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How to Root Sweet Potato Vine in Water

Written by: Dottie Baltz


How to root sweet potato vines in water to make free plants

Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea) are very easy to propagate by taking cuttings and rooting them in water. It can be done anytime of year and is a great way to get more plants for free. They even make good houseplants provided you can give them enough light.

  1. How to root sweet potato vines in water to make free plantsCut several pieces of sweet potato vine off the main plant that are 4"-5" long. Choose healthy stems that don't appear to have disease or pest problems. For this example, I will be using Tri-Color Sweet Potato Vine.
  2. How to root sweet potato vines in water to make free plantsRemove the bottom leaves so that only 2-3 small leaves remain at the top of the stem. Cut the leaves off with a pair of sharp scissors. The roots will grow from a leaf node, which is the area where a leaf grows out from the stem.
  3. How to root sweet potato vines in water to make free plantsWhen you have removed most of the leaves, make a fresh cut on the bottom of the stem, just below a leaf node and put the stem in room temperature water. Make sure that at least two leaf nodes are covered with water. I like to use shot glasses as they are the perfect size for rotting small cuttings.
  4. Change the water every few days to keep it nice and clean and free of disease. You should begin to see roots growing in 2-3 weeks. There is no need to add fertilizer or anything to the water; plain tap water is fine.
  5. How to root sweet potato vines in water to make free plantsOnce you have several roots that are at least 3" long, it is safe to pot them in soil.
  6. Fill a small pot halfway with moistened potting soil. Sit the cutting on top of the soil and fan the roots out, then fill the rest of the pot with soil, covering the roots. Lightly water the pot and cover it with a clear plastic bag to help retain moisture. Place the pot in a sunny window.

  7. After 1-2 weeks, you should begin to see signs of new growth and the plastic bag can be removed. Check the soil once a week with your finger and water when the top inch feels dry. Never let the pot sit in water as the roots may rot.
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