American potatoes originate in Central and South America, where they are grown for their edible tubers, rich in starch, slightly sweet; these perennial climbing herbaceous plants can also be grown as decorative indoor plants. They develop thin stems, very flexible, with a climbing or hanging habit, very well ramified; they carry several big trilobed leaves, elongated and pointed, of dark green colour, slightly coriaceous.
During the spring season, they produce large bell-shaped flowers, white or pink in colour, with contrasting throats. At the base of the stems develop large tuberous roots, similar to long potatoes, yellow or orange in colour, edible.
They are very suitable for the cultivation in hanging baskets; in Italy, they are used a lot to cultivate the sweet potatoes in aquaculture, as it happens for the bulbs to be forced; this type of cultivation is to be done only well knowing the techniques, in order to avoid to get a plant with a very short life cycle, also because it can happen with facility that the tuber rots in case of too much firm water.There are also varieties with particular leaves colour, yellow or violet, which are mainly utilized as annual, upholstering or drooping.
Some species of hypomoea are also cultivated as annual garden plants, mainly the species with particularly decorative flowers.
The American potato plants are grown in a well-luminous place, even if sunny; they fear the cold, therefore during the winter months they are to be kept in an apartment, at a temperature not inferior to 13-15°C; the species grown in the garden are often grown as annual.
- It is commonly called American potato, although the large tubers resemble potatoes only in shape; in fact, the American potatoes, whose botanical name is ipomoea batatas, are the most common potatoes in the world….
- The ideal habitat of the potato, better known as American potato or sweet potato, is the warm one of the tropical and sub-tropical climates, but in spite of this it is successfully cultivated also in less humid areas….
To obtain healthy and well-developed plants, it is advisable to water regularly, throughout the whole year, avoiding leaving the soil dry for prolonged periods of time. During the winter months, let’s slightly thin the watering, allowing the soil to dry up slightly. From March to October we provide fertilizer for flowering plants, every 15-20 days, in half the dose recommended on the package.
The soil to be used for the development of our plants should be selected taking into account the specific needs of our crops. This is because it is from the soil that our plants acquire the main sources of sustenance. The ipomea batatas prefer soft and light soils, very well drained, not particularly rich in organic matter; they can develop without problems in most of the soils, even poor or stony.
The reproduction of the American potatoes can happen by seed, in spring, even if not always from seed we get plants identical to the mother plant; in summer we can prepare cuttings from the apex of the stems which have not carried flowers, or we can root portions of the tubers.
American potatoes: Pests and diseases
American pathetes can be affected by aphids and mites, which mainly affect young shoots. Poorly draining substrate or repeated water stagnation can lead to rottenness.
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- The sweet potato, or even the American potato, is a plant species native to South America, where it is grown.
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- The potato is a tuber that is born in Central America but its cultivation is widespread throughout the world, especially in the Middle East.
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