How to Grow Masses of Sweet Potatoes in Pots A to Z Guide

How to Grow Masses of Sweet Potatoes in Pots A to Z Guide

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Sweet potatoes are becoming a popular food, so it’s about time I talk about how you can grow this plant yourself in a bucket. This article will give you every detail you need to get started growing your own sweet potatoes in 20 gallon buckets – from buying your first seed potato all the way to harvesting boatloads of potatoes at the end of it all.

Choosing the Right Sweet Potato

In order to multiply a sweet potato, your tubers need to be capable of producing shoots. If your sweet potato won’t grow shoots, it may because it’s been treated with a chemical during the growing or shipping process. With regular potatoes, this chemical is called BudNip and it prevents potatoes from growing shoots. They’re still edible, but since they don’t sprout you can’t grow new potatoes from them.

You can ensure your sweet potato has had minimal contact with hormones or other chemical agents by selecting an organic sweet potato to use as your growing stock.

Here’s a sweet potato – it happens to be the one I’m eating tonight – that is already starting to produce sprouts. In sweet potato lingo, these growths are called slips – and it’s these sprouts that we use to grow more sweet potatoes.

Growing From “Slips”

The first order of business with growing sweet potatoes is getting a nice crop of sweet potato slips. Place your single seed potato in a 5 gallon bucket of moist soil, tops exposed. This is your “slip nursery” – an intermediate step between your grocery store shelves and your garden plot.

As with anything planted in buckets, make sure to drill adequate drainage holes in the bottom.

Before long, your “slips” will start rocketing out of your sweet potato. Once the slips are ready to plant, this is what they should look like.

You want to pull these shoots out and transplant them in larger 20 gallon containers. In each 20 gallon bucket, plant 6 sweet potato slips.

watch this video from the great Rob Bob growing sweet potato slips source:

How To Grow Sweet Potatoes In A Jar

some_textYou can grow sweet potatoes indoors if you have a sunny window or grow lights.

1. Choose a healthy, clean sweet potato with no soft spots or signs of rot. Rinse the sweet potato in cool, clean water to remove any caked on dirt.

2. Poke four toothpicks into the sides of the sweet potato. Space them evenly so that they form a circle around the middle of the tuber.

3. Fill a glass jar with water. The mouth of the jar has to be wide enough to support the potato on toothpicks. Set the sweet potato into the mouth of the jar with the narrow, pointed end down. Rest the toothpicks on the rim of the jar.

4. Fill the jar with water to within ½ inch below the rim. Most of the bottom half of the sweet potato should be immersed in water. Make sure the potato’s eyes are covered with water, or else they will not sprout.

5. Put the jar in a sunny location. A south facing windowsill is perfect. You can also place the jar underneath grow lights. You’ll see new shoots begin to emerge within several days. About a week later tiny roots will appear.

6. Add water if necessary to keep the potato’s eyes covered.

7. Transplant the potato to a container when the roots have sprouted.



It's very easy to grow sweet potato vine from cuttings. This is a great way to get more free plants for your garden.Growing new sweet potato vines from cuttings is a great way to get free plants—fast!— and they can last for many seasons.

Growing new plants from existing ones is the simplest form of propagation and perfect for beginner gardeners.

  1. STEP 1  – take a cutting below a leaf node
  2. STEP 2 – break off the lower leaves
  3. STEP 3 – place the stems in fresh, warm water
  4. STEP 4 – replace the water every few days
  5. STEP 5 – plant them in containers or keep them in jars


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