put a link up to it :pinch: if you do a search for growing sweet potatoes in Vic by busylizzie it should come up.


    i tend to dry the ends of my sweet potatos out , so they dont rot, but do use any offcuts that are sprouting, and just put them in a spare patch of dirt with a cover of mulch (usually straw or rabbit waste( wood shavings mixed with rabbit poo from when i clean my bunnies cages) have them going crazy all over one corner of my yard.


    I’ve actually heard from members of the local permie group that growing sweet potatoes from cuttings is the best way to go about it in terms of yield etc.

    I had great success with sweet potatoes over summer and will certainly be growing more this year! 🙂


    Not to mention growing them from sweet potato seed is expensive, last time I bought one, it was about $8.00 :angry:

    veggie boyveggie boy

    I have them coming up everwhere in the garden these days and have more trouble getting rid on them than anything, however when I first grew them I used the put bottom in container of water method and cut slips off tuber when planting.

    My sweet potato growing has been problematic in recent times, with some sort of grub or beetle turning them to honeycomb before I harvest. I’ve grown in different places but seem to have the same issue.


    Lizzie, I’ve also heard that the red sweet potatoes are great in our area! 🙂

    I just bought a potted sweet potato from Dahlsens last year. I’ll somehow get cuttings or sprout my own this year though!

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