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How to Grow Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine

How to Grow Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine

Ornamental sweet potato vine is a wonderful addition to any container garden or trellis.  But did you know that it also looks wonderful as a bedding plant or ground cover?  Well, it does and its fast growing rate makes it a quick go to for areas that you want to fill in quickly.

To get the most out of the ornamental sweet potato vine, make sure to plant it in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight.  This will allow the colors of the foliage to really pop.  If you do not have a location that receives this much sunlight, do not give up on using this plant.  It can tolerate partially sunny to somewhat shady areas but the vibrate leaf color will not be as showy.

This plant is a tender perennial in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8b through 11.  In other areas, this plant is grown simply as an annual.

Once you have chosen a location in your landscaping, do not forget to check the soil’s pH.  Ornamental sweet potato vine requires a soil pH of between 6.0 and 7.8.


Ornamental sweet potato vine is related to the morning glory.  Unlike the morning glory, the ornamental sweet potato vine cannot be started by seed.  While this plant does bloom violet colored flowers, the seeds produced are sterile.

To get starts of this wonderful vine, once can either acquire rhizomes or tubers along with cuttings.

Planting in the Landscape

As stated before, the ornamental sweet potato vine requires a sunny to partially shady location along with a certain pH.  Once you have planned the location for your vine, prepare the soil by loosening it up with a rake.  Next, dig a hole that is large enough to hold the type of propagation method you have picked.  If you have purchased your plant, make sure the hole is twice the width of the container while keeping the depth the same as the container.   Prior to placing the plant in the hole, make sure to test the hole first.  After the hole has passed the test, cut away the pot, tease the roots with your fingers, and place in the hole.  Fill in with the removed soil.

If you are planting more than one plant, space them out three to six feet apart.

Planting in a Container

While the ornamental sweet potato vine looks wonderful by itself in a hanging basket or container garden, consider combining it with other plants.

When using it in a container garden, one will first need to select the container.  To avoid root rot, choose a container with a drainage hole.  Once you have selected your pot, wash and sterilize it.  Allow it to dry in the sun.  After it has completely dried, place drainage material over the drainage hole and fill the container so that only ¼ remains to be filled with an all-purpose potting soil.

Next, fill your container with your chosen plant material but do not forget to tease the roots of each plant.  Once all plants have been added to the container, fill in with soil until you reach one inch from the top.  Leaving this margin will create space for watering and will reduce the chances of runoff.

Water in the container and add additional soil as needed.

Fertilized every two weeks with a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer that is diluted to ¼ the regular strength.

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