Indoor plants

American potato plant

The American potato: origin of the species

The American potato plant, commonly called in some parts of Italy, sweet potato is a species belonging to the scientific family of Convolvulaceae. The American potato is widely cultivated on tropical islands. Its fruits are consumed by the populations because they are sweet and very starchy. In Italy it was once widely believed that the American potato was a younger sister of the common potatoes. Completely wrong idea as the potatoes that we commonly consume on our tables belong to the scientific family of Solanaceae. In our country, the American potato is grown in some regions such as Puglia and Veneto. It is generally cultivated to use the fruit for the creation of ornamental plants for apartments. Indigenous peoples call the American potato with the term batata.

The American potato: a plant to grow with imagination

Soliciting your children or grandchildren to love greenery is almost a duty for those who love nature. This solicitation must not assume a heavy, academic tone, which has the air of cold teaching. The opposite effect would inevitably be obtained, while there are fun and easy solutions which, moreover, are equivalent to as many suggestions even for adults, to obtain beautiful plants in an unusual way. Starting from an American potato you can get an ornamental plant capable of making a corner of the house beautiful without much effort. With American potatoes, in fact, it is possible to obtain plants by spending very little. The cultivation and care of an American potato plant does not require a great green thumb but only some forethought and aesthetic taste.

The American potato plant: care and maintenance

The American potato plant was imported by Christopher Columbus who tasted it in the new world in the distant 1492. The Genoese sailor brought it to Europe on his return along with many other things. The initiative, apparently, did not have a resounding success, but still today American potatoes are part of our diet, as they are used, for their sweetness, in the pastry sector. American potatoes can, in fact, be baked, boiled or reduced to pies and puddings as a dessert. Well, these sweet and substantial tubers can also give life to beautiful green plants with long drooping shoots that have nothing to envy to more renowned and more expensive plants. Just go to any greengrocer or to the market stalls to buy one or more tubers of this plant.

The cultivation of the American potato is very easy, just place it on the mouth of a glass jar, and follow the progress of the vegetation, the rapid appearance of the buds and the formation of the leaves, fleshy and shiny, which in shape are a little reminiscent of ivy . Furthermore, since the cultivation takes place in a transparent glass vase, it is possible, and this will undoubtedly please the most curious children and young people, to follow the development of the root system and thus observe one of the most interesting and important phenomena of plant life. The only cure for the American potato plant is to add water that evaporates or is absorbed by the roots, so that the potato is always immersed in water for 2-3 centimeters. It will also be appropriate, every week, spray the leaves with a vaporizer, both to clean them of dust and to avoid the damage of the excessive richness of the atmosphere. The pot with the American potato must be in good light but not in the sun. If well cared for, this plant can last for several months.

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