How can we multiply our sweet potato supply indoors?
Students will be able to…
Begin the process of propagating sweet potatoes indoors using common household supplies
Observe how cloning vegetables will impact overall yield with minimal effort
slip /slip/ noun. - (agriculture) a cutting from a vegetable for planting or grafting
Directions: Growing Sweet Potato Slips
1. Gather your materials. You will need a sweet potato, at least two mason jars or other clear containers that are wide enough to fit half of a potato, toothpicks or paper clips, water, a sharp knife, and a cutting board.
2. Watch the following Youtube video to see a demonstration of how to begin growing your sweet potato slips.
💭Helpful hints… keep these things in mind when propagating your sweet potatoes:
Keep the potatoes in a warm location during the day and night -- they are very frost sensitive! (they originated in the American tropics)
Identify the fibrous root sprouts (nodes) before beginning! Perhaps you need to wait a bit longer to propagate the sweet potato you’ve been watching...
3. Using your knife and cutting board, cut your sweet potato in half widthwise. The portion of the potato that has no skin is the portion that will be submerged in water, while the other side -- the pointy side -- will be exposed to the air.
4. Fill your water container nearly full depending on the size of your sweet potato. Leave enough room so that the water does not overflow when a portion of the sweet potato is placed into the container.
5. Identify the halfway point up your half-potato, and insert at least 4 toothpicks or paperclips at this point all the way around the potato. Make sure your toothpicks are spread evenly apart for optimal support during the slip growing process.
6. Place your sweet potato half into the jar, submerging the end without skin. Balance your support toothpicks to make sure the potato sits upright.
7. Place your sweet potato fixture in a warm and well-lit area. You can expect your sweet potato will sprout up to 50 new shoots within a week or so! Every so often, check the water to make sure the potato is still submerged. After waiting 3-4 weeks, you can begin to think about preparation for transplanting your sweet potato slips.
Download the PDF version of this lesson plan: