En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 11, 2011

From: Duluth, MN
Region: Midwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Starting a sweet potato in water in Duluth MN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am trying to start a sweet potato plant in water. I noticed 3 days after it's in water, there is white finger like(hairy) areas at the tip of the bottom of the potato and also on the sides. I have also noticed the same hairy substance in my good soil, I started as a hot bed for herbs. Can you help me??

ANSWER:

Ipomoea batata, sweet potato,  is related to native Ipomoea pandurata (Man of the earth) and other morning glory vines. The sweet potato itself is native to South America and therefore out of our area of expertise. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which the plants grow natively. While we cannot help you directly, since it is not in our Native Plant Database, we have found some websites that give instructions on sprouting the sweet potato. We found no mention of hairy substances, and are presuming that is some sort of beginning rootlet, but don't know for sure.

From Garden Web Forum How to Start a Sweet Potato Vine

Suite 101: Grow a Sweet Potato vine

 

More General Botany Questions

How many plant species are in Maryland
October 31, 2008 - About how many plant species are there in Maryland?
view the full question and answer

Will lead accumulate in the flower nectar of plants used for phytoremediation
January 16, 2009 - I'm attempting to phytoremediate lead in my garden with mustard and/or sunflowers. I also keep bees. I understand that lead is sequestered in roots and stalks. Would the nectar also be contaminate...
view the full question and answer

Carolina wolfberry blooms but doesn't produce fruit
May 10, 2012 - I have had my carolina wolfberry for 2 years now ( I got it at the Wildflower center), it seems to be doing well, creeping all over the flower bed with some branches on the ground up to 6 ft long. It ...
view the full question and answer

Water-saving strategies of drought-tolerant plants
April 04, 2014 - Although "drought tolerant" plants are fairly well documented, it's clear that many different strategies are responsible, such as a huge root system (like Mesquite). I'm interested in learning the...
view the full question and answer

Looking for leaves of milkweed plants for experiment
February 09, 2008 - I am an undergraduate chemistry student at the University of Portland and want to perform an experiment using milkweed leaves. How would I get milkweed leaves at this time of year? Any help you can p...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center