• slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide

Sweet Potato

Botanical Name
Ipomoea batatas
Height
1 foot
Width
Up to 10 feet
Light
Full sun
Soil
Moist, well-drained, rich in organic matter
Planting & Care
  • Sweet potatoes are started from plants called slips
  • Wait until all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed before planting slips in the garden
  • Always buy plants grown from certified disease-free roots
  • Plant slips four inches deep and 12 inches apart, preferably on a wide raised ridge about 8 inches high
  • Space rows 3 to 4 feet apart
  • Water regularly after planting to help the plants get established
  • As the plants mature, they should be watered with moderation, later watering can cause root cracking
  • Early roots can be "robbed" starting in late summer by digging into the side of the ridge and carefully removing some developing roots while leaving the plant in place
  • Harvest the main crop around the time of the first fall frost
  • Using a fork or spade, be careful not to bruise, cut or damage the roots
  • Sweet potatoes should be handled as little as possible to avoid bruising and scuffing
  • In case of frost, cut the vines from the roots immediately to prevent decay spreading from the vines to the roots and dig up sweet potatoes as soon as possible
  • Cold soil temperatures quickly lessen the roots' ability to keep in storage
  • Allow harvested roots to dry on the ground for 2 to 3 hours after harvest, then cure the roots for 1 to 2 weeks at 80°F and then store in a cool (55°F) and dry location
  • When properly cured, sweet potatoes can be stored for 3 to 4 months, but for best quality, enjoy your sweet potatoes as soon as possible after storing
Problems
Mice, weeds, wireworms, nematodes, scurf, black rot, fusarium wilt, flea beetles, cutworms
Varieties
  • Beauregard - dark orange flesh, light rose skin, extremely high yield, stores well, 100 days to maturity
  • Bush Porto Rico - compact vines, copper skin, orange flesh, high yield
  • Jewel - deep copper skin, deep orange flesh, high yielding; good fusarium wilt, Southern root-knot nematodes, beetle and internal cork resistance
  • Regal - very high yields, excellent disease and pest resistance
  • Southern Delite - rose to dark copper skin, excellent baking flavor, high yields, excellent disease and insect pest resistance, 100 days to maturity

Related Content

Upcoming Appearances

Sat., November 10
Bloomin' Holidays

Learn More

Book an Appearance

Learn More

Win a $500 Gift Card

Enter Now