Author Paul R. Wonning considers himself an "Indiana Hound," because he likes to "sniff" out the interesting places and history of Indiana and then use his books to reveal them to his readers. He also enjoys gardening, American history and dabbles in writing fantasy and humorous fiction.
The most common way to propagate sweet potatoes is by cuttings. Gardeners can purchase rooted cuttings in the spring from a nursery. They can also half submerge a sweet potato tuber in a glass of water by sticking three toothpicks in the side and suspending the root half in and half out of the water. In a few weeks sprouts will emerge which can be removed and rooted in moist potting medium or in water. Plant the rooted cuttings after all danger of frost has passed in the spring. Gardeners can also take cuttings from established plants in the garden in early fall. Root these and plant in a pot in a sunroom or sunny window. To root, cut the stem into sections with a leaf in each section. Submerge the leaf axil in moist potting soil and keep moist. In a couple of weeks, these should be rooted. Plant them in a pot, grow these all winter indoors, and pinch back in late winter. The plants should do well in a sunroom or south facing window. Do not allow them to freeze. New shoots will appear. Root these shoots in moist potting soil when they are two to three inches long and plant in the garden. Gardeners can also take whole potatoes that have sprouted in the spring and plant them directly in the garden. Cut the roots into sections, with each section containing at least one sprout. The sweet potato will sometimes flower and produce seed. Plant hybridizers use the seed to develop new varieties. Be careful if handling sweet potato seed as it is quite toxic.