Category: Perennials Tropicals and Tender Perennials Vines and Climbers
Height: 18-24 in. (45-60 cm) 24-36 in. (60-90 cm) 36-48 in. (90-120 cm) 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
Spacing: 9-12 in. (22-30 cm) 12-15 in. (30-38 cm) 15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
Hardiness: USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F) USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Violet/Lavender
Bloom Time: N/A
Foliage: Grown for foliage Herbaceous Chartreuse/Yellow
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Propagation Methods: By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets) From herbaceous stem cuttings By grafting By budding By simple layering By air layering By tip layering By serpentine layering By stooling or mound layering
Seed Collecting: N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed
I am in Dallas, which I think is important to the discussion. After trying these in baskets, I learned very quickly that I had to a) water them several times a day; b) get rid of them; c) get them into the ground or into a much larger container than the typical hanging basket. Except when wilted, they are so showy that "b" was not an option. The ground was the best solution (assuming you understand "the ground" in Dallas means a prepared bed rather than nature's black clay). The ground not only solves the watering problem, but, to my surprise, the plants come back, as one is doing right now. The first time one showed up for its second year, it almost filled a tree circle that is 14 feet in diameter. Gorgeous! They also do well in whiskey barrel sized planters. AND, they do well in common hanging baskets or pots if you commit yourself to watering them multiple times a day. That part I don't recommend. I think their best aspect is the broad brush of color, easily seen from a distance.
On Sep 29, 2011, ctlandscaper from Long Hill, CT wrote:
Awesome lime-green color adds drama and color to the landscape. Will take over if you let it, so don't cram other flowering annuals near it. Looks great paired with the red variety as well. Highly recommend.
So far no one has posted that this sweet potato was also edible . It tastes like a cross between an Irish & and a sweet potato. In my experience nothing can stop it but Cold weather in the south , around Nov & Dec then it has potatoes , then if you are in the south you dig & cover with leaves . Also a warning we also get bugs that eat the potatoes , also slugs & snails . Ant bait & slug bate take care of this. Flagardener
On Aug 2, 2010, Crit from Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
Great plant in both the green and purple variety. I've had good luck with both. The purple vine seemed to do better when getting morning sun and aftenoon shade. I have it in full sun now and it isn't growing as fast or as deep purple. It is a purplish-green. The green variety is terrific. I have multiple plants from the original one I planted in May. The easiest to root!!!! Just cut off the end of one of the runners, about 12" long, pick off the lower leaves and stick it in the dirt. Water well & keep damp. After a couple of days of wilting, it pops back up and takes off growing. The parent plant is in filtered shade, 3 in partial shade and 2 in full sun. I didn't have good luck last year in full sun, but the pot may of been too small. I've not seen any flowers but love the vines. Fast growing.
On Jul 23, 2010, gunnelclifford from Mundelein, IL wrote:
The most beautiful vine and easiest to grow. One set back, in a container with other plants, it does take over. It starts out looking gorgeous with a spike in the middle, a couple of large red geraniums, some dusty millers and a couple of white petunias. Even with cutting them back to make room for it's neighbors, they dominate the soil and nutrients. But alone; Gorgeous!
Does anyone know if they are safe where deer are abundant? I would like to line both sides of a long winding drive way but if the deer like them as much as we do, it won't work. Gunnel - 40 miles north of Chicago
On May 21, 2010, RxAngel from Stratford, TX (Zone 6b) wrote:
I had this in a giant pot last year, and have purchased another one this year. While it says full sun, I have not had much luck with this one or a black one doing well in full sun. I had to really baby them both last year...but the black one did seem to handle the sun a little better than the green one.
I had such high hopes for the full sun aspect, as I don't really have much in the way of shade beds.
If they don't perk up soon (I'm giving them a chance to rebound after transplanting them into a planter), I will move them to my shade bed and see if I can train them up a trellis. I was really hoping for them to do well in the sun. It's really early in the season, so if they can't handle full sun right now, they will definitely not do well later in the summer.
