sweet potatoes

The sweet potato vine in winter : winter advices of the sweet potato vine

If you live in a warm climate between USDA Plant Resistance Zones 9 and 11, winter care of sweet potato plants is simple because the plants will be well in the soil all year round. However, if you live north of Zone 9, take steps to care for your sweet potato plants during the winter to prevent them from freezing. Read on to find out how.

Winter care of sweet potato vine

If you have space, you can simply bring the plants indoors and grow them as houseplants until spring. Otherwise, there are several simple ways to winterize a sweet potato plant.

Sweet potato tubers in winter

Bulb-shaped tubers grow just below the soil surface. To overwinter the tubers, the vines must be cut off at ground level and then dug up before the first autumn frosts. Dig carefully and be careful not to cut the tubers.

Lightly brush the soil from the tubers, then store them, without touching them, in a cardboard box filled with peat moss, sand or vermiculite. Place the box in a cool, dry place where the tubers will not freeze.

Observe whether the tubers germinate in the spring, then cut each tuber into pieces, each with at least one germ. The tubers are ready to be planted outdoors, but make sure any danger of frost has passed.

Instead of storing the tubers during the winter, you can also put them in a container filled with fresh potting soil and put it inside. The tubers will germinate and you can enjoy an attractive plant until it is time to transplant it outside in the spring.

Wintering of sweet potato plants by cutting

Take several cuttings of 10 to 12 cm on your sweet potato plants before the plant is cut by frost in autumn. Rinse the cuttings well under cold running water to eliminate parasites, then place them in a glass container or vase filled with clean water.

Any container will do, but a transparent vase will allow you to see the roots developing. Be sure to remove the lower leaves first, as any leaves that touch the water will cause the cuttings to rot.

Winter care of sweet potato plants

Place the container in indirect sunlight and observe whether the roots develop in a few days. At this stage, you can leave the container all winter, or you can put them in a pot and enjoy them as houseplants until spring.

If you decide to leave the cuttings in the water, change the water if it becomes cloudy or brackish. Keep the water level above the roots.

If you decide to plant rooted cuttings, place the pot in a sunny spot and water as needed to keep the soil mixture slightly moist, but never soggy.

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