sweet potato vine

m. west - 8July 27, 2000

I just recieved several sweet potato vines as a gift. They didn't come with care instructions and I haven't a clue. I'd also like to know if they'll survive through the winters in the mountains of North Carolina. Thanks for the help. modnc@citcom.net

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vgkg - 7-Va Piedmont

First frost will kill sweet potato vines. If planted now you may get a decent crop by 1st frost. I always harvest mine in early Oct before frost hits them. Plant them about 12-18" apart rows and give then plenty of room to spread out cause they vine like melons. The first week they will look puny as the roots get accustomed to the soil. Make sure they don't dry out during this planting period until well established. Happy harvest, vgkg

    Bookmark   July 28, 2000 at 12:46PM
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Robin Clarke - 6 Boston

I thought your post was intended for suggestions on what looks good with a decorative planting of sweet potato vine, but since you didnt say what color this one was, I guess you are growing them for food. The whole point of my post is: I am growing a chartreuse colored sw. pot. vine with a blue Scaevola, and it is magnificent! It is vivid and colorful, and can really take the heat, sun and drought of living in a window box. Try it, you'll like it.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2000 at 1:04PM
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Sharon - 5

We gave my daughter a black, a lime green and a verigated pink white and green. She put them all in one pot and the look great with just the three plants coming down the sides. Downtown the black and lime green are popular with red zonal geranims and the tall grassy stuff. Do the color plants make an eatable toober?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2000 at 9:42PM
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laa - Cal.

Today I started cleaning some stacked cardboard boxes I thought were empty from the back of the side yard and lo and behold! the bottom box had the left over sweet potatoes I thought my husband had thrown away months ago. The potatoes have all grown long stems with small leaves and are ready to be planted. I know it is long past the time to plant them, but thanks to an oversight, I may have sweet-potato vines after all this year.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2000 at 4:15AM
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Barbara - 7 Central VA

Robin, I tried blue scaevola too...in a barrel with tricolor sweet potato vine, a tall spikey dracena type plant and some silver brocade dusty miller. Smashing and easy to care for. One of the first times I have planted a combination and had it turn out better than I hoped for. It's got height, is cascading nicely and it looked very "mature" in a little bit of time. It bothers me to wait half the summer for plantings to look lush and full.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2000 at 6:58PM
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Evelyn - 7-8/N.CA foothills

Does anyone have any ('Blackie') to spare??I lost mine last winter...


    Bookmark   August 6, 2000 at 5:31PM
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Melissa Pennell - New Jersey

Please help, I'm new to gardening! I bought three sweet potato plants for ground cover in early spring and they are absolutely beautiful with large purple leaves. I would like to know how to overwinter? them. Are they hardy enough to survive the cold or should I transplant them and grow them indoors for the winter. The more info you provide me the better. Thank you in advance!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2000 at 7:35AM
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Vicki - 7

Just bought some marguertie sweet potato vines to add to my perenniel garden, however, I have never grown them before! Will they come back next year or will they die at first frost?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2000 at 1:44PM
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Marge Fisher - 4-5

Hi Ladies,

I live in New York and would like to know how to overwinter
my sweet potato tubers. I just dug them up and was surprised to see the tubers. Can they be stored in a
cellar and planted in early spring outdoors or can I start
them indoors in February or what? I have chartreuse and
black. Thanks for any advice.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2000 at 5:01PM
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Gary - 7b/8a

I like to put low, spreading Lantana in front and then frame the sides and background with tall Canna lilies. It gives lots of contrast in both texture and color.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2000 at 2:40AM
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Evelyn - 7-8/N.CA foothills

Thanks to a generous trader, I now have one 'Blackie' sweet potato vine. I have it potted up for the winter and growing in a sunny window. Last year I lost mine in the first frost, and BOY! was I FROSTED! (heh, heh)

I am saving it to go in my 'Dark Side' garden, to combine with Geranium phaeum 'Sambobour'sp?, 'Chocolate Ruffles' Heuchera, Tiarella 'Mint Chocolate', Chocolate Cosmos, which is STILL in bloom! and others...it DOES sound like a "Chocolate" garden, doesn't it? The purple oxalis is also nearby looking "smashing", if I do say so....

    Bookmark   November 5, 2000 at 11:36PM
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HeyBambi - 6 Boston

For all you that have asked, Sweet Pot. Vines DIE if exposed to frost. Dig them up before frost hits. Store dry and loose, just as you would your potatoes from the grocery, until Spring, in something breatheable, like a box. Keep at about 55 degrees. Replant in Spring.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2000 at 9:33AM
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W Rowland - 5/6 NY

I saw a tub planting at a local nursery this fall that really got me interested in these. It was a combo of marguerite (lime green sweet potato) with a very hot pink dianthus (probably Ideal Violet) and purple angelonia. The angelonia is a tender perennial from Mexico with tall spikes of small orchid like flowers. It was still blooming into November in New York. It was stunning and beats all hell out of those nauseating crysanthemums everywhere.

I'd add some strong colored gomphrena like strawberry fields if I couldn't find a really hot pink dianthus.

