Ornamental Sweet Potatoes

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

It's time to get out those OSP tubers. The last couple of years I did a step by step thread on starting Ornamental Sweet Potatoes (OSP). I'm not going to do that again this year, but wanted to remind those of you that have them it's about time to get them out of storage and start. For those of you that have never tried this here are links to both of my older threads that will show you just how to do it.
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/694728/
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/809595/

Those old threads got pretty long so if you have any questions or pictures to share of your own growing plants just put them here. Good luck with your Propagation. Holly
OSP Blackie blooming

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

I have some rooting in water and mason jars in the window. The mother plant isn't looking too good though. ;(

Kaysville, UT(Zone 5a)

I got my osp tubers from the garage last night and found mold all over them. I was afraid they would get too dry and sprayed them with water and wrapped them in a plastic bag (not a good idea). Anyway, I washed them in a 5% solution of water with bleach and dried them. Hopefully, they will survive. Do you have any suggestions for other treatment before I start to root them? I was very disappointed, but hopeful that they will survive.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Bill, That's what I would have done and they will probably rot once you put them in water, but give it a try I had a few pretty disgusting looking tubers last year that produced starters for me even as they rotted.
Raggedyann, I have cuttings on my window sill that I saved from last year. My tuber harvest was a bit pathetic so I took some cuttings, as well. Good luck to both of you let us know how they are doing. Holly

Tempe, AZ(Zone 9b)

All of mine lived through our "winter" outside! I'll start fertilizing soon.

Hester, LA(Zone 9a)

Do you have Phillipino ube purple sweet potato & old-time Louisiana moist orange-red real sweet potato "yams"?

Kaysville, UT(Zone 5a)

Having grown up in East Texas where they grow a lot of yams I am very familiar with the yams you eat, but the Margaruite osp I grew last year is a very different looking tuber.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Well, I finally did get out the few tubers I saved from last year. I take a lot of care with my tubers, Not! I have found that benign neglect seems to work very well for me. I knock most of the dirt off them and put them in a brown paper bag as store them on a shelf in a rather warm room. When I get them out in the Spring I put pretty much every thing in water no matter how small and rough looking they are. You would be surprised at what might be a good starter for you.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I like to lay my tubers on their sides about half submerged. I save a few food containers for this purpose as they tend to be shallow and long. If you look at my tubers you can see that a few of these pathetic ones as well as the nicer ones do have a few small roots showing and even the starters of leaf buds.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Kaysville, UT(Zone 5a)

Boy am I jealous! I went to the garden center this weekend and they do not sell the tubers. They only sell the plantlets for $4-$5 per plant. I will have to wait until they come in in May.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Yesterday I cut the ends off a few plants that I had saved in a rooting jar from last summer. I usually don't try to save plants but I didn't get any potatoes or tubers from the Margarita so I did take a few cuttings and have been keeping them alive in a jar on the windowsill. Here is a picture of the new cuttings (taken yesterday from the old one) in the jar and a rooted section that I harvested one of the cuttings from. I planted the small rooted section today. Looks like I have gotten off to a late but good start.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Bill, That is what they get around here I have seen them between $3 to $6. Buy a couple this Spring and then next fall harvest and save the potatoes/tubers for next year. I don't really know why but sometimes I get a lot of them and sometimes not. Last year I did not get a lot of potatoes/tubers to save over. If you don't you can also take cuttings and save them in a rooting jar. I haven't bought any plants for about 4 years now as I always seem to have enough to keep me and many of my friends going.

Kaysville, UT(Zone 5a)

Thanks HolyAnnS I saved my tubers from last year, but put them in a plastic bag and they got fungus on them. Now I know a paper bag is the better option.

I put away for the winter in brown paper lunch bags. One was fine and the other is rotting. I did not know you could root the vines. Good to know. I'll be taking cuttings this fall to then.

Holly - thank you so much for thread - I have learned so much!

Tempe, AZ(Zone 9b)

try storing wrapped in loose newspaper next winter. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/694728/


This message was edited Mar 17, 2009 5:51 AM

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

LOL, That is a link back to my first thread several years ago and I did store them in newspaper. Not so much on purpose as my friend brought it into work wrapped in newspaper and I put them on a shelf and forgot all about them. It worked very well.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Holly Ann, yours look great. I just went in and pulled up a tri-color and I don't have any tuber but a live root and a lot of sprouts. Just like ones that would have been from a tuber. They are long, about 12 inches. What can I do with them?

Edited for spelling.

Jeanette

This message was edited Mar 18, 2009 10:34 PM

Bloomfield, NM(Zone 6a)

Hi - where did everybody get their OSP tubers? Plants seem to be the only thing I can find.

(I'm a new member and should have joined ages ago!)

Billie

Billie - I bought the plants too last summer. Then about Octoberish - before the hard frost, I dug mine up and put them away for the winter.

Holly - I have 2 nice shoots of plants coming on my Maguarite - do I take both sprouts off and root them and the tuber will put out more, or should I leave one on the tuber and then plant the whole tuber? I guess I am afraid if I take all the sprouts off to root them, that I will kill the tuber.

Thanks
Carolyn

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Sounds like you are all doing really good.
Jeanette, You said you pulled yours up? Was it still in the ground? In many areas you can leave them in the ground and they will just grow back every year. Do your sprouts look like Tri-color? I have not had good luck with the Tri-color as they don't seem to come true from the potatoes. I have no idea why not? I had a Tri-color (pink,white,green) potato that I got from a friend several years ago and the sprouts I got from it were green with slight reddish tint. Whereas the Margarita and Blackie always come true. If your tuber is planted you can cut the sprout tops off and root the tops make sure you have a couple of leave buds.
Billie, Carolyn is right the only way I know of to get the potatoes or tubers is to grow your own. Buy a few plants this spring and dig them up next fall.
Carolyn, Take a good look at your potato and see if you see where more sprouts are going to come up. Usually you can tell if there are more waiting to come. I usually don't take all the sprouts at one time as once they get started producing sprouts they come up at different times in different spots so they aren't all ready to harvest at the same time. Some potatoes only produce a few starters and others will keep producing more and more. If you don't see more coming I wouldn't take both of them but if you see signs of more to come then go ahead. Gently pull them off and put them in water.
It's only been a couple of days but I already have small roots on the tops I cut from my windowsill plants. If you take cuttings remove the lower leaves by cutting them off the stem. Careful you don't cut the leaf buds that is where the roots will come from.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS

Holly - Thank you - I'll look to see if there are more that are eyes ready to sprout.

What I find ironic - and maybe this has nothing to do with it, but the tuber that rotted was a Tricolor. I am going to see if I can find Blackie this year and another Tri-color and see what happens.

One other thing - I have to thank you. I have learned something new here and I have really enjoyed it. I love learning new things with plants!

Carolyn

Tempe, AZ(Zone 9b)

Carolyn: This is a great place to hang out.

2nd - I definitely agree!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I have learned so much here at DG, too. It has really expanded my gardening and it is so much fun making friends and learning new things.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Holly I had it in a pot in my bedroom. I hadn't watered it much so it lost all of its leaves. But the long stems it had with leaves on them look like sprouts and they have a lot of nodes where I think leaves will grow.

The roots looked good because they were down far enough that they did have some moisture. I planted it back into a smaller pot, it had had a petunia in there with it that the aphids just decimated. Anyway, I will keep an eye on it and if it seems like it might do something I just might take some of the stems/sprouts off and try rooting them.

I always try a lot of different things. That is what I got the dip-n-gro for I guess.

Jeanette

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

That sounds like the one in my upstairs room. Last year I gathered a few cuttings at the end of the season, they were kept in a rooting jar of water all winter. A friend gave me a potted Tri-color potato that had been sitting on her window sill for a year, every so often I would water it a bit. All of them have some spider-mite damage and are looking pretty poorly. I have treated them started to water the one upstairs and took some cuttings from the ones in the rooting jar. Surprising how much neglect they can take.

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Jeanette / Holly I had a big problems with what I thought at first were aphids but instead were those gnats. And the ones that get to the flying age, they seem to be drawn to almost any moisture. Especially rotting fruit. and also vinegar. So to help keep the population down I put a couple drops of dish detergent in about three tablespoons of vinegar. and let that set close to the plants. Any gnats I miss while they have no wings, kind of find their way to this new treat. just ad more vinegar when it gets low. - - - They should be more careful of where they land. lol
Russ

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

That's weird Russ. So, what does the soap do? Kill them? It must. Whatever works. I didn't realize vinegar attracted them. Interesting.

I found Tapia's recipe got the mites on the sps. But, I discovered it too late for all but one of my Blackies. Have you guys tried it? I think it probably works for almost all of these darned pests.

Jeanette

Jeanette -

Don't know anything about Tapia's recipes for mites - where would I find that? I would be interested in that recipe.

Carolyn

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

I heard soap in red wine will also work... but haven't tried that

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Randbponder, Thanks for that tip. I have those gnats, too and they really bother me. I've never had them before. I took most of my house plants outside last summer and didn't get to property debug them in the fall, plus a few of the new plants I brought home had some bugs. I've been dealing with insects of some kind or other ever since. I used Neem Oil which did a really good job, but I don't think I used it consistently enough to completely get rid of everything so every once in a while I notice some return. I finally broke down and took them outside a few days ago when it was nice out and used a systemic on them. That should kill the few remaining pests.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Ok you all, here it is: (in case you are interested, Al Tapia has a very interesting commentary in the container forum)

Tapia’s recipe for bug spray

1 pint rubbing alcohol
1 pint very hot water
1 tsp pure, cold-pressed neem oil
3-4 drops Murphy's oil soap

Add neem & soap to hot water & shake well. Add alcohol. Spritz plants thoroughly, covering all surfaces - especially underside of leaves & leaf axils. Be sure to shake vigorously as you use the spritzer to keep the neem mixed with the solution. Works great - the neem oil renders all the insects it contacts unable to complete metamorphosis or reproduce, while the alcohol provides reasonable knock-down for current generations.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

BTW, I used it on my last Blackie, after the mites had killed all the rest, and this mix saved it.

Jeanette

Jeanette

does it have any effect on the eggs that have not hatched yet?

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

You know Carolyn, I'm not sure. That would be a good question for Al. You can find him on the container forum.

However, I used it a few days later, can't remember how many exactly, and I think I got any new hatches too. I don't think there is enough oil in this mix to hurt using it more than once.

Why don't you take a look at Al's stuff on the container forum and see what he says about it. He initially posted this recipe for use prior to bringing plants inside for the winter, so you might see what he says. In that case I would think it would get eggs. Don't you?

Jeanette

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Yes, that is a good recipe. I used much the same without the alcohol. My understanding is the Neem disrupts the life cycle and the alcohol adds an extra punch for initial knock down. You can use the Neem Oil, water and soap mix to drench the plant which takes care of a lot of the eggs. It made a big difference on my plants. I just didn't keep up with the repeat process and never did the drench and still got great results. You want to buy "pure" Neem Oil not a mix with Neem Oil in it.

I bought some concentrated neem oil, but I am afraid of it. I have one cat that eats every leaf that falls from my plants if I don't get to it before she does. Is this housepet friendly?

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Yes, It is,

Really! I'll have to take a look at it again!

Thanks

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Carolyn, I can't see anything in there that would hurt the cat. The oil might make her a nice soft coat. However, I wouldn't make her a salad of it.

Jeanette

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