Sweet Potato Leaves Edible?

darthtrader(10 SoCal)February 14, 2008


Are all sweet potato leaves edible? I found some old store bought sweet potatoes tucked away in the pantry that had all sprouted. I was thinking about putting them in some 5 gal pots. I should also ask what the best procedure is to plant these sweet taters? Should I just stick the whole potato under some potting mix or cut them up and plant the cut up pieces with sprouts attached?


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Yes, I found this out last summer by doing some internet research. They are edible, and are popular in some countries, such as the Phillipines and Indonesia, as a cooked green. I tried them and personally didn't care for them, sort of a resinous, pinesol kind of taste. Many, many people, it seems, really like them.

As far as planting them, no, they're not like Irish potatoes, you shouldn't try to cut them, they would probably rot. You can plant the entire sweet potato in a pot, covered with soil, and it should root and grow well. The vines will grow quickly, and these can be cut into about 6 inch lengths, rooted in water, and planted out into the garden to grow next year's crop.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 2:48PM
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Use tender leaves and shoots.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 3:30PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"I tried them and personally didn't care for them, sort of a resinous, pinesol kind of taste."

I had similar experiences with several cultivated varieties. They may all be edible, but that doesn't necessarily make them all palatable. Some varieties have been bred for their leaves, and are much more pleasant... still, like almost any strong-flavored green, they might not suit everyone.

If you want to grow sweet potatoes for their leaves, buy some of the shoots sold in bundles in Asian stores. Pinch off the leaves (being careful not to damage the stems, which should be kept wet) then cook them.

Should you find the flavor to your liking, place the stems upright in several inches of water (a glass works well for this), and place them in a sunny window. When the stems have rooted & soil is warm, transplant them 6-12" apart, in rows at least 3 feet apart. If space is an issue, they can be planted even more closely, since they are being grown for their leaves only.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 5:10PM
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