Sweet Potato Cuttings: [Concept, Period, Rooting and Planting]

What does it mean to plant by cuttings?

Planting by cuttings is the technique of reproducing, propagating or multiplying a plant through a fragment of it to generate a new one.

The cuttings are obtained from the stems, leaves or roots of the plant and can be: tender, juvenile, semi-mature, woody, foliar buds, foliar and root.

Sowing by cuttings is very useful for those plants that do not produce seeds or that produce a limited number of them.

With this method of planting by cutting, a good number of plants can be multiplied from a single specimen: homogeneous and of good commercial quality.

The technique of planting by cuttings is widely used and recommended by horticulturists and is the favorite method of gardening enthusiasts because it is simple and easy to carry out.The vegetative multiplication of the sweet potato by means of rooted cuttings is the method most used and recommended by horticulturists.

What is the best time to plant sweet potato cuttings?

The best time to plant sweet potatoes, yams or yams varies according to the growing area, but in general it is done during the months of February and March, during spring.With modern horticultural techniques, the sweet potato can be reproduced by cuttings at any time of the year.

But in warmer climates you can choose the period you want, always during the dry season and providing abundant irrigation.Because it is a tropical and subtropical type plant, sweet potatoes do not resist low temperatures and their minimum development temperature is 12º C.

How to get sweet potato cuttings to root correctly?

To get the sweet potato cuttings to take root, an induction process of root production can be carried out through the use of agroecological products, such as mycorrhiza or earthworm humus.

Experts recommend carrying out the rooting process with biological products since the sweet potato is a fruit plant.

How should we take the sweet potato cuttings to plant them?

Sweet potato cuttings for planting should be obtained from plants born from buried sweet potatoes.

Select the most tender guides that have healthy and strong roots, and remove all the leaves until they are bare and clean.

Stem cuttings 15-20 cm long are then cut from mature plants and planted to half length, leaving 2-3 leaves at the end.

Specialists in sweet potato cultivation recommend that once the cuttings are cut, a disinfection process with water and chlorine is carried out to eliminate fungi and bacteria.When the roots of the sweet potato develop, the plants should be transferred to greenhouse beds or growing bags.

The tools to cut the cuttings must be sharp, clean and disinfected so as not to cause damage to the sweet potato cuttings.

How long should we leave sweet potato cuttings in water?

Before planting the sweet potato cuttings, the horticulturists carry out disinfection and root induction treatments by placing the cuttings in water and chemical substances for several minutes.

Once the disinfection process has been carried out on the cuttings, they are immediately planted so that they do not lose their properties.

Is it convenient to use fertilizer or compost?

The sweet potato is a demanding plant with regard to potassium, little nitrogen, nitrogenous organic matter and discreet in terms of phosphorus.

Horticulturists recommend fertilizing before planting or complementing it with manure and mineral fertilizer, and if it comes from the previous crop it is much better .

The amounts required for sweet potato cultivation is a balance of 1:2:3 in doses of 270 kg of fertilizer elements per hectare.For sowing sweet potatoes, the most important thing is good soil preparation, eliminating weeds and leaving the soil loose and light.

Experts in this type of cultivation recommend applying multi-purpose fertilizer once a month until the tubers have formed.The sweet potato crop should also be watered but without flooding.

How long does it usually take for a sweet potato cutting to come out?

If the process of planting the sweet potato cuttings was done correctly, it is very likely that in about five or six months later you can start harvesting the sweet potatoes, usually during the months of October and November.

About fifteen days before harvesting the bonitos, it is recommended to cut the branches, since when the sweet potato is ripe, the leaves take on a yellowish color.

According to the sweet potato crops carried out, it is estimated that their average yield is between 20 and 30 Tm/ha. and an average production per foot of 2 to 4 tubers weighing between 200-400 grams each.

Bibliography and references

  • Bent Ana. (2019). Great Book of Indoor Gardening. First edition. Servilibro Editions, SA Madrid-Spain. PP 43-47.
  • Manual of propagation of higher plants. Metropolitan Autonomous University. First Digital Edition 2017, Coyoacán. Mexico PDF.
  • Molano, R. David. Propagation of medicinal and aromatic plants. HEIs. Mario Rosso Luna, 2017. Trujillo-Peru. PDF.

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