If you are looking for a quick and easy way to bring color and life to your home, growing sweet potatoes indoors is one way to do it. You can plant as many of these colorful and delicious fruits as you like but be aware that they need a lot of sun and watering to grow properly. Sweet potatoes are native to Eastern Europe and Asia but can now be found in North American gardens. They are known for their pleasant flavor and can be eaten just as they are, with their skin or cut into strips for snacks. You don’t have to eat them raw though; they are delicious when cooked.
Plants grown in the United States are still not able to tolerate direct sunlight. Growing sweet potatoes indoors will require you to provide them with an adequate amount of indirect sunlight during the day. The type of soil you have in your yard will also play an important role in the amount of light your plant receives. Earth clay and sand soils will receive a higher level of radiation from the sun than limestone, rock and sodalite soils. Limestone and rock types are very absorbent, so they should be avoided if you want good results growing indoors.
One of the conditions necessary for growing sweet potatoes indoors is that the root system needs to be strong and deep. These potatoes tend to produce large amounts of leaves so they require a lot of space between each plant. A good design for a pot will have two deep levels with the roots coming out of the bottom and supported by a support rod in the middle. Planting your favorite vegetable this way will support its growth and save you time in the long run. A slipper pot will work well but make sure the roots of the plant have room to spread out before you plant.
When you are growing sweet potatoes indoors, you will need to protect them from extreme temperatures. They do enjoy direct sunlight, so you may need to supplement this with a glass of water or a heating unit. You should also consider planting the vines in pots rather than loose soil. The roots will be protected in a container so they will be able to grow at their full potential. Loose soil will only encourage root rot and other diseases. Always place your vines in pots when they are in the ground to give them enough room to grow.
Sweet potato plants can be bothered by pests, but there are some that can be more trouble than they are worth. One of these pests is the white fly, which flourishes on sweet potato plants. If you find your vines are invaded by these pesky insects, spray them with a mixture of soap and water. Wipe the leaves of the plant with a rag to get rid of the insect. This may take care of the problem until you can get the chemicals to kill other pests that enjoy living on sweet potato plants.
When you are growing sweet potatoes indoors, you must be careful to watch for insects that can harm your crop. One that springs to mind is the tomato hornet. These pests can destroy the tubers in a very short time. Other insects that you should be on the lookout for are the cotton potato moth and the white grub which can also decimate your crop. There are many more types of insects but these two are the most common foraging around.
Another pest that can be a problem when growing sweet potatoes indoors is the scale insects. These critters will gnaw away at your crop if they are allowed to get too aggressive. The best way to avoid having to deal with them is to be sure you are taking them seriously and keeping them well contained. There are many methods of controlling these pests including using baits, natural pesticides, and even traps.
Sweet potatoes are not hardy plants and will require a lot of care and attention if you want them to grow to their full potential. You should be prepared to harvest and prepare your plants prior to each harvest season. You should be able to harvest the majority of your harvest by the first month of the growing season but be sure to keep your containers warm at all times so your plants don’t spoil. Being prepared with your container plants will help you enjoy your indoor garden for many years to come.