Sweet potatoes are quite easy to grow. All you need is one sweet potato or a few to start with.
The sweet potato plant can also be eaten 2 ways.
Firstly you can eat the sweet potato tuba. Secondly, you can eat sweet potato leaves (IMPORTANT: Do NOT eat regular potato leaves). Potato (and tomato) leaves and stems are poisonous, but sweet potato leaves are safe! They are delicious stir-fried with belachan or some chopped garlic.
Just note that some commercially grown sweet potatoes sold in stores might have been chemically treated to prevent regrowing. Sometimes this notice is printed on the packaging which I have seen on a pack of Australian grown sweet potatoes sold in my local Fairprice supermarket.
The sweet potatoes I used for regrowing are Japanese purple sweet potatoes organically grown by Zenxin Organic Farm. These can be bought in Cold Storage or Giant supermarkets in Singapore and Malaysia.
How to Grow Sweet Potatoes
I tried growing with 3 sweet potatoes, cutting some into 2 pieces and trying different propagation methods using water and soil.
At first I put all 3 into water.
Nothing happened to 2 of the sweet potatoes even after 2 weeks, but the long one on the right started growing new roots after a few days! Let's call this "Sweet Potato 1".
Growing Sweet Potato 1
On 28 Sep (Day 6), I took this sweet potato out of the bottle, cut it into 2 pieces and half buried each piece in soil in a container made from a $5.90 IKEA box.
On the left side:
On the right side:
Notice the 2 shoots in the middle? They are "stem cuttings" that I plucked from the piece of sweet potato in front and transplanted. Curious to see if they die or continue to grow!
I water these twice a day but do not use much water each time. About 15 to 20 sprays each from a $2 spray bottle bought at the gardening section in Daiso.
Next let's take a look at the next sweet potato - Sweet Potato 2.
Growing Sweet Potato 2
If you look at the picture near the top of this post with the 3 sweet potatoes in water, Sweet Potato 2 is the smallest one on the top-left.
Growing Sweet Potato 3
Sweet Potato 3 is the one in the middle of this picture.
I cut a satay (kebab) stick into 3 pieces and used them to set the sweet potato up in a recycled cotton bud container. Unfortunately, after more than 2 weeks, there was absolutely no sign of growing roots or shoots 🙁
The only thing that was growing was what looked liked white fungus on the bottom that was soaked in water.
I decided to remove it from the container, took out the satay sticks and left the sweet potato alone.
After about a week, I decided to try growing it again.
First I washed the sweet potato, then I placed it lying horizontally in a plastic takeaway box with water that was approximately half a centimetre high. This time it started to grow lots of roots after several days!
Forgot to take pictures of it :p but the process described from the picture above to the picture below took 32 days.
Day 1 of transplanting the rooted sweet potato:
Day 5 after transplanting: