Interestingly, sweet potatoes can be grown indoors with a bountiful harvest. However, to achieve a bountiful harvest from growing sweet potatoes indoors, you must be ready to give it all it takes, starting from the type of soil used, regular watering, adequate sunlight, and other factors.
Perhaps you have been wondering whether or not sweet potatoes can be grown indoors or if the yield will be worth the stress; this article brings a complete guide to all you need to know when considering this agricultural technique. Read on as we walk you through all the details involved in growing sweet potatoes indoors.
What are sweet potato slips?
Sweet potato slips are root cuttings. If you want to grow sweet potatoes, you can cut your slip from small sweet potatoes into small slips using a sharp knife. You can get two to six sweet potato slips from one sweet potato.
When you plant the slips and give your sweet potato good sunlight and adequate water, they will be mature enough to harvest in about three to four months.
Ways of growing sweet potatoes indoors
To grow sweet potatoes indoors, it is recommended to use organic sweet potatoes, as anything otherwise might have been treated to slow down or prevent germination.
Now before you can start growing your potatoes, there are a few essential things you need;
An appropriate container
If you want to grow your sweet potatoes indoors, you need a container. Your containers need to have sufficient space to grow sweet potatoes.
Typically, your container should have a diameter of at least 2.5 ft. Such containers could be made of wood, ceramic, or plastic (they are all good). Grow bags are applicable.
The Right Soil
Generally, every plant needs fertile soil. In an indoor container garden, the primary property of good soil for sweet potatoes is soil with good aeration and drains well.
Potting soil or good garden soil is suitable. It is advisable to pour a layer of gravel into the bottom of the container to improve drainage.
Healthy sweet potato slips
Once your container and soil are ready, the next thing to do is source good and healthy slips.
You don't want to plant a diseased potato slip, or it will affect the growth of your sweet potatoes if it grows at all.
A step-by-step guide to planting your sweet potatoes
Growing sweet potatoes is not rocket science. It is very easy. Your sweet potato sprouts can turn out to be a houseplant that everyone will admire.
Rooting sweet potatoes is easy, even if you have never tried your hands at gardening. Follow the steps below;
- Pour a good amount of water into your container.
- Then, place your slip inside the container.
- Make sure the sweet potato is fully submerged; if it's not, add more water until it is.
- You need to place your container close to a window where sunlight is readily available to your sweet potato leaves. If you do this, you will notice growth in a few weeks.
- When the stem grows to be about 14-15 cm, you should move it into pot three-quarters full of soil. Cover the stem with soil until you reach the edge.
- Water it just enough to keep the soil moist, but not wet.
- As mentioned before, choose the sunniest window and warmest room for your sweet potato. It would help if you also tried to change the water at least every five days.
Benefits of growing sweet potatoes
Organic sweet potatoes are energy sources, thanks to their high carbohydrate content.
However, the benefits do not end there: it is rich in fiber, vitamins of complex B, C, and A, potassium, and magnesium.
The last two are essential to preventing diabetes, cancer, and heart attack.
Knowing how to plant sweet potato slips means always having healthy food on hand without having to leave home.
You can choose from purple, orange, white, and creamy sweet potato plants. Each one has its nutritional value and its specific taste. So, let us see some of the health benefits of sweet potatoes.
Regulates bowel movement
Another benefit of knowing how to plant sweet potatoes in water has a remedy that improves our intestinal and stomach health.
When eaten cooked and unpeeled, sweet potatoes stimulate bowel movements.
Contributes to weight loss
Due to their high fiber content, sweet potatoes slow down digestion, making food stay in the stomach longer. Therefore, the feeling of satiety during consumption tends to last.
It helps to prevent premature aging
The orange sweet potato is characterized by being a great companion in the search for prolonged youth.
The reason for this is the presence of beta-carotene, which the body transforms into vitamin A.
How to care for indoor sweet potatoes
It is not enough to plant your potatoes; you also need to care for them if you want them to grow. Here are a few tips on how to care for your sweet potato plants;
- Remove weeds
Removing unwanted plants that grow around your sweet potatoes will help you retain nutrients for your plants. It will also help to keep away pests and diseases.
- Regular watering
It is essential to water your plants, in this case, just enough to keep the soil moist but not soaked. Too much water in the soil could cause your potatoes to rot.
- Adequate Lighting
Providing your sweet potatoes with a good light source is another way of caring for them. Sweet potatoes, like any other plants, require a certain amount of light to grow well.
While growing your sweet potatoes organically, you can apply fertilizers to your sweet potato slips. This will give it faster and healthier growth.
Sweet Potato Varieties to Grow Indoors
There are varieties of sweet potatoes that are suitable to be grown indoors. We will talk about some of them here:
The Garnet sweet potatoes have a dark orange or almost red-like skin with purple flesh. They are very moist, which is an advantage if you want to bake them.
What's interesting about this sweet potato is that its flesh maintains its color even after baking.
