Save money by making your own sweet potato cuttings, or slips. It's easy!


A Thanksgiving favorite, the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is also known for its health value. To grow your own, all you need is a few jars of water. Sweet potatoes are planted from cuttings, also called slips. Although you can purchase slips from a garden store, making your own is an inexpensive and easy option.

Making the Slips

You can make cuttings from store-bought potatoes; however, you may not know which variety you're growing. Instead, buy your first set of slips from a garden store to ensure you get a type that will grow well in your area, then use a few of those potatoes to make slips for next year.

To start, set a sweet potato in a jar of water. Leave it in a warm, sunny spot. It will send out roots and leaves within two weeks.

Once they've had a chance to grow a few inches long, cut off pieces and place these cuttings in another jar of water. Wait another 1-2 weeks for them to root. They're now ready to be planted. One sweet potato should yield 1- to 2- dozen cuttings.

Timing the Process

Since it takes about four weeks from potato to slip, you should allow 4-5 weeks before planting. The slips should also be planted 3-4 weeks after the last expected frost, so plan accordingly.

Don't know what to do with all your new potatoes? Try some of our sweet potato recipes!


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