Long grown in home kitchens for decoration as well as function, sweet potato vines can easily be started from a standard-issue sweet potato purchased from your local supermarket. With a small amount of effort, you can coax one of these potatoes to grow slips, which are the tiny baby vines that sprout. After the slips take root, you can then transplant them to a pot or your outdoor garden.
Fill a jar about 3/4 of the way with water.
Stab a ring of toothpicks about 1/4 of the way from one end of the potato.
Place the toothpick side of the potato into the jar. Adjust it so that it is resting evenly on all of the toothpicks.
Place the potato in a warm place, preferably between 70 and 80 degrees F. Choose a location that receives sunlight, such as a sunny kitchen window.
Use disposable wooden chopsticks to temporarily stake the slips as they grow. When they are 6 to 8 inches in length, transplant them to dirt.