Sprinkled with salt and pepper and served on the recycled pages of newspapers or magazines, piping hot sweet potato cubes are a delicious treat for students after the last school bell of the day. Sweet potato, scientifically known as Ipomoea batatas and locally known as shakar qandi, is an underground, enlarged storage root tuber.

Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious, starchy food options and are rich in beta-carotene, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre. While beta-carotene and vitamin-A ensure better vision and eye health, a combination of other nutrients ensures sweet potatoes help boost immunity and improve gut health.

Sweet potatoes have a spreading vine. However, in the absence of tendrils, which is a regular feature of a creeper, the stem wraps itself around nearby objects when growing, thus spreading to adjacent areas. The sweet potato belongs to the morning glory flower family and has beautiful pink coloured flowers that bloom in winter.

These flowers are similar to morning glory but are limited in number. Being an invasive plant, it is a popular option to cover up any empty space, since it forms a sort of vine carpet. The roots sprout from every possible node of the vine.

Growing a sweet potato vine will allow you to not only use the vegetable in your cuisine but will also beautify your garden with its distinctive flowers and leaves

The sweet potato vine can also be used as a decorative plant, since it boasts beautiful leaves with distinct shapes and patterns. It can be easily and quickly grown through the propagation of stems. The stem should either be planted with at least two nodes in the soil or the whole stem could be planted in a circular manner in such a way that the lower half is in the soil.

A pink flower which resembles morning glory

In another traditional method, a sweet potato is cut into several pieces and each piece is then suspended in a glass of water with the help of a few toothpicks. This immersed sweet potato piece is likely to give off a number of shoots. These shoots can be cut-off from the piece when these are about three inches long and can be used for propagation.

Vines can grow in pots but this limits their quantity and compromises the size of their tubers. It is highly recommended to grow the sweet potato vine in open spaces and into the ground to ensure a maximum harvest. It is a very strong vine which may invade cemented floors and walls through cracks.

It is better to grow the sweet potato vine...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT