Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine
Ipomoea batatas

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There is an ornamental sweet potato vine to suit every garden space. From the bright 'Margarita' to the dark 'Blackie', the various shades of Ipomoea batatas leaves are eye candy for your yard.

Sweet Potato Vine - Blackie
from: Nature Hills Nursery, Inc.

Sweet Potato Vine - Margarita
from: Nature Hills Nursery, Inc.

Bronze ornamental sweet potato vine planted with a yew.

Here, a bronze sweet potato vine is planted beside a Japanese yew.

The richly-colored leaves of these fast-growing, frost-tender, twining vines are a feast for the eyes if not the stomach.

They are mainly used as summer ground covers and in decorative container gardens.


Growing Sweet Potato Vines

Ornamental sweet potato Blackie in a pot.

'Blackie' sweet potato paired with dusty miller and contrasted with the white flowers of vinca.

Ipomoea batatas originates in the tropics so plant the tubers in late spring after the ground has warmed.

Space plants 2-3 feet apart in any exposure except deep shade. Water them regularly for 1 month, then let them go on natural rainfall. If the leaves are wilted in the early morning, the vines need moisture.

You can trim the vines back as they grow to promote bushiness.

The tubers are perennial in USDA zones 9-11. If you live in a colder area, treat them as summer annuals and dig the tubers up before the first frost. Store them dry over the winter and replant them the following spring.

The vines grow to 8 or 9 inches tall and can spread 6 feet.


'Blackie' Sweet Potato Vine

Sweet potato vine 'Blackie' used as an underplanting for Persian shield, elephant ears and hot pink New Guinea impatens in a West Reading, PA container garden.

The bright pink flower in the background is Nerium oleander.

'Blackie' is valued for its deeply-lobed, dark purple foliage which contrasts beautifully with white, silver, or any of the jewel tones.

The very similar 'Black Heart' sweet potato vine features heart-shaped deep purple leaves.


'Margarita' Sweet Potato Vine

'Margarita' ornamental sweet potato surrounds a fountain in Savannah, GA.

'Margarita' ornamental sweet potato surrounds a fountain in Savannah, GA.

This shocking foliage is what sets 'Margarita' apart from her peers.


The chartreuse 'Chillin Limeade' is just as striking.

'Chillin Limeade' ornamental sweet potato leaves.


Tricolor Sweet Potato Vine

Ornamental sweet potato vine Pink Frost spilling over a wall.

'Tricolor' sweet potato vine spilling playfully over a wall.

'Tricolor' may revert back to an all green form when grown as a perennial.



Ornamental Sweet Potato Tubers

Although they are technically edible, it is not recommended that you eat these tubers. They are not tasty and may be bitter.

Also, they can become quite large so use care when planting them in small containers like the one depicted above. They have been known to break small pots.

Mosey On for More Sweet Potato Info:

Planting Sweet Potatoes in the Home Vegatable Garden

My Mom's Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Return to the Sweet Potato Vines Master Page

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Southern Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

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Sweet Potato Yeast Bread

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Sweet Potato Pancakes

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