A Novel Method for Propagating Yams


Happy Independence Day to my American readers.

I am a direct descendant of John Howland, crew member on the Mayflower. I’m still not sure we should have left the British Empire, honestly, but any holiday that consists of barbecues and blowing things up is okay by me. I also think the Constitution was a bad idea and that the War of Northern Aggression was won by the wrong side, so I know my views are in the minority… and I’d better get to today’s post before one of you reports me to the SJW firing squad or something.

On to the yams. Curtiss shared a video with me on a novel method for propagating yams, from aeroponics to cuttings to the field:

In the video he states that cuttings from yams not grown in aeroponics systems don’t behave the same, implying that cuttings don’t take as easily.


I’m not sure why that would be the case. I am wondering if you could skip the expensive aeroponics setup altogether.

Sure, it looks cool – but I hate plumbing.

I like this part, though:


Also, this part:


I have actually started Dioscorea alata via cuttings. I didn’t realize you could get them to work so well from just a single node, though.

My common method of yam propagation is this:

But what if you don’t have roots? Or what if you want a LOT more yams? The method in the video Curtiss shared is tantalizing in its abundance – you can make a LOT of yam plants via cuttings.

My experiment with growing yams from cuttings was like this: I just took a few little cuttings with a couple of nodes each, then put them in pots and stuck them in a mist house that a friend with a nursery owned. A month or so later, I had rooted yams ready for planting.

No aeroponics required. However, it did have the benefit of regular misting. I’m not sure how yams would root if I just stuck them in pots.

Worth continuing to research, for sure. And I’m sure Curtiss will be experimenting and sharing results. He’s definitely better at building complicated systems than I am.

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  • Hi David. I came across your blog several months ago and have really learned a lot. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I didn’t know anything about yams until I found your site. I was able to track down a purple yam and now have it growing in my backyard, thanks to you. You really sparked my curiosity with your comments about the country in today’s Independence Day post. Could you explain why you think the USA should not have sought to separate from Great Britain? I have never heard anyone take this position so I was hoping that you could elaborate on it. I genuinely want to know. Thanks again for the great information. Also, I love the rap songs that you post. Please keep them coming!

    • David The Good

      Yes indeed – glad you found me. I prefer a far-away and benevolent, mostly hands-off government to one that is up close and controlling. The taxes under King George were lower than any Americans ever paid afterwards!

  • Happy 4th. I am very grateful we left “mother England” and the class system that stifled people for so long. A close examination of history shows the blessings and miracles involved with the founding of our country. The USA has been a force of good for so many years for so many people. So much progress , inventions, music (rock and roll, jazz, country……….rap and heavy metal not included on the plus side)
    I am aware that the “history” taught for the last 30 to 40 years has focused on our many sins. It is true we do have many sins. We are all fallen creatures, but I also believe the founding of our country, the constitution, the great men and women who served to make the country a beacon to the world, are a divine gift to mankind. History… his story……is a mixture of facts and opinions. The old cliché about opinions, everyone has one. Facts are different and one fact can not be argued (in my opinion=lol), as bad as the world is, it would not be half as good without the USA. So God bless Mr. Goodman (David) and God bless the USA… cue Lee Greenwood… ( and yes I sometimes wish I was living in some isolated place close to the beach, growing yams, and going totally tropo).

  • Charles Bingham

    I’ve been binge watching a lot of your videos the past couple weeks and now I think I’m getting yam fever. You’ve got me wanting to try my hand at growing them as well as; cassava and taro. I’ve seen you method of using stakes but I’ve got lots of fence I could use. Would you use the fence for yams or use it for a different crop?

  • Can air potatoes, yams, na’me out run cows in a pasture? I am from MS USA and my political views seem to parallel yours. Thank you for all of the information and entertainment.

  • After watching this Video I realised where I went wrong with my cuttings. Tonight when I went to water my purple yams, I found a 6ft vine that a rabbit bit through. They don’t eat them, just take bites to see If they are edibe. NO, not raw! Or cooked? I have cages around them but this one was too short. I know the tuber will survive but will be set back. Glass half full, I now have material to try cuttings again!

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