Potato Vine in a pot?

cave76(8)May 10, 2006

Has anyone ever done this?

I want to plant a potato vine in a pot to twine up the 1" railings of my balcony. And maybe even up a trellis to give some filtered shade. I have full hot sun a good part of the day, south exposure.

I grew potato vines when living on a ranch and they were extremely easy. Now I'm wondering how they'd do in a pot.

In my zone they bloom almost all year.

Any experience? Any tips?


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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

I've had sweet potato vines and they produce tubers at the end of the season (although I discarded).

However I have seen many posts from people who grew potatoes in large containers (eg., large plastic trash cans or in chicken-wire cages with the starters planted in straw/soil above ground within the cage, etc) and gave instructions on how to do it - at least for harvest purposes. I don't think the vine itself gets large enough in a container to actually produce a screen (unless you have a bunch of vines). Although if you have a deep trough and build up the soil over time to get a massive root (potato) system established, they could probably produce some signicant vineage.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 10:51AM
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Thank you Jenny for your answer.

I was less than precise in my question. :) The potato vine I was referring to is probably the one in the link below.

I never knew it's scientific name and out here, in CA, it's a very hardy vine/bush/climber that endures hardship well and stays green all year. And called, locally at least, potato vine.

Prolific bloomer.

I see by the pic on the link that it's growing in pots, but that may be just how it's sold in a nursery.

I remember well the sweet potato vines we planted in school. Those are fun also. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Solanaceae/Solanum_jasminoides.html

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 11:27AM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Okay. Your link is showing one growing where? A POT!

So go for it! ;-)

People go to nurseries to buy plants that were grown in containers so that means the plants CAN grow in a container just fine! Usually the bigger the container, the bigger they'll grow. So if you get one, just plop it in a good-sized container and let it have a field day as most vines tend to do.

BTW, I've also heard about vines called potato vines that have been found growing in woods and produce a large potato-looking seed pod in similar zones, so that had come to mind to me too.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 11:42AM
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Westview(Zone 8, N. TX)

If we are talking about the decorative sweet potato vines you get in the nursery, the lime green, or pink, or "black" they LOVE pots. They thrive in regular potting soil with normal watering. they will however take over anyplace they are planted, especially "Marguerita" the lime green one. Our town has some huge planters that have something different each year. Last year they had alternate black and lime green sweet potato vines planted so they formed "stripes" and they were simply spectacular! They soon grew down to the pavement and started out to eat the passers by until the park department came with their shears and tamed them. They really do need some discipline. If you had a big planter and planted alternates of all three colors it would stop the neighbors in their tracks! I have a lot of pots and use a lot of sweet potato vine to make them look less like pots and more like a garden in the summer. What I like about them is that they will trail and not try to climb whatever they are planted with--but they will grow up a trellis too. Very handy in a vine.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 10:35PM
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Could you find a link or the scientific name for those vines? They sound interesting.

But they must be completely different from what I was asking about. (See my answer above).

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 3:40PM
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PVick(6b NYC)

I'm with Jenny - Go for it! In your zone, they should do quite well. I've been looking at that vine a few years now .......

The vines that Betsy refers to are ornamental sweet potato vines (ipomoea batatas), also fondly referred to as SPVs. There are quite a few cultivars available. Beautiful and very prolific. My personal favorites are 'Blackie' and the lime-green thug 'Margarita'.



    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 10:08PM
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Thanks for the link. I now have yet another plant to lust after and try to find space for on my tiny balcony!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 10:25AM
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I saw beautiful, huge vines of s. jasminoides all over Northern Italy, so it should do fine in your climate, except if you get hard frosts, it'll probably die back to the ground. Roots should be hardy so long as it's a large pot, and in a protected location like up against a wall.

My only growing tips are lotsa sun and regular watering and fertilizing, and if it grows where it shouldn't, cut it back, they're pretty rampant growers.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 2:32PM
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I was browsing for a good vine to cover a balcony railing and came across this thread so i thought i'd revive it.

Anyone have any luck growing a sweet potato vine from an actual sweet potato?
If so, how long from when you started it till the first blooms?
It sounds like a fun experiment.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 6:36PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

I had tried it a couple years ago from one that had sprouted but I didn't have a good spot to put it where it could get some more sun and it didn't grow that much. It seemed to be bushier than the more ornamental types. I think if I were to try it again, I'd put it in a Rubbermaid tote and grow it like a potato, progressively adding soil to it to form new tubers. Had never considered to use it for a rail as at least in my climate, even the ornamentals never got long enough to do it.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 8:10AM
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I would suggest using this Container Gardening

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 2:17PM
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