All About Sweet Potatoes

Thumbnail image of Can I Plant
Can I Plant
Last Updated: | Reading Time: 3 minutes

Sweet potato plants are a perennial root crop that can be grown in most climates. They are a member of the Convolvulaceae family and have heart-shaped leaves and white, purple, or pink flowers. Sweet potatoes are propagated from slips or cuttings taken from the vine. The plants are drought-tolerant and need full sun and well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. Sweet potatoes require regular watering and should be fertilized every few weeks. The tubers can be harvested after about 6-7 months.

Planning Your Garden With Sweet Potatoes

As you plan your garden, it's important to think about the spacing, size, light, and nutrient requirements of all of your plant and how they'll grow together.

Some plants require more water than others, while other plants require dry soil. At the same time, some plants prefer full sun, and other plants need the shade to survive.

By studying what each plant requires and planning ahead where all of your plants will grow best, you can optimize your garden space.

Life Cycle Sweet potatoes are perennial.
USDA Zone The USDA Hardiness Zone range for sweet potatoes is 9-11.
Cold Tolerance Sweet potatoes are not generally considered to be cold-tolerant, and can only survive temperatures as low as 32.
Days to harvest The minimum number of days to harvest sweet potatoes is usually between 90 and 120 days.
Average size The average size of a full grown sweet potato plant is between 3 and 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide.
Spacing requirements Sweet potatoes prefer a spacing of 8-12 inches between plants, with 36-48 inches between rows.
Sun tolerance Sweet potatoes are considered to be a sun-loving plant and can tolerate full sun exposure. However, they do prefer some shade during the hottest parts of the day.
Shade tolerance Sweet potatoes are considered to be moderately tolerant of shade. They will produce a lower yield when grown in partial shade, but can still survive and produce some harvestable tubers in these conditions.
Water requirements For optimal growth, sweet potatoes should be grown in soil that has a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, and moisture levels should remain consistent. The soil should be kept evenly moist, but not soggy, and should be watered deeply every 7-10 days. During the hottest part of the summer, sweet potatoes may need to be watered more frequently.
Fertilizer The amount of fertilizer used when growing sweet potatoes will depend on the soil type and the specific needs of the crop. Generally, a balanced fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 5-10-10 is recommended. It is best to apply the fertilizer at planting time and then again when the vines begin to run. It is important to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the correct amount to use.
Soil pH The optimum pH for growing sweet potatoes is between 5.0 and 6.5.

Why Sweet Potatoes are Popular

People like to grow sweet potatoes because they are relatively easy to grow, require minimal maintenance, and are highly versatile in the kitchen. Sweet potatoes are also a nutritious food that is packed with vitamins and minerals. Additionally, they are a great source of dietary fiber, which can help to support digestive health.

Companion Plants For Sweet Potatoes

Companion planting is a great way to maximize your garden space and get the most out of your plants. By planting certain plants together, you can help each other thrive. In some cases, you can even help each other repel pests.

Popular companion plants for sweet potatoes include:

Common Pests For Sweet Potatoes

Plant pests are a common problem for gardeners. By understanding what pests are common for your plants, you can take steps to prevent them from damaging your plants.

When you grow sweet potatoes, keep an eye out for these common pests:

  • thrips
  • aphids
  • whiteflies
  • spider mites
  • nematodes

USDA Zones

USDA zones are a popular way of determining which plants can grow in your area. Zones tell you when your average first and last frost date are, as well as how cold you can expect it to get in the winter.

Our site works best if you choose your zone from the list below. If you do not know your USDA zone, then you can use our zone map.

Leave a reply

Thank you! Your comment has been successfully submitted. It will be approved as soon as possible.

More From Caniplant