JoannaCW
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When to separate slow growing sweet potato slips?

I'm trying to start sweet potato slips for the first time--hoping to grow some roots for me to eat and lots of vine for my rabbits to eat (I'm in zone 5, upstate NY).

I have one sweet potato half in water and another in soil which have sprouted. The water-sprouted potato has had sprouts for 3 weeks or so; they leaves are a nice lush green but they're very slow growing--the longest sprout is about 4 in.long with 5 leaves, most are shorter. (The air temp is around 60, which I know is cooler than optimal; started these in a warm place over the fridge but moved them for more light when the leaves came out.) White roots are growing, not out of the sprouts, but out of the lower end of the potato which is in the water. I've seen articles saying to twist shoots off at 5-10" long, at which point some of them will have roots...I do see little raised nodes on the underside of some stems and I don't know if those would root if put in soil or water.

Should I wait and see if the sprouts grow longer? Should I plant the whole sprouted half in a chunk so as not to lose the roots? Twist the shoots off anyway and maybe plant the root half separately? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: When to separate slow growing sweet potato slips?

When they are about 3 inches long, you can start planting them in potting mix. About 6 oz - 8 oz are good size -- like recycled yogurt cup with drainage holes or you can buy beverage cups -- one slip in each (sprouted shoot gently pulled off of the potato by hand -- don't twist, just push it over and nudge downward until it naturally breaks off of the potato).

Poke the bottom half in the potting mix so they can grow soil roots and won't have the transition set back from converting from water roots to soil roots.
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imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: When to separate slow growing sweet potato slips?

BTW you can eat some varieties of sweet potato leaves.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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