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How to Grow A Sweet Potato Indoors

Updated on November 19, 2014

Why Would You Want To?

I love growing anything I can from from my grocery store produce. I have a lemon tree, grapefruit tree and orange tree growing in my living room.

Why? I live in the Yukon, where it is dark and cold for half the year, and sunny and warm for the other half.

The sweet potato plant is my latest experiment.

It's ready to be potted.

I like to start with my plants growing in a clear vase so I can watch the roots grow. Every plant I grow is a celebration of life.

Here's a step by step guide to growing a sweet potato indoors.

(photo by me)

Step By Step Guide

Choose a vegetable with signs of life, like small buds or roots. Many are treated or dried in a kiln to make them last longer. I was delighted, and quite surprised to find one that grew on my first try.

Put the the bottom one third of the plant in water with the pointier side on top. You can poke toothpicks into the sides to help it fit into the container.

As you can see, I chose a vase that fit perfectly and allowed me to monitor the root growth.

I added a little root stimulator.

Next very very patient. The picture above was taken after about about two months.

First, you'll see thin white roots, and then stems and leaves popping out of the top and sides.

When you pot the sweet potato, leave the top one third uncovered.

(Image fotopedia)

Here's Everything You'll Need

Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps by Peterson, Deborah (5/7/2008)
Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps by Peterson, Deborah (5/7/2008)

I love this book so much, it sits on my coffee table. I hope I can grow everything in the book.

Plant Success Jellyfish Inoculant Roots, 10g
Plant Success Jellyfish Inoculant Roots, 10g

A root stimulator helps gets things growing.

Smart Pots 10-Gallon Smart Pot Soft-Sided Container, Black
Smart Pots 10-Gallon Smart Pot Soft-Sided Container, Black

You'll need a large pot for your sweet potato. This one helps manage heat and moisture.


Grow Fun Things From Your Grocery Store Produce

If you live in a warm climate you can start many of the plants in "don't throw it, GROW IT" indoors and then plant them directly outdoors.

If you live in a moderate climate, use a large container so you can keep your treasure outdoors and move it in when it gets cooler.

I am going to put my sweet potato outside this summer. I'm curious to see how it does when it's exposed to more that 20 hours of sunlight per day.

I hope you have as much fun doing this as I have.


Some Final Advice

Be patient. Many of these plants take a long time to germinate and/or root. My ginger plants took six weeks to root, but once they got going, they grew like crazy.

Expect some failure. It took my a half a dozen tries to get my pineapple tree growing.

I've worked with fruit seeds that have never germinated, possibly because of the way the fruit was treated or because it was too old.

The failures make the successes even sweeter.


My Sweet Potato Plant Today

My Sweet Potato Plant Today
My Sweet Potato Plant Today

don't throw it, GROW IT!

Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps by Peterson, Deborah (5/7/2008)
Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps by Peterson, Deborah (5/7/2008)

If you like to experiment with plants, you'll love this book.

It gives you step by step instructions on how to grow a wide range of things from tubers, shoots, roots and pits.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


What Do You Like to Grow?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hmmm...container gardening has now been taken to a new level! I will have to give this a try!

    • iamraincrystal profile image

      Rosyel Sawali 4 years ago from Manila Philippines

      Wow! I would like to grow my own herb garden ^_^

    • GardenerDon profile image

      Gardener Don 4 years ago

      I saw another great lens here about growing celery from the cast away base of a celery bunch too.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      My husband once planted an orange tree for his little girl, from the seed of a regular store orange. Darned tree lived for years in a pot! Up in northern New Hampshire! :)

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 4 years ago from Kent, UK

      I've often done it by accident when I've found potato plants and tomatoes growing near the compost heap!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Yes, but I never thought of growing a sweet potato indoors. I love your story. I'm from Alaska, but don't think Mom had even one plant growing in our house in Fairbanks.

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      Tomatoes are my fave - but I like to grow everything. I love the fact that you live in the Yukon but refuse to let that deter you ,and also that you grow your plants in clear containers so you can celebrate life and growth. I honestly thought I was the only person who did that! Your final advice is spot-on ... Patience. Yes!

    • MEDerby profile image

      MEDerby 4 years ago

      @blessedmomto7: Wow. I haven't tried that, but I'm going to. Thanks

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 4 years ago

      I'm growing lettuce from the cut bottoms of the lettuce heads I bought last week.