Most people think of sweet potatoes served for Thanksgiving dinner under layers of melted marshmallows, yet sweet potatoes can be enjoyed any time of year. This healthy food is loaded with vitamin C and beneficial carotene. Sweet potatoes also make an eye-catching plant, either indoors or out. Growing sweet potato vines is a simple project that's perfect for children. The fast-growing plant makes a gorgeous green houseplant, and is easy to care for.
Choose a sweet potato with several buds, or "eyes." These are spots that are starting to sprout. You will often see these on potatoes that have been sitting for a while. Insert four to six toothpicks around the center of the sweet potato to hold the sweet potato up in the water.
Fill a wide-mouth jar about 3/4 full of water. Place the tapered end of the sweet potato into the water; adjust the toothpicks so they rest on the rim of the jar holding the sweet potato upright with one end in the water. Set the jar in a well-lit area, ideally in front of a south-facing window.
Watch for roots to appear in the water in approximately one week. Shoots that grow upwards will also start appearing. Change the water once a week to keep it fresh.
Transplant the sweet potato three weeks after the roots appear. If keeping your sweet potato vine indoors, place it in a container with drain holes in the bottom. Fill the container 3/4 full of potting soil. Stand the end with the root sides down in the soil; the top of the sweet potato with the shoots coming out should be level with the top edge of the container. Fill the pot with soil, and pack it down lightly with your hands. Only the shoots should be sticking out of the soil.
Water the container well. Lightly water the pot daily, just to moisten the soil. Be sure the container sits where it can drain well.
Keep the plant in full sun. Fertilize about every six months. Use an all-purpose fertilizer that's low in phosphorous. These plants grow quickly and are a great houseplant.