My mom always has beautiful hanging baskets done with ornamental sweet potatoes, but now that I am thinking about it, hers are usually always part to full shade.
Well, after reading the comments, I have found several comments that echo my experiences, so a couple of things...
1. The black varieties seem to tolerate the sun better.
2. The vines don't seem to do as well in containers, especially in the sun, most likely due to the high water requirement of planters, making full sun even more stressful to the vines in containers.
So, that explains it! I will put them both in at least a partially shaded area, and plant them in the ground, rather than a container. If I use containers, I will put the container in complete shade. Of course, in SW Kansas, it is so dry that I probably won't put much of anything in a container!
I will also keep my eyes open for the tubers when I dig them up to overwinter them. The tubers are edible, for those who have asked in earlier comments. How good they are will remain to be seen.
If they do well in the ground this year, I may put them around our mailbox next year and see if they tolerate the full sun better when planted in the ground...
On Jan 14, 2010, dorsai from North Fort Myers, FL wrote:
My experience with this plant was very positive, at least until just these past two weeks when we experienced a number of nights where the temperatures dropped below 32 F. Most of the leaves on my vines turned brown. Seeing this, I uprooted the plants, only to lear by reading earlier posts here that all I might have had to do with trim and replant some of the vines I've done that today, but I was also able to harvest a number of sweet potatos. Just wondering if I should save a few and try replanting them, or just go ahead and use them in the kitchen?
On Nov 9, 2009, VICKI9947 from Arlington, TN wrote:
I love this plant. I have it planted on the east and north side of our home. It is beautiful and has nearly eliminated any weeding in these areas. I have cut the plants back and dug the tubers. The instructions to propagate from tubers says to let them dry for about 14 days to toughen the skin. Remove any roots that appear to be rotting, store in a cool, dry place in hay or dry moss. In early spring, plant the tubers in loose soil about 2 weeks before the soil reached 60 degrees. Remove the new plants from the tuber when they are 3-4 inches in height and plant in your flower beds. Leave the tuber in the ground to propagate more plants.
On Sep 13, 2009, grrrlgeek from Grayslake, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Adds a great bright yellow green color. I also found it will develop a thin dark margin (looked purplish) under some conditions--they did this early this year before I potted them up and none of them have it anymore, neither shade nor sun, so I'm going to work on that next year.
On Jun 22, 2009, FloridaFlwrGirl from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:
Thhis plant is my greatest success story. In hot dry and hot wet conditions here in south florida it has flourished. I have it in both rich soil and sandy soil and in both it thrives. I bought one plant and had an incredibly easy time of propogating from clippings. Every couple of days I cut the tips off of my parent plant, dippedends in water and rooting hormone and stuck in the ground all over the place. In no time at all the babies grew rapidly. Now I don't even bother with rooting hormone as it seems unnecessary.
I have not had as much luck in containers. They seem to need much more water than I can reasonably provide. The containers I have tried are outside in scorching sun. They may do better in shady conditions.
The only criticism I have is that their extremely vigorous nature is not compatible with shared plating beds of small sharubs or flowers. The sweet potato vine will take over any plants that are 8 inches or so in height or less. They seem to be fine, however, with taller plants that I have mixed in beds such as birds of paradise and canna. They don't inhibit the larger plants at all.
I am starting to train these guys up trellises and so far so good - they look fantastic! Love 'em!
On Jun 28, 2008, MaryandLance from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:
I am a beginning gardener. My husband used to be the only one that was interested in plants. He planted two Queen Palms, pretty tall, in a corner area of the yard near our new pool. We put some plants in there, however it looked sparse as they were all new, and I knew he would mulch it if I didn't think of something....I transplanted one Sweet Potato Vine back around Mid-April. Today it has completely taken over (in a good way). I love to check out it's new growth every day. It's in full sun. It actually seems to like the heavy rains we've been having. When it starts to overtake another plant, I merely cut the leaves back and put them in an 'empty' spot as 'mulch'. It has completely filled out that back corner just as I wanted it to. In areas where it is starting to take off where it shouldn't...I just trim it back and have been putting in a large vase where it looks very pretty. I can transplant those later if I get the urge to.
