How to Sprout Yams for Planting


Yams, also known as sweet potatoes in the United States, are a root vegetable that looks like an elongated potato. The skin of a yam is thinner, and the inside flesh is usually orange instead of white. Yam flesh tends to be softer and naturally sweet, but yams are used for a variety of dishes and can even replace standard potatoes in recipes. Yams require 100 to 150 warm days before they can be harvested, so many gardeners choose to start their sprouts inside to get a head start.

Step 1

Select a jar or glass that is large enough for the yam to fit down into, then add water to the bottom of the jar.

Step 2

Place a small yam into the glass, making sure the bottom one-third to one-half of the yam is immersed fully in water.

Step 3

Place the jar in a sunny location that's at least 75 to 80 degrees.

Step 4

Add water to the jar as needed to keep the yam section immersed. Sprouts will emerge in three to six weeks.

Step 5

When the yam sprouts are at least 6 inches long, remove them from the tuber by gently pulling, then place them into water or damp sand.

Step 6

Keep them in a sunny warm location until roots are fully developed--about 12 weeks total--then plant them outside in the garden once all danger of frost has passed.

Things You'll Need

  • Yam
  • Jar
  • Water


  • How to Grow Sweet Potatoes
Keywords: sprout yam plants, getting yams started, sweet potato sprouting

About this Author

Kathy Burns-Millyard has been a Web designer, developer, Internet consultant, photographer and prolific professional writer since 1997. Specializing in business, technology, environmental and health topics, her work has appeared in "Wireless Week" magazine, "Entrepreneur" magazine, "Computer User" magazine, and in hundreds of publications around the Web.