If you consider it wasteful to find a shriveled yam in the bottom of your pantry, think again. A yam that you would rather not eat can be the beginning of a beautiful indoor houseplant. By rooting the yam in water and then planting the shoots in growing medium, you will have a green, vining plant that will thrive either indoors or outdoors.
Fill the glass or jar with cool water and position the yam in the water so that approximately one-third to one-half of the yam is under the surface of the water.
Insert the toothpicks around the sides of the yam to hold the yam in the water in this position. The toothpicks will rest on the rim of the jar or glass.
Place the jar in a sunny window in a location where the temperature is approximately 75 degrees F. Add additional water when necessary to the jar to keep the water level at the same point on the yam.
Fill the planting container to the top with potting soil. You will need one planting container for every two yam sprouts.
Watch the sprouts that form from the yam. When they are approximately 6 inches long, remove them carefully and place them directly into the prepared planting containers. Insert them about 2 inches into the soil and space them approximately 3 inches apart so that each vine will trail over a side of the container.
Water the newly planted sprouts generously and place them back in the sunny window. Keep the soil evenly moist.
Keep the yam plant as a trailing houseplant or transplant them outside in the spring when the weather is warm.