On Jun 3, 2008, jpayne4246 from Fort Myers, FL wrote:
I've had a strip along the driveway that's been a weedpatch. Weeds are plentiful in southwest Florida, and mulch is one way to keep them down and keep moisture in the ground, but the weeds still grow and the mulch has to be redone regularly. So I thought, how about a groundcover that's prettier than mulch but will accomplish the same? I round-up'd the weeds, cleaned them out, bought a few sweet potato vine plants, mostly green and some purple (black) at the advice of my nursery, planted them and mulched (hopefully for the last time) to protect the plants and encourage their growth. I fertilized the ground and have been watering daily. They are doing phenomenally! It does appear that the weeds are not growing underneath the plants (the foliage is dense) and I am having to water less every day, plus the rainy season is coming. I have taken 12-18" cuttings, stripped off a few lower leaves, and either plunked them in other spots and watered or started them in a pot for a few days, then transferred them into the ground, and after a few wilty days they go. It's like the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. The vine is a beautiful iridescent green with splashes of deep purple. I seeded some cosmos in with the vine along the drive, and they are also doing well. I also seeded some four-o'clock s, but they may be too short to rise above the ground cover. Behind the ground cover on the fence is jasmine. Time will tell what the sweet potato vine will do over time, if it's too aggressive, if it really will substitute for a mulch. But right now, I love it! I will send a picture.
On Oct 26, 2007, DreamSpeaker from New Port Richey, FL wrote:
I absolutly love this plant. When it is full and lush it gives out wonderful vibes that make you feel good as you stand next to it. It is very easy to propagate by tubers, cuttings, roots, just about any way you can think of. It loves the shade, the sun, and various inbetween settings. I have found that all you need to do is break off a piece and stick it into wet earth and it will grow into a lovely plant. There's really no need to put it into water and wait for roots to grow. Of course, you do need to keep it watered, especially in the heat of the day and while waiting for it to root.
I understand form the input of others that it's tubers are edible, but have never tried it yet. I'd like to find out if anyone ever eaten one and what it taste like? I have just recently moved and the one I have has yet to put out tubers, so I must wait to try eating it. Would like to get some more input from those that have tried it to see if it tastes different from the "normal" varieties that we get from the stores. I'd love to hear back from anyone that has ventured into this epicurean delicacy.
I started planting this vine last year but it has ever grown to the extent it has this year. I have people stopping and calling asking what I planted. It has taken over my flower beds but I am not complaining. It is just beautiful! I need to know how to store? or try to keep them until next spring. I would like detailed info like do I wait until the plant dies and then harvest all of the potatoes? etc. I would really appreciate the help. Thanks, Kim
On Sep 1, 2007, brummbaer2 from Greensboro, NC wrote:
Amazingly easy for us to grow. One vine planted in the ground has surrounded our mailbox and grows freely in full sun. Several vines in planters grow well from full to partial sun. The vine is much more restrained in a planter but still has the vigor to cascade over the sides. We have used a readily available plant food supplement about once a month for the planter vines.
Our ground vine has done well with minimal watering (unless it is sneaking a drink when neighbors with automatic sprinklers let their watering overflow down the roadside) and no feeding, but those in planters have required constant watering since mid July - daily in August - but then, our August had almost no natural rain and temperatures that set a new record for the month by 2+ degrees.
The color is splendid, and the small insect holes don't bother us - some concern at first until we realized that the vines grew faster than the bugs were eating!
We have not dug to find tubers yet and haven't thought about holding them over the winter. Our dogs have not yet tried to eat the leaves, though some leaves are in reach.
