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How to Turn the Sweet Potato You Just Bought Into a Plant: 10 Easy Steps

Love sweet potatoes? Swati Dwivedi, a gardening expert from Bengaluru, shares how you can grown them at home. You don’t need seeds, you can use the sweet potatoes bought from market!

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Swati Dwidevi, a resident of Bengaluru, is a full-time HR professional whose hobby is growing various plants and documenting them on her YouTube channel. In her backyard, she grows over 200 plants, which includes a plethora of fruits like papaya, guava, sugarcane, and vegetables like gourds, carrot, ginger, and herbs like basil, giloy, coriander, and more.

In August 2020, Swati took up a challenge to grow sweet potatoes from a store-bought vegetable in pots. A few months ago her experiment was a success and she harvested over 3 kg of the vegetable.

The harvest of sweet potatoes
The harvest of sweet potatoes

“It is a very simple process, and can be grown in the garden, terrace, balcony, or in any place that receives ample sunlight,” says Swati, in an interview with The Better India.

Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fibre and contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, Vitamin B and C. One of the key nutritional benefits is the presence of an antioxidant known as beta-carotene which can prevent Vitamin A deficiency. Apart from this, sweet potatoes are low on the glycemic index and can be consumed, in moderation, by those with diabetes.

Here’s how you can grow this in 10 simple steps at home.

Things you’ll need:

  1. Store-bought sweet potatoes
  2. Bowls
  3. Potting mix
  4. Container or terracotta pots

Method:

Step 1: Cut a store-bought sweet potato into half.

Cut a sweet potato in half
Cut a sweet potato in half

Step 2: Fill a bowl halfway with water and place the sweet potato in it. Do not immerse it fully.

Place two halves in separate bowls filled with water
Place two halves in separate bowls filled with water

Step 3: Replace the water every alternate day, and within 10 days you will notice a growth of small leaves and roots.

Leaves sprouting from sweet potatoes
Leaves sprouting from sweet potatoes

Step 4: Allow the sweet potato to grow in the same bowl for up to 30 days.

The foliage growth on sweet potatoes
The foliage growth on sweet potatoes

Step 5: After there is a good growth of foliage (leaves) and stems, carefully remove the separate shoots growing on the sweet potato.

Remove shoots from the sweet potatoes
Remove shoots from the sweet potatoes

Step 6: For best results, place these shoots into a separate bowl with water, for a few days, to germinate the roots.

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Germinate shoots in a glass of water
Germinate shoots in a glass of water

Step 7: Take a wide container, fill it with organic potting mix.

Container with organic potting mix
Container with organic potting mix

Step 8: Create one-inch holes in the soil and place each shoot equally spaced out from each other.

Place the germinated shoots in the potting mix
Place the germinated shoots in the potting mix

Watch how to germinate and plant the sweet potatoes here:

Step 9: Place the plant under sunlight and water regularly.

Step 10: Within six or seven months, once you notice the plant starts to turn yellow or dull and produce flowers the sweet potatoes are ready to harvest.

Sweet potatoes being harvested.
Sweet potatoes being harvested

Swati says, “It is important to choose a wide container to grow the sweet potatoes as they spread in a horizontal direction. Also, do not place more than two shoots in one container.”

Watch how to harvest sweet potatoes here:

 

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