Looking back over the past months, having begun buying plants for my patio containers mid to late April, I have been looking at which plants were probably my best buy.
And I have decided that the sweet potato vine gives me the most bang for my buck.
I always pick up both the green and the purple sweet potato vine plants in the spring, as these plants will wilt and die as soon as you get a frost.
Just look at this purple specimen. I have cut it back a number of times, and it just keeps springing back full of pretty leaves.
Soon the purple sweet potato vine will be producing lavender flowers that somewhat resemble petunias.
The chartreuse sweet potato vine is just as exuberant on my patio. There are other sweet potato vines, but these two are the only ones I’ve seen at my local nursery.
I have broken off a stem and planted it in another pot and more often than not, I have a new plant growing. So this is a strong energetic plant.
If you want to give it a little more encouragement, roll the end of your stem cutting in cinnamon powder. This will give it a boost and act as a rooting hormone.
I paid around $3 for each of my two sweet potato vine plants, and I feel that I more than get my money’s worth with these beautiful plants. Year after year.
Caring For Sweet Potato Vine
They say full sun is ideal for the sweet potato vine, but I’ve found that around noon the leaves start drooping, so I will give them a spray from the hose to cool them down.
So I think it just depends on your particular climate.
Furthermore, I have moved the purple sweet potato vine to a location that gets afternoon shade, and it thrives there. So I think they appreciate part shade in hot regions.
You want well-draining moist soil for this plant. If the ground is soggy for too long the root system can develop rot, which can kill it. This applies to both container plants and in-ground plants.
I have not found fertilizing to be necessary with the sweet potato vine. If you’ve used well-balanced soil, your plant will probably be as prolific as mine is.
Moderate watering. Keep the soil moist, but not wet or soggy.
Sweet potato vines spread rapidly, so regular pruning is required. The plants grow rapidly in the spring and summer months when the weather is warm.
If you are trying to train your vines to spread and create a thicker ground cover, trim just above a place where there’s a pair of leaves. This will encourage the vine to split in two at the leaf buds.