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Blackie Sweet Potato Vine

Ipomoea batatas  • 

Photo: Blackie Sweet Potato Vine

Photo: Blackie Sweet Potato Vine
Photo: Blackie Sweet Potato Vine
Photo: Blackie Sweet Potato Vine

Features

Stunning dark purple, almost black, cascading foliage

Award Winner
Foliage Interest
Heat Tolerant
Deadheading Not Necessary

Characteristics

Duration: 
 Annual
 
Height Category: 
 Short
 
Garden Height: 
 4 - 10 Inches
 
Trails Up To: 
 72 Inches
 
Spacing: 
 18 - 24 Inches
 
Spread: 
 48 - 60 Inches
 
Flower Shade: 
 None
 
Foliage Colors: 
 Purple
 
Foliage Shade: 
 Black/Purple
 
Habit: 
 Trailing
 
Container Role: 
 Spiller

Plant Needs

Light Requirement: 
 Part Sun to Sun
Maintenance Category: 
 Easy
Bloom Time: 
 Grown for Foliage
Hardiness Zones: 
 11a, 11b
Water Category: 
 Average
Uses: 
 Container
 Landscape
Uses Notes: 

Use in hanging baskets, beds, borders and window boxes

Maintenance Notes: 

Ipomoeas are great additions to combination planters, but they can sometimes overwhelm less vigorous plants. If you are like me you can let your combination plants duke it out Darwinian style, however, if you prefer to keep a more balanced look to your combination planters, you can cut back or remove stems at any time.

Ipomoeas also make great annual groundcovers in the landscape. They love the heat and humidity (growing up to 36" a week in the Deep South), cooler temperatures and low humidity cause them to stay more compact.

While Sweet Potatoes all come from the same parent material out of Southeast Asia, there is a big difference between the Sweet Potato you buy in the store and the tubers produced by the Sweet Caroline and the Illusion plants. Commercial sweet potatoes have been bred for over 100 years selecting for those with the best sugar to starch content (hence the name SWEET Potato), the ornamental have been bred to produce good leaves and no tubers, though they do form, they are composed of almost pure starch and no sugar; making them a poor choice for eating. So yes you can eat the tubers, but don't expect anyone to come back for seconds! Also always be careful when eating any ornamental plant unless you know how it was grown, and if pesticides or fungicides were used on it before you got it; a tuber is a storage root, and yes they store chemical as well as starch.

An application of fertilizer or compost on garden beds and regular fertilization of plants in pots will help ensure the best possible performance.

The only surprising thing about the sudden popularity of Sweet Potato Vines is why it took so long to happen. Not nearly as wicked as its name implies, this Sweet Potato Vine has a trailing habit & deep purple leaves. "A Real Simple magazine Top 10 goofproof Plant"

Properties

Height
1 - 190 cm
Color
  •   
Soil type
Any
Sunlight
Any
Full sun
Partial shade
Moisture
Well-drained
Poorly-drained
Moist but well-drained
Hardiness
Hardy