Growing Sweet Potato, also Kumara

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

(Best months for growing Sweet Potato in Australia - tropical regions)

P = Plant crowns

  • Plant shoots or cuttings (Slips). Best planted at soil temperatures between 17°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 40 - 60 cm 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

25 Jun 21, Tina Lloyd (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I want to try and grow nz Kumara / sweet potato I live in Ararat Victoria. And where can I buy slips please. Thanks
01 Jul 21, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Plant a couple of sweet potatoes and use the slips from them. Use the new vine part. Strip most of the leaves off a 250-300mm piece. Did trench and lay flat with the growing tip out of the ground. Water a lot the first 2 weeks. That is the way commercial growers plant sweet potato in Qld
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.
05 Apr 20, Pam Adam (Australia - tropical climate)
I have sweet potato growing. Is it okay to cut away the continuous runners it is producing?
06 Apr 20, Anon (Australia - temperate climate)
You could cut them off from about 1-1.2m each side if you like. Over fertilising with N will produce a lot of leaves/vines. Cut off some of the new vines and plant them with the growing tip out of the soil. Read below about how to do it.
09 Mar 20, Garden Gnome (Australia - temperate climate)
I have had for over one year a half 200 litre plastic drum with a sweet potatoes growing in it. Just this past weekend I have dug around in the totally dry soil looking to see what was there. I did this with my hands after loosening it up with a garden fork all around the side of the drum. The leaves were not dying off in fact new shoots are forming. I only did this as we have had 1 week of dry hot weather. I harvested 3 very good sized spuds and put the rest back and topped up with well mulched soil. No extra fertilizer has been used and this is the second time I have turned this drum. As the soil lowers and parts of tubers show I top up with more well mulch soil. With watering and good old mother nature we have bought no sweet potatoes at all for quite some time. I have no idea how long they have been growing I don't garden like that.
11 Mar 20, Tineke (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Brilliant! Mine are growing all over the place - better have a look see soon!!
10 Mar 20, ML (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Many ways to grow things. You could have just a patch of swt potatoes and pick whenever you like. I'm growing them in my volunteer gardens. Take a slip of vine (about 40cm long), strip all the leaves off except the last 10cm of the growing tip, plant it along the ground with the tip out of the soil. Swt potatoes will grow from where the leaves were broken off. Or if you like put the slips in a bucket of water to have the slip producing roots before you plant it.
Showing 1 - 10 of 176 comments

Ask a question or post a comment or advice about Sweet Potato

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.