I have a feeling that I'm going to be fascinated by this combo for some time.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2001 at 8:51AM
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Connie Richardson

I was wondering......
I am a novice gardener, and I would like to start a sweet potato vine. This would eventually end up in a clay pot and used as decoration. Could someone enlighten me as to how I would start one from scratch? i.e. can I use a sweet potato from the grocery, and wait for it to develop roots?, what kind of medium would a use to start the roots? etc.
I told you I was a novice. Any replies would be much appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2001 at 12:31PM
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Mindy 5b


I think most of the sweet potatoes at the supermarkets have growth inhibitor sprayed/dusted on them. If you happen to see one at a farmer's market or organic produce market - grab it. I doubt it will have the brilliant colors of the ones purchased at a nursery, but what the heck! Give it a try and let us know what you get.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2001 at 4:32PM
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Johnna 7

So, where are you guys getting these lime green
and black sweet potato vines? I want some.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2001 at 1:28PM
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Don't give up on growing supermarket sweet potatoes! I had five of them stored in a box in a spare bedroom and forgot about them until a couple of days ago. They all had sprouted, some even had a few leaves. So I put them in a dish of water and set them on the back porch (no sun, but bright). Already the "sprouts" have turned into an 8" plant, bushy, with full-size 1" leaves that are dark green. I've never seen anything grow this fast in my life!

But now I'm wondering... should I plant them in soil in a pot? And when?

All comments welcome!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2001 at 1:21PM
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jay 6 w/mclim7-8

the leaves on the grocery store var. are very atractive with a shape not unlike blackie, but dark green.
as far as combos ,i have the jot of working @ a nursery and have gotten to use it in a few potted deseigns. her are afew of my favorite combos:
margerita and or blackie w/ bengal tiger canna
blackie w/ yellow lantana when planted in a bed the
lantana grows up through its too cool
tri color w/ coleus
i've noticed it does better in the ground or in lager pots. i did a great pot w/ margerita(lime) diplodenia and mexican bluebell on the edge of the pot tri-color lantana and a large sunray brugmansia. the sweet potato has spilled to the ground and is forming a mat.

as far as over-wintering i too dried the tubers, i did it w/ blackie each tuber produced a plant to my delight!!! they did take a while to come out of dormancy.

they root in water in a couple of days, and will grow potted in water. just dont let the foliage sit in the
water it will rot. the grow at an awesome pace mid-summer in louisville ky 1 ft a day wow

    Bookmark   August 20, 2001 at 8:43PM
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I saw the Marguerite variety combined with a dark green hosta and a bright, bright impatiens. Nice!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2001 at 9:50PM
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The sweet potatoe vines we planted this year were held over from last year, they were great. We dried them out then put them in brown paper sacks with peat moss and stored them in a cool place, have dug them again and blackie has multiples the green one did not.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2001 at 5:42PM
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I buy my tubers from the organic fruit and veg market - great choice in variety too.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2001 at 5:15PM
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lucille houston

If you have a small plant that didn't have time to make a tuber, just cut it and stick it in water and it will grow roots. Already have 2 Blackie vines growing inside this way.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2001 at 6:02AM
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Sweeeeet Potato Vines
Posted by gabagoo z5/6 NY (My Page) on Sun, Jul 28, 02 at 23:19

I have been growing SPV for the past four years. I started with Marguarite, the familiar bright green variety. After that I added Blackie and the green/pink varigated ones.
I love the bright green. Its light color brightens any spot & creates a great contrast with the dark green foliage of the other plants.
This year, I found another variety -sort of a bronze color. Like an old penny. The underside of the leaves are a dark burgandy - the same color as the veins on the leaves topside.
Here are some shots of my SPVs
Marguarite & Blackie
Here are 2 shots of the broze - top & bottom
Varigated -this is my least favorite of the SPV. I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's the weird colors. I've always found it hard to find something to plant with it.
Here's one of my pots with SPV, Million Bells, Osteopernum & tall grass.

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Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sweeeeet Potato Vines
Posted by: PVick z6 NY (My Page) on Mon, Jul 29, 02 at 1:07

Nancy -
That bronze sweet potato vine is quite nice. I've always liked the marguerite and blackie together when I've seen them in pictures, but this is my first year being able to actually GET any - chose the blackie. I like 'em all, but I can just see the variegated one in a pot with some yellow and lilac petunias! LOL!

Saw your newest album - definite thumbs up!


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RE: Sweeeeet Potato Vines
Posted by: gabagoo z5/6 NY (My Page) on Mon, Jul 29, 02 at 8:13

Thanks, PV-
The problem with the varigated SPV isn't finding a flower that will go with it. It's the foliage of the flower that usually clashes. The green on that particular SPV is a strange shade. It looks greener in the photo -it's more of a grey-ish green and kind of washed out. I ended up planting it with my santolina, which is also grey. So it was livable. LOL! When the santolina was blooming (little yellow flowers) it looked very nice.
Green is one of those funny colors that have a very wide range of shades. Some don't really go together at all.
Think in terms of clothing. Olive or Khaki green & Kelly green?? OUCH!. LOL!
Purple is another color like that.
If you want to get a purple blouse to go with a skirt with purple in it, you'd better be wearing the skirt when you go shopping.


