Worms and Flowers

Sweet Potato Slips

Posted in Garden, How To, Sweet Potato by Lzyjo on April 1, 2010

What the hay is a sweet potato slip? This question has been really bothering me and now I know they are rooted clippings from shoots that sprout from sweet potatoes. Silly me, Whenever I heard things like plant sweet potato slips, I assumed they were like seed potatoes, or something, even though I knew that Sweet Potatoes Ipomoae batatas are part of the morning glory family and grow underground from vines that spread along the surface. (Yams  also grown from vines, but are from a different family, Dioscoreaceae.)

Sweet potatoes come in a wide variety of colors from white and yellow and reds and purples. Dry and moist fleshed variates are both available.  In the Tropical Americas where sweet potatoes originated, dry fleshed white variates are preferred. Ethnic markets in the US  also offer the white-fleshed variates. The moist copper skin/orange flesh sweet potato is the most common one in the US and the one you will see in all the chain groceries.

Sweet potatoes have been ranked as one of the healthiest vegetables, they are full of vitamin and minerals and contain healthy complex carbs good for moderating the blood sugar because they are slow to digest and consequently very satisfying and filling.

One of the problems I had comprehending the definition of “sweet potato slips” is none of these articles ever said where you buy sweet potato slips. Do they come in Bags? Sets? Pieces? Now it makes sense. After Googling sweet potato plants I saw a bunch of pictures showing sweet potatoes leafing out in jars. All you need is a sweet potato root to make slips. The first challenge is getting your root to sprout. Sweet potatoes keep for a darned long time. How do I know this? Because I ate one yesterday purchased last fall and there’s still one hiding in the cupboard. Research shows that sweet potatoes sprout best a 95% humidity,


I picked a nice wide mouth jar that fit the sweet potato securely and filled it with enough water so it’s barely touching the root. You will notice that one end of the sweet potato is pointier than the other. This is where the roots will start from. The blunter end is where the leaves will emerge. Now I need to wait. Once enough spouts emerge I will cut them and make sure they have their own roots. Hopefully I will get several plants from this root.This would also be a fun project to do with the kiddos. Oh, one more thing sweet potatoes need a long growing season 90-100 days to mature.


WorldCrops Sweet Potato tons of good info about sweet potatoes from a worldwide perspective included several recipes.

The Walden Effect: Homesteading Year4 Good how to series “clipping sweet potato slips” with super step-by-step photos of the process.

Compost Guy Growing Sweet Potato Slips. Good photos and info for making multiple cuttings.

and if you happened to have a couple of sweet potatoes hanging around here are a few great variations for baked sweet potato fries. Care2 Sweet Potato Fries Three Ways.

5 Responses

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  1. Jen said, on April 1, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    I am taking note of this – yes, a great project for the kids – maybe even for the school to harvest in the fall! I used to hate sweet potatoes when I was a kid, but now it’s like I can’t get enough. Making up for lost time maybe.

    LOL! That’s funny. Although I loved potatoes as a kid I was terrified of baked potatoes in their jackets! I was like 12 before I ate one, now of course I can’t get enough. Sounds like a fun project to do at the school.

  2. […] Sweet Potato Slips « Worms and Flowers […]

  3. Faith said, on April 2, 2010 at 6:54 AM

    That’s odd. This post didn’t show up as your recent one, a paper mache garden statue did, so I commented on that one, then checked out your blog to see why it was an old post.

    I planted slips last year and didn’t realize that it was not all one plant. So I wasted the whole thing. Live and learn. LOL


    Thanks for stopping by Faith. Sorry about that old post I updated to make sure the links were there I didn’t know it went to the top like that. That’s funny about your slips, maybe you an start your own instead this year.

  4. tina said, on April 2, 2010 at 7:42 AM

    I had never heard of a sweet potato slip before either. Cool you figured it out. I hope you get tons of them from the garden this year.

    It’s confusing isn’t it. I’m excited to see the whole process unfold, from the slips, to the flowers, and hopefully the fruit. Thanks for stopping by, Tina.

  5. lloyd thibodeaux said, on October 19, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    I help my grandfather as a young boy. I do not remember seen flowers on
    the potato vines I planted a raw of sweet potato in my garden this morning i
    seen flowers on some the vines.Do they make a flower before potato?



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