We also have two Blackie vines that have done well in planters in partial sun. They cascade even more than the Margaritas but are equally as thirsty.
On Sep 3, 2006, realyred1 from Lincoln(Beamsville) Canada wrote:
I have this plant growing in 4 containers with its counterpart "blackie" they have been growing amazing. I have them facing west were they receive afternoon sun 2 of the boxes have more shade due to trees and i find the lime ones like the shade more so than blackie,
and the two that get more sun have seem to turn more Yellow than green . I was wondering on how to overwinter these guys- I am going to attemp to take cuttings and put them in water, also i have noticed in the pots that there are several tubers-- from golf ball size to a tennis ball-- can you store these? anyway I hope that I will be successful in keeping these plants going- if not I will deffinatly buy More next spring and use them for more areas than just planters the colors of the two together are just stunning!!!!
we are in around zone 7-7b and they are doing wonderful!!!
In hot Texas, this plant grows extremely quickly--up to a couple feet in one week. It will also grow here in full sun, part sun, part shade, or full shade--it's pretty happy to grow anywhere you can plant it. The leaves look like large morning glory leaves. It looks fantastic in containers with other plants, and can cascade over the sides of the container (if you unwind it from the other plants first, because it will try to climb them) or will climb a trellis or other support behind the container. I've got it growing with red coleus and purple Persian Shield, and the contrast for the colors is wonderful.
On Jul 8, 2005, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:
In 2005, I grew two in a container on a windy south-facing patio. They started off well but went downhill quickly when the foliage became bleached and dried around the edges. I am not certain if it was because of the direct sun or the wind drying it out, but I won't be trying it in this type of location again. In the same pot I had some "Blackie" sweet potato which fared far better. I ended up transplanting one into another container and the other into the ground. Both recovered a bit, but stayed as just small clumps until frost did them in.
A couple of years later, I moved into a house with a shaded area in the back yard. I decided to try Margarita again and to my delight, it grew into a long and healthy vine. The bright green foliage livened up some of the shady spots in the yard. It's easily the best performing sweet potato vine I've grown yet. Looks great in a container with darker foliage plants or dark coloured flowers.
On Jan 9, 2005, jnn from Chapel Hill, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
This is a great plant for any kind of place where it can trail or cascade over things. Great for window boxes. It can grow quite large, as ours did this summer. It is a wonderful bright green and goes well with purple or red plants.
We just dug up the tuber. It is huge! I doubt it will have survived over the winter in Zone 7 though...
On Sep 9, 2003, DestinysPoetry from Fort Myers, FL (Zone 11) wrote:
I started the vine from a store bought sweet potato. In no time, there were tubers growing from the potato, and I planted it to soil. I did have trouble with the potato rotting, so I cut off the tubers, and potted them into soil. The bloom in the picture is the end result. A very easy plant to grow, loves sun, and lots of water.
On Sep 8, 2003, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
Although this plant grows like wildfire, it also draws more than it's share of insects. Whiteflies absolutely adore the chartreuse color and there is also an insect that eats round holes in the leaves at night (not slugs). The leaves look like they have been shot with a BB gun. I have just about stopped growing it altogether, since it is very difficult to spray or powder the undersides of a groundcover. In pots it is easier to spray, but the plant is so vigorous it needs constant watering in containers. The roundish tubers are a bright purple color and can get bigger than honeydew melons. They behave like dahlia tubers and only sprout from the stem end, so be careful not to damage the growing points when digging and storing. If you can grow year round, take tip cuttings and root in water to replenish your supply.
On Aug 29, 2002, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
Wonderful trailing plant! Great for adding a little spicey foliage to containers and flowerbeds. Definitely different.
