Growing Camote


The sweet potatoes, still known in the Philippines by its Aztec name camote was introduced by Spanish in the Philippines after bringing them from Americas some time after the 1570’s.

When Janet and I lived in Imperial Beach she had a vegetable garden in the backyard. One Saturday morning we were out in the garden and after she had finish cultivating the ground she started pushing camote stems in to the earth spaced about 12” apart. I remember asking her what she was doing and when she said planting camote stem I laughed and told her that it wouldn’t grow, she quickly responded yes it will, you’ll see.

To my amazement she was right! Not only did the camote grow, it flourished! and soon the area she had planed the camote was a beautiful blanket of green. It was so thick that not even the weeds grew through.

Recently I was planting a bunch of camote stems that Janets auntie had given us around our Banana trees, while planting Janet and I had an idea that has paid off. We found that if you insert the stems of the camote in a vase of water it will root and grow quite rapidly giving you a beautiful house plant that produces delicate looking white and purple flowers.

For you that don’t know. You can buy camote stems/leaves at most any Asian food store. Boiled or steamed comote leaves are delicious to eat and good for you too, the leaves can be used as a substitute for Spinach seeing how you cant find much spinach in the stores these days.

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