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RE: Sweeeeet Potato Vines
Posted by: henryr10 z6 OH (My Page) on Mon, Jul 29, 02 at 10:04

The only trouble we've had w/ "Blackie"/"Marguerite" combo is that they seem to have two different light requirements. Blackie loves full sun and lots of it. We've also found "Marguerite" to be a bug magnet. They can really get munched in a hurry.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2002 at 9:05AM
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This comment was provided to me by rnranimals.

Check the tubers for sprouts, put the eyes or sprouts up.
After storing the SPV for the winter, put the tuber into potting soil, cover w/ about 1/4" of soil and water lightly. Put in a warm, light place. Can't really tell you on time for leaves to come out. It varies from a week or two to a month. Don't put them in full sun right off, bring them out into the shade and harden them off for a few days.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2002 at 6:39PM
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I've read about your vines from the sweet potato plant, but no one seems to be growing them for vegtables. Can some one tell me if they can be grown in my zone as vegtables and how to do..

    Bookmark   August 18, 2002 at 4:19PM
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I would love to have some starters for different varieties of sweet potato vines. I would be willing to pay if anyone has any available. Can these be grown from grocery potatoes? I live in the boonies and there's not a nursery for miles and miles. We are fortunate in that we do have s Super Walmart about 1/2 hour from here, LOL.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2003 at 12:25PM
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daisiensam(z4 ont)

sweeeet potatoe vines: how can I see your pics??

    Bookmark   May 20, 2003 at 11:33PM
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Marigene(E/Ctrl Kansas)

A friend gave me a few cuttings from a lime green sweet potato.........can I root them in water? I know nothing about them. Thanks for any help.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2003 at 7:37PM
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conrack50(7, Shawnee, OK)

I bought a so called sweet potato vine this summer.
It's light green, some violet and a light yellow color. I've got it in a huge pot with mums and some lillies now. Can it be wintered inside?
I live in Shawnee Oklahoma, zone 7a, about 30 miles S.E. from OKC.
I really like this little plant & don't want to lose it. Need some help please!!!
Please email to conrack50@sbcglobal.net, subject vine.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2003 at 7:35AM
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Y'know, I never realized why they called them sweet potato vines- never occurred to me that they were sweet potatos hiding under the dirt...

of course, I never realized until this year that they BLOOM as well, given enough light : )

but I've been taking cuttings from mine every year for the past 5 years, and they do just fine as houseplants during the winter... and to me, that's easier than drying and storing tubers.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2003 at 3:28PM
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I still have 2 sweet potatoes left over from Christmas and I was wondering if and how I can turn them into houseplants? They are store bought. Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2004 at 6:54PM
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How does one know when the sweet potato is ready to harvest

    Bookmark   February 22, 2004 at 1:32PM
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I have enjoyed all the postings re this remarkable and dazzling plant - but no one has touched on the issue of pests.
I am inundated with "holes" on my spv leaves......need to know of a successful treatment for this problem.....Also - I have been very successful "rooting" spv - directly - into small pots of a good potting soil..keep moist...From now on - I will no longer buy a dozen pots for my window boxes....a few to root will do!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 1:54PM
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oldwriter(z8 Central TX)

Everyone seems to dig the tubers to winter them. Mine are in pots. Is there any reason they can't be wintered in a greenhouse, still in the pot?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2004 at 9:42AM
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DOes anyone know whether you have to hoe sweet potatoes up? as you do with ordinary potatoes?

please help new gardener

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 5:29AM
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I purchased sweet potato slips from a nursery. Some have grown nicely, others are slow going. Some have been eaten by a rabbit. I was wondering....the place that my husband wanted to plant the vines was in a partially shaded place. Will I not get the response I need because they are partially shaded during the day? Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 11:53AM
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I saw this planter with the limegreen sweetpotato vine along with dark dark red coleus. it was a very striking mix.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 8:05PM
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I want to start a sweet potato vine,bought some at the store put them in water just like i read but they just rotted on me, no flower shops or stores have the vine, can anyone help me, also i have 2 red potatos that have sprouted is this the same , will it grow a vine?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 6:05AM
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Hilda Horner

Does anyone happen to know what type of potato to use to start the purple sweet potato vine? Right now I am starting the lime green vine by sticking tootpicks in the sides and sitting them in some water. I have looked everywhere online to see about doing the same for the purple sweet potato vine as well and can find no information on the type of potato you would use to start a purple vine. HELP!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 1:48PM
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josh alabama

i have an issue with my potato i dont know what it means if the dirt is coming lose up around the vine this is my first year to grow sweet potatos so i dont know much about them.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 6:35PM
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I have 2 sweet potato vines. The green one is growing out of the pot. My "blackie" looks good but not spilling out?!? Any suggestions? I wanted them both to waterfall off the side of my porch.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 9:03AM
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