How to Grow Sweet Potatoes in Texas: A Complete Guide

Welcome to our complete guide on how to grow sweet potatoes in Texas! Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a beginner, this comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know to successfully cultivate sweet potatoes in the Lone Star State. With its ideal climate and abundant varieties, Texas is the perfect place to grow these delicious and nutritious tubers. So, let’s dig in and get started on your sweet potato journey!

Key Takeaways:

  • Growing sweet potatoes in Texas offers numerous health benefits due to their high nutritional value.
  • It’s important to select the right sweet potato varieties that are suitable for Texas’ climate.
  • Site selection and soil preparation are crucial for successful sweet potato cultivation.
  • Propagation can be done through slips, which are vine cuttings.
  • Fertilization, watering, and disease/pest management are essential for optimal growth.
  • Harvest sweet potatoes before or just after the first fall frost and store them properly for longevity.
  • Regular observation and monitoring can help address potential issues before they become severe.

Benefits of Growing Sweet Potatoes

Growing sweet potatoes in Texas offers numerous benefits. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene and vitamin A, which are essential for maintaining good eye health and a strong immune system. They are also high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber, promoting overall well-being.

Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic value, making them a great food choice for those looking to manage their blood sugar levels and support weight loss goals. They provide long-lasting energy and can help you feel satisfied without causing spikes in blood sugar.

In addition, sweet potatoes are highly heat-tolerant, which makes them an ideal crop for Texas’ hot summers. They can withstand the intense heat and still produce a bountiful harvest. So, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, growing sweet potatoes in Texas is a rewarding experience with many health and culinary benefits.

Nutritional Value of Sweet Potatoes

To give you a better understanding of the nutritional value of sweet potatoes, here’s a table showcasing their key nutrients:

Nutrient Amount per 100g
Calories 86
Carbohydrates 20g
Fiber 3g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A 18,869 IU
Vitamin C 2.4mg

“Sweet potatoes are not only delicious but also packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They are a nutrient powerhouse and can be a valuable addition to a balanced diet.” – Nutritionist Jessica Smith

With their nutritional profile and adaptability to Texas’ climate, growing sweet potatoes offers a host of benefits that can contribute to your overall health and well-being.

Varieties for Growing Sweet Potatoes in Texas

When it comes to growing sweet potatoes in Texas, selecting the right varieties is crucial for a successful harvest. Texas offers a favorable climate for sweet potato production, and there are several varieties that thrive in this region. Whether you’re looking for high beta-carotene content or antioxidant-rich options, there’s a sweet potato variety for every preference and need.

Orange-Fleshed Varieties

Orange-fleshed sweet potato varieties like Beauregard are popular choices in Texas. These varieties are not only delicious but also packed with beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Beauregard, in particular, is known for its high yields and disease resistance. Other recommended orange-fleshed varieties include Centennial and Jewell, which also perform well in Texas’ climate.

Purple Varieties

If you’re looking for sweet potatoes with a vibrant purple flesh, consider planting purple varieties like Purple Majesty or Stokes Purple. These varieties are not only visually appealing but also rich in antioxidants. Purple sweet potatoes have been gaining popularity for their unique flavor and nutritional value. They can be a great addition to both sweet and savory dishes.

Recommended Varieties for Texas

In addition to the orange-fleshed and purple varieties, there are a few other sweet potato varieties that are well-suited for Texas’ growing conditions. Bush Porto Rico is a compact variety that produces well in containers or small gardens. Georgia Jet is another popular choice, known for its early maturity and resistance to pests. These varieties, along with Beauregard and Jewell, are reliable options for sweet potato growers in Texas.

Variety Characteristics
Beauregard High yield, disease resistant, orange flesh
Centennial Heat tolerant, orange flesh
Jewell High yield, orange flesh
Purple Majesty Rich in antioxidants, purple flesh
Stokes Purple Unique flavor, purple flesh
Bush Porto Rico Compact, suitable for containers, orange flesh
Georgia Jet Early maturity, pest resistant, orange flesh

Site Selection and Soil Preparation

When it comes to growing sweet potatoes in Texas, the right site selection and soil preparation are crucial for a successful harvest. Sweet potatoes thrive in a sunny location with full sun, so choose a spot in your garden that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day.

In terms of soil, sweet potatoes prefer a well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH level ranging from 5 to 7.5. It’s important to test the soil before planting to determine its nutrient levels and pH. You can purchase soil testing kits from your local garden center or have a professional soil test done. Based on the results, you may need to amend the soil to create an optimal growing environment for your sweet potatoes.

Site Selection Considerations:

  • Choose a sunny location with full sun exposure
  • Ensure good drainage to prevent waterlogging
  • Test the soil to determine nutrient levels and pH
  • Amend the soil if necessary to optimize growing conditions

Adding organic matter to the soil can greatly improve its fertility and drainage. Compost, well-rotted manure, or a complete fertilizer can be incorporated into the soil before planting. This will provide the necessary nutrients for the sweet potatoes’ growth and development. Additionally, consider creating raised beds to enhance drainage and promote better soil warming in the spring.

site selection and soil preparation

Propagation and Planting

To start growing sweet potatoes in Texas, you need to propagate and plant sweet potato slips. Slips are vine cuttings that will grow into sweet potato plants.

To produce slips at home, you can use healthy sweet potatoes. Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise, and suspend it in a glass jar or container of water. Place the container in a warm and sunny location, and within a few weeks, you should see shoots or sprouts emerging from the sweet potato halves. These shoots are the slips that you will plant in the ground.

If you prefer not to produce slips at home, you can also purchase them from local garden stores or online companies. Make sure to choose healthy and well-rooted slips for the best chance of success.

Planting the Slips

When it comes to planting sweet potato slips in Texas, timing is crucial. Wait until the soil temperature is consistently above 65°F before planting. This usually occurs in late spring or early summer.

Dig a hole that is deep enough to accommodate the entire length of the slip. Place the slip in the hole, burying it up to the first set of leaves. Space the slips 12 to 18 inches apart in rows that are 3 to 4 feet apart. This spacing allows the sweet potato vines to spread and grow properly.

Ensure that the soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter. Sweet potatoes thrive in loose and fertile soil. You can also consider adding a layer of mulch around the plants to help conserve moisture and suppress weed growth.

Following these propagation and planting techniques will set you on the path to growing your own delicious sweet potatoes in the great state of Texas.

planting sweet potatoes in Texas

Fertilization and Watering

Proper fertilization and watering are essential for the successful growth of sweet potatoes in Texas. Sweet potatoes require a moderate amount of nutrients and water to thrive and produce a bountiful harvest.


When it comes to fertilizing sweet potatoes, it’s important not to overdo it. These plants don’t require excessive amounts of fertilizer, especially if the soil is already nutrient-rich. Applying a balanced fertilizer during planting time is usually sufficient to meet their needs. However, depending on soil conditions and nutrient deficiencies, additional amounts of phosphorus and potassium may be beneficial for optimal growth and yield.


Proper watering is crucial for sweet potatoes, especially during the establishment period. These plants generally require about 10 to 20 inches of water throughout the growing season. However, it’s important not to overwater them, especially in the weeks leading up to harvest. Overly wet soil can lead to rot and affect the quality of the sweet potatoes. It’s best to provide consistent moisture, allowing the soil to dry slightly between watering sessions.

Remember to regularly monitor the moisture levels in your sweet potato beds and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. The goal is to maintain a slightly moist soil environment without causing waterlogged conditions. Mulching around the plants can help conserve moisture and regulate soil temperature, reducing water evaporation and weed growth.

Fertilization Tips Watering Tips
  • Apply a balanced fertilizer at planting time.
  • Consider soil testing to determine if additional nutrients are necessary.
  • Avoid excessive fertilization to prevent imbalances and plant stress.
  • Water consistently, aiming for 10 to 20 inches throughout the growing season.
  • Monitor moisture levels and adjust watering as needed.
  • Avoid overwatering, particularly close to harvest time.

By providing your sweet potatoes with the right balance of nutrients and water, you’ll set them up for healthy growth and a successful harvest. Remember to observe your plants regularly, looking out for any signs of nutrient deficiencies or overwatering. With proper care and attention, you’ll be rewarded with delicious and nutritious sweet potatoes to enjoy.

fertilization and watering sweet potatoes

Disease and Pest Management

When growing sweet potatoes in Texas, it’s important to be aware of potential diseases and pests that can affect your crop. By implementing proper disease and pest management practices, you can protect your sweet potatoes and ensure a successful harvest.