- Bunch Porto Rico
Gardeners with little space or those who like to grow their sweets in containers will favor this variety.
This cultivar, also known as "Bush" or "Vineless," will reach maturity 90 to 110 days after planting. It has salmon-colored flesh with copper-colored skin.
Those who have tried it describe it as having an enduring flavor that is delicious and perfect for baking.
Beautiful, rich purple flesh that retains its color even after cooking can be found on this variety.
Like pies, fries, or chips, it works well in many of the same recipes that orange sweet potatoes do; it's just that the vibrant purple color makes it more interesting.
The flesh of these sweet potatoes is creamy white and has a distinctive purple-like skin that turns yellow when cooked.
They can be used in both savory and sweet dishes and have a sweet, rich flavor. Compared to orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, "Japanese" sweet potatoes typically have much drier flesh.
The most common sweet potato is available in supermarkets. In the US, it is the standard gold potato.
The flesh is the sweetest orange variety and has reddish skin and bright orange flesh.
It holds its shape when roasted into fries and can be mashed into a puree for pies or casseroles thanks to its slightly stringy, soft, and moist texture.
- Mahon Yam
Despite having "yam" in its name, the "Mahon Yam" is not a yam. It is a lovely sweet potato with pink skin and incredibly smooth, extremely sweet orange flesh.
Nothing makes me happier than a sweet potato that appears unremarkable from the outside but reveals something completely different when you cut it open.
This late heirloom variety's flavor and texture are also exquisite; they are slightly sweet, dense, and starchy, making them ideal for fries, savory dishes, and salads.
The 120 to 180-day maturation period for "Okinawans" is well worth it.
- Porto Rico
This heirloom is ideal for gardeners who are space-constrained. 'Porto Rico' has an upward spread of two to three feet and a height range of 12 to 30 inches.
Each slip can be planted 12 to 15 inches away from other garden plants, such as other bush 'Porto
- Rico's vegetation
It takes 110 days to mature and is fusarium rot resistant, but it is vulnerable to most other sweet potato pests and diseases.
There are numerous different varieties of sweet potatoes that we did not go into great detail about.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Sweet Potatoes Indoors
What month is best to plant sweet potatoes?
The best month to plant sweet potatoes is after the last spring when the ground has been thawed.
However, if you don't observe that the ground gets frozen in your area, it will be best to plant sweet potatoes, usually one month after the last spring frost date.
What type of soil do sweet potatoes like?
Sweet potatoes thrive in warm, loose, well-draining soil (for example, sandy loam soil).
Sweet potatoes grow best in soil with a pH of between 5.5 and 6.5. Sweet potatoes grow better if you add organic material to your soil (like compost or aged manure).
How much space does it take to grow potatoes?
Potatoes require soft soil at least 8 inches (20 centimeters) deep for proper growth.
Depending on the variety, potato tubers (the part of the plant you harvest and eat!) can reach lengths of 2 to 5 inches (5 and 12.5 centimeters).
What Can You Not Plant Near Potatoes?
Avoid planting the following crops besides your sweet potatoes; apple, peach, and cherry trees. Fruit trees such as peach, apple, and cherry often bring about blight, a disease that can decimate a potato crop.
Can You Grow Potatoes In The Same Spot Every Year?
No, it would be best if you didn't grow potatoes in the same spot every year. Doing that will build up pests like flea beetles and diseases like potato blight. It can also deprive the soil of the same nutrients over again.
Can You Plant Potatoes In The Same Place Every Year?
When planting sweet potatoes, it is always advisable to never plant them on the same soil each year or season.
This is so because once you plant sweet potatoes on the same type of soil every year, there will be a high build-up of pests and diseases such as potato eelworm in the garden or the soil.
Particularly, this pest is known to affect the quality of your sweet potatoes in the new planting season by causing stunted growth in sweet potatoes.
Can sweet potato be grown indoors in the winter?
You can, indeed. Set the container in indirect sunlight and wait a few days for the roots to appear.
You can either pot them up and enjoy them as indoor plants until spring at this point, or you can leave them in the container all winter.
What should I grow after harvesting sweet potato?
If you want to plant something else after you have harvested your potatoes, you must ensure that whatever you're planting will help retain the soil nutrients.
The recommended type of crops to plant is legumes. This is because they can make their nitrogen and take less from the soil.
How many sweet potatoes will one plant produce?
You can always get about three to six tubers from plants if all goes well. These tubers usually weigh two to three pounds or even more if you take care of the plant well.
Wrap up - How To Grow Sweet Potatoes Indoors
Growing sweet potato indoors is a very lucrative subsistence farming method. You can be sure of a massive harvest after a few months of planting your sweet potato with suitable soil, adequate water, and sunlight.
Typical varieties of sweet potato that can potentially do well when grown indoors include; Stokes, Bunch Porto Rico, Garnet, Japanese, Mahon Yam, and Beauregard.
Considering making a move to grow sweet potato indoors? Sure, have this post your cheat sheet for a bountiful harvest.