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

Least common flower color
June 14, 2008 - What is the least common flower color in the world?
view the full question and answer

Should Rock Harlequin stay green all winter?
May 28, 2014 - I have a rock harlequin that came up in a area that had been disturbed. It came up last summer/fall and the foliage survived our tough winter. I can not find anything about this plant staying green al...
view the full question and answer

Student research on fire-resistance plant labels from Garden Ridge TX
November 13, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I'm a 4th grader at Garden Ridge Elementary in Comal County. I am researching fire resistant plants. Can you please tell me if most plants' tags say whether they are fire r...
view the full question and answer

Clarification for botanical (Latin) names for Herbertia
June 17, 2010 - I am looking for a clarification of scientific names. In the classic wildflower book 'Wildflowers of Texas' the author, Geyata Ajilvsgi, attributes the plant Herbertia with the name Alophia drummon...
view the full question and answer

Can I grow wild rice in green house conditions?
November 17, 2010 - Can I grow Zizania aquatica (wild rice) in green house conditions?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center