Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Ornamental Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato Vine
Ipomoea batatas 'Tricolor'

Family: Convolvulaceae (kon-volv-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ipomoea (ip-oh-MEE-a) (Info)
Species: batatas (bat-TAT-as) (Info)
Cultivar: Tricolor

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Vines and Climbers

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

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:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

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)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
By air layering
By tip 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

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There are a total of 12 photos.
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4 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral vossner On Aug 25, 2011, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have rated it neutral b/c of all the sweet potato vines, this one was the weakest for me. Would not return from the tuber as the other varieties and I would have to buy a plant or two ea. year. I finally got tired of that and stopped buying/growing it.

Neutral Bianatree On Aug 24, 2011, Bianatree from Gentry, AR (Zone 6a) wrote:

I would call it a vigourous spreader to say the least. Actually, someone gave it to me and it took me a long time to figure out what it was called. Until I correctly identified it, we called it purple kudzu. I also planted it as edging on my flower bed and have had it take over several spots. With vigorous pruning, it can be kept from overruning, but I would rather not have it where I originally placed it (but that's my bad, not the plant's)

It propogates very easily and I have just stuck cuttings in the ground (in other places where it won't overrun everything) and it has flourished. It loves zone 7A and did better than anything else with our record heat this year.

It is a beautiful plant and, I would say it is a good plant for the proper location. But, if you have smaller plantings nearby, it will take them over and the next thing you know anything shorter than 15 inches will dissappear under a mass of purple kudzu.....

Positive grrrlgeek On Sep 13, 2009, grrrlgeek from Grayslake, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Nice looking, even in a sunny spot where the color isn't as pronounced. I'm actually glad to see that the tubers survived in KY so I can try it with some in a sheltered spot here.

Positive crowellli On Jul 30, 2006, crowellli from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I agree that this plant is quite agressive in it's spreading, but I've not had a problem keeping it in bounds. It's in a semi shaded area beneath a live oak and has done really well there. It grouws so fast you just throw it down and jump back. I do trim the perimeter runners about every two weeks to keep it from rooting and spreading to areas where I don't want it. It's mixed in with impatiens and pentas in shades to accentuate the pink/lavender color of it's new growth.

Negative Missyinbama On May 28, 2005, Missyinbama from Wetumpka, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I made the mistake of planting this in my flower bed to brighten up the border. It became very invasive, and I have spent over a year pulling and digging up "potatos" that keep sprouting up everywhere after this plant very quickly took over my flower bed! It would die back it the winter, but would shoot up from the tubers underground. It sent shoots out over the concrete driveway, and I am even pulling up tubers from container plants that were sitting too close to the flower bed. I still occasionally find sprouts among the daylilies.

Positive TerriFlorida On Jun 4, 2004, TerriFlorida from Plant City, FL wrote:

I put this plant (from a 6" pot) in one of the most difficult spots in my yard. It is in a dry, oak-root invaded spot in partial sun, where I can't water easily. It is doing beautifully, with great variegation and quite acceptable growth. I have the bright green one in a similar spot but in more shade, and it too is doing beautifully. Neither had any wilt time, and neither is having any trouble after a month of drought. I am really impressed with these plants.

Positive amorning1 On Oct 30, 2003, amorning1 from Islamorada, FL wrote:

To propagate, begin with rooted cuttings. Cut off all but the smallest leaves to avoid drying the cutting out via transpiration. Keep in shade till new leaves form. (They can handle full sun but I don't recommend it.)

This is frequently sold as "Pink Ivy", but it's not an ivy at all and is not cold-tolerant. Growth rate similar to Pothos.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Irvington, Alabama
Jones, Alabama
Tempe, Arizona
Gentry, Arkansas
Calistoga, California
Clayton, California
Encinitas, California
Palm Springs, California (2 reports)
San Diego, California
Vista, California
Bartow, Florida
Deltona, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Maitland, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Plant City, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Sebastian, Florida
Arlington, Georgia
Grayslake, Illinois
Dubuque, Iowa
Lexington, Kentucky
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Lanse, Michigan
Madison Heights, Michigan
Mathiston, Mississippi
Ash, North Carolina
Alsea, Oregon
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Gaffney, South Carolina
Lafayette, Tennessee
Alice, Texas
Devine, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Roanoke, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Kalama, Washington

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