Ipomoea, Ornamental Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato Vine 'Tricolor'

Ipomoea batatas

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



Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:





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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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(9 reports)

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 25, 2011, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) 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.


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. Bu... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.