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Sweet potatoes

Sweet potato from Lubera

Sweet potato plants (Ipomea batatas) are part of the new superfood trend. The cultivation of sweet potatoes is rapidly increasing in importance, both in the garden and in agriculture.

   
 
Ornamental Sweet Potato Treasure Island 'Kaukura'

Ipomea batatas 'Kaukura' - dark, heart-shaped foliage and sweet, deep orange flesh

£5.40 *

Ornamental Sweet Potato Treasure Island 'Makatea'

Ipomea batatas 'Makatea' - a vigorous climbing/hanging variety with yellow/light green...

£5.40 *

Ornamental Sweet Potato Treasure Island 'Manihi'

Ipomea batatas 'Manihi' - attractive, dark foliage and orange flesh

£5.40 *

Ornamental Sweet Potato Treasure Island 'Tahiti'

Ipomea batatas 'Tahiti' - purplish red flesh, green-slitted leaves

£5.40 *

Ornamental Sweet Potato Treasure Island 'Tatakoto'

Ipomea batatas 'Tatakoto' - deep orange, sweet flesh with dark red to purple skin

£5.40 *

Sweet Potato Bonita

The yellow-fleshed sweet potato

From £5.40 *

Sweet Potato Burgundy

The sweet potato with the most beautiful orange colour

From £5.40 *

Sweet Potato Evangeline

Ornamental and maximum sweetness

From £5.40 *

Sweet Potato Murasaki

The white-fleshed sweet potato

From £5.40 *

Sweet Potato Sakura

The purple-fleshed sweet potato

From £5.40 *

   
 

More Information about Sweet Potatoes / Ipomoea batatas

In the catering trade, you can find these healthy vegetables with trendy finger food as well as in a upscale restaurant. And for a few years now, the sweet potato has been available in the supermarket all year round. The sweet potato plant comes from South and Central America. It was cultivated by the Aztecs and other American civilizations over 500 years ago. In the 16th century, the sweet potato, along with the tomatoes and potatoes, came to Europe. Today, it is the third most important tuber fruit worldwide. Thanks to new varieties with a shorter growing season and less need for heat, sweet potatoes can now also be easily grown in our gardens. Here in the Lubera® garden shop, we offer a wide range of sweet potato plant varieties, which we have all tested in our own tests for their suitability in our climate.

Buy Sweet Potato Plants

If you want to buy sweet potato plants, you have the choice between the extremely high-yielding cultivars of sweet potato, which, as I said, were specially selected for our shorter growing season. In addition, we also offer a wide selection of ornamental sweet potato varieties that combine very attractive foliage that varies in colour from yellow to dark red to violet. These ornamental sweet potatoes with edible tubers are particularly suitable for growing in tubs (containers with a volume of at least 10 L or boxes) and they can also be grown as border plants. In beds, they should be planted at a distance of 30-40 cm.

Sweet Potato Plants

There are white-fleshed, yellow-fleshed, orange and even dark purple varieties for both the decorative sweet potatoes and cultivated varieties of sweet potato, which concentrate on the largest and most bulky tubers.

The colour is important since it provides clear information about significant, also health-relevant constituents: yellow to orange varieties have a particularly high content of beta-carotene. Red-skinned and purple varieties contain anthocyanins. Both constituent groups, the anthocyanins and the beta-carotene are said to have a strong antioxidant effect, which protects cells and mucous membranes and increases resistance. White-fleshed varieties have fewer carotenoids but are particularly suitable for deep-frying.

The following table gives an overview of the sweet potato varieties in the Lubera range and their tuber colours:

Name

 

Cultivated / ornamental sweet potato

Colour of tuber skin

Colour of tuber flesh

'Burgundy'

 

Cultivated

Burgandy

Orange

'Bonita'

 

Cultivated

Light pink

Yellow

'Evangeline'

 

Cultivated

Light pink

Orange

'Murasaki'

 

Cultivated

Red

White

'Sakura'

 

Cultivated

Red

Purple

Treasure Island 'Kaukura'

 

Ornamental sweet potato

Beige

Intense orange

Treasure Island 'Makatea'

 

Ornamental sweet potato

Beige

White

Treasure Island 'Tahiti'

 

Ornamental sweet potato

Intense Purple

Intense purple

Treasure Island 'Manihi'

 

Ornamental sweet potato

Beige - orange

Light orange

Treasure Island 'Tatakoto'

 

Ornamental sweet potato

Purple - red

Light orange

 

New Sweet Potato Plant Varieties That Are Both Useful and Ornamental: Treasure Island

Up until a few years ago, Ipomea was mainly known as an ornamental plant in Central Europe. It is often offered under the name morning glory. The foliage is extremely decorative and the flowers are very pretty, depending on the variety. These ornamental types of sweet potato plants have no or hardly any edible bulbs.

As mentioned, you can now buy from us, in addition to the high-yielding and robust cultivars, new ornamental sweet potatoes that serve both as ornamental plants and as vegetable plants: these are the new varieties of the sweet potato series Treasure Island. They inspire with their double function: they have beautiful foliage in a colour spectrum that ranges from golden yellow to almost black, depending on the variety. Incidentally, they are also edible and can be prepared either as a salad or like spinach. Above all, however, these new Treasure Island varieties also offer a rich harvest of sweet potato tubers. These are particularly rich in vitamins and other valuable nutrients. In contrast to the pure ornamental varieties, the morning glories, the new ornamental sweet potatoes with edible tubers hardly show any flowers.

These new sweet potatoes from the Treasure Island series are also extremely attractive as ornamental plants. They form tendrils that are about one metre long. This makes them ideal for window boxes, but also for balconies and patios. In the garden, they are often used as ground cover and a gap filler in exotic perennial beds. And of course, they can also thrive in the vegetable garden, for example together with maize plants. The colourful tendrils can also grow up on a railing or garden fence. Thanks to their intense leaf colouration, they can be perfectly combined on the balcony and terrace with other brightly coloured summer flowers such as geraniums, petunias or dipladenias. White dipladenias with black-leaved sweet potatoes are an incredibly chic eye-catcher. There are almost no limits to the design options and imagination. It is simply important that the new sweet potatoes of the Treasure Island series have a sunny, warm location. They can also thrive in partial shade, but then they form more leaves and fewer tubers.

Sweet Potato Plants Are 'In'

For some time now, the sweet potato, Ipomea batatas, has been enjoying growing popularity among creative chefs and hobby chefs, and they are also being prepared more and more in everyday life. They are available all year round in many supermarkets. These tubers mostly come from southern countries, from overseas, from Israel, from Spain and Italy. Until recently, cultivation in our latitudes was not considered worthwhile because the tubers need too long a growing season. This has now changed fundamentally with the latest varieties, as they have a shorter vegetation period, and so more and more sweet potato plants are being grown commercially in Central Europe, but above all in the home garden. If one is primarily concerned with the large tubers and the yield, the large-fruited cultivars should be grown. If the ornamental value is just as important to you or if you want to grow the plants in pots, the new ornamental sweet potato is ideal, which mainly delivers medium-sized tubers and a average yield.

Cultivation of Sweet Potato Plants in the Garden

The sweet potatoes need a vegetaion period of only 110 to 130 days and they are also very productive in our Central European climate. In our experiments at Lubera®, we tested various cultivation methods: it has been shown that growing outdoors on mounds (quite comparable to normal potato cultivation) and growing in pots are the most successful. The root and tuber development benefits from good ventilation and rapid warming of the soil. Cutting-propagated and virus-free sweet potato young plants, which we offer in May and June as strong starting material in 1.3 L pots, guarantee the reliable and quick start of the crop, so that this originally 'southern' plant can quickly establish itself and start fully developed in the Central European summer. This way, each heating unit can be converted into starch, aroma and fruit volume. Once the young plants have taken root, no additional irrigation is necessary for a normally moist soil that also supplies water.

