Sweet Potato – Tropical Garden P

This Garden is Now Resting Under Lava ūüĆč

We have preserved this page in memory of our pre-volcano community
It is also still useful as a tropical plant and garden information resource.

We now welcome visitors as an online community
♥ Hedonisia Members ♥ Volunteer Contributors ♥ Lava to Lotus Web Portfolio ♥

Featured Plant in Garden P - Sweet Potato

1) Plant History & General Information:








  • Location on Property:¬†Garden¬†Z,¬†Kahuna Cabin,¬†Bamboo Hut,¬†Garden J,
  • Sweet Potato Leaves
    Sweet Potato Leaves

    Scientific Name: Ipomoea batatas

  • Region of Origin:¬†Between the Yucat√°n Peninsula of Mexico and the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela.
  • We have two types of sweet potatoes growing here.
      • Sweet potato, the leaves are glossy green, with up to 4 cm long, and the new leaves are copper in color.
      • Purple Sweet Potato - Leaves are purple with a green border.

2) Plant Uses:

  • As Food:¬†Used mostly for human consumption; large edible roots and edible leaves.
      • The leaves may be steamed, boiled, or baked.
      • The tubers are boiled, steamed, or fried. ¬†Prepared like a white potato.
  • As Medicine:¬†¬†Sweet potatoes are extraordinarily rich in¬†carotenoids, orange and yellow pigments that play¬†a role in helping the body respond to insulin. And as¬†unlikely as it may seem, coffee (another Magic food)¬†and sweet potatoes have something in common:¬†They‚Äôre both rich in the natural plant compound¬†chlorogenic acid, which may help reduce insulin¬†resistance.
  • The famous Nurses‚Äô Health Study at Harvard Medical¬†School found that women who ate lots of foods rich in¬†beta-carotene, such as sweet potatoes, reduced their¬†risk of breast cancer by as much as 25 percent.¬†Eating sweet potatoes is a smart move for you if you¬†have high blood pressure because they are rich¬†in potassium, a mineral known for bringing pressure¬†down. You‚Äôll get more potassium from a sweet potato¬†than you will from a banana!
  • Other Uses:¬†Sweet potato vines also provide the basis for a high-protein animal feed.¬†With high starch content, it is well suited to processing and has become an important source of raw material for starch and starch-derived industrial products.

3) Growing Instructions

  • Growing:¬†Grows like a weed.¬†The plant does not enjoy frost. It grows best at an average temperature of 24 ¬įC (75 ¬įF), abundant sunshine and warm nights.
  • Best time to Harvest:¬†Depending on the climate and conditions, tuberous roots mature in two to nine months.
  • Sunlight Requirements:¬†Full Shade, Partial Shade, Full Sunlight
  • Soil Requirements: Although sweet potatoes may be grown on various types of soil, the best results and highest yields will be obtained on soils that are loose, free from rocks, fairly fertile with a pH of 5.0 to 6.0, and with good drainage. Sweet potatoes grown in tightly packed or rock-filled soils will produce many misshapen roots.

Propagation: Sweet potatoes are typically propagated using slips. (the sprout that grows from the mature tuber). 

According to this Hawaiian culture site, “Propagation is from stem cuttings or slips, not from the tubers. the 6-9 inch slips are planted about a foot apart, preferably in mounds, pu`e, or ridges, allowing the vines to trail off outside the beds. It is a good idea to plant `uala near the periphery of a garden, as the plants tend to take over the area in which they grow and to wander on and on. The vines make a lovely ground cover in any event.

In planting, the older vines are used, with the cuttings being vine ends broken off from 10-20 inches from the tip. Gather these in the evening, not in the heat of the day. Pluck all leaves off except for three or four at the end, being careful to leave the leaf bud at the tip. Planting can be done the next day, or even several days later, if the slips are kept moist, such as in a bucket of water. Root buds may begin to appear during this time.

Controlling Spread: Space plants 12 inches apart in rows 36 inches apart.

Difficulties with this plant: The diseases of sweet potatoes are usually not of any great importance in Hawaii if disease-free tip cuttings are used as planting material.

History of this Plant at Hedonisia: /


Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

  • ¬†5 or 6 larger sweet potatoes or yams
  • water for boiling
  • 1 14oz can of coconut milk
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp curry
  • 2 T olive or vegan butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, cover the yams or sweet potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes, or until soft. Mash the sweet potatoes to the desired consistency and add the remaining ingredients. Yummy!

If you have any information you would like to share about this plant, please Contact Us.


Garden P Pre-Volcano Instructions


Mojo with Ancient Truck Bed on Slope
Mojo with Ancient Truck Bed on Slope

Lodgings and/or Facilities in areas of the Garden

This MIXED Garden has the following plants

  • Impatiens
  • Banana
  • Mexican Sunflower
  • Hapu'u Fern
  • Sweet Potato

The following trees

  • Avocado¬†(1)
  • Longan
  • Brazilian plum
  • Lemon
  • Breadfruit
  • Papaya
  • Jabuticaba
  • Plumeria
  • Malokia
  • Rollinia

Maintenance Activities For This Garden

  • Main Weeds: Cane Grass, Koster's Curse, Stink Maile, Fire Ants, Miconia,¬†chokers, climbers, creepers
    • Eradicate cane grass as close to the base as possible using a¬†Kama and pickax out if accessible
    • Use a Kama to cut the climbers and the chokers at the plant base to kill them. Remove off plant carefully.
    • Remove all creeping weeds from around the whole garden bed.
  • Identification and Labeling
    • Tag and label ¬†transplanted trees with bright-colored tree ribbons,
    • Date the tree with the date it was transplanted
    • Update plant pages if any are added or deleted from the garden.
  • Borders & Maintenance
    • Keeping the rock¬†borders free of weeds and mosses, weed whack the area of large grasses to keep walkways low and clear
    • Thin out Mexican Sunflower
    • Maintain a view of the ocean from the bottom behind Banana
    • Keep the area behind clear of brush and tarped when in Avocado season
    • Cut down Bananas as they ripen or lean on lodgings and become a danger, cut up and mulch in banana stand
    • Check for standing water on tarps and remove water
    • If the Papaya tree becomes too tall to harvest with a fruit picker, top the tree to about 6-7 feet, it will regrow new leaves and re-fruit (Check with the Director first)
  • Harvesting
    • Harvest Bananas¬†when¬†ready, cutting down the whole tree and mulching
    • Harvest¬†Avocado daily when in season
    • Harvest Papaya with the fruit picker


Post-Volcano Online Community

With our model of community living, we attracted wonderful people from around the world.
Over a 14-year history, the Hedonisia community developed websites, books, and eCourses.

Virtual Volunteer ūüĆ謆Lava to Lotus Web Portfolio ūüĆ謆Hedonisia Membership