Unlike regular potatoes you can't grow sweet potatoes just by planting the sweet potato itself, you have to grow slips.
Here's how you grow slips.
1. Get ORGANIC sweet potatoes from the grocery store.
2. Now you have 2 options, you can put the entire sweet potato in a large jar, or you can cut it in half and put half in the jar and eat the other half. I am going to try both and see if one works better than the other.
3. Determine what end of the sweet potato goes in water.
WHAT? YES, only one end will grow slips, the other end will grow roots. The rounder end should be the top sprouting end and the pointier end should be the rooting end and therefore go in the water.
The image in the left shows the pointy end in the water and the blunt, rounder end above the water. The image on the right is a close up of the pointy, rooting end submerged.
4. Put 4 (or however many you need) toothpicks in the center of your sweet potato (If you are cutting the potato in half, cut them first then add the toothpicks).
5. Submerge your sweet potatoes in water. If you cut your potato in half you want it to have about an inch of the cut off portion submerged.
6. Now you wait. Give it a week or two and you should begin to see sprouts coming out the top and roots shooting out the bottom in to the water.
Be sure to keep your jars full of water, and add more as needed.
7. Once the slips have reached about 6 inches in height, you want to gently remove them and place them in water so they can form their own roots.
Gently pulling the slip from the sweet potato. I will leave the smaller ones until they reach about 6 inches as well.
Then place in water.
Now it will begin growing more roots in the jar of water.
8. Now each individual slip will begin to grow roots in the jar of water. This will take another couple of weeks. When those roots get a few inches long it will be time to plant them outside in soil.
9. Time to plant. Sweet potatoes are tropical plants that love the sun and humidity. Make sure there is no risk of frost before you plant them in your yard. You want to plant them about a foot apart. Bury the slips up to their top leaves and water generously. Sweet potatoes love water so be sure to keep them nice and evenly moist.
Most sweet potato varieties take around 100 days to reach maturity after planting your slips. You can tell they are ready to harvest when their leaves begin to yellow. If you are anything like me you can always gently remove some dirt and take a peek and see how they look.