Rooting sweet potato cuttings

I started some sweet potato slips back in March. The original potato rotted, so I clipped all the salvageable slips off and rooted them as cuttings. I then planted those and let them continue to grow.

Now that it’s warmed up, I am ready to plant out in the ground. My plan is to take cuttings yet again, I am not going to attempt to transplant what is now a huge rootbound rootball that would never grow shapely potatoes!

The question is, what is the best way to do it? A couple shoots are long enough to make multiple 4 node cuttings out of.

I’m trying to decide if I should attempt to root in water or media? In water, I’m more likely to not have issues with root breakage when transplanting, but am concerned about rot.

I rooted the first cuttings when the potato rotted in situ in the pot, and never transplanted after that (I just put a Ziploc back over the pot for about a week).

Any ideas?

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What about trying to separate the slips and salvage some roots for each? With just a few roots they should go ahead and take off if you keep them watered.

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Any of the above…you could even plant straight into the ground if you irrigate or if it’s a rainy season. May leaves plenty of time for production of potatoes…

having tried this in July, the results would be tiny immature potatoes.

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The roots have already started thickening.

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So I stuck a few in moist paper towel in a ziplock on a heat mat. 1/2” roots in 24 hours!!!

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I was able to get about 20 4-node cuttings off of these, and they’re all pretty much showing at least initial roots. It’s going to be in the upper 50s tonight, but then 80s for highs, 60s for lows going forward, so I’ll plant them out tomorrow.

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So I got them planted. I noticed that the roots were all anywhere from a quarter to a half an inch long. A couple of them had turned black at the very tips. And some of them were growing the “wrong” direction (upward).

I hope this doesn’t end up leading to weirdly shaped roots by harvest time.

If you get some timely rain, all will work out fine.

What we got was one of the worst thunderstorms we’ve had in the last couple of years, and 1.1 inches of rain in 15 minutes. I can’t get out there to check on them for a couple hours, but I’m concerned they’re not even there anymore.

:slight_smile: …. that was pretty timely!

(Hope you still have plants as well as some topsoil!)

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The area where they’re planted actually didn’t suffer really any erosion, although a couple of other areas did. They’re actually quite happy looking. Not wilted, and good and moist.

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