Early Greens: Sweet Potato Leaves 10

When winter lingers, the idea of fresh Spring greens is heavenly. Get a jump on greens with sweet potato vines.

I wrote a few weeks ago about starting sweet potato slips to plant in the garden. But did you know that sweet potato leaves are edible? Even if you don’t plan to grow sweet potato tubers in your garden, you can get greens started in your kitchen today.

To have a continuous supply of sweet potato leaves, you’ll want to get a plant established in soil. There are a couple of ways to do that. You can plant an entire sweet potato in a pot of soil (as shown in video below). Or you can start a potted plant from cuttings, or slips, just as you would for planting out in the garden.

Set your potted sweet potato by a sunny window and it will produce plenty of vines. Now you have an edible houseplant! You can eat the leaves cooked or raw.

Some recipes to get you started:


Don’t confuse sweet potatoes with your standard baked potato!

    • Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) belong to the Convolvulaceae family. Their leaves are edible.
    • Regular Russet-type potatoes belong to the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family. Their leaves are not edible and can make you sick.

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10 thoughts on “Early Greens: Sweet Potato Leaves

  • Missy Homemaker

    I’m really excited to read this! We’re always looking for new things to eat and new ways to provide. Thank you for the info!

  • Sandra bigtree

    Is this the same for yams? I cannot tell them apart.

  • Coffee to Compost

    We loved eating sweet potato leaves last summer. I sauteed some minced garlic in olive oil, added the leaves, then sprinkled with kosher salt once they were wilted. They’re now one of my favorite greens!

  • JoAnne

    My mother would put a sweet potato partially in water and it would sprout a vine. She used it as an ornamental plant in the house. Do you think this would work as well? I have not read your links yet for growing.

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      Yes, but it won’t last as long that way as in soil.

  • Almas.Nathoo

    I have sweet potatoe in glass jar in water. It is already one month but nothing is coming out of the tuber. It is near window whereby sun shine everyday. Please can you let me know how long it takes to grow. Last year I had some luck and then I plants the tuber out in the garden but the rabbits ate all the leaves so the plant dyed.

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      My first question is this: Was the sweet potato organic? Sometimes they’re treated with a chemical to prevent sprouting. I would think that you’d have sprouts at least starting to emerge after this much time.