Friday, November 16, 2007

Rooting Sweet Potato Vine Cuttings

Rooting Sweet Potato Vine CuttingsThis spring I bought some Ipomoea batatas 'blackie' plants for my container garden and have decided to store the tubers and take some cuttings to try to root the cuttings indoors for next spring. Ipomoea batatas is better known as sweet potato vine or ornamental sweet potato and are related to morning glories and the sweet potato vine flower (see photo at link) has a remarkable resemblance to the morning glories you may have in your garden.

Sweet potato vines are common annuals and are easily purchased for your garden every spring and summer at the garden center but storing the tuber and rooting your own can save you a few dollars a year. Not only is this frugal gardening but you get to practice some plant propagation with a plant that is easy to root.

Rooting sweet potato vine cuttings is very easy and can be done in soil or water without the need for rooting hormones. In this example I'll be rooting sweet potato vine cuttings in water in a glass vase I already own. I removed the lower leafs and simply cut the vine right below a leaf node at a 45 degree angle. A leaf node is the spot where a leaf will or has grown out of the vine or stem of a plant- on the sweet potato vine it is easy to find because it is a small bump or lump in the vine. At this spot is where I expect the roots to form first on the sweet potato vine.

Your sweet potato vine should root within a few days to a week in a warm spot. Make sure to change the water daily or frequently to reduce the chances of bacteria or algae forming in the water especially if it is in direct light. When taking cuttings you should make sure that you're using a clean pair of scissors or a knife.

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