Yams make beautiful houseplants

A yam by any other name is a sweet potato, as the names often are used interchangeably. Yams aren’t just good to eat — they also make beautiful vining houseplants. The quick-growing purplish vines covered with emerald-green heart-shaped leaves are attractive wandering around window frames in homes. Have your children grow them anytime for an excellent activity, especially this time of year.

Right now, yams are in great abundance at grocery stores and keep well in cool, dry places with good air circulation in your home. To me, yams say autumn, bountiful harvest and are downright delicious.

My mother always had sweet potato houseplants growing in our home. If one died, she replaced it. Yams were one of the few houseplants we had available when I was a child. Now, sweet potato houseplants are making a comeback, and I’m seeing more of them in homes. As houseplants, they resemble philodendron or pothos, with their vining habits.

Sweet potato houseplants are so easy to grow. All you need is a jar or vase, water, a firm yam, toothpicks and a kitchen windowsill. Here’s how:

• Choose a jar or vase to hold the tuber in its opening. The jar must be deep enough to hold water a couple of inches below the yam.

• Look for a yam that’s firm and free of soft spots.

• Using four toothpicks, suspend the yam’s tapered end in the jar with half the vegetable above the rim, the other half below the rim of the jar.

• Now fill the jar with water.

• Keep an eye on the water level. Never let the water drop below tuber-end. Replenish the water every other day during the rooting process.

• Set the plant where it gets lots of sun to warm the tuber and speed up root and top growth.

• In as little as two weeks, you’ll notice roots and purplish stems emerging, soon to be followed by heart-shaped lime-green leaves.

• Add fresh, clean water often as the plant develops to prevent stale smelling water.

• If your vines stretch between internodes, place in a sunnier location.

• Take care not to disturb new growth; new shoots easily break off.

• Fertilize monthly for a vigorous vine.

• Occasionally nip vines to make the plant fuller. You’ll enjoy vines crawling around your windowsills to add interest and beauty during those winter days.

• Next spring, plant it outdoors in the morning sun and it may reward you with yams next fall.

BRING OUTDOOR PLANT CUTTINGS INDOORS

Late fall brings about magical transformations in our gardens. If you don’t believe me, come see the transformation taking place at the Springs Preserve.

With days growing shorter and cooling, plants take on new dimensions, ripening into warm gold, russet and sepia tones. Textures become more pronounced, with many of our perennials, ornamental grasses and shrubs displaying their seed heads, seedpods and dried foliage. In reality, you capture a second season of beauty, but this time it’s indoors.

Go through your yard and friends’ yards gathering armloads of plants to display. These arrangements will last for years. I still have pampas flowering heads in my home I harvested 20 years ago.

The only tool you need is a pair of pruning shears. You may need florist’s foam to wedge them in your container to stabilize the arrangement. But most dried material is so stiff, it probaby will stabilize itself.

Group cuttings of one kind together in bunches using ornamental grass blades to tie bunches to add to the display. Or, make an assortment of elaborate bouquets in baskets or containers to complement the natural mood.

For a ready supply of natural materials for fall arrangements, consider adding these plants to your landscape: four-wing saltbush, sand love grass, rabbit brush, pyracantha, cotoneaster, pomegranate, winter fat, sedum, giant allium, desert holly and other plants that may capture your imagination.

Even if you don’t make dry arrangements every year, they’ll lend greater fall and winter interest to your garden.

NEVADA GARDEN CLUBS’ FLOWER SHOW WINNERS

The Nevada Garden Club proudly announces the winners of this fall’s flower show in floral designs and horticulture displays. They are: Floral design: Karen Burth (won twice), Anna Williams (won twice), Xem Hagenson and Jane Matthey.

Horticulture: Alana Sullivan (won three), Roberta Baltz, Cathy Morgan, Elsie Koerwitz, Aaron Schave, Peg Cummings, Don Fabbi and the Doolittle Senior Center Community Garden, which also won the sweepstakes award.

Linn Mills writes a garden column each Sunday. You can reach him at linn.mills@ springspreserve.org or call him at 822-7754.

ad-high_impact_4
Life
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
World Holidays Exhibit At The Natural History Museum
Migratory Bird Day teaches adults and kids to celebrate birds
Different organizations offered activities for kids and adults to learn about birds and celebrate their migration journey at Sunset Park. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Interfaith Amigos speak in Las Vegas
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like