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How to Grow a Sweet Potato Vine Indoors

sweet potato image by steveinnz from

Sweet potatoes, also called yams, are actually only a distant relative of the common potato and are also related to the morning glory. Sweet potatoes are best known for their culinary appeal. By using a few simple techniques, you can easily grow it into a beautiful houseplant that will brighten your home during the long winter months. You can let the plant continue to grow in the water or transfer it to a pot, and during summer, it can be planted outside where it makes a wonderful ornamental plant.

Starting Your Sweet Potato Vine

Choose a fresh, firm sweet potato that has budded. You can use any color sweet potato. If you are going to grow more than one plant, try planting different colors.

Hold the potato so it is vertical and place four to six toothpicks in a circle around the potato, about halfway down.

Put the potato in the vase with the narrower end pointing down into the jar. The toothpicks should hold the potato suspended with a bit of the potato sticking out of the vase.

Fill the vase with water and place it in a warm, sunny location in your house. The plant should begin to grow in about three days.

Change the water every week to keep the plant healthy and discourage pests.

Potting Your Sweet Potato Vine

Put a few rocks into the bottom of a medium-size clay pot and fill it halfway up with potting soil.

Carefully remove the sweet potato from the jar and transfer it into the pot with the roots down.

Continue to add more soil to the pot until the potato is covered in soil up to the vines.

Put it back in its original place for a week or two. You can leave it there or move it to a new warm, sunny place once it acclimates.

morning glory image by ATLANTISMEDIA from

Transfer your plant to a warm sunny spot in the garden after the danger of frost is past.


If the vines seem like they are dying, the plant may have reached the end of its life cycle. You can replace it by growing another sweet potato.

You can do the same thing with a regular potato. It will grow into a vine, bloom and may even produce small potatoes at the roots.

The decorative sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas) is a vigorous, fast-growing vine that does well as a houseplant and as an annual or perennial garden ground cover.


Do not leave the same water in your jar for more than two weeks, as it will become foul smelling and will attract fruit flies and other pests.

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