Other spellings of this variety's name are Marguerite, Marguarita and Margarete.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (2 reports) Horn Hill, Alabama Irvington, Alabama Chandler, Arizona Mesa, Arizona Elkins, Arkansas Pearcy, Arkansas Calistoga, California Clovis, California Laguna Niguel, California Los Angeles, California Muscoy, California Rialto, California Sacramento, California San Francisco, California Stockton, California Vallejo, California Aurora, Colorado Bartow, Florida Beacon Square, Florida Bithlo, Florida Brandon, Florida Coral Springs, Florida Cypress Lake, Florida Deltona, Florida (2 reports) Fort Lauderdale, Florida Fort Myers, Florida (2 reports) Gulf Breeze, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Mango, Florida Marineland, Florida Melrose Park, Florida New Port Richey, Florida New Port Richey East, Florida Pembroke Pines, Florida Pensacola, Florida Rockledge, Florida Spring Hill, Florida Tampa, Florida Tarpon Springs, Florida Titusville, Florida Webster, Florida Atlanta, Georgia Columbus, Georgia Covington, Georgia Lawrenceville, Georgia Martinez, Georgia Mcdonough, Georgia Savannah, Georgia Thomasville, Georgia Vernonburg, Georgia Chicago, Illinois Gages Lake, Illinois Brownsburg, Indiana Carmel, Indiana Wadesville, Indiana Britt, Iowa Lansing, Kansas Liberty, Kansas Barbourville, Kentucky Ewing, Kentucky Belle Rose, Louisiana Chackbay, Louisiana (2 reports) Covington, Louisiana Kenner, Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana Lake Charles, Louisiana Marion, Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana (3 reports) Old Jefferson, Louisiana Cresaptown-bel Air, Maryland Lynn, Massachusetts Trenton, Michigan Troy, Michigan Big Point, Mississippi Columbus, Mississippi Jackson, Mississippi Mathiston, Mississippi Cape Girardeau, Missouri Howardville, Missouri Las Vegas, Nevada Kingston, New Hampshire Hamilton, New Jersey Ramtown, New Jersey South Plainfield, New Jersey Roswell, New Mexico Brinckerhoff, New York Pulaski, New York Webster, New York Bethlehem, North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina Greensboro, North Carolina Harmony, North Carolina Hendersonville, North Carolina Myrtle Grove, North Carolina Pinehurst, North Carolina Stallings, North Carolina Taylorsville, North Carolina Albany, Ohio Blue Ash, Ohio Dublin, Ohio Duncan, Oklahoma Lotsee, Oklahoma Norman, Oklahoma Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Schulter, Oklahoma Albany, Oregon Gold Hill, Oregon Portland, Oregon Northampton, Pennsylvania Phoenixville, Pennsylvania Westfield, Pennsylvania Columbia, South Carolina (2 reports) Ladson, South Carolina Ladys Island, South Carolina Murrells Inlet, South Carolina Summerville, South Carolina Arlington, Tennessee Hickory Withe, Tennessee Kingston, Tennessee Lafayette, Tennessee Bacliff, Texas Briarcliff, Texas Bulverde, Texas College Station, Texas Dallas, Texas (2 reports) De Leon, Texas Desoto, Texas Enchanted Oaks, Texas Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports) Frisco, Texas Georgetown, Texas Houston, Texas (5 reports) Humble, Texas Kingsland, Texas Lakewood Village, Texas League City, Texas Liberty Hill, Texas (2 reports) Manchaca, Texas Marquez, Texas Marshall Creek, Texas Mesquite, Texas Muniz, Texas Perrin, Texas Plano, Texas Port Lavaca, Texas Richmond, Texas Round Rock, Texas San Antonio, Texas Stephenville, Texas Stinnett, Texas Yantis, Texas Bristol, Virginia Newport News, Virginia Norfolk, Virginia Richmond, Virginia Edgewood, Washington Grapeview, Washington Port Orchard, Washington Vancouver, Washington Appleton, Wisconsin Mukwonago, Wisconsin Twin Lakes, Wisconsin