Today's Gardener (todaysgardener.com) participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.
Sweet potato is one of my favorite food. It has such a unique taste, which is why I love it very much. And since you are here, I’m guessing you feel the same way as I do, am I right? Therefore, you must be wondering if there’s any way to grow sweet potatoes in a pot, indoors.
If that’s the case and if you have always wanted to grow sweet potatoes in a pot, either because you do not have a huge garden or you simply want to try something new, then stick with me and I will teach you how to do that.
So, stay tuned and let’s begin!
Sweet Potato Care
What exactly is sweet potato? It is very common food used to make delicious meals during some holidays, like Thanksgiving, Easter and, of course, Christmas.
To start with, sweet potato contains a lot of useful vitamins and nutrients, which is extremely important if you want to strengthen your immune system and stay healthy. Apart from being very healthy, it is also very tasty, which is uncommon for most healthy food.
Sweet potatoes could be very helpful when it comes to, not just strengthening your immune system, but also fighting some serious illnesses, like cancer. Also, it contains large amounts of vitamins A and C, which are very useful when it comes to dealing with asthma or arthritis kind of symptoms.
Despite having a very sweet taste, sweet potato is good for the people who are diagnosed with diabetes. It does not have a significant effect on glucose levels in the blood, which is proven by its ranking on the glycemic index that is very low.
Therefore, from all of its benefits we have seen so far, there is no reason for you not to grow this awesome plant by yourself if you have the means and the will to do it.
What Do You Need To Grow Sweet Potatoes?
Now, before you start growing your own sweet potatoes, you will have to gather several things. Those, you will need in order to perform the process. So, let’s see what are those things.
1. Find large pot
The very first thing you need to get is, of course, something to put the soil in and grow your plant. It should be a big pot, preferably made of clay. It is not a good idea to use metal containers since they can catch rust, which could damage the plant itself.
2. Pick the right soil type
After you have chosen the pot to put your plant in, now you need to get the appropriate type of soil for your plant, so it could grow healthy as it should. You can create your own mix or just buy already packed soil from the stores.
3. Pick the right fertilizer
As for the fertilizer choice, it is probably a good idea to use either 15-30-15 fertilizer or, if you prefer liquid ones, you could use Moringa liquid fertilizer.
4. Use cuttings
And of course, there is no growing the new plant without some cuttings from the existing one. You could get these cuttings either from someone who had already grown sweet potatoes or you could just buy them in your nearby stores.
How To Grow Sweet Potatoes?
Right, now that we have everything ready and in place, let us focus on the actual growing process and learn how it is done!
These tips will both teach you how to grow sweet potatoes in a pot and give some additional tips. All about improving the final outcome of this project. Then let’s begin!
1. Prepare the pot
The first step you should do before you plant your sweet potatoes in a pot is prepared the pot itself. The way to do it is to drill several holes so the soil could drain well.
The holes should be at the bottom of the pot and there should be at least 5 of them. Apart from those holes, you could also make several holes on the pot sides if you want.
It will help with the draining process. That is very important when it comes to successful root growth and maintaining good soil composition over time.
2. Choose the location
Sweet potatoes require a specific location because they are very picky when it comes to that. They require a lot of warmth during the day, as well as during the night, so you will have to pick a very sunny location.
The optimal temperature for growing these plants is around 60⁰F. So, you will have to make sure to choose the location wisely so you could meet their requirements.
Apart from that, sweet potatoes are wine and they prefer to grow across the entire ground in a horizontal way. But, if you do not like that or you just simply don’t want them to grow that way, you could build some sort of structure so they could grow vertically. In order for them to do that, you will have to train them, since they are not natural climbers.
But, whatever growing method you choose, the location needs to give them enough sun to grow as healthy as they could.
3. Prepare the soil
Now it is the time to choose the soil and make the right mixture, so sweet potatoes could be planted and grown in a good way.
When it comes to sweet potatoes which are grown in pots, they prefer soil, which has a sandy composition and that provides good enough draining.
One thing to note here is that sweet potatoes prefer a bit moisty soil. But not too watery. So, that is the reason why setting up a good draining system is very important.
Combined with the holes in the pot you had previously made, this type of soil mixture should provide very good conditions. In such conditions, sweet potatoes would have excellent options for draining. That would help them develop much stronger and healthier roots.
That way, they will be able to grow faster and will produce very healthy output, which is ultimately the goal here.
Also, you should create an area on a side of the pot where the soil is a bit higher than on the other sides.
This is important for the next step.
4. Planting and watering
Now, when the soil on one part of the pot is slightly higher than on the other sides, then you can put the cuttings inside the soil and turn the roots to the side where the soil is a bit lowered.
Once that is done, you should cover all the cuttings with soil. After that, a good watering is in order for the plant to start its growth in full strength.
You need to make sure that you are giving the plant enough water. So, always try to check if the plant is moist enough, but do not make it too watery. That would be counter-productive and wouldn’t do much good to the plant.
5. Track growing progress
Around one week after you have planted the sweet potatoes in a pot, you should see some leaves growing. Check if they are healthy, by looking at their color.
In the next 3 months, the plant should grow more and more leaves and vines. Make sure to water it regularly and do not trim or prune the plant, because it is not needed. So keep them in a sunny location, water them regularly and everything will work out fine.
In around 4 months after the planting process, your sweet potatoes should start getting yellow color, which means that they are almost ready to be harvested.
How And When To Harvest Sweet Potatoes
Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint the exact harvesting time because sweet potatoes are very dependent on the seasonal growing.
So, if you would want to ensure good growth, you should water your plant regularly, place it in a good sunny location. It should have access to the sun for most of the day. After around 4-5 months you should notice if your plant is ready to be harvested.
The one usual sign is when leaves start to be yellow. That often happens near the end of September or the start of October, right before the first frost visits us.
Now, for the harvesting process, you should be very careful about how you handle that. Because, sweet potatoes are very sensitive and have very mild skin, which is why they shouldn’t be thrown around.
Make sure not to hurt roots with your garden fork or any other tool you are using at that point. After you have removed your potatoes, place them carefully in a container, don’t toss them in.
And voila! You now know how to grow sweet potatoes in a pot at your home, so what are you waiting for? Go and grow some potatoes!
Why are vines getting dry from time to time even though I water the plant regularly?
You might want to check if the soil has a good draining system. It might be that it is not set up properly, so the soil stays too wet and damages the plant itself.
What is the fastest way to harvest sweet potatoes?
You can use a garden fork, but in that case, you need to be very careful not to hurt the plant. So, it might be better to do it naturally, with your hands and smaller tools, so the roots wouldn’t get damaged.