Originating from Africa, the sweet potato is a tuber high in vitamins A and C. Different countries have different names for this root; for example, in the United States, it is called sweet potato, while in other places, it is called a yam. It is a popular food item in many cultures and can be cooked in various ways.
It is also a trendy plant to grow indoors because it is easy to take care of and does not require a lot of space. It is also a very versatile plant; you can use it for decoration or eat the sweet potatoes it produces.
If you want to grow an indoor sweet potato plant, there are a few things you need to know.
Why would you want one in your home or office space
Well, for starters, they are an excellent source of vitamins A and C. And if you grow them indoors, you can have them all year round. As a bonus, they make gorgeous decorations!
How you can get started with growing your own indoor sweet potato plant:
- Start with sweet potatoes that have already sprouted. If you’re using regular potatoes, poke holes in them so the vines can start growing.
- Fill a pot with high-quality potting mix and plant the potatoes about 6 inches deep. The pot must be kept in a sunny spot, and the soil must be thoroughly watered.
- Once the vines start growing, you can transfer them to a larger pot or plant them in your garden. Harvest the sweet potatoes when the leaves start to yellow and die back.
- You can have fresh, delicious sweet potatoes at your fingertips with care. So why not give it a try?
This is an excellent activity for kids since they can see the whole process from start to finish. And you may even get them to eat their greens!
Ways Of Growing Sweet Potatoes Indoors
You cannot simply grow sweet potatoes in any old pot or container. They need specific conditions to thrive, and your plants will quickly die if you don’t provide them. These plants are not even safe for your pets because of the leaves. So, ensure you take care of the following before you plant sweet potatoes in containers.
The Container Must Be Large Enough
The container you use to grow sweet potatoes needs to be large. You need to start with a pot at least 12 inches deep and 24 inches wide. This is not a plant; you can start in a small pot and then move to a larger one as it grows. If you want to grow multiple plants, you will need a larger container.
Drainage Is essential
Sweet potatoes need well-drained soil, or they will quickly rot and die. The pot you select must have drainage holes in the bottom so the water can drain. If it doesn’t have any, make some yourself with a drill.
Use The Right Soil
The type of soil you use is also essential. Sweet potatoes need light and fluffy soil that is rich in nutrients. It is best to use a potting mix designed specifically for vegetables to achieve this. You can also make your own by mixing compost, perlite, and peat moss. Check out our guide about the Best Mulch for a Vegetable Garden!
Place It In A Sunny Spot
Sweet potatoes need a lot of sunlight to grow, so you need to place your pot in a sunny spot. You can use grow lights if you don’t have a spot with at least six hours of sunlight. If your plant doesn’t get enough light, it will become etiolated, which means it will start to stretch and become thin.
Water It Regularly
Sweet potatoes need to be kept moist but not wet. You can achieve this by watering the plant as soon as the top inch of the soil feels dry. Stick your finger in the soil to check before watering. Overwatering is one of the most common reasons sweet potatoes die, so don’t make this mistake.
Care for your indoor sweet potato plant
In case you’re looking for ways to grow sweet potatoes indoors, here are some tips on how to care for your plants:
Fertilize Them Monthly
To ensure your plants get all the nutrients they need, you should fertilize them monthly. You can use a liquid fertilizer designed explicitly for vegetables or make your compost tea. In case you are not sure what compost tea is, it is a mixture of water and compost that has been too steep for a few days.
Prune Them Regularly
Pruning sweet potatoes are essential to encourage the plant to produce more tubers. It would help if you cut back the vines once they reach 18 inches long. Always use sharp shears to avoid damaging the plant.
Monitor for Pests and Diseases
Pests and diseases can quickly kill sweet potato plants. Keep an eye out for signs of pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. If you see any, treat them immediately with an organic insecticide. Common diseases include rot, blight, and mosaic virus.
Harvest Them in the Fall
Sweet potatoes are ready to harvest in the fall when the leaves start to yellow and die back. Cut the vines back to 6 inches and carefully dig up the tubers. Cure them in a warm, sunny spot for two weeks before storing them in a cool, dark place.
Light and temperature
Each day, sweet potatoes require at least six hours of sunlight. So if you’re growing them indoors, ensure they’re in a bright spot. They also prefer warmer temperatures and will not do well if the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
With these tips, you can successfully grow sweet potatoes indoors.
Types of soil are best for growing an indoor sweet potato plant.
There are a few different types of soil that are best for growing sweet potatoes indoors:
1. Loamy soil– this type of soil is a mix of sand, clay, and silt. It drains well and holds moisture, making it ideal for growing sweet potatoes.
2. Sandy soil – this type of soil drains well and is easy to work with. However, it doesn’t hold moisture as well as loamy soil, so you will need to water your plants more often.
3. Clay soil holds moisture well but can be challenging to work with. Consider adding some organic matter to clay soil if you want better drainage.
4. Peat moss – In the case of indoor gardening, peat moss is an excellent soil amendment as it holds moisture and nutrients well. It also has a neutral pH, making it ideal for growing sweet potatoes.
The best type of soil for growing sweet potatoes indoors is loamy soil. However, sandy soil or clay soil can also be used if you take the necessary precautions. Peat moss is an excellent soil amendment that can improve drainage and hold moisture.
When it comes to growing sweet potatoes indoors, the most important thing is ensuring the soil drains well. Sweet potatoes need a lot of moisture, so the roots will rot if the soil doesn’t drain well.
If you’re not sure whether your soil drains well, you can do a test by digging a hole in the ground and filling it with water. The soil is suitable for growing sweet potatoes if the water drains away within an hour.