Starting sweet potatoes for slips

If I want to start my own sweet potato slips, when should I start?

I did this once and I started mine in mid winter. Once I cut the slips off of the potato I put them in a jar of water to root and they seemed to hold well there until time to set them out.

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Now would be a good time.
I burry mine , cover with 4inches of potting mix + sand , in a large tub inside in warm place to get them going.


Read through this older thread andI i think its all explained Sweet Potato Cultivation.

One concern I have is, My grow room is a little chilly for sweet potatoes. Ambient temp tends to run in the low to mid 60s.

The grow light warms it a bit, and I can use a heat mat, but with the cool air, will the sprouts grow ok?

They like it warm so your right to be concerned. A heat mat or something along those lines may be in order.

I’ll probably try that. I really don’t have anywhere else in the house I can do them, my grow light is in the basement, and I don’t really have a “sunny window“ in my house due to the orientation of my house, and the location of trees and obstacles.

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I would keep them in a warm spot until they start sprouting at least an inch or so long. These were away from any light until just 2 days ago. Unlike seeds they have all that stored energy in the tuber so don’t need the photosynthesis energy for a while and then just really so you have good leaves. When the sprouts get a foot long, I cut them back to 2-3 leaves and put the cutting end in the water. By the end I’m taking cuttings off the cuttings as well as the tubers and have plenty of slips.


So you basically double up your slip count?

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The earlier you start them the more slips you can grow, the tuber will just keep pushing them out and you can divide slips already rooted in water and root the top half again

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OR, …you can take cuttings from your plant in the fall before you harvest the roots, and stick them in water and then pot them up. Water when you water your houseplants and it is ready in the spring when you are :blush:


Probably closer to triple or maybe quadruple my slip count, since I’m starting them now and have about 6 weeks before planting. Last year I probably had 20 slips from a single large sweet potato. Once I have the cut off slips in water going, I tend to fill with water with a little fertilizer added (1/2 strengh), since they’re no longer drawing from the tuber.

This year I decided to use little ones and just eat the big ones, but I’m sure I’ll have enough since I’m also buying at least one new variety to try.

I may try that, but don’t have good conditions for houseplants. Too dark except where the growlight is.

Mine is on a window sill. Doesn’t need a lot of light - like you are trying to grow it fast. Just any place where the sun peeks in. There is always a place to grow something :wink:


Interesting how one variety had sprouts in under a week, and the other, zilch so far.

Yes, some definitely take a lot longer to start making slips.

I’ll probably cut my first slips off next weekend and put the ends in the water so they root and then I can start cutting more from those as well when they grow.


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A couple leaves are wilty. Media is moist…

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Hawaii purple sweet potato?