Growing Sweet Potato Plants in a Pot or Tub

The cultivation of the sweet potato and, above all, the ornamental sweet potato in containers is possible without any problems - in containers with a volume of at least 10 L; 20 L are better. It is best to use potting soil as the substrate and make sure that any excess water is drained away from the pot. A small dose of slow-release fertiliser (20-30 g per plant), which you put into the planting hole or mix into the substrate, ensures the right nutrition. Watering is necessary every day as soon as the young plants start to sprout since the many leaves and long shoots (Ipomea batatas is actually a climbing plant) evaporate a lot of water.

Buy Strong Sweet Potato Plants!

As planting material, we offer strong sweet potato young plants, which we pre-cultivate for you in early spring in 1.5 L pots. This strong young plant quality gives you a big head start in the garden or on the terrace. If you plant the sweet potato in May after the risk of frost, it will start to grow extremely quickly and start rooting and growing tubers.

10 Tips for Growing Sweet Potato Plants

1. Plant from May with little risk of frost.

2. If there are still frosts after planting, please protect the sweet potato plants with a fleece or a cloth thrown over them.

3. At Lubera, we deliberately offer relatively large plants in a 1.3 L pot. This gives the sweet potatoes a head start, they continue to grow rapidly and form even bigger tubers in autumn.

4. Plant in a sunny location that offers a long period of sun. The sometimes read fairytale that sweet potatoes want partial shade has seeped towards us from cultivation in the tropics and subtropics, but this is not true for our climate. They need warmth and full sun!

5. The plant develops better and the tubers also become significantly larger when planted on a mound of soil about 20-30 cm high. Here the soil warms up faster and accelerates the development of the Ipomea plant and tubers.

6. The sweet potatoes develop relatively long tendrils that can easily cover the ground up to 1-2 m²; the shoots can also be attractively trained like a climbing plant on a trellis or on a teepee.

7. Do not harvest until late September to October; it is important to harvest the tubers as carefully as possible; injuries tend to lead to larger rotten spots.

8. After harvesting, the tubers are washed and dried on the lawn or in the garage; if possible, they are then laid out in a relatively warm room that is 20°C or more for a week to 10 days; they form an outer protective layer that makes long-term storage possible.

9. Then the tubers can be wrapped in newsprint without problems at 13-15 degrees C, e.g. stored in a slightly tempered garage.

10. Ideally, you should wait at least 2-3 weeks after the harvest for the first sweet potato feast. In the meantime, starch turns into sugar and the sweet potatoes only then develop their full aroma.

When are Sweet Potatoes Harvested?

Sweet potato plants keep growing in the warm autumn soil. So it makes sense to harvest them as late as possible, from late September to late October. If autumn frosts threaten at short notice, you can also cover them with fleece. Nevertheless, they should be harvested before a serious frost break and prepared for storage (see tips 8-10 above).

Constituents of the Sweet Potato

The sweet potato is considered the most content-rich vegetable. In addition to high starch and sugar contents, it is primarily the secondary constituents that have meanwhile also brought health researchers on the trail of this root vegetable. High levels of vitamins A and C are supplemented by carotenoids and anthocyanins in yellow and orange varieties. The latter can be found mainly in the varieties with purple-coloured flesh. Abundant potash and calcium strengthen bones and muscles, the many fibres help with digestion. In addition, sweet potatoes also have a high content of folic acid, which has a positive effect in early pregnancy. A substance discovered in the skin of the sweet potato is even said to reduce diabetes and cholesterol.

Propagation

If you store medium-sized, completely undamaged sweet potatoes over the winter at approx. 5-15°C and also check them for rot again and again, you can put them back in the ground in the spring and thus grow your own sweet potatoes. A second more productive method is to force the sweet potato tuber in a greenhouse in a pot in March, only slightly covered with soil, then harvest the shoots that are formed and root them under a plastic film (tensed air) or in a mini greenhouse. This is how you can easily get 10-20 new plants from one tuber, which you can then plant out after the frosts in May.

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