Common Diseases

There are several diseases that can impact sweet potatoes in Texas. Leaf spots, caused by various fungi, can appear as small, dark spots on the leaves and eventually lead to defoliation. Nematodes, microscopic worms, can also cause significant damage to the roots, resulting in stunting and reduced yield.

To manage these diseases, it’s important to practice good crop rotation by planting sweet potatoes in different areas of your garden each year. This helps to reduce the build-up of pathogens in the soil. Additionally, maintaining proper spacing between plants can improve airflow and reduce the spread of fungal diseases.

Pest Control

There are several pests that can pose a threat to sweet potatoes in Texas. These include beetles, cutworms, and weevils. These insects can cause damage to the leaves, stems, and tubers, leading to reduced yield and quality.

To control pests, you can use a combination of biological, cultural, and chemical methods. Introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs and parasitic wasps can help to naturally control pest populations. Removing and destroying affected plant material can also help to reduce pest numbers. If necessary, you can use insecticides, but be sure to follow the instructions carefully and consider using organic options.

Disease and Pest Management for Sweet Potatoes in Texas
Common Diseases Pest Control
– Leaf spots – Biological control: Introduce beneficial insects
– Nematodes – Cultural control: Crop rotation
– Chemical control: Consider organic insecticides
– Remove and destroy affected plant material

By implementing these disease and pest management strategies, you can help to protect your sweet potatoes and maximize your yield. Regular monitoring of your plants for any signs of disease or pest activity is crucial, as early intervention can prevent further damage. With proper care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious sweet potatoes in Texas.

Disease and Pest Management

Harvesting and Storage

Once your sweet potatoes have reached maturity, it’s time to harvest and store them properly to ensure their long-term quality. Harvesting sweet potatoes in Texas is typically done before or just after the first fall frost. Look for signs that indicate the roots have matured, such as yellowing leaves and a cessation of growth.

When harvesting your sweet potatoes, be gentle to avoid bruising the delicate skin. Carefully dig around the plants with a fork or shovel, loosening the soil to expose the tubers. Use your hands to gently lift the sweet potatoes out of the ground, being careful not to damage them.

After harvesting, it is important to cure the sweet potatoes to enhance their flavor and improve their storage life. Place the sweet potatoes in a warm and humid area, such as a basement or garage, for about a week. This process allows the skins to toughen up and any minor cuts or bruises to heal. Once cured, transfer the sweet potatoes to a cool and dry location for storage.

Proper Storage Conditions

When storing sweet potatoes, it’s essential to create the right conditions to preserve their quality. Ideally, the storage area should be cool, with temperatures between 55°F and 60°F (13°C to 16°C). The humidity level should be around 85% to prevent the sweet potatoes from drying out.

Avoid storing sweet potatoes in the refrigerator, as the cold temperature can negatively affect their taste and texture. Instead, choose a dark, well-ventilated space that is free from moisture and extreme temperature fluctuations.

Table: Recommended Storage Time for Sweet Potatoes

Storage Method Storage Time
Room Temperature (70°F / 21°C) 1-2 weeks
Cool Storage (55°F-60°F / 13°C-16°C) 3-5 months

By following these harvesting and storage guidelines, you can enjoy the flavors and nutritional benefits of your sweet potatoes for an extended period. Whether you choose to cook them right away or save them for later, proper handling and storage will ensure their lasting quality.

harvesting sweet potatoes

Tips for Growing Sweet Potatoes in Texas

When it comes to growing sweet potatoes in Texas, there are a few key tips and tricks that can help you maximize your harvest. Here are some important pointers to keep in mind:

1. Weed Control

Keeping your sweet potato beds weed-free is crucial, especially in the first 40 days after planting. Weeds can compete with the sweet potato plants for nutrients, water, and sunlight, which can hinder their growth. Regularly remove any weeds that sprout up in your beds to ensure that your sweet potatoes have the best chance to thrive.

2. Provide Support for Vines

As your sweet potato vines start to grow, providing them with some support can help prevent them from spreading too much and improve overall plant health. You can use trellises, stakes, or cages to keep the vines off the ground. This will make it easier to maintain your plants, harvest your sweet potatoes, and keep pests and diseases at bay.

3. Regular Observation and Monitoring

Regularly observe and monitor your sweet potato plants for any signs of disease or pests. Catching issues early on can help you address them before they become severe and potentially impact your harvest. Look for any yellowing or wilting leaves, spots, or unusual growth patterns. If you notice any problems, take prompt action to mitigate them and protect your crop.

Tips for Growing Sweet Potatoes in Texas
1. Weed Control
2. Provide Support for Vines
3. Regular Observation and Monitoring

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success when it comes to growing sweet potatoes in Texas. Remember to stay vigilant, provide the necessary support, and take proactive measures to address any issues that may arise. With a little care and attention, you’ll be rewarded with a bountiful harvest of delicious sweet potatoes.

tips for growing sweet potatoes in Texas image


As you can see, growing sweet potatoes in Texas is a fantastic endeavor. The state’s ideal climate and abundance of suitable varieties make it a prime location for sweet potato production. By following the proper steps for site selection, soil preparation, and care practices, you can successfully cultivate your own sweet potatoes and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Remember to monitor your sweet potato beds regularly and address any potential issues promptly. Keeping the beds weed-free in the early stages and providing support for the vines will help ensure healthy growth and productivity. Additionally, be on the lookout for signs of disease or pests, and employ organic methods and treatments to control them effectively.

Harvesting sweet potatoes should be done before or just after the first fall frost. After harvest, curing the sweet potatoes for a week in warm, humid conditions is crucial for proper storage. Store them in a cool, dry location to maintain their quality and flavor. With a little care and attention, you’ll be rewarded with delicious and nutritious sweet potatoes for your culinary creations.

In conclusion, take advantage of Texas’ favorable conditions for growing sweet potatoes and embark on this rewarding journey. Follow the guidelines provided in this complete guide, and soon you’ll be savoring the satisfaction of nurturing your own homegrown sweet potatoes.


What are the benefits of growing sweet potatoes in Texas?

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. They have a low glycemic value and can help with weight loss. Additionally, they are heat tolerant and can withstand Texas’ hot summers.

What sweet potato varieties are suitable for growing in Texas?

Some recommended varieties for Texas include Beauregard, Centennial, Jewell, and Vardaman. Orange-fleshed varieties like Beauregard are high in beta-carotene, while purple varieties are rich in antioxidants.

What should I consider for site selection and soil preparation?

Sweet potatoes require a sunny location with full sun and well-drained soil. They prefer a slightly acidic pH of 5 to 7.5. Before planting, it’s important to have the soil tested and incorporate organic matter like compost or a complete fertilizer.

How do I propagate and plant sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are propagated from slips, which are vine cuttings. Slips can be produced at home or purchased from local garden stores or online companies. Plant the slips when the soil temperature is over 65°F in the spring, spacing them 12 to 18 inches apart in rows that are 3 to 4 feet apart.

What are the fertilization and watering requirements for sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes don’t require excessive fertilization, especially if the soil is already rich in nutrients. A balanced fertilizer can be added at planting time, and additional amounts of phosphorus and potassium may be needed. Sweet potatoes need 10 to 20 inches of water per season, especially during the establishment period.

How can I manage diseases and pests when growing sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes can be susceptible to diseases like leaf spots and nematodes, as well as pests like beetles, cutworms, and weevils. Various organic methods and treatments can be used to control these issues, including the use of clove, neem oil, sulfur, thyme oil, azadirachtin, garlic juice extract, and pyrethrins.

When and how should I harvest and store sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes should be harvested before or just after the first fall frost. The leaves will turn yellow, indicating that growth has stopped and the roots have matured. After harvesting, sweet potatoes should be cured for a week in a warm, humid area and then stored in a cool, dry location.

What are some tips for growing sweet potatoes in Texas?

Keep the beds weed-free, especially in the first 40 days after planting. Provide support for the vines to prevent them from spreading too much. Regularly observe and monitor for any signs of disease or pests and address them promptly.

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