Growing Sweet Potato, also Kumara

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                       

Not recommended for growing in USA - Zone 5a regions

  • Plant shoots or cuttings (Slips). Best planted at soil temperatures between 63°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 16 - 24 inches apart
  • Harvest in 15-17 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best in Separate bed
  • New shoots on Kumara
  • Well grown Kumara

Sweet Potatoes require a long warm growing season. Plant in free draining loose soil . Fertilise before planting but no more when the plants are growing as it will encourage vine growth. They will go for miles and you will get no tubers. If they do start spreading, lift the vines off the ground to prevent them rooting.

Mound up the soil about 20cm (8 in) before planting Let the plants die down, (leaves die or turn yellow) before harvesting the tubers. Dry them in the sun for a few days . then store in a cool dry place for up to five months.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Sweet Potato

Use mashed, boiled, roasted, baked or fried. Or use in soups, pies, casseroles, curries and salads.

Your comments and tips

23 Sep 20, Elizabeth Gower (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Where can I get Kumara in the USA? I live in Southern Ventura County, Southern California and would like to grow some.
23 Sep 20, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
You probably need to look for sweet potato
13 Sep 20, Adrienne (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Can you plant an whole kumera in a container and get a crop?
14 Sep 20, Anonymous (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Yes you can but you don't need a whole kumera, a piece of vine will do. A piece about 30-60cm long of the new vine growth. Place in a trench with the tip sticking out of the soil, water twice a day for the first 2-3 weeks.
17 Sep 20, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Or depending on how big the spud is, cut it into several pieces and let them dry in the sun for a few days then plant them.
31 Aug 20, ganaa (Canada - Zone 2b Sub-Arctic climate)
how can i plant in in the polar? (Gardenate ; Not recommended for growing in Canada - Zone 2b Sub-Arctic regions)
10 Aug 20, Nicky Holmes (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi can you please tell me if Dunedin is the right temperature to grow Kumars outdoors or is it to cold? Thanks.
11 Aug 20, Anon (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Go to Sweet potatoes/ Kumara page, temperate climate zone and check the planting calendar.
29 Jun 20, John Martin Barger (USA - Zone 7b climate)
I have a sweet potato that has sprouted pretty heavily on my kitchen counter. I live in Memphis, TN. Is there any chance of having success if I were to plant it now? Or is it too late in season?
30 Jun 20, Betty (USA - Zone 7b climate)
I'm just next door in Arkansas and will be planting some slips from one in my kitchen today (June 30). We have just enough time before frost to make decent sweet potatoes. You know we can eat the leaves like spinach as well? My (American) kids grew up in SE Asia and thought sweet potato leaves were a variety spinach.
Showing 1 - 10 of 244 comments

I found Kumara at Whole Foods in Encino, but they had them labeled "Japanese Sweet Potato." If I hadn't just seen them on a trip to NZ, I never would have known! Hope it helps.

- Malina Beatrice

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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