Our unusually mild, though dry, autumn has given the sweet potato plants a good start in the basement.
By giving all of the indoor plants a serious trim, lighting requirements are lower. No plant blocks another’s need for more light. In December, the regrowth is tiny and the pots aren’t pretty, only alive! Again, some added light may be necessary to get through the season.
I’ve found the sweet potato containers can survive with minimal light. Survive is enough for now. I have a plan to rotate the various pots through the spots of optimal light to help them survive. This isn’t an experiment on how to kill a container plant!
I will have to be honest about my experiment. I’ve had losses in February. Just when I thought everything was going well, BAM, the plant would curl up and die. We’ll chronicle survival and the worst.
Today, things are looking GOOD. Especially the sweet potato and rosemary pots.
Three sources for indoor sweet potato plants.
These bright greenies are the new leaves that have grown since I whacked the vines off to bring the pot inside. They are growing from the 2016 sweet potato tuber. That tuber still feels solid and has two plants thriving. Even though I can see a new tuber through a crack in the pot bottom, I’m reluctant to dig it out yet and risk killing all of this green magic! If it is all still going in March, I will clip these new vines and do some digging.
The purple slips, from summer sweet potato rooting projects, weren’t quite as speedy vigorous and one has already ‘kicked the bucket.’. These leaves are looking pretty good, though. They were once a bitty sprout that grew roots in a shot glass! Anything bigger would have drowned it!
We are especially excited about the possibilities for the sweet potato plants in the summer of 2018 because they were difficult to find in the garden centers of our area in 2017. The only ones we had were those we were able to start ourselves. This time we have some from 2017 tubers still trying to survive. Others were vines shooting roots down into the garden soil. The third group are vine clippings that were rooted in water.
Soils seem to determine the sweet potato shape
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Our soils seem to be difficult for the great edible sweet potatoes one finds at the produce department. They are good in color, but carrot shaped! That happened to the one container set of edible sweet potato that we had in 2017. The little carrot shaped tuber is where we start for 2018. I just have this different perception of what a good sweet potato should look like!