Basics

Ease of Growing
Easy
Grown as
Annual
Days to Maturity
100-110 (Spring/Summer)
Growing Habit
Vine
Hardiness
Tender

Sweet Potatoes are very tender and any frost will kill the tops. If an early fall frost threatens, it pays to protect them with straw mulch, cloches, or even plastic sheets. This is extra work, but you may be rewarded with several more weeks of growing weather. The large plants grow rapidly towards the end, so there can be a big benefit in leaving them in the ground for as long as possible. When a hard frost threatens, dig the tubers immediately. Don't wait too long as any damage to the tubers will affect their storability.

Crops
Spring Transplant, Summer
Growing Season
Long
Cultivar Type
-
Growing Conditions
Warm, Hot

Sweet Potatoes need warm days and nights and evenly moist soil. If they get these they should be happy.

Outdoor Growing Temp
65°F - 95°F
Min Outdoor Soil Temp
65°F

Sweet Potatoes absolutely must have warm soil. Don't plant them out until the soil is at least 65˚ F and nighttime temperature drops no lower than 60˚ F. If you have to gain extra time, warm up the soil with black plastic.

Start Indoors
Yes
Start Outdoors
Yes
Light
Sun: min. 6 hours daily (Warm, Hot)

These creeping tropical vines need as much sunlight as they can get.

Water
Moderate

Established plants are quite drought tolerant, but the soil should be kept evenly moist for best productivity (and especially while they are young). Don't over-water though, as too much water encourages foliage growth at the expense of root growth. If water is in short supply you can cut back on watering when the plants are well established and just water them when the soil gets dry. 

Feeder
Moderate

Like most root crops they need phosphorus (add colloidal phosphate) and potassium (add greensand or wood ashes). They don't need a lot of nitrogen, as it encourages the growth of foliage rather than roots (and can result in inferior roots).

Suitability
Drought tolerant, High heat, Needs lots of space
Small Gardens?
No
Containers?
Yes

For some gardeners, growing Sweet Potatoes in containers is more practical. If you have clay soil that doesn't drain well, using mix and a pot with adequate drainage will be better than planting in your garden. Additionally, you can move containers into the sun, giving plants warmer growing conditions. If growing in a container, plant 3 slips in a container that is at least 18" in diameter.

Attracts beneficial insects?
No
Color
Tan
Fruit Size
4.0-7.0"
Plant Height
12.0-24.0"
Plant Diameter
36.0-60.0"
Hardiness Zone
7-11
Disease Resistance
Taste Profile

Slightly sweet, good in savory dishes and mixed mashes. Tastes similar to Yams, Winter Squash